Saturday, August 4, 2007

Putumayo Presents - Americana

Whenever someone puts together a compilation CD choosing the songs can be difficult. When the compilation is of something like Americana Music, the very definition of which is elusive at best, the job is near impossible. If anyone could do it Putumayo, who has developed an entire international catalog of impossible compilations over the years, can. This compilation of 12 songs, which I outline below, was well chosen. In truth the songs lean more to the "Alt" side of Americana than the "Roots" side. However, to criticize Putumayo for this would be nitpicking.

Here is a listing of the song with a word on each. 1) Robinella - "Down the Mountain" provides a nice mix of Jazz and Old Time. 2) Mulehead - "Frankie Lee" was an odd selection considering they are not even together any more and were a flash in the pan at best. However, the song is a good example of alt-country so it works well. After all, picking the right songs is more important than the artists when putting together a compilation. 3) The Little Willies - "It's Not You It's me" has a real juke joint feel to it. 4) Robert Earl Keen - "Ride" has twin dobro slide guitars played in traditional blues fashion. If that does not impress nothing will. 5) Eliza Lynn - "Sing a New Song" see the video below and you will understand. 6)OCMS - "Wagon Wheel" an old timey feel provided by the young men in Old Crow. 7) Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriguez- "Sweet Tequila Blues" a mix of old and new. 8) Tim O'Brien- "House of the Risin Sun" a lesson by the professor of Americana. 9) Alison Brown - "Deep Gap" features Brown on guitar and with more tradition than Jazz. 10) Terri Hendrix - "A Prayer for My Friends" her distinctive voice is a good example of the powerful female voices that are so important to the Americana scene. 11) Josh Ritter- "Harrisburg" there is no Americana album complete without a story song. 12) Ruthie Foster - "Hole in My Pocket" last but not least a Gospel singer.

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1 comment:

Tom said...

Well stated, Chip. My first reaction to it was that many of the songs were created previous to the compilation. I guess I was expecting some more original tunes for it. But Putumayo at this point has a great collection of worldly music. If it serves to bring more people to Americana then all the better.