Here in America

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Lisa Zhito
Rich Mullins's death in a 1997 car accident shook the CCM community to its core, and as this collection of previously unreleased material shows, there is good reason to mourn. Few artists are so esteemed in their genre as Mullins, who was beloved for his insightful, folk-pop compositions and also the spiritual convictions that led him to eschew recording success and spend his last years teaching Native American children. Now, nearly five years after his death, Mullins's name and his songs lend instant credibility to a variety of projects (Mullins would no doubt be amused at how many leading CCM lights today claim to have been friends with the artist, who went to great ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Lisa Zhito
Rich Mullins's death in a 1997 car accident shook the CCM community to its core, and as this collection of previously unreleased material shows, there is good reason to mourn. Few artists are so esteemed in their genre as Mullins, who was beloved for his insightful, folk-pop compositions and also the spiritual convictions that led him to eschew recording success and spend his last years teaching Native American children. Now, nearly five years after his death, Mullins's name and his songs lend instant credibility to a variety of projects (Mullins would no doubt be amused at how many leading CCM lights today claim to have been friends with the artist, who went to great pains to separate himself from the Christian music industry). So it's only natural to approach the arrival of Here in America with some skepticism. True, the producers have worked hard to dispel the notion that they are capitalizing on Mullins's legacy. But there's a bit of discomfort in listening to the material here and on the bonus DVD, all of which are culled from a variety of sources: song demos, recordings of concerts, appearances at spiritual retreats, and so forth. Much of this material will only be interesting to the Mullins aficionado; two passages in which Mullins instructs a youth group in a sing-along are overly long and uninteresting as an audio passage. Better are those in which Mullins tells the stories behind some of his best-loved songs or offers his own perspective on the Christian faith. Many of the CD's live recordings suffer from extremely poor audio quality (Mullins recorded shows on cassette in order to critique his performance). All of which makes this type of audio voyeurism feel a little creepy -- would Mullins himself have wanted to release these cassette tracks, many of which sound like he was performing inside a fruit jar? On the other hand, one does emerge from Here in America with a better notion of who Rich Mullins was and what he believed in, and surely the artist himself would have applauded that.
All Music Guide - Aaron Latham
Throughout his career, Rich Mullins contributed recordings that rank among the best in CCM, and although he left a legacy of studio recordings, what was missing from his catalog was a proper live album. His talent as a songwriter and musician is well documented on disc, yet his true gift would shine through at his live performances, where his engaging spirit spilled out over a captivated audience through music and stories. Here in America is a collection of studio demos and various live performances that provide a small sampling of Mullins' natural ability to perform, entertain, and relate to his audience. Performances on the CD are from 1987, at a time when his career was blossoming and he brimmed with energy, while the DVD features a more reflective and reserved Mullins in a 1997 television concert taped mere months before his tragic auto accident. Without healing any of the bumps and bruises through studio trickery, the live tracks on the CD are presented in their original recorded state from different sources such as a handheld tape recorder, which makes certain songs sound like a recording made by proud parents of their child's band concert. Permeating the hiss with his frenetic personality, Mullins teaches an audience to sing, shares humorous asides, and recklessly accompanies himself on the piano through songs like "Verge of a Miracle," which almost careens out of control. With his guitar and a little accompaniment he rips through a rockin' version of "It Don't Do," surpassing the tepid album version, while the a cappella song "Screen Door" blows away the audience as Mullins and his group create beats with a choreographed cup routine on a tabletop as seen on the DVD. Scattered throughout the disc are piano/vocal studio demos that include the title track and the jubilant original "O Come All Ye Faithful," a majestic yet obscure song recorded by Debby Boone in 1983 that somehow failed to find its way onto a Mullins album. Sounding more like a bootleg than a formal release, this disc, along with the DVD, is a genuine treat for fans and a nice supplement for followers who want to learn more about Mullins; however, those who are just beginning to discover this talented singer/songwriter would be better served by listening to 1996's Songs, the best-of package. Here in America is not the definitive missing live album, but it does lovingly document the gifts of an artist whose voice, music, and message have been missed.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/6/2003
  • Label: Reunion
  • UPC: 602341005227
  • Catalog Number: 10052

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Here in America (3:01)
  2. 2 Teaching Awesome God (2:30)
  3. 3 Verge of a Miracle (4:36)
  4. 4 Be With You (5:20)
  5. 5 O Come All Ye Faithful (4:33)
  6. 6 What Trouble Are Giants (3:04)
  7. 7 Praise Ye the Lord (4:15)
  8. 8 Hello Old Friends (2:31)
  9. 9 It Don't Do (4:40)
  10. 10 Screen Door (3:04)
  11. 11 Never Heard the Music (3:38)
  12. 12 None Are Stronger (5:17)
  13. 13 The Lord's Prayer (19:33)
Disc 2
  1. 1 I Will Sing
  2. 2 Sing Your Praise to the Lord
  3. 3 If I Stand
  4. 4 Calling Out Your Name
  5. 5 Elijah
  6. 6 Awesome God
  7. 7 We Are Not as Strong as We Think We Are
  8. 8 Let Mercy Lead
  9. 9 Boy Like Me/Man Like You
  10. 10 F Major Invention
  11. 11 Screen Door
  12. 12 Hold Me Jesus
  13. 13 Sometimes By Step
  14. 14 Creed
  15. 15 Sex and Self-Confidence
  16. 16 Perfection Is Boring
  17. 17 Be Assertive
  18. 18 Killing Philistines
  19. 19 Sensationalism
  20. 20 Worship Buzz
  21. 21 A Reason to Party
  22. 22 Life Is Good
  23. 23 Women & Tragedy
  24. 24 I Never Intended
  25. 25 Temptation in Germany
  26. 26 Driving Without Headlights
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Rich Mullins Primary Artist
Kyle Stevens Vocals
Steve Cudworth Guitar, Vocals
Technical Credits
Kyle Stevens Contributor
Ben Pearson Cover Photo
David Bach Executive Producer
Steve Cudworth Producer, Liner Notes
Fred Paragano Producer, Mastering
Dean Diehl Executive Producer
Scott Hughes Photo Coordination
Stephanie McBrayer Photo Coordination
Rusty Mitchell Art Direction
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Awesome Resource for Youth Groups and Bible Studies

    Having heard the song "Awesome God," and finding out that the musician/song writer had died in an automibile accident saddened me. I was compelled to find out more about this fellow. I had seen some of his music videos on Christian television, but that had just whetted my musical appetite for Mullins' brand of honest stories and music I've grown to love. As a member of the Vestry at our Episcopal Church, I see a need for the youth to be exposed to Mullins' brand of Christianity. It truly amazes me that his genius wasn't recognized by more different religous groups. From time-to-time, our church choir or youth group will try to do justice to his songs by singing them at a service or retreat. Screen Door is an experience you just can't miss. It blew me away the first time I saw it. I'll never forget that great performance, with the simple percussion accompaniment. I've often thought of trying to duplicate the DVD version with the Youth Group. It would be great fun. "Boy LIke Me- Man Like You" gives us a perspective only Mullins could come up with. "You were a baby, like I was once..." and "stories like that make a man walk straignt," "I want to grow up and be just like you," are terrific motivations for discussions in youth group. Thinking that Jesus could have grown up like us, truly a good place to start a dialog. His insightful introductions to each song just make the DVD versions more valuable. Great lessons for both youth and adult groups. "Creed" sums up what is said at both Catholic and Episcopal Mass on Sunday. (I don't know if other churches actually use the Creed, I'm not a theologian.) His musicianship on the hammer dulcimer is fantastic! Mullins teaches us with this project that songs can be prayers. "Hold Me Jesus" is one of the song prayers he shares with us. "Sometimes By Step" is another prayer song performed on the DVD. "Oh God, you are my God, and I will ever praise You." "Step by Step You'll lead me, and I will follow you all of my days" are a strong witness of faith we all can learn from. The CD amounts to a primer for your Youth Group to further exploration of the character of Rich Mullins. The only thing that could make this set any better would be a bonus section with the music videos that Rich Mullins had released. Aside, from that oversight, this is a great resource for youth instruction and teaching the Christian faith.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Experince the Legacy...

    Great Stuff...The DVD concert was very memorable...sort of a story with every song and more...The short stories really makes one think about what one believes to be true.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    New Release is Pure Rich

    Here in America, the CD, will not be seen as the best 'recording' of Rich Mullins material, but it may be the most poignant. Since 1997 many of us feared never being able to see and hear Rich in his element again...interacting, spontaneous, challenging and of course down-right funny. His insight into how he saw God and the things of earth are evident all through the tracks. His passion, his love and his honesty just bleed through. In some places it will remind you of old Keith Green recordings. The DVD will be a keepsake to those who love Rich. It presents Rich and the Ragamuffins in concert in his unique style. It is worth the price of the package on its own.

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