Suzy Bogguss – American Folk Songbook

Suzy Bogguss - American Folk Songbook - Bluegrass UnlimitedSUZY BOGGUSS
AMERICAN FOLK SONGBOOK
Loyal Dutchess Records
1006

Are you having a bad day? Is your world temporarily spinning out of control? If so, I’d suggest sitting down in your favorite quiet place and listening to American Folk Songbook, Suzy Bogguss’ calmly soothing and quietly gorgeous collection of musical Americana. The Grammy- and Country Music Association Award-winning, Illinois-born songstress explains on her website that she first got the idea for this project a couple years ago when she was appearing on A Prairie Home Companion and noticed how enthusiastically the audience responded to songs from what she calls the “good, ’ol fifth-grade songbook.”

The 17 cuts here run the gamut from jaunty renditions of “Rock Island Line,” “Ol’ Dan Tucker,” and “Git Along Little Dogies” (which Bogguss enlivens with some delightful yodeling) to very lovely and soulful reprises of “Beautiful Dreamer” and “Shenandoah.” In her brief liner notes, Bogguss says she spent a lot of pre-production time brainstorming with guitarist Pat Bergeson (who also plays harmonica and Jews Harp on various cuts) and her husband, songwriter Doug Crider, who also served as co-producer and played guitar on one cut. Their objective was to come up with fresh new interpretations of these familiar odes while remaining true to their traditional spirit. In the studio, they fleshed out their musical vision with the assistance of various celebrated sidemen: Stuart Duncan (fiddle and mandolin), Richard Bailey (banjo), John McCutcheon (hammer dulcimer), Jeff Taylor (accordion, concertina, tin whistle), and Harry Stinson (snare drum), among others.

All their time and thoughtfulness was well spent. The result is a quietly exuberant reawakening of these timeless keystones from the all-American songbook of yesteryear. (Loyal Dutchess Records, P.O. Box 90245, Nashville, TN 37209, www.suzybogguss.com.)BA

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