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Arkansas Traveler

Michelle ShockedAudio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Amazon Price New from Used from
Audio CD, Import, 1992 $13.79  
Audio CD, 2004 --  
Vinyl --  
Audio Cassette, 1992 $25.01  

Amazon's Michelle Shocked Store


Image of album by Michelle Shocked


Image of Michelle Shocked


Michelle Shocked - traveller, troubadour, a “picker-poet,”as they say in Texas. As a young feminist, she left Texas to travel, Kerouac-style, and was caught up in Reagan-era grassroots politics. Her musical career was ignited by a bootleg recording made around a Kerrville Folk Festival campfire on a Sony Walkman. Released in England as ‘The Texas Campfire Tapes’ without ... Read more in Amazon's Michelle Shocked Store

Visit Amazon's Michelle Shocked Store
for 15 albums, 5 photos, discussions, and more.

Frequently Bought Together

Arkansas Traveler + Short Sharp Shocked + Captain Swing
Buy the selected items together
  • Short Sharp Shocked $39.99
  • Captain Swing $4.99

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 14, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Mighty Sound
  • ASIN: B0002VGRE0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #250,801 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. 33 RPM Soul
2. Come A Long Way
3. Secret To A Long Life
4. Contest Coming
5. Over The Waterfall
6. Shaking Hands
7. Jump Jim Crow
8. Hold Me Back
9. Strawberry Jam
10. Prodigal Daughter
11. Blackberry Blossom
12. Weaving Way
13. Arkansas Traveler
14. Woody's Rag
15. Worth The Weight (Live)
16. Come A Long Way (Acoustic)
17. Blackberry Blossom (Live)
18. Weaving Way (Alternate Version)
19. Down In The Arkansas (Live)
20. Introducing Dollar Bill (Live)
See all 21 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Released in 1992, the original Arkansas Traveler is a travelogue of the old-time string band and fiddle tunes Michelle grew up playing in East Texas. Out of print since 1998, it features collaborations with a jawdropping list of Americana heroes and pioneers. This reissue has been digitally remastered and includes 7 bonus tracks of previously unreleased material.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Back in the early '90's I became a fan of folk-rocker, Michelle Shocked after picking up a copy of the popular "Short, Sharp, Shocked". I loved that album as well as it's horn drenched successor "Captain Swing". But nothing prepared me for the release of her wonderful CD, "Arkanas Traveler". "Arkansas Traveler" is Michelle's homage to the 19th century musical form known as "Minstrel Music". Not many artists would have the guts to take on this music due to the racist manner (blackface makeup, derogatory humor) in which many of these songs were originaly presented over a century ago. But Michelle with both dignity and a really good sense of humor, tackled these classic songs of the American south, producing one of the best albums of her career. She gets plenty of help by being joined by a plethora of roots-music artists including the late Pops Staples, Taj Mahal, Gatemouth Brown, Doc Watson, Allison Krauss, Norman Blake, Hothouse Flowers, Uncle Tupelo ETC. With a group of journeymen such as these how could you go wrong? I love these tuneful classic songs, which can so easily get stuck in your brain. This happens everytime I hear her renditions of "Secret to a Long Life" or "Over the Waterfall". Sometimes I'll find myself singing these tunes for half the day, after hearing them. Other favorites include "Jump Jim Crow" (with it's Zippity Do-Dah ending), "Prodigal Daughter" & "Weaving Way". Finally there is the hilarious, spoken word routines of the song "Arkansas Traveler" ("Hey farmer... where does this road go to? Been livin' here all my life, it ain't gone no where yet!") I played these corny routines for my young nephews and it totally cracked them up into fits of laughter! For the longest time this CD was (criminally) out of print. It has now been re-released with crystal clear remastering and six bonus cuts featuring alternative takes and live renditions. I love this CD and highly recommend it!!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Little Known Album December 19, 2001
Format:Audio CD
How did a little known young woman who had just turned 30 convince such a varied group of musicians to agree to collaborate with her on a recording project back in 1992? The list reads like a Who's Who of Alternative/Indie music: The Band, Doc Watson, Uncle Tupelo, Taj Mahal, Norman Blake, Gatemouth Brown, Allison Krause, The Hothouse Flowers, Pop Staples, The Red Clay Ramblers, The Messengers, and her own father and brother (Max Johnston of Wilco). Maybe they recognized her as a fellow musical genius. In 1999 Steve Earle recorded The Mountain with Del Coury. The CD was hailed as a great concept album of roots music. But Michelle Shocked was seven years ahead of him!
Like Steve, Michelle has had her share of personal problems. Unfortunately, hers have led to problems with her recording company, the end result being that her work is out of print. That's the main reason that this CD isn't an Amazon Essential Recording. Certainly, in the year that "O Brother Where Art Thou" tops the bestseller list, it's time to take another look at this fine album.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking September 1, 2005
Format:Audio CD
'Captain Swing' showed a more confident, more experimental Michelle Shocked than might have been expected from the breezy official debut, 'Short Sharp Shocked'. However, that confidence all too often expressed itself as swagger. With 'Arkansas Traveler' it has matured to an easy assurance. In this fabulous collection of songs, Shocked seems to have a hundred years of American music at her fingertips, and to be able to combine any ingredients from that century to creat something that is both fresh and familiar. Not since The Band's 'Music From Big Pink' has such a stylistic gumbo been created with such zest and integrity. In her sleeve notes, the artist credits 'Minstrel Music' with being the inspiration - and in so doing does herself a disservice. The album is richer and more layered than the simple term implies, and carries influences from a far wider range of Americana.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Michelle has Come Along Way September 23, 2004
Format:Audio CD
In this repackage Michelle has included about seven bonus tracks notably Come Along Way. When I first heard this song live in hollywood Sept 2004 I thought it was a touching new song relevant to the hustle and bustle in my beloved adopted city Los Angeles. I joined her on her walk to recover her bike from the Repo Man and met the immigrant lady waiting for the bus, the boys gaily standing in windows naked, the bridge we seldom cross in La. You know which one. before she sees the repo man. Afterwords I felt as if I WALKED 500 Miles! I was surprised how good this 1990 release sounds today as if it was recorded and recovered intact from a time capsule. Michelle has one of the strongest clearest ballsiest voices in show business that you may have never heard. If you need to get up to speed with with a talent that rivals KD Lang, Carole King, Paula Cole, Etta James, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Joe Cocker, Bryan Adams, George Thorogood, Laura Nyro or Susan Cowsill to name a few. Stick out your thumb and Pickup the Arkansas Traveler, remember in her eyes we still have a long way to go and she will return the favor!

Bob Saldana
Songwriter\Producer La to Nashville
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MASTERPIECE September 22, 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This is simply a Masterpiece. And to set the record straight, this was produced by Michelle Shocked herself, contrary to what has been said before, the only song produced by Don Was is Come A Long Way (brilliantly produced by the way). Recorded in interesting places like an antique store, a Riverboat and some living rooms,with some of Michelle's own heroes. A lot of history in this record that tells you that "bluegrass music is not only white poeple's music, but black people's music as well" I have been listening to this record since '92 at least once a week. Can't live without it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars She's a bloody HATER
This cd is now in my trash... along with her nut-job religious hate. Go back to Texas you bible-thumping hate monger.
Published 19 months ago by stevem
2.0 out of 5 stars won't be traveling with michelle in the future
2 good songs does not a good cd make.

good listening to those of you who venture out with this one.
Published 21 months ago by wiz
2.0 out of 5 stars A waste of money.
There is only one good song out of the entire CD- Strawberry Jam. This CD will be donated to charity for write off.
Published on June 16, 2012 by R. Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars Michelle Shocked Arkansas Traveler
I can't say enough about how this talented woman, with a relatively limited experience in "roots" music, was able to put together such a classic work. Read more
Published on February 19, 2010 by G. Warmuth
5.0 out of 5 stars Great songs, great singer
Michelle Shocked is as fine a singer as I've ever heard. This album is one of my favorites that would be in my "desert island" collection. Read more
Published on March 9, 2009 by T. Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Country Delight
Though I am not a big fan of country music as presented on the radio, I am a connoisseur of quality country music. Read more
Published on March 28, 2008 by Kurt Harding
4.0 out of 5 stars Terrific artist I had never heard of
I was just navigating through Amazon when I ran across this artist, sampled a couple songs and decided to give th CD a try. Read more
Published on September 17, 2007 by Music Lover in Omaha
4.0 out of 5 stars A must-have for fans.
If you're buying your first Michelle Shocked, this album probably isn't the best one. Probably better is her best-of collection, "Mercury Poise" although her... Read more
Published on July 14, 2004 by Toomuchnoise
5.0 out of 5 stars Top comedy album
The CD liner notes mention blackface minstrelsy as "the real `roots' of many of the tunes included. Read more
Published on November 8, 2003 by Bruce P. Barten
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