Mark Twain: A Film Directed by Ken Burns

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
The world of the legendary author and wit Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, is vividly captured on this companion recording to Ken Burns's documentary. Dominated by the extravagantly talented Bobby Horton, who excels on guitar, mandolin, fiddle, and concertina, among other instruments, the soundtrack evokes the folksy sound of the Mississippi and its environs. . Horton performs bright versions of hardy traditional classics and spirituals, including "Sweet Betsy from Pike," "Poor Wayfarin' Stranger," "How Can I Keep from Singing," and "Hard Times." Jacqueline Schwab also weighs in with a few delicate piano selections, and John Owen "Fiddlin' Johnny" Lardinois leads a bouncy "Shuckin' the Bush" and "Dill ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
The world of the legendary author and wit Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, is vividly captured on this companion recording to Ken Burns's documentary. Dominated by the extravagantly talented Bobby Horton, who excels on guitar, mandolin, fiddle, and concertina, among other instruments, the soundtrack evokes the folksy sound of the Mississippi and its environs. . Horton performs bright versions of hardy traditional classics and spirituals, including "Sweet Betsy from Pike," "Poor Wayfarin' Stranger," "How Can I Keep from Singing," and "Hard Times." Jacqueline Schwab also weighs in with a few delicate piano selections, and John Owen "Fiddlin' Johnny" Lardinois leads a bouncy "Shuckin' the Bush" and "Dill Pickle Rag" Among the other featured performers are Prairie Home Companion favorite Peter Ostroushko. The effect of this carefully selected music is a sometimes wistful, sometimes spirited, 19th-century pastoral, evoking an age when folk traditions were still very much alive in this country. Interspersed among the musical selections are a handful of short, pungent monologues by actor Kevin Conway that convey Twain's caustic folk genius. -- William Pearl
All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
This is the soundtrack to documentary filmmaker Ken Burns' PBS television series Mark Twain, performed by folk musicians recreating the sound of American folk, popular, and spiritual music circa the late-19th century. Some of the songs would have been familiar in Twain's time, such as "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," "Poor Wayfarin' Stranger," "Maple Leaf Rag," and "Sweet Betsy From Pike." Others were written after Twain's death, but have a similar feel of Americana from the late 1800s, and a handful were actually written specifically for the soundtrack. Most of the 29 selections are performed either by Alabama multi-instrumentalist Bobby Horton or pianist Jacqueline Schwab, both of whom had collaborated with Burns on several of his previous documentaries, such as his well-known Civil War series, which used similar music. If you've seen that or other Burns documentary projects like Baseball and Lewis and Clark, you know what to expect: homespun, laid-back sounds that are evocative of past times. They're a little nostalgic and corny, and impeccably executed, though in a manner that emphasizes their utility as backing tracks, rather than expressing much individuality or interpretation on the part of the performers. Five of the tracks are brief spoken excerpts of Twain's writings, read by actor Kevin Conway.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/6/2001
  • Label: Sony Mod - Afw Line
  • UPC: 696998609129
  • Catalog Number: 86091
  • Sales rank: 8,236

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Made in the Image of God (0:22)
  2. 2 Sweet Betsy from Pike - Bobby Horton (3:28)
  3. 3 Dogue Creek - Bobby Horton (3:04)
  4. 4 Wagoner's Lad (1:05)
  5. 5 Howl - Ed Gerhard (2:30)
  6. 6 Mighty Big River - Bobby Horton (1:45)
  7. 7 Shadow on the Marsh (2:04)
  8. 8 Poor Wayfarin's Stranger - Bobby Horton (2:34)
  9. 9 Shuckin' the Bush (2:58)
  10. 10 How Can I Keep from Singing (2:26)
  11. 11 Ol Voices (0:41)
  12. 12 For Ireland I'd Not Tell Her Name - Bobby Horton (3:27)
  13. 13 When Tomorrow Comes (3:02)
  14. 14 Wagoner's Lad - Bobby Horton (2:12)
  15. 15 The Falls - Bobby Horton (2:18)
  16. 16 Ties That Bind (1:05)
  17. 17 Rosin' the Bow - Bobby Horton (1:16)
  18. 18 Amelia (1:33)
  19. 19 "Shakespear Is Dead" (0:17)
  20. 20 Dill Pickle Rag (2:12)
  21. 21 Hard Times (1:23)
  22. 22 Hard Times - Bobby Horton (2:26)
  23. 23 Sweet Betsy from Pike (4:59)
  24. 24 Maple Leaf Rag (3:10)
  25. 25 "Two Unaccountable Freaks" (0:28)
  26. 26 Sweet Betsy from Pike (1:33)
  27. 27 How Can I Keep from Singing - Bobby Horton (4:08)
  28. 28 Advice for Arrival in Heavens (0:46)
  29. 29 Swing Low, Sweet Chariot - Bobby Horton (2:12)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Tim Clark Voices
Peter Ostroushko Track Performer
Blythe Danner Voices
Phillip Bosco Voices
Bobby Horton Track Performer
Al Petteway Track Performer
Amy Madigan Voices
Jacqueline Schwab Track Performer
Kevin Conway Voices
Fiddlin' Johnny Track Performer
Ann Duquesnay Voices
Ed Gerhard Track Performer
Keith David Narrator
Carolyn McCormick Voices
Lou Verrico Overdubs
Technical Credits
Allen Moore Cinematography
Mark Wilder Mastering
Kevin Burns Executive Producer, Cinematography
Howard Fritzson Art Direction
Susan Yeaton Butler Administrative Assistant
Brenda Heath Financial Director
Debora Keller Administrative Assistant
Patty Lawlor Administrative Assistant
Geoffrey C. Ward Creative Consultant
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    reliving memories from home

    Most of the music reminded me of songs i heard my parents play while i was growing up. This music seemed to be similar to or perhaps were the roots for some of the music played now (unless those were the ones made up special for the movie). I don't believe the beat was as quick back in the early 1900's or late 1800's but it fit in well for good listening. I thoroughly enjoyed the CD.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews