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Public Domain: Songs from the Wild Land

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Kerry Dexter
Modern troubadour (and former Blaster) Dave Alvin's work has always shown a deep affinity for the storytelling traditions of American folk and country music. For his latest album, Alvin has gathered and reinterpreted 15 songs from the American songbook, crafting them into a cohesive song cycle that's both deeply personal and effortlessly universal. These are songs that form part of the fabric of American culture, familiar tunes such as "Shenandoah," "Delia," and "East Virginia Blues," reworked in ways that offer fresh perspectives while retaining the rough-hewn, iconoclastic spirit of the originals. Alvin's deep, lived-in voice is ideally suited to the contrasting ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Kerry Dexter
Modern troubadour (and former Blaster) Dave Alvin's work has always shown a deep affinity for the storytelling traditions of American folk and country music. For his latest album, Alvin has gathered and reinterpreted 15 songs from the American songbook, crafting them into a cohesive song cycle that's both deeply personal and effortlessly universal. These are songs that form part of the fabric of American culture, familiar tunes such as "Shenandoah," "Delia," and "East Virginia Blues," reworked in ways that offer fresh perspectives while retaining the rough-hewn, iconoclastic spirit of the originals. Alvin's deep, lived-in voice is ideally suited to the contrasting upbeat melody and bittersweet lyrics of "What Did the Deep Sea Say?" and equally at home with a Delta blues treatment of the folk standard "Maggie Campbell." In the liner notes, Alvin comments on his choice of material -- and album title: "Our folk songs lie in the wild land of our heart," Alvin says. "They aren't relics from an idealized, sentimental past. Our folk songs are about love, jealousy, anger, despair, hope, and survival..." Alvin's sensitive, empathetic take on these songs serves to remind how deep and vital the well of folk-song tradition runs.
All Music Guide - Denise Sullivan
Drawing from the mother lode of traditional songs in the public domain, songwriter Dave Alvin brings an authentic voice and extraordinary understanding to his chosen tracks. Familiar songs from the folk canon like "Shenandoah" and "Walk Right In" are reworked by him and a full band with arrangements incorporating the roadhouse style they've honed from years of working together. He also unearthed lesser-known songs like "Mama, Ain't Long for Day" perhaps credited to Blind Willie McTell, "Sign of Judgment," and "Railroad Bill," having learned versions from records he unearthed as a kid by obscure artists: from Will Bennett to Kid Prince Moore. This is the work of a scholar as well as a master craftsman.
Rolling Stone - Dave Alvin
The handsomely produced Public Domain I so rich in history that it could do brisk business in the Smithsonian gift shop.

The handsomely produced Public Domain I so rich in history that it could do brisk business in the Smithsonian gift shop.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/15/2000
  • Label: Hightone Records
  • UPC: 012928812221
  • Catalog Number: 8122
  • Sales rank: 63,445

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Shenandoah - Dave Alvin & the Guilty Men (4:08)
  2. 2 Maggie Campbell Blues - Dave Alvin & the Guilty Men (3:26)
  3. 3 A Short Life of Trouble - Dave Alvin & the Guilty Men (3:41)
  4. 4 What Does the Deep Sea Say? - Dave Alvin & the Guilty Men (3:01)
  5. 5 Engine 143 - Dave Alvin & the Guilty Men (3:56)
  6. 6 Delia - Dave Alvin & the Guilty Men (3:38)
  7. 7 Dark Eyes - Dave Alvin & the Guilty Men (3:59)
  8. 8 Walk Right In - Dave Alvin & the Guilty Men (3:28)
  9. 9 Murder Of The Lawson Family - Dave Alvin & the Guilty Men (4:18)
  10. 10 Don't Let Your Deal Go Down - Dave Alvin & the Guilty Men (4:35)
  11. 11 Railroad Bill - Dave Alvin & the Guilty Men (3:27)
  12. 12 Texas Rangers - Dave Alvin & the Guilty Men (5:07)
  13. 13 Mama, 'Tain't Long Fo' Day - Dave Alvin & the Guilty Men (3:19)
  14. 14 East Virginia Blues - Dave Alvin & the Guilty Men (4:17)
  15. 15 Sign Of Judgment - Dave Alvin & the Guilty Men (3:45)
  16. 16 [Untitled Instrumental Track] (3:01)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Dave Alvin Primary Artist
Joe Terry Organ, Piano, Accordion, Harmonium, Vocal Harmony
Brantley Kearns Fiddle, Vocal Harmony
Greg Leisz Dobro, Mandolin, Slide Guitar
Mark Linett Recorder
Rick Shea Acoustic Guitar, Mandolin, Pedal Steel Guitar, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Harmony
Gregory Boaz Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar
Dave Alvin & the Guilty Men Track Performer
Technical Credits
Etta Baker Composer
Dave Alvin Producer
Kid Prince Moore Composer
A.P. Carter Composer
Joe Gastwirt Mastering
Mark Linett Engineer
Traditional Composer
E. Smith Composer
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