This Is Americana: A View From Sugar Hill

More Albums by Various Artists

Track Listing

1. My Name Is Jorge - The Gourds
2. Mighty River - Railroad Earth
3. I Won't Go With You - Scott Miller & The Commonwealth
4. The Rock Of My Soul - Rodney Crowell
5. Out Here In The Middle - James McMurtry
6. After The Fire Is Gone - Robin & Linda Williams
7. Working Man Blues - Doc Watson & Frosty Morn
8. (Somebody Bring Me A Flower) I'm A Robot - Kev Russell's Junker
9. Two Quarts Low - John Cowan
10. Patrick Meets The Brickbats - Jerry Douglas
11. It's All My Fault - Baucom, Bibey & Blueridge
12. Poor Boy Working Blues - Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
13. Another Saturday Night - Don Rigsby
14. Colleen Malone - Hot Rize
15. Let It Fall - Sean Watkins
16. Poor Man's House - Maura O'Connell


Compilations are sometimes accompanied by ambitious titles like "Bluegrass Today" or "The Roots of Country," as though one collection could encompass the birth or current state of an entire genre. Occasionally, however, an album like This Is Americana actually delivers the goods. Drawn from the talented group of artists recording for Sugar Hill -- including Rodney Crowell, Hot Rize, and John Cowan -- this generous collection brings together 15 songs and one instrumental. The music runs the gauntlet of the hard-to-nail-down Americana genre, from the acoustic sounds of Baucom, Bibey & Blueridge to the eclectic, electric hodgepodge of the Gourds. There are old standbys like Doc Watson and Doyle Lawson along with new faces like Railroad Earth and Sean Watkins. This Is Americana also serves as an excellent introduction to all of these artists. "Two Quarts Low" gives ample evidence that ex-New Grass Revival singer John Cowan still has one of the best voices on the progressive bluegrass scene, while "Out Here in the Middle" finds James McMurtry digging deep to offer sharp observations on life in America. Of course, no Sugar Hill collection would be complete with out an appearance by Jerry Douglas, a dobro player so prolific that one might be tempted to think that he sleeps in the studio. "Patrick Meets the Brickbats" rolls along at a nice clip, giving Douglas a chance to combine good taste with speedy picking. This Is Americana is a fine collection that will remind one of listening to a good radio program without any commercials. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.

Personnel: Don Rigsby (vocals, tenor, acoustic guitar, mandolin); Dudley Connell (vocals, baritone, acoustic guitar); Randy Kohrs (vocals, guitar, lap steel guitar, resonator guitar, dobro); Doc Watson (vocals, guitar, banjo); Robin Williams (vocals, guitar, harmonica); Barry Scott (vocals, guitar, acoustic bass); Joe Smothers, James McMurtry, Junior Sisk, Todd Sheaffer, Jamie Dailey, Charles Sawtelle (vocals, guitar); Rodney Crowell (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, percussion); Jeff Autry (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Scott Vestal (vocals, banjo, midi); Dale Perry (vocals, banjo, acoustic