A lively and enlightening slice of Illinois's rich musical heritage Although few are aware of it, the state of Illinois has some of the richest and most varied musical traditions in the country. As a major agricultural producer bordering the South and situated on the nation's major waterways, Illinois became home to styles now called folk, country, country blues, bluegrass, gospel, and string band. At the same time, as an industrial center, Illinois attracted workers from all over the United States, Europe, and Mexico. These migrants brought their music with them, and the state also became home to Irish reels, Scandinavian waltzes, Serbo-Croatian kolos, Polish polkas, country western ballads, labor anthems, Mexican corridos, and ethnic comedy skits. The recordings chosen for these volumes are all performed 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.
Volume 2 features a sampling of the prairie state's best fiddle music. Featured artists include Grammy winner Alison Krauss and Union Station, Irish champion Liz Carroll, WLS stars, the Prairie Ramblers, Sones de Mexico Ensemble, and Chicago's legendary jazz icon Johnny Frigo. There are also songs from Martin, Bogan, and Armstrong, Banjo Ikey Robinson, the Nordic Cowboys, Sar Planina, and the Polish Highlanders, among others. The CD's coproducer Paul Tyler joins fiddlers Chirps Smith and the teenage Stephanie Coleman for "Ol' Woodard's Tune."show more