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Americana Sampler -
Nolan on the Moors (Alexander) Download This Song!
This was an experiment that started out as a tone poem for some soundtrack work and ended up being a nod to an old friend from County Cork, Ireland by way of Santa Clara, California. Thom plays everything...except the phony drums...aaahhh modern technology...
Pollonesse med förstämda strängar (Per Söderblom)
Byron Wiley* has been a mainstay at the Academy almost since the beginning. He formed Ingevalds Spelmän within the last several months and is performing a lot these days. The roots of American music are far reaching, and Scandinavian music is one tributary that has been very influential yet not often acknowledged. The tune Byron has provided us with was written in the first half of the 1800's. It's tone and feel shine a light on early folk music in the eastern part of our country.
Bluestone Mountain (Brinkman)
Pastense has been making their musical presence known for several years in this area. Penny Uhl and Jolleen Thorpe on vocals and guitars join Diane Gillenwater* on fiddle, Dave Dryer also on guitar, Don Anderson on bass and Leo Posch* on banjo. Kerry Livgren, lead guitarist of Kansas (the band, not the location) produced this haunting tune.
(Our little) John Deere Queen (Alexander/Ray)
This song was selected to be a part of the 2003 John Deere Tractor compilation album. It's about, well, girl power...and Ashley's little sister. Ashley is currently down in Nashville hanging out with country stars and forming bands. Well mostly she's studying her tail off at Belmont University. Thom played all the guitars, Michael Paull* played bass and piano, and Terri Laddusaw channeled "mama Judd" for background vocals and our recording technology guru Sam Platt* played the hellacious drums. This track was recorded by Sam at Premier Studios in Lenexa, Kansas.
The Letter (Musser)
Prairie Acre is one of our area's fastest rising young bluegrass ensembles. The members of the band have a deep abiding love for traditional music and at the same time are able to take their sound beyond the boundaries of more traditional bands. This song is a good example of well thought out tunesmanship. Noah on banjo is joined by his wife Virginia Musser on bass, Trisha Spencer on fiddle and backing vocals and Greg Yother on guitar. Keep an ear to the ground for the next time these folks play in town.
A Place in the Heart (Crahan)
Sometimes in this life we just get lucky. This is one of those times. This tune, written by Bill Crahan and performed by he and Scott Tichenor calls up feelings of a simpler time and the delicate beauty of an unsullied world.
Seasons of the Heart (Faris)
Bob Faris* has the distinction of being the first person asked to join the Americana Music Academy as a teacher over two years ago. He and his very talented musical family have already taught hundreds of students in this short time period. This tune is newly penned and was recorded and produced at their home by Bob's son Ed. The Faris Family is one of the true musical treasures of this part of the country. We hope you enjoy this song.
The Celtic and Irish music scene in this area is pretty strong, and we have several people associated with the school who are part of it, Tartan vocalist Mark Jamison* for one. Tartan is one of the main components of the current Celtic scene and their show can be seen at the KC Renaissance Faire as well as the many Irish pubs in the area. "Colcannon" is an Irish folk standard and an ode to some strange cabbage and potato dish they (the Irish...not necessarily Tartan) like to eat. We won't get into descriptions...
Grain & Demise (Bennett)
A stalwart of the Lawrence music scene, Calvin is a wonderful classically trained bass player and a heck of a nice guy. He plays all the instruments on this track, including the very spooky "pulled string upright" at the end of the song. It just goes to show that you don't need electronics to make weird noises.
Blue Giant (Johnson) Download This Song!
Mama Don't Know (Laddusaw)
Terri came along last year and took a guitar class. The next thing you know she was reorganizing my office and helping out wherever the Academy needed her. She has been a tremendous support to the school and she is a great singer/songwriter besides. She whipped this little ditty out around September. Michael Paull* and I put down the tracks and Terri put her vocals all over it.
Arran Boat Song (Macfarlane)
The dulcimer is one of the premier instruments of pre-Civil War America as well as one of the direct root instruments of the Irish/Scottish traditions in this country. We are very lucky to have Allen Macfarlane, one of the modern masters of this instrument, teaching at the Academy. "Arran Boat Song," also titled "The Hills of Glen Orchy" is a Scottish folk song that Allen recorded in 1996. It is a beautiful piece and is a great example of the influences that eventually gave us country and bluegrass music.
Ghost Riders in the Sky (Jones)
Judy Coder is one heck of a singer and a wonderful cowgirl besides. Joining her on this classic Western Swing tune, (doing some wild vocal gymnastics), is her new band "Pride of the Prairie." -- Stan Tichenor on lead guitar; Alan Lawton as her devilish fiddler and the incomparable Phil Thompson following on his big string bass. We love these guys...
Yes Warden (You Know I Want My Baby Out of Jail)
Lost Cat Blues (Paull)
The Americana Music Academy is very fortunate to call Michael "family." He has become the Academy's Assistant Director as well as one of the main teachers at the school. His composition skills have already netted him two commissions in the last twelve months. "Lost Cat Blues" is a piano piece I like a lot and is representative of Mike's boundless piano dexterity.
One Trip Jones (Hudspeth)
The harp from hell that you hear in this jump blues tune is performed by our harmonica instructor, Jimmie Meade*. Levee Town is one of the most impressive blues bands in Kansas City, and they're so young. Brandon Hudspeth is an amazing singer/guitar slinger and the rest of the band are no slouches either. Jacques Garroute plays bass and Jan Faircloth is pounding the skins. These gentlemen really understand the blues. Go see them the next time they come around...
Lawd hep us all. We have been told this piece is about the composer's favorite Italian dish. We won't get into any further specifics...
Pie (Mason) Download This Song!
For the three of you in Lawrence who don't know Steve, he happens to be the author of the mid-western folk favorite "Send Me To Heaven In A Glad Bag" as well as the fearless leader of the Alfred Packer Memorial String Band. He's also one of the most skilled luthiers in the heart of America. So what about Pi / Pie / 3.1415 etc... Well, we happen to love this song. We're sending a copy of it to "A Prairie Home Companion" in the hopes that Garrison Keillor might want to sing it on his show. I mean come on...this song is deep... HAHAHA...
Dance, Dance, Dance (Allen)
This is a great 30's style "D'Jango feel" acoustic guitar and fiddle tune with some keen lyrics. Greg teaches a lot of our upper level guitar and theory classes. He played all the instruments on this cut. Face it...the man swings.