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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

betty says …

I've loved old time music since my cousins formed their own band up in the Virginia mountains when I was just a girl. We didn't know to call it bluegrass back then. Since I turned 60 I've been traveling the USA in my RV with my daughter, stopping for local music (especially fiddles) wherever we find some. Sometimes we dance. I would sure like to have these CDs to play as we cruise the roads.

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!

Julius Chepey says …

Favorite: Old Crow Medicine Show

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

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.

Ruth says …

Right now I'm into listening to Brandi Carlile who mixes country, bluegrass and rock. I find these genres so calming, and I love Putumayo's collections!

amy says …

Love Putumayo and am sure my kids would love the Cowboy playground!

jan b says …

Classic? Happy Trails, Roy Rogers & Dale Evans. ;-)

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.

Yogita says …

Taj Mahal- Don't you push me down. Thanks Putumayo for the great music!

Rasmi says …

My favorite off the album is by Peter Rowan-Man of constant sorrow.

Cristy says …

Whoopie Ti Yi Yo always makes me think of cowboys and camp fires. I wonder what my kid's favorite would be?

Merna says …

Pete Seeger -- the rest of his family is wonderful as well!

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.

Traci Blake says …

Putumayo has the most unique children's music. My daughter loves Picnc Playground and I'm sure would enjoy Cowboy playground!

Michael Garcia says …

Want to know american roots? Listen to Pete Seeger. He is classic and he is still rocking!

Tiff says …

Big fan of Alison Krauss! Also the Oh Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack.

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.

Renee Camp says …

What a great track listing!! Too bad there is no Gillian Welch or Dr. Ralph Stanley on the album!!!

Lauren says …

I will say that Hanson is delightfully influenced by roots and soul.

ray herr says …

we're big Putamayo fans, so thanks for having this give-a-way.

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!

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!

Tom says …

Great job Putamayo! Excellent mix of legends and music. All to help you escape for a while.

Juliann Goldman says …

More Putamayo! Everything they do is great!

Amy LaGoy says …

I love anything with banjo..... I'll Fly Away, on the Bluegrass album

Amy LaGoy says …

I love anything with banjo..... I'll Fly Away, on the Bluegrass album

Amy LaGoy says …

I love anything with banjo..... I'll Fly Away is one of my favorites.

lori says …

Very hard to narrow it down...but my heart belongs to Pete Seeger.

Scott Baxla says …

Lots of favorite roots music in the folk and folk rock categories, but I thought I'd pick one less likely to get attention: Beau Jocque & The Zydeco Hi-Rollers, "Comin' in" being a good sample. Living Zydeco music: Little Malcombe. This music is so "in your soul" that it will make you move even if you don't know how to dance zydeco.

Michael says …

My favorite is Pete Seeger. I trust anything Putumayo puts together, though!

Frank Zawacki says …

Love the Blues...particularly by artists of color such as "Guitar Gabriel" (on Music Maker Recordings)some of whom died or continue to live in poverty never having been fairly compensated for their work at the time. Does not get any more American Roots than that.

S M Fete says …

My favourite roots song has to be Drill Ye Tarriers. We used to sing it around the piano gowing up, harmonizing on the choruses.

Barb says …

Bela Fleck!!!

Bobbie Hayes says …

Love "Asleep at the Wheel" they may not be exactly Roots music, but I also Love The MC Garrigle sisters.. Kate and Anna

Rachel says …

I'm hooked on Putamayo music, always what I reach for first to put on or keep on a happy face. Favorites include Music from the Coffee and Tea Lands, Women of the World, Asian Lounge, African Playground. I haven't bought any recent ones as funds are light. Always Happy Trails for and from me....to you!

Janina says …

Reading all the comments makes me want to pull out a whole bunch of my Putumayo CDs! Have to agree with Michael's comment -- about Pete Seeger AND Putumayo.

Dusty says …

Ry Cooder---an incredible mountain of musical knowledge.

kimberly says …

The grandaddy collection of Alan Lomax on Southern American folk music at the Smithsonian. What a guy!

Miranda says …

Not familiar with the genre but would lOve to hear more.

MaryAnn says …

He ha, Putumayo publishes a prize-winning piece of American pleasure in a 9-CD packet! My heart is pounding with excitement, and it would really delight if I could win them songs. Mmm hmm… I have a plethora of Putumayo French and World CDs. Getting back to my American roots would be a great way to spend the sweet summer days.

Lisa Pond says …

I was thrilled to see that Garcia and Grisman and Railroad Earth are on this great Putamayo CD. Of course, who doesn't love "Man of Constant Sorrow". Our family has always loved the Putamayo CDs.

Fred Meyer says …

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Janina says …

Have to agree with Michael's comment above -- love Pete Seeger and love Putumayo!

Kathy says …

Lucinda Williams. When I was 16 I wanted to be just like Lucinda when I grew up...

tracy says …

John Denver singing Country Roads and Rocky Mountain High

Nikki says …

We played I'll Fly Away at my grandpa's funeral. It was beautiful and sad. I would love to share this music with my son.

Fritzi says …

I love Doc Watson! Any folk, bluegrass, classic country is all right with me!

Shane says …

Jerry Garcia Sugar Magnolia

Tina Risley says …

I grew up on old country music, blues and bluegrass. I love Clyde McCoy's Sugar Blues.

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