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Song of America

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Any reasonable music fan would be forgiven for being wary of a collection of American folk music whose executive producer was former attorney general Janet Reno, but as it happens Reno knows more about such things than one might expect. At the very least Reno had the good judgment to suggest singer, songwriter and activist Ed Pettersen coordinate an album of songs that reflected different aspects of American history, from the colonial period to the present day. Pettersen's long gestating project, Song of America, has finally surfaced as a hefty three-CD set, featuring 50 songs from as many artists, and the final product is frequently fascinating and ambitious stuff, music ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Any reasonable music fan would be forgiven for being wary of a collection of American folk music whose executive producer was former attorney general Janet Reno, but as it happens Reno knows more about such things than one might expect. At the very least Reno had the good judgment to suggest singer, songwriter and activist Ed Pettersen coordinate an album of songs that reflected different aspects of American history, from the colonial period to the present day. Pettersen's long gestating project, Song of America, has finally surfaced as a hefty three-CD set, featuring 50 songs from as many artists, and the final product is frequently fascinating and ambitious stuff, music that demonstrates how art mirrors our history and how that art can carry its message in a broad range of interpretations. Pettersen, co-producers David Macias and Bob Olhsson, and their cast of singers and musicians are clearly mindful of the message and context of these songs, but they don't insist on treating them with kid gloves; the discordant horns on John Wesley Harding's "God Save the King" boldly reflects the chaos of the Revolution, Danielson's interpretation of "Happy Days Are Here Again" is at once playful and aware of the dark shadows of the Depression, the Mavericks transform "Dixie's Land" into a spectral anthem to a cause that would soon be lost, and "The Times They Are A Changin'" seems to speak to both past and present through the Del McCoury Band. Pettersen and company are also smart enough to realize that while the folk process has changed, it's hardly stopped, and that the work of James Brown, Bruce Springsteen, Grandmaster Flash, and Marvin Gaye are all a part of the broad banner of our history, with their works interpreted with the same intelligence and thoughtfulness as the traditional numbers. The set closes with John Mellencamp singing Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land," and in this context, Guthrie's simple but eloquent song has rarely displayed a greater resonance, revealing how these tunes don't merely reflect our lives and history, but are a living part of it. Song of America is hardly the first album that seeks to chart this nation's progress through song, but few have done it with this degree of intelligence and imagination, and everyone involved deserved to be congratulated for creating something very special indeed.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/18/2007
  • Label: Thirty One Tigers
  • UPC: 827912065466
  • Catalog Number: 20654
  • Sales rank: 127,160

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Lakota Drum Song - Earl Bullhead (3:08)
  2. 2 Once More Our God Vouchsafe to Shine - Julie Lee (3:07)
  3. 3 Let Us Break Bread Together (3:49)
  4. 4 God Save the King - John Wesley Harding (3:49)
  5. 5 Young Ladies in Town - Elizabeth Foster (3:01)
  6. 6 The Old Woman Taught Wisdom - Malcolm Holcombe (6:30)
  7. 7 The Liberty Song - Ed Pettersen (4:59)
  8. 8 Yankee Doodle - Harper Simon (3:29)
  9. 9 Jefferson & Liberty - The Wilders (2:10)
  10. 10 Hail Columbia - Steven Kowalczyk-Santoro (2:56)
  11. 11 The Star Spangled Banner (2:03)
  12. 12 Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child - Beth Nielsen Chapman (5:09)
  13. 13 Peg and Awl - Freedy Johnston (4:34)
  14. 14 Sweet Betsy from Pike (4:23)
  15. 15 Trail of Tears - Jehnean Day Dawn Washington (4:35)
