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Heartland: An Appalachian Anthology

Heartland: An Appalachian Anthology

4.0 6
The late '90s saw a spate of adventurous albums, all on the Sony label, that melded roots-inspired American folk music with classical and experimental flavors by a remarkable array of musicians: Yo-Yo Ma and Joshua Bell from the classical world; style hoppers Edgar Meyer and


The late '90s saw a spate of adventurous albums, all on the Sony label, that melded roots-inspired American folk music with classical and experimental flavors by a remarkable array of musicians: Yo-Yo Ma and Joshua Bell from the classical world; style hoppers Edgar Meyer and Mark O'Connor; folk/pop powerhouses James Taylor and Alison Krauss; and many others. Heartland: An Appalachian Anthology gathers together the best of that work. Opening with the Shaker simplicity of "Short Trip Home" from Joshua Bell's like-titled album, the disc continues with James Taylor crooning "Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier" from Mark O'Connor's Liberty! The tempo picks up when Yo-Yo Ma joins Edgar Meyer and O'Connor in "1B," the hoedown with a twist from Appalachian Journey, but they soon settle back with the gentle strains of "Appalachia Waltz," the title track from the album that started it all. O'Connor blends traditional fiddle-playing with classical virtuosity in "Amazing Grace" from his solo album Midnight on the Water, while musical chameleon Edgar Meyer -- a Nashville legend with an equally impressive classical resume -- lends his soulful bass to the funky "Old Tyme" from Uncommon Ritual. Alison Krauss brings breathy sweetness to the lullaby "Slumber, My Darling," and O'Connor closes the compilation with his melancholy "Song of the Liberty Bell." Even if you already know some of these albums back-to-front, here's a chance to get a taste of what you've missed. From heartfelt, traditional ballads to plucky, new-fangled hoedowns, Heartland is a strong overview of one of the most successful and surprising crossover schemes.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Brian Kelly
In 1995, Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, and Mark O'Connor joined forces on Appalachia Waltz, the first of a series of Sony Classical albums celebrating the varied musical textures of Americana. Over the course of six years, several albums were cut, among them Short Trip Home, Liberty!, Uncommon Ritual, and Midnight on the Water, in addition to the Grammy-winning Appalachia Waltz. Each project may have had its own specific instrumental focus, although the shared theme was clearly to obfuscate the genre lines that separate classical and traditional American music on a 200-year journey from the concert halls of Britain to the Shenandoah Valley. Heartland: An Appalachian Anthology is a carefully plucked and eclectic amalgam of these recordings. Featuring swinging waltzes, Baroque chamber music, Celtic reels, and Yankee ballads, this compendium serves as a stylistic hub of the European strain in American music. It passes as a refined bluegrass recording that is easily digested by less stodgy classical devotees, and the roster alone should be enough to cue the listener that dazzling instrumental interplay is the pi�ce de r�sistance. "Sliding Down," a Meyer composition featuring Bela Fleck (banjo) and Mike Marshall (guitar), "BT," and "Death By Triple Fiddle" (Sam Bush, Joshua Bell, and Marshall) are just a few prime examples. "Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier" and "Slumber, My Darling," which showcase the vocal nuances of James Taylor and Alison Krauss, respectively, round out the radio-friendly end of the album. Heartland is a mere crossroads, a refreshing spin on two timeless idioms. It's safe to say that it adds something to both, but the album's greatest asset may be the unknown direction it will springboard the listener.

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  1. Short trip home, for violin, double bass, mandolin & guitar  (03:49)
  2. Johnny Has Gone for A Soldier  (02:57)
  3. 1B, for violin, cello & double bass  (04:00)
  4. Appalachia Waltz, for solo cello  (05:50)
  5. Soldier's joy  (04:08)
  6. Sliding Down  (04:44)
  7. BT, for violin, mandolin, mandola & double bass  (04:53)
  8. Butterfly's Day Out  (04:45)
  9. College Hornpipe  (03:17)
  10. Fancy stops and goes  (03:51)
  11. Old Tyme  (03:26)
  12. Emily's Reel for violin, cello & double bass  (02:45)
  13. Slumber My Darling for voice & piano  (04:52)
  14. Death by triple fiddle  (04:17)
  15. Amazing Grace  (02:49)

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O'Connor, Meyer, Foster and others 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Some of the greatest musicians, classical and not, come together on this album in a truly beautiful blend of music. I've listened to it hundreds of times and never get tired.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Appalachian Anthology is unlike anything else I've ever heard. It's like discovering a completely new genre of music. When does 1+1 not equal 2? When you add one part classical music, and one part traditional American music; it equals 5, 5 stars that is!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I never rate anything 5 stars, except my own music, of course. As the title suggests, I found Heartland toe-tappin, knee slappin, can't sit still music for those times when you feel like dancing. The combination of instruments and skilled playing make this a favorite. Yo Yo Ma shows he can keep up with violinist Perlman when it comes to crossing the border between the classics and truly American, down to earth, music. Copland paints America, Heartland brings it home.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's very Americana. Very upbeat, gets your toes tapping.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago