VA – Song of America (2007)

Posted by Green on March 6, 2020as

320 kbps | 472 MB | LINKS

On paper, this project appears as improbable as the partnership that conceived it: former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno and veteran Nashville indie-punk troubadour Ed Pettersen (who happens to be married to Reno’s niece). The history of America through 50 songs, encapsulated on three discs? The first disc alone spanning 1492 to 1860, from the landing of Columbus to the Civil War? An idiosyncratic selection that includes songs familiar to almost all Americans and others familiar to practically none? Rather than a dry, dusty museum piece, the results are compulsively listenable, as producer Pettersen invites a wide range of artists to do what they do best–interpret the material and make it their own. Highlights are many, as the early days of the republic find Harper Simon (Paul’s son) rendering “Yankee Doodle” as if it were an indie-rock Viagra commercial; the advent of the Civil War shows Marah, like an American Pogues, bringing a punk ferocity to “John Brown’s Body”; and Del McCoury’s bluegrass rendition of “The Times They Are A-Changin'” finds an older man renewing a young Bob Dylan’s anthem. The sonorous dignity that jazz vocalist Andy Bey brings to the Depression-era panhandler’s plea, “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?,” is particularly moving, as is Bettye LaVette’s gospel rendition of Bruce Springsteen’s AIDS ballad, “Streets of Philadelphia.” Revolution, immigration, war, atomic power, civil rights, feminism, faith, depression, and despair–it’s all here, in song. –Don McLeese

Disc 1
1. Earl Bullhead – Lakota Dream Song
2. Julie Lee – Once More Our God Vouchsafe To Shine
3. The Blind Boys Of Alabama – Let Us Break Bread Together
4. John Wesley Harding – God Save The King
5. Elizabeth Foster – Young Ladies In Town
6. Malcolm Holcombe – The Old Woman Taught Wisdom
7. Ed Pettersen – The Liberty Song
8. Harper Simon – Yankee Doodle
9. The Wilders – Jefferson & Liberty
10. Steven Kowalczyk-Santoro – Hail Columbia
11. Take 6 – Star Spangled Banner
12. Beth Nielsen Chapman – Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child
13. Freedy Johnston – Peg And Awl
14. BR549 – Sweet Betsy From Pike
15. Will And Jehnean – Trail Of Tears
16. Minton Sparks & Pat Flynn – Declaration Of Sentiments
17. Fisk Jubilee Singers – Go Down Moses
18. The Mavericks & Thad Cockrell – Dixie’s Land

Disc 2
1. Marah – John Brown’s Body
2. Joanna Smith – Battle Hymn Of The Republic
3. Janis Ian – Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye
4. Tim O’Brien – Thousands Are Sailing To Amerikay
5. Otis Gibbs – The Farmer Is The Man
6. Joni harms – Home On The Range
7. Jake Shimabukuro – Stars & Stripes Forever
8. Judith Edelman & Neilson Hubbard – Sleep My Child (Schlof Mayn Kind)
9. Jen Chapin – Over There
10. Andrew Bird – How Ya Gonna Keep ‘Em Down On The Farm
11. Karen Parks – Lift Every Voice And Sing
12. Danielson – Happy Days Are Here Again
13. Andy Bey – Brother, Can You Spare A Dime ?
14. Jim Lauderdale – Seven Cent Cotton And Forty Cent Meat
15. Old Crow Medicine Show – Deportee
16. Suzy Bogguss – Rosie The Riveter
17. Folk Family Robinson – Reuben James

Disc 3
1. Elizabeth Cook & The Grascals – The Great Atomic Power
2. Devendra Banhart – Little Boxes
3. The Del McCoury Band – The Times They Are A Changin’
4. Scott Kempner – Apache Tears
5. Kim Richey – Get Together
6. The Dynamites & Charles Walker – Say It Loud (I’m Black And I’m Proud)
7. Ben Taylor – Ohio
8. Anthony David – What’s Going On ?
9. Martha Wainwright – I Am Woman
10. Matthew Ryan – Youngstown
11. Gary Heffern & Chris Eckman – Wave
12. Shortee Wop – The Message
13. Bettye Lavette – Streets Of Philadelphia
14. The Wrights – Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning
15. John Mellencamp – This Land Is Your Land

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