Illinois, with its web of rivers, railroads, and highways, has always stirred its people and music all around. The result is a vast folk music tradition that ranges from folk, gospel, and Delta blues to parlor songs, disaster ballads, polkas, yodeling duets, radio-friendly country tunes, and other popular culture influences. Illinois epitomizes what James P. Leary calls those “thoroughgoing American places where consistently rootsy, constantly evolving, and wildly combinatory musical experiences constitute the American folk musical norm.”
This CD celebrates the stewards of that legacy--the musicians who keep these songs alive through collecting and performance, the early record companies that seized on immigrants’ appetites for tunes from the Old Country and left us a treasure of ethnic-influenced 78 rpm records, and folklorists and amateur collectors who captured on tape the songs of everyday Illinoisans. Recordings chosen for this volume are all by Illinois musicians, and include selections drawn from new studio recordings, archival collections, 78s, LPs, and CDs, as well as field and home recordings made by folklorists, amateur scholars, and family members.
Artists include Big Bill Broonzy, actor and folk singer Burl Ives, WLS National Barn Dance stars the Prairie Ramblers, regional bluegrass legends the Bray Brothers, gospel great Mahalia Jackson, and Chicago folk luminary and Old Town School of Folk Music founder Win Stracke. There are also Czech, Finnish, German, Serbian and Croatian, and Swiss acts, including the Moser Brothers, Julis Siik, and Eddie Terlikowski and “Little Wally” Jagiello. Chicago tamburitza combos are represented by tunes from the Kapugi Brothers and the Skertich Brothers. Finally, there are newly recorded tracks from prominent contemporary artists Sons of the Never Wrong, Chris Vallillo, Katherine Davis and Brother John Kattke, Lee Murdock, and the Gordons.
For complete track listing and sample cuts, visit www.press.uillinois.edu.show more