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Putumayo Explores American Roots Music

By Dan Storper, June 20, 2012  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Dan Storper

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.
Category: Music




Rachel says ...
I love Alison Krauss and Union Station bluegrass! And much more, of course. Putumayo does an amazing job of putting a mix of artists together in a collection. Great stuff!
06/20/2012 4:54:34 PM CDT
Julius Chepey says ...
Favorite: Old Crow Medicine Show
06/20/2012 5:01:23 PM CDT
amy says ...
Love Putumayo and am sure my kids would love the Cowboy playground!
06/21/2012 8:03:13 AM CDT
eric perkins says ...
hi putumayo and usa, i was fascinated by a putumayo cd playing in a restaurant in aberdeen, scotland. i love the mix and opportunity to hear ethnic music. my favorite "roots" music would have to be Amazing Grace - i love the hundreds of different versions of this song and take comfort that a song written in england by a retired slave ship captain could go through the cultural music machine and end up as such an anthem for hope and freedom
06/21/2012 12:36:01 PM CDT
jan b says ...
Classic? Happy Trails, Roy Rogers & Dale Evans. ;-)
06/21/2012 1:47:25 PM CDT
Theresa MacNaughton says ...
What a wonderful offer! I am a longtime fan of the entire Putumayo Series. As for roots music, I really enjoy modern day performers such as Gillian Welch, Amanda Shires, Allison Krauss, Old Crow Medicine Show who have taken the "roots" of American music by combining elements of country, folk and bluegrass and made it fresh and exciting.
06/21/2012 3:15:36 PM CDT
Yogita says ...
Taj Mahal- Don't you push me down. Thanks Putumayo for the great music!
06/21/2012 5:54:45 PM CDT
Rasmi says ...
My favorite off the album is by Peter Rowan-Man of constant sorrow.
06/21/2012 6:46:13 PM CDT
Cristy says ...
Whoopie Ti Yi Yo always makes me think of cowboys and camp fires. I wonder what my kid's favorite would be?
06/21/2012 8:40:12 PM CDT
Merna says ...
Pete Seeger -- the rest of his family is wonderful as well!
06/22/2012 7:47:45 PM CDT
Catherine says ...
I'd love to see a folk album. My family is from the Arkansas Ozarks, and that music isn't always passed on to the new generation. Can't wait to hear these new albums.
06/22/2012 8:58:56 PM CDT
Traci Blake says ...
Putumayo has the most unique children's music. My daughter loves Picnc Playground and I'm sure would enjoy Cowboy playground!
06/22/2012 9:16:38 PM CDT
Lisa says ...
We saw Town Mountain at the Livery in Benton Harbor, MI, last night and were blown away. Charming, friendly stage presence, amazing harmonies and musicianship; already planning to travel to catch them live again.
06/25/2012 7:22:42 AM CDT
Michael Garcia says ...
Want to know american roots? Listen to Pete Seeger. He is classic and he is still rocking!
06/25/2012 10:56:36 PM CDT
Tiff says ...
Big fan of Alison Krauss! Also the Oh Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack.
06/27/2012 2:37:45 PM CDT
Renee Camp says ...
What a great track listing!! Too bad there is no Gillian Welch or Dr. Ralph Stanley on the album!!!
06/27/2012 2:40:17 PM CDT
Terri says ...
I love Putumayo! Music from the Tea Lands is a perennial favorite, can't wait to hear the American Music CD's. Can't wait to hear more of the Cowboy Playground! When we helped my mother move out of her house and into assisted living, I learned her secret love - Cowboy music! I had no idea.... She has since passed away, now every time I hear western/cowboy music I feel her smiling down on me.
06/27/2012 2:40:19 PM CDT
Lauren says ...
I will say that Hanson is delightfully influenced by roots and soul.
06/27/2012 2:45:26 PM CDT
ray herr says ...
we're big Putamayo fans, so thanks for having this give-a-way.
06/27/2012 2:47:10 PM CDT
Cynthia says ...
We have seen many wonderful acts in a concert series we attend during the summer. Our favorites are the Bluegrass artists - Alison Brown, Claire Lynch, Steep Canyon Rangers and The SteelDrivers!
06/27/2012 2:49:36 PM CDT
Jessica says ...
I would love to win the american roots CD. I just returned home from Bonnaroo and would love to keep the good music flowing!
06/27/2012 2:54:03 PM CDT
Tom says ...
Great job Putamayo! Excellent mix of legends and music. All to help you escape for a while.
06/27/2012 2:57:24 PM CDT
Juliann Goldman says ...
More Putamayo! Everything they do is great!
06/27/2012 3:01:23 PM CDT
Amy LaGoy says ...
I love anything with banjo..... I'll Fly Away, on the Bluegrass album
06/27/2012 3:03:23 PM CDT
Amy LaGoy says ...
I love anything with banjo..... I'll Fly Away, on the Bluegrass album
06/27/2012 3:03:24 PM CDT