2,054,169 Pages

Compilation by various artists.
Disc 1
  1. Lakota Dream Song by Earl Bullhead
  2. Once More Our God Vouchsafe to Shine by Julie Lee
  3. Let Us Break Bread Together by The Blind Boys Of Alabama
  4. God Save the King by John Wesley Harding
  5. Young Ladies in Town by Elizabeth Foster
  6. The Old Woman Taught Wisdom by Malcolm Holcombe
  7. The Liberty Song by Ed Pettersen
  8. Yankee Doodle by Harper Simon
  9. Jefferson & Liberty by The Wilders
  10. Hail Columbia by Steven Kowalczyk-Santoro
  11. The Star Spangled Banner by Take 6
  12. Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child by Beth Nielsen Chapman
  13. Peg and Awl by Freedy Johnston
  14. Sweet Betsy From Pike by BR5-49
  15. Trail of Tears by Will & Jehnean
  16. Declaration of Sentiments by Minton Sparks & Pat Flynn
  17. Go Down Moses by Fisk Jubilee Singers
  18. Dixie's Land (featuring Thad Cockrell) by The Mavericks
Disc 2
  1. John Brown's Body by Marah
  2. Battle Hymn of the Republic by Joanna Smith
  3. Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye by Janis Ian
  4. Thousands Are Sailing to Amerikay by Tim O'Brien
  5. The Farmer Is the Man by Otis Gibbs
  6. Home on the Range by Joni Harms
  7. Stars & Stripes Forever by Jake Shimabukuro
  8. Sleep, My Child (Schlof Mayn Kind) by Judith Edelman & Neilson Hubbard
  9. Over There by Jen Chapin
  10. How You Gonna Keep 'em Down on the Farm by Andrew Bird
  11. Lift Every Voice and Sing! by Karen Parks
  12. Happy Days Are Here Again by Danielson
  13. Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? by Andy Bey
  14. Seven Cent Cotton Candy and Forty Cent Meat by Jim Lauderdale
  15. Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos) by Old Crow Medicine Show
  16. Rosie the Riveter by Suzy Bogguss
  17. Reuben James by Folk Family Robinson
Disc 3
  1. The Great Atomic Power by Elizabeth Cook And The Grascals
  2. Little Boxes by Devendra Banhart
  3. The Times They Are a Changin' by The Del McCoury Band
  4. Apache Tears by Scott Kempner
  5. Get Together by Kim Richey
  6. Say It Loud (I'm Black and I'm Proud) by The Dynamites With Charles Walker
  7. Ohio by Ben Taylor
  8. What's Going On? by Anthony David
  9. I Am Woman by Martha Wainwright
  10. Youngstown by Matthew Ryan
  11. Wave by Gary Heffern & Chris Eckman
  12. The Message by Shortee Wop
  13. Streets of Philadelphia by Bettye LaVette
  14. Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning by The Wrights
  15. This Land Is Your Land by John Mellencamp



All Music Review by 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 Wikipedia16, 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 Discogs1 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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