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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

michelle says …

Alison Krauss ...Putamayo is awesome!

Rick Abrams says …

I love all roots music. Putumayo's World Playground is one of my favorites....tiki tiki toc....Fatou yo....but my favorite song on the cd is the American roots tune, Eric Bib's Just Keep Goin' On is not only a funky song but a great message!

Sophia Sutton says …

I have several Putumayo CD's that I have enjoyed over the years. I have bought several for my granddaughter too as she grows up. I love Bluegrass music. I don't listen to it much though so would love to receive your new CD. I just spent a week down in the Missouri Ozarks on the Current River and saw a poster for a Bluegrass Festival coming. Too bad it wasn't happening when we were there. I have always enjoyed Pete Seeger and many others. Thanks so much!

Belinda Gross says …

I like Allison Krauss and Putumayo.

Brian Bradley says …

I have always enjoyed Dolly Parton! She has a country soul with a bluegrass twist!

bailey says …

I love the Putamayo albums- so well done! We love trad. music in our family and would really enjoy this set! thanks!!

Bruce Kohl says …

Roots music of America? Woody Guthrie has to come to mind along with his son, and Roger Miller. Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James, Dean Martin, Dr John, Roy Rogers and the list never ends.

Paul Deschenes says …

Nothing wrong with Nitty Gritty Dirt Band...or Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder!!

sherry says …

It's a tough choice, but I think my favorite would have to be Alison Krauss. I have been a fan for many years. Love bluegrass!

Monica says …

My son loves the banjo after seeing Steve Martin play it on muppet show and Allison Krauss on sesame street.

Judy Baker says …

My fav is anything by Ricky Skaggs and the Kentucky Thunder!

Carol says …

Born outside Liverpool, England and emigrated to the US in the 60's. I've collected most of the Putamayo European CDs and enjoyed being introduced to the American roots music, which reminds me a little of the British folk songs I still love. I would be overjoyed to increase my knowledge of American music by winning this contest. Thank you.

SheilaH says …

We love all American roots music. Some of our family is from West VA and we enjoy listening to their annual bluegrass and traditional fiddling music festival. I love these CDs too - great music!

Donna says …

I am not familiar with them, but would so love to learn more about them!!

Stephaine Royster says …

I just love Putumayo and would love to hear these artist.

yarnball says …

American roots? Pete Seeger!!!!!

Maggie says …

Since moving to the Bluegrass 3 years ago, I've come to love the local artists!! Such great talent and fun music!

Kat says …

Like others... Alison Krauss

Linda S. says …

I love American roots music! Not sure of my fave artist though... I'm not so good on names, sorry...

Krista G says …

I love this sort of music. Currently two of my favorite bands are the Tillers out of Cincinnati and the Whiskey Bent Valley Boys from Kentucky. Awesome newcomers with great takes on traditional music. I also love the more famous musicians. Both the old timers (Bill Monroe, etc.) and the newer artists (Allison Kraus, Gillian Welch, etc.).

Kate says …

Tough call! Lucinda Williams? Anything with banjo? Music with Appalachian influence? My mom grew up in West Virginia, so it's in my blood.

Kris H says …

I would love this CD. It would be great to listen to on these hot summer days. It would certainly brighen everyone up by enjoying the new CD on days to hot to step outside. Thanks!

Carol Avery says …

Woody and son Arlo....Riding on the City of New Orleans. My dad worked for the old ICRR in little southern town.

Jeff J says …

neko case is a folk singer-songwriter from the pacific northwest and she is AMAZING!!

Bonnie Johns says …

Tennessee Ernie Ford...I would listen to the only record we had over and over again. Sixteen tons! And his gospels! This era of time tells stories that have long been forgotten. Brings back memories of stories my parents told. They give history lessons. I have gotten my grandchildren in my truck and put in some of my "old" music, where they couldn't get away and by the time we reached our destination they were singing right along and hardly missing a word. Doesn't get any better than sharing generations of music.

Daphne says …

Our family of Mom, Dad, & 6 kids traveled around the US in a VW camper bus in the mid 60s. The radio rarely worked, so we sang our favorites: "You Are My Sunshine", "Oh, Susannah", "I've Been Workin on the Railroad", "Red River Valley", and "She'll Be Comin''Round the Mountain." Those are my favorite old American tunes!

Michael in Seattle says …

Geerge Barnes, Barney Kessel are two of my favorite guitar masters. Woody Guthrie is arguably our best American troubadour. Of course, Pete Seeger and Willy Nelson can't be underestimated. And, the list can go on ad infinitum. The beauty of owning this collection would be to use it for demonstration and clarification purposes with my Brazilian family and friends who maintain their musical roots are superior.

LizHH says …

Love the Putumayo CDs! Brasileiro is a personal fave, but they are all terrific. The kids' CDs make great gifts for hard-to-please kids.

Laine Massey says …

ove blues, bluegrass, country rock, folk, most ethnic musics.

Tia says …

Muddy Waters

cheryl says …

hailing from massachusetts, i have to say woody guthrie! my kids love the putomayo series.

Sarah Speidel says …

Alison Krauss is a favorite. We LOVE all the Putumayo CDs!!

John says …

Tracy Nelson

Arleen says …

I loved the old classic Home on the Range, Don't Fence Me In, etc.but don't recall who sang them - Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Happy Trails and later Roger Miller King of the Road.

Maurice Frank says …

When I think of quintessentially American music I think of Jazz, though I know other genres predate it.

Tatiana says …

Gerry Mulligan is the best!

Eleanors Mama says …

Bluegrass: The Grascals, Dale Ann Bradley, Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers, The Woodys, anything by Ricky Skaggs. American "roots" music - Pete Seeger, Bela Fleck does some neat new stuff, Doc Watson, Johnny Cash...

Kim B says …

So much great American music! I guess I'd have to go w/ Home on the Range; we played it at my grandfather's funeral.

Pam in Chicago says …

Pete Seeger and Alison Krause!

Betty D says …

When James Taylor sings roots, it's the best. His voice and delivery are perfect for the genre.

Sandy says …

Love the Greencards---check them out, love love love all music and Putumayo is a great way to check out so many artists

PATRICIA WEIDNER says …

James Alan Shelton...Shady Grove...I am new to this , music but can't believe how much I enjoyed listening to the tracks.

Laurey says …

We've been enjoying educating the kids with a variety of American music- blue grass Cajun jazz... Love putamayo!! Took the family to see Bruce springsteens tour a few years ago of great old american music with wonderful fiddles and horn section. Happy summer everyone!

Marius says …

The Soggy Bottom Boys!

Christy Simpson says …

Ricky Skaggs!

Barbara Hughes says …

Would love to have these -finally have a car with a cd player!!

Grace Seidel says …

I love love love bluegrass. And the kids who I play Auntie to love country. "Mama don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys" is a favorite!

Melody says …

oh, my, there are so many good musicians, past and present that i love. Bluegrass is wonderful but I also love many other types of music from different countries and cultures. The Chieftains are a fav, too. Enjoy learning and hearing about music..guess my parents gave me the right name!

Aliza says …

I've never tried these giveaways before. They're interesting. This is a lot of comments for anyone to read through; if the winner is picked at random, does anyone actually *read* all these posted comments? I do adore roots music, as does my husband. But I would never be able to choose a single favorite...not in a million years... No, I have a thought. I vote for "The Highway Poets". Modern roots band, just got back from Austin...they're quite marvelous. I do also adore Whole Foods and the amazing things they are doing all over the world. Thank you for offering this interesting exploration into the world of giveaways, as well as the opportunity to share a bit of personal feeling towards our favorite things and products. If someone does read these, hope you're having a wonderful summer...and not spending all of it on the computer. :) Thanks again, ~ Aliza

faith kramer says …

our whole family became huge bluegrass fans from Oh Brother where art thou movie. Don't know if we have a fav but you can't go wrong with Allison Kraus

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