  16. 16 Declaration of Sentiments - Minton Sparks (4:34)
  17. 17 Go Down Moses (3:43)
  18. 18 Dixie's Land - Thad Cockrell (6:13)
Disc 2
  1. 1 John Brown's Body - Marah (2:40)
  2. 2 Battle Hymn of the Republic - Joana Smith (5:15)
  3. 3 Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye - Janis Ian (2:09)
  4. 4 Thousands Are Sailing to Amerikay - Tim O'Brien (4:24)
  5. 5 The Farmer Is the Man - Otis Gibbs (3:03)
  6. 6 Home on the Range - Joni Harms (4:30)
  7. 7 Stars & Stripes Forever - Jake Shimabukuro (2:28)
  8. 8 Sleep My Child - Neilson Hubbard (4:47)
  9. 9 Over There - Jen Chapin (2:31)
  10. 10 How Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down on the Farm - Andrew Bird (5:04)
  11. 11 Lift Every Voice and Sing - Karen Parks (5:11)
  12. 12 Happy Days Are Here Again - Danielson (3:05)
  13. 13 Brother, Can You Spare a Dime - Andy Bey (6:30)
  14. 14 Seven Cent Cotton and Forty Cent Meat - Jim Lauderdale (2:11)
  15. 15 Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos) (4:56)
  16. 16 Rosie the Riveter - Suzy Bogguss (2:31)
  17. 17 Reuben James - Folk Family Robinson (4:04)
Disc 3
  1. 1 The Great Atomic Power - The Grascals (2:45)
  2. 2 Little Boxes - Devendra Banhart (4:08)
  3. 3 The Times They Are a Changin' - The Del McCoury Band (3:49)
  4. 4 Apache Tears - Scott Kempner (3:42)
  5. 5 Get Together - Kim Richey (4:01)
  6. 6 Say It Loud (I'm Black and I'm Proud) - The Dynamites (4:32)
  7. 7 Ohio - Ben Taylor (2:40)
  8. 8 What's Going On? - Anthony David (5:02)
  9. 9 I Am Woman - Martha Wainwright (3:27)
  10. 10 Youngstown - Matthew Ryan (4:14)
  11. 11 Wave - Gary Heffern (4:35)
  12. 12 The Message - Shorty W.O.P. (6:34)
  13. 13 Streets of Philadelphia - Bettye LaVette (3:49)
  14. 14 Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning - The Wrights (5:30)
  15. 15 This Land Is Your Land - John Mellencamp (4:10)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Del McCoury Guitar, Vocals
Suzy Bogguss Vocals
Beth Nielsen Chapman Vocals, Gut String Guitar, Bazouki
Jim Lauderdale Banjo, Vocals
John Wesley Harding Vocals
Janis Ian Vocals
Andy Bey Piano, Vocals
David Thomas Vocals
Freedy Johnston Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocals
Tyrone Dickerson Organ
Joni Harms Vocals
Terry Eldredge Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Peter Abbott Percussion, Background Vocals
Jack Ashford Vibes
Bob Babbitt Bass
Mike Bailey Drums
Jason Carter Fiddle
Vincent Chancey French Horn
Ernest Chapman Steel Guitar, Background Vocals
Alvin Chea Vocals
Paul Deakin Drums
Cedric Dent Vocals
Ranger Doug Green Vocals
Chris Eckman Track Performer
Curtis Fields Tenor (Vocal)
Pat Flynn Guitar
Ed Greene Percussion, Drums
Kevin Hayes Guitjo
David Hungate Bass
Scott Kempner Bass, Guitar, Vocals
Mark Kibble Vocals
Craig King Piano
Viktor Krauss Bass
Bettye LaVette Vocals
Jimmy Mattingly Fiddle
Rob McCoury Banjo
Ronnie McCoury Mandolin
Country Joe McDonald Vocals, Penny Whistle
Jerry Dale McFadden Keyboards
Claude V. McKnight III Vocals
John Mellencamp Guitar, Vocals
Rob Mitchell Drums
John Mock tin whistle
Tim O'Brien Fiddle, Guitar, Vocals
Lorne Rall Bass
Robert Reynolds Bass
Kim Richey Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocals
Stan Robinson Vocals
Marcus Rojas Tuba
Wanda Vick Banjo, Fiddle, Mandolin
Philip Wade Mandolin
Earl Bullhead Vocals
Larry Ciancia Drums
Stephan Crump Bass
Steve Gluzband Trumpet
Christopher Thomas Bass
Dave Peterson Drums
Martha Wainwright Vocals, Background Vocals
Judith Edelman Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Nick Kane Electric Guitar
Julie Lee Vocals, Baritone Ukulele
Gary Heffern Vocals
Ed Pettersen Bass, Guitar, Percussion, Piano, Keyboards, Theremin, Vocals, Background Vocals
Garrison Starr Background Vocals
Neilson Hubbard Bass, Glockenspiel, Keyboards, Background Vocals
Vinnie Ciesielski Horn
Jonathan Quarmby Hammond Organ
Chuck Mead Guitar, Vocals
Don Herron Banjo, Fiddle, Mandolin, Background Vocals
Matthew Ryan Keyboards, Vocals
Kenny Hutson Guitar, Mandolin
Andrew Bird Violin, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Human Whistle
Joel Kibble Vocals
Alan Hill Keyboards
Harper Simon Bass, Guitar, Vocals
Malcolm Holcombe Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Aaron Sands Bass
Charles "Wigg" Walker Vocals
Kevin Barker Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar
Scotty Huff Acoustic Guitar
Walker Pettibone Drums
Rich Robinson Guitar, Vocals
Jason Kourkounis Drums
Pat Sansone Acoustic Guitar, Piano
David Talbot Banjo
Andy Cabic Background Vocals
Danny Roberts Mandolin
Jen Chapin Vocals
Minton Sparks Vocals
Will Hill Native American Flute, Spoken Word
Thad Cockrell Vocals
Kirk Yoquelet Percussion, Drums
Elizabeth Cook Vocals
Andy Reis Guitar, Electric Guitar
Serge Bielanko Guitar, Background Vocals
Otis Gibbs Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Devendra Banhart Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
David R. Hayden Tenor (Vocal)
Noah Georgeson Background Vocals
Willie Watson Guitar, Vocals
Jimmy Bowland Horn, Saxophone
Valerie Pringle Background Vocals
Jake Shimabukuro Ukulele
Paul T. Kwami Musical Direction
Eamon McLoughlin Strings
Karen Parks Vocals
Catherine Styron Marx Keyboards
Mindy Smith Background Vocals
Ketcham Secor Vocals, Bajo Sexto
Critter Fuqua Vocals, Button Accordion
Morgan Jahnig Upright Bass
Andy Hunt Background Vocals, Ngawang Chopel
Alan Bartram Bass
Elin K. Smith Vocals
Ted Velykis Bass Guitar
Anthony David Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocals
Will Barrow Piano
Donnie Herron Fiddle
Adam Wright Guitar, Vocals
Betse Ellis Fiddle
Ericson Holt Keyboards
Kenzie Wetz Fiddle, Vocals, Background Vocals
Danny Seward Background Vocals
Wesley Trigg Tenor (Vocal)
Otto Hauser Drums, Background Vocals
Chris "Chris P" "PowerTool" Patterson Percussion
Kate York Background Vocals
Mark Wilson IV Bass
Mickey Dawes Drums
Janja Gomboc Choir, Chorus
David Saw Guitar
Ike Sheldon Guitar
Mark "Guitar" Miller Bass
Scott Shipley Multi Instruments
Leo Black Guitar
Technical Credits
Del McCoury Producer
John Philip Sousa Composer
Beth Nielsen Chapman Arranger, Producer
Woody Guthrie Composer
Malvina Reynolds Composer
Pete Seeger Composer
Helen Reddy Composer
Bob Dylan Composer
Marvin Gaye Composer
John Wesley Harding Arranger
Janis Ian Arranger, Producer
Bruce Springsteen Composer
Neil Young Composer
George M. Cohan Composer
Freedy Johnston Arranger
Joni Harms Arranger
Daniel Decatur Emmett Composer
Milton Ager Composer
Tom Bee Producer
Renaldo Benson Composer
Paul Deakin Arranger
Chris Eckman Producer, Engineer, Choir Arrangement
Alejandro Escovedo Composer
Redd Evans Composer
Grandmaster Flash Composer
Pat Flynn Arranger
E.Y. "Yip" Harburg Composer
Mark Kibble Engineer
Craig King Arranger
Dave Kowalski Engineer
Mac McAnally Producer
Paul Mahern Engineer
Ronnie McCoury Producer
John Mellencamp Producer
Tim O'Brien Arranger
Bob Olhsson Engineer, Mastering
Dirk Powell Engineer
Chester Powers Composer
Robert Reynolds Arranger
Peter Robbins Engineer
Todd Robbins Engineer
M. Warren Arranger
Jack Yellen Composer
Earl Bullhead Arranger
Stephan Crump Producer
Elizabeth Foster Arranger
Herb Jordan Producer
Daniel Kelley Composer
BR5-49 Arranger
Judith Edelman Arranger
Marcelo Pennell Engineer
Gary Heffern Assistant Project Coordinator
Ed Pettersen Arranger, Producer, Engineer, Liner Notes
Neilson Hubbard Arranger, Producer
Michael Rubin Producer
Jonathan Quarmby Producer
Patrick Murphy Engineer
Brian Fulk Engineer
Jack Irwin Engineer
Irwin Silber Composer
Andrew Bird Arranger
Brad Albetta Producer, Instrumentation
Alfred Ellis Composer
Jay Gorney Composer
Millard Lampell Composer
John Jacob Loeb Composer
Buddy Bain Composer
Ray Burton Composer
Harper Simon Arranger, Producer
Jason Kourkounis Arranger
Pat Sansone Engineer
Jen Chapin Producer
Traditional Composer
David Bielanko Arranger
Minton Sparks Arranger
Will Hill Cultural Advisor
Thad Cockrell Arranger
Elizabeth Cook Producer
Erick Jaskowiak Engineer
Paul Sinclair Mastering
Serge Bielanko Arranger
Otis Gibbs Arranger
Jake Shimabukuro Arranger
Brewster M. Higley Composer
Martin Hoffman Composer
Rich Feaster Engineer
Ted Velykis Arranger
Carter William Humphrey Engineer
Betse Ellis Arranger, Producer
Shirley Hutchins Administration
Furious Five Composer
Josiah Mazzaschi Engineer
Willy Will Producer, Engineer
Paul Hammond Mastering
Leo Black Arranger, Producer, Horn Arrangements
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