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Folksongs of Illinois, Vol. 1: Volume 1 Audio CD – CD, April 1, 2007

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press; 1 edition (April 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 025203242X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0252032424
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 5.8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,520,171 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"The CDs and accompanying booklets of Folksongs of Illinois provide a valuable and well-executed resource that would augment any folklorist's, ethnomusicologist's, or music lover's collection. . . . These CDs provide a spark to ignite further musical and intellectual investigation."--Journal of Folklore Research

"These two discs embody the best of the idiomatic array that's previously been recorded in Illinois."--(Nashville) City Paper

"While at first glance it might seem like devoting an entire CD (and this is just the first volume) to Illinois folk songs might be stretching the concept, in fact this turns out to be a surprisingly eclectic and satisfyingly quality listen. . . . (It's) programmed and annotated (with a 24-page booklet) by the Illinois Humanites Council with as much professionalism and scholarship as releases on Smithsonian Folkways. If others are spurred by the liner notes' 'hope that other states will be inspired to follow our path and issue similar recordings highlighting their musical heritage,' they'd do well to use this series as a fine model to follow."--Allmusic.com

About the Author

Paul Tyler is a folklorist and musician who teaches at National-Louis University and Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music. Clark “Bucky” Halker is a songwriter, performer, and labor historian, as well as senior program officer of the Illinois Humanities Council.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By TLW on November 5, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Various Artists -- Folksongs Of Illinois #1 and #2 (Illinois Humanities Council): This ambitious project, spearheaded by folk singer Bucky Halker, attempts to compile the rich musical history of Illinois, which, thanks to its blend of agriculture and the commerce of Chicago, mixed the tradition of the large variety of ethnic groups that settled in the state. Mixing vintage recordings with contemporary performers, you get everything from pure folk to blues to polka to western swing and a whole lot more. On Volume 1, Halker finds a lot of great story songs, many of which are specifically about the Land of Lincoln, such as Henry Spaulding's "Cairo Blues". Halker himself does a nice rendition of "The Dying Miner", while Jon Langford and Kelly Hogan duet on "Mississippi Flood" and I'm particularly fond of Janet (Freakwater, Eleventh Dream Day) Bean's sober reading of "The Hanging of Charlie Birger". But you also get to hear vintage tracks like "Jay Gould's Daughter" by Carl Sandburg (!) and "Lonely Cowgirl" by The Girls of the Golden West, not to mention a fervid version of "I'm Coming Home" by The Staple Singers. The second volume is devoted to fiddlers, and Halker and co-producer Paul Harris run the gamut of fiddle music -- there are tracks from Sones De Mexico Ensemble, Pat Roche's Harp & Shamrock Band, and Nordic Cowboys, rubbing elbows with renowned jazz violinist Johnny Frigo and bluegrass-country star (and Illinois native) Alison Krauss & Union Station. There are good old fashioned hoedowns (like "Sail Away Ladies" by Artie P. Crowder & The Tennessee Railsplitters) and bluesy ditties (check out "Without a Dime" by "Banjo" Ikey Robinson). This is academic but alive rather than bloodless and, for my money, a more interesting history lesson than anything Sufjan Stevens has conjured up. Mike Bennett, Capsule Reviews: August, 2007
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