Song of America

Song of America


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Song of America

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.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/18/2007
Label: Thirty One Tigers
UPC: 0827912065466
catalogNumber: 20654
Rank: 103237

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
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
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   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
Top Ten   Bass,Guitar,Vocals
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
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
Pat Sansone   Acoustic Guitar,Piano
Karen Parks   Vocals
Catherine Styron Marx   Keyboards
Mindy Smith   Background Vocals
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   Bass
Mickey Dawes   Drums
Janja Gomboc   Choir, Chorus
David Saw   Guitar
Ike Sheldon   Guitar
Mark "Guitar" Miller   Bass
Scott Shipley   Multi Instruments
Jason Carter   Fiddle
Leo Black   Guitar
Ketch Secor   Vocals,Bajo Sexto

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
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
Jen Chapin   Producer
Traditional   Composer
David Bielanko   Arranger
Minton Sparks   Arranger
Will Hill   Cultural Advisor
Thad Cockrell   Arranger
Elizabeth Cook   Producer
Erick Jaskowiak   Engineer
Serge Bielanko   Arranger
Otis Gibbs   Arranger
Jake Shimabukuro   Arranger
Pat Sansone   Engineer
Brewster M. Higley   Composer
Martin Hoffman   Composer
Rich Feaster   Engineer
Ted Velykis   Arranger
Carter William Humphrey   Engineer
Betse Ellis   Arranger,Producer
Shirley Hutchins   Administration
Josiah Mazzaschi   Engineer
Willy Will   Producer,Engineer
Leo Black   Arranger,Producer,Horn Arrangements

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