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Putumayo Explores American Roots Music

Read on for a chance to win a 9-CD set of Putumayo’s American-themed titles, including American Blues and Jazz, many of which are available at Whole Foods Market stores. Dan Storper is the CEO and Founder of Putumayo World Music.

Just in time for our country’s July 4th birthday, Putumayo is releasing two new CDs — Bluegrass and Cowboy Playground. Each represents a piece of America’s extraordinary musical legacy. Although Putumayo has become best-known for its world music collections, I’ve long been a fan of blues, jazz, folk and bluegrass. Since moving to New Orleans in 2004, I decided to fully explore the roots music of America. These titles represent some of the results of my explorations.

Cowboy Playground Saddle up for a fun collection of classic cowboy songs for buckaroos of all ages! The legend and lore of the Wild West holds a strong allure for kids and grown-ups alike. Whether it conjures up images of cowboys riding ponies across the wide-open range or singing songs by the campfire, music of the old West represents a great American tradition that holds a timeless appeal. Cowboy Playground is a galloping collection of songs by artists such as Western music stalwarts Riders in the Sky and Don Edwards. Children’s cowboy music star Buck Howdy sings his funny tall tale tune “Pecos Bill” while classics include “Home on the Range,” “Whoopie Ti Yi Yo,” “Don’t Fence Me In” and “Happy Trails.”

When I played Cowboy Playground for my 7-year-old son William’s class, I was surprised how this New Orleans group of 1st graders started singing along naturally even though they didn’t grow up with Roy Rogers and Dale Evans.

Bluegrass This engaging collection features many of the genre’s most renowned artists along with exciting new discoveries. The album is Putumayo’s first venture into the world of bluegrass and offers insight into the variations within the genre, from the mesmerizing vocals and skillful instrumentation of Alison Krauss and Union Station to Railroad Earth’s contemporary newgrass sound. Then there’s the lively stylings of legends David Grisman and Jerry Garcia alongside the soft, contemporary sounds of Andrea Zonn with Alison Brown. The inimitable Sam Bush brings his beloved mandolin playing to “Diamond Joe.” The album closes with a rendition of the gospel favorite “I’ll Fly Away,” performed by a variety of talented artists.

You can listen to tracks from the album here. As I worked on these collections, I was struck by how natural they sounded whether I was driving through the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, the back roads outside of San Antonio, the bayous of Louisiana and even in our New York City office. America’s roots music is experiencing a revival and it’s great to see young musicians and fans revisiting this music that was created in an earlier time. Do you love American roots music?

Who is your favorite artist or classic American roots song? Tell us in the comments below for a chance to win a 9-CD set of Putumayo’s American-themed titles. Comment by July 7th for a chance to win. We’ll choose one comment at random to receive the CDs.

The fine print: No purchase necessary. Promotion ends July 7, 2012, 11:59 PM CDT. Must be a legal resident of the US or Canada (except in Quebec, where it is void) age 18 or older to participate. Taxes on prize, if applicable, are the responsibility of the winner. Employees of Whole Foods Market, Inc., are not eligible. Void where prohibited.

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236 comments

Comments

Cheryl Salisbury says …

My husband loves all music from classical to bluegrass, and I would love to win this for him.

Phil Friedman says …

Gotta go with Allison Kraus, Willie Nelson and Buck Owens.

JULIA says …

the stories, instruments, voices and joy of 'roots' music are steady companions. Tim O'Brien, David Grisman, Doc Watson are a few of my favorites.

Leah says …

The soundtrack for O Brother Where are you is a classic, along with O Sister.

Janet says …

Last year my husband and I stayed in Shenandoah National Park. In the evenings the lodge had local musicians performing each night - we enjoyed the variety of bluegrass and folk music. This set would no doubt bring back some pleasant memories of our trip.

Mary says …

My first throught was Pete Seeger, as much for what he stood for--and did--as for his music.

Hannah says …

I like Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee. Jump Little Children!

Billy says …

i love the Blues and my favorite artist would be Sonny Boy Williamson.

Eddy says …

My favorite is "Orange Blossom Special"

susan says …

I have to include Sam Cooke!

Sarah says …

My 4-year old and I are both big Pete Seeger fans.

linda says …

love Pete Seager!

Jane Holt says …

Have listened to music so much over life time. but miss it with change in music to CD - so have missed a lot. would love to have.

KarenHoward says …

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Alison Krauss, & Woody Guthrie.

Jill Meyer says …

Indigo Girls, Rusted Root, CW McCall ;-)

LARRY HANSEN says …

Love all styles of music.

