January 23, 2018

Heartland: An Appalachian Anthology

Sony Classical SK-89683

Format: CD, Compilation
Country: US
Released: 2001
Genre: Classical, Folk, World, & Country
Style: Classical Crossover
01 Short Trip Home: Mike Marshall/Sam Bush/Joshua Bell/Edgar Meyer (3:48)
02 Johnny Has Gone For A Soldier: Mark O'Connor/James Taylor (2:55)
03 1B: Yo-Yo Ma/Edgar Meyer/Mark O'Connor (3:58)
04 Appalachia Waltz: Yo-Yo Ma/Mark O'Connor/Edgar Meyer (5:45)
05 Soldier's Joy: Mark O'Connor (4:06)
06 Sliding Down: Edgar Meyer/Mike Marshall/Béla Fleck (4:41)
07 BT: Yo-Yo Ma/Joshua Bell/Edgar Meyer/Mark O'Connor/Mike Marshall/Sam Bush (4:50)
08 Butterfly's Day Out: Yo-Yo Ma/Edgar Meyer/Mark O'Connor (4:42)
09 College Hornpipe: Yo-Yo Ma/Edgar Meyer/Mark O'Connor (3:15)
10 Fancy Stops and Goes: Mark O'Connor (3:47)
11 Old Tyme: Edgar Meyer/Mike Marshall/Béla Fleck (3:24)
12 Emily's Reel: Yo-Yo Ma/Edgar Meyer/Mark O'Connor (2:46)
13 Slumber My Darling: Yo-Yo Ma/Edgar Meyer/Mark O'Connor/Alison Krauss (4:49)
14 Death by Triple Fiddle: Joshua Bell/Sam Bush/Mike Marshall/Edgar Meyer (4:15)
15 Amazing Grace: Mark O'Connor (2:46)
16 Song of the Liberty Bel: Mark O'Connor (5:45)
Yo-Yo Ma (Cello) Mark O'Connor (violin) Joshua Bell (violin) Sam Bush (mandolin/violin) Edgar Meyer (bass/mandocello/piano) Mike Marshall (guitar/mandola/mandolin/violin) Béla Fleck (banjo/guitar/mandolin) Mark Schatz (banjo/bass) John Jarvis (harpsichord/keyboards/piano) Jerry Douglas (dobro) John Mock (whistle) Russ Barenberg (guitar) Eddie Bayers (percussion) Glenn Worf (bass) James Taylor (vocals) Alison Krauss (vocals)
Producer: Laraine Perri, Liner Notes: Thomas Goldsmith, Photographer: Noah Cross, Designer: Laura Torres
In 1995, Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, and Mark O'Connor joined forces on Appalachia Waltz, the first of a series of Sony Classical albums celebrating the varied musical textures of Americana. Over the course of six years, several albums were cut, among them Short Trip Home, Liberty!, Uncommon Ritual, and Midnight on the Water, in addition to the Grammy-winning Appalachia Waltz. Each project may have had its own specific instrumental focus, although the shared theme was clearly to obfuscate the genre lines that separate classical and traditional American music on a 200-year journey from the concert halls of Britain to the Shenandoah Valley. Heartland: An Appalachian Anthology is a carefully plucked and eclectic amalgam of these recordings. Featuring swinging waltzes, Baroque chamber music, Celtic reels, and Yankee ballads, this compendium serves as a stylistic hub of the European strain in American music. It passes as a refined bluegrass recording that is easily digested by less stodgy classical devotees, and the roster alone should be enough to cue the listener that dazzling instrumental interplay is the pièce de résistance. "Sliding Down," a Meyer composition featuring Bela Fleck (banjo) and Mike Marshall (guitar), "BT," and "Death By Triple Fiddle" (Sam Bush, Joshua Bell, and Marshall) are just a few prime examples. "Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier" and "Slumber, My Darling," which showcase the vocal nuances of James Taylor and Alison Krauss, respectively, round out the radio-friendly end of the album. Heartland is a mere crossroads, a refreshing spin on two timeless idioms. It's safe to say that it adds something to both, but the album's greatest asset may be the unknown direction it will springboard the listener. (AllMusic Review by Brian Kelly)

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