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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

Kate E. says …

I love American roots and Pete Seeger is my all-time favorite, although it's hard to choose because I love them all!

MJ says …

My grandfather plays in a bluegrass/gospel band and I just love taking my kids to see them play and watching them dance to good old fashioned American music!

Nan says …

All American Jazz and bluegrass

Norma Taylor says …

I love Blue Grass-it is truly Americana. I don't really know any of the popular singers but when I was a child, there was a pizza parlor in my city that had live Blue Grass music every Friday and Saturday evening. My little sister and I used to dance there! Blue Grass music just sounds like the U.S. in the summer. Perfect match. Thanks for the opportunity.

Kim says …

So many great artists t choose from - Woody Guthrie, by a strum!

Sandra says …

I like Bob Dylan's early work.

Arthur says …

I don't know enough about this! If I win, I'll listen and learn.

Sheila says …

When I think of American Roots, I think of Bob Dylan... great music!

Yvonne says …

I still love to hear Burl Ives sing with his warm, mellow voice.

Marina says …

I used to ride in the back of my parents' beige VW bug in the early '70s on our way to sell Navajo jewelry at rest stops. We liked Buffy Sainte-Marie, and enjoyed the twang of the mouthbow.

Rosemarie Watkins says …

The Carter Family is an easy pick, but I also love Old and In The Way (w/ Jerry Garcia) that introduced a whole new crowd to roots music.

Rhea says …

Since moving to AZ and experiencing more of the Western lifestyle, I have grown to appreciate the music, especially of the cowboys. In terms of pure American music, "This Land is Your Land" defines the roots of the American experience.

Jason says …

Bruce Springsteen's album of Pete Seeger covers is an amazing example of Americana. Saw him perform it live which was a wonderful experience.

Charlotte says …

I would like to learn more about American roots music.

Amy says …

I don't have a favorite artist but I like to listen to The United States of Americana on 89.3 The Current (MPR).

Lorien says …

I love "Goodnight Irene" by Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter

Nelson, S says …

that is really a hard question to answer, so many and so many great songs too, One of my favorites was watching Les Claypool thumb a banjo playing Iowan Gal however you had to be there to hear it in its full quality.

Cathy says …

IT SURE GETS YA MOVIN , GET HER DONE

Cheryl says …

Growing up in the mountains of Western North Carolina, Blue Grass was the first music I ever heard. I'm now 56 years old, and even tho thru the years I have learned to love a lot of other types of music, I still dearly love Blue Grass. It still has the power to make me stop dead in my tracks and intently listen. I an not able to choose a favorite musician because I like many different types. Each type of music has a favorite artist for me.

kristi walker says …

hmm, never really heard that many except for some old time country music. they never really said the names of the artists.

liz says …

Hope I'm the lucky one - This collection - sounds awesome! :)

liz says …

I failed to say that my fav would bwe the bluegrass- hands down! thx

Dennis says …

The grateful dead in their many iterations always had a bluegrass feel. I loved it when they used some instruments that were more country than rock and roll.

Whitney says …

My family has recently started a bluegrass band. We love all bluegrass music, but my husband and I have really enjoyed listening to Sierra Hull's new CD. Hope we win!

Caroline B says …

My husband exposed me to many genres of music and now I truly enjoy the blues, bluegrass, jazz, and country- all destinctly American. As far as favorite artists It is so hard to pinpoint. there are so many like Johnny Cash, Ralph Stanley and Doc Watson.

Lucy N. says …

Just recently discovered Putumayo and loved everything I've heard so far. Would love to win this! :)

Betsy Kelley says …

I love Woody Gutherie, and Pete Seeger!

Dana says …

Great to hear some familiar songs again

Amy Wright says …

We love the Putumayo albums in our collection. Always the background to great friends and family gatherings! Have yet to find one I don't love...my favorite is Paris Cafe. Enjoy the Asian Lounge, too.

SLS says …

Wow, don't have a fav but I would love to enjoy this with my little boy.

Jessy McLavey says …

I hope I am lucky enough to win! Awesome and thank you for sharing :)

Marcella T. says …

I took a Jazz/Roots class back in high school that really made me appreciate the genre. Lead Belly was one of my favorites.

Tony Pisconeri says …

I love this music I would love a chance at the CD collection.

Eugene says …

My favorite roots artist is Gillian Welch. I would love to win this compilation!

Susan Geist says …

I have yet to actually listen to this Cd but it sounds like the perfect music to play at any and all American based holidays and everything in-between.

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