Dana G says …

all bluegrass

June Eldridge says …

Love the Putomayo series, it opens a whole new musical world! As for roots music: Bob Wills, Gene Autry, John Prince, Rosanne Cash, Rodney Crowell. Who do I leave out?

Christine Harris says …

These look Great!

June Eldridge says …

Sorry, meant to say John Prine and add his buddy Steve Goodman, the guy who wrote "City of New Orleans", what a classic American song!

Vilma says …

Lived in New Orleans for 35 years so Jazz is by far my favorite followed by Cajun even though I enjoy all types of music.

teresa metz says …

Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger & Peter, Paul & Mary are my favorite American folk musicians.

Fran says …

You are my Sunshine, my only Sunshine!!!!

nancy strathman says …

Enjoy many renowned artists over the years and enjoy playing some of these songs with my grandchildren.

Sylvia says …

Best song - "This Land is Your Land"

Carmela says …

Hands down, Allison kraus. Love her!

Arlene says …

Stephen Foster's music was some of my first loves and the first music I choose to learn -after I finished lesson music! Pete Seeger, Peter, Paul & Mary, Woody Guthrie, John Denver have graced our ears with their creations and performances. And, I MUST include the legendary Buddy Bolden whose band played songs such as "Careless Love" and "My Bucket's Got a Hole in It." Bolden is credited with pioneering jazz as a synthesis of Ragtime, Blues, Gospel, marching-band tunes. We may not know if any of his recordings still exist, but his legacy lives on.

Nancy McCaig says …

Hmm, in this genre, I'd have to say Woody Guthrie.

EFFIE says …

I love all kinds of music and would enjoy winning thess CDs. This would give me a chance to groove to America’s roots music from a variety of talented artists. Thank you.

Yvette Fields says …

I love Gillian Welsh and Alison Krauss! Yes and I agree with others...Woody Guthrie ( my husband has a thing about singing his songs so I'm kind of attached)

Alethea says …

John Denver - Country Roads

Deborah says …

I've listened to Putumayo music for years and used it extensively in the classroom

tiffany truxillo says …

my daughter is in LOVE with these CDs...she has been begging me to go get them all for her - so she would be so excited to win them!

Maura says …

Love American roots music, one of my favorite singer, song writers is Steve Earle.

Ken Yelonek says …

My tatstes are eclectic with emphasis on new and different. Love Beausoliel, Bill Monroe, Clifton Chenier,Cowboy Junkies,and all other genres of music including Gershwin. Would love to add to my collection and download to my i-pod.

Linda Kaars says …

What can one say when there is a vast library of eclectic music to choose from. As I enter this phase of my life, I know many, many, many songs from different genres. This "musical memory library" continues to gift with learning and one is the learning to love all genres. A good song is a good song is a good song... With this said, I would love to have the CD's to add to my always growing collection of favorites.

Bob says …

Zydeco

Heather S says …

Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Marc Cohn, BB King...I guess it depends on what day of the week you ask me. Music is and has always been a huge part of my life.

Tiffany says …

I love a wide variety of music and thanks to my local community radio station I am exposed to new artists constantly. Two favorites are Teresa Storch I saw at a local house concert years ago and have followed since, also, Ellis Paul - who I hope makes it out west someday again. Thanks!

Barbara J says …

Pete Seeger is my favorite. I played plenty of his music for my kids and now my grandchildren. His songs sound deceptively simple but are full of complex playing and ideas.

Terri says …

I love John Denver

Nikolai says …

I really like the fusion sounds of Pamyua, which has its roots in Native American music but has fused their sound with contemporary, jazz, and south African tribal music. They won Native American Album of the Year back in the early 2000's.

Joe Heffler says …

Too many greats to pick just one!

Ashlei says …

My fiance is a huge fan of the American roots music, being from East Tennessee and I know he would love this set.

Susan says …

I am a fan of Cajun and Zydeco music of Southwest Louisiana.

Diane Fascione says …

I love Woody Guthrie.

Caitlin says …

I grew up going to work with my mother in a bbq joint in town. I love good bluegrass but 'The Wind and the Rain' is my favorite old time ballad. Beautiful harmony about, per usual, a sad love story. Listen to it!

janicefried says …

There are so many....Woody and Arlo Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Mississippi John Hurt, Jesse Fuller....where to begin???

Michele says …

I enjoy all sorts of music. This one looks interesting!

Dianna says …

Recently moved to Memphis TN area and are enjoying exploring new music-grew up listening to everything from John Denver to Led Zeppelin. Have to say my all time favorite artist is Harry Connick Jr (from New Orleans)-love all his songs!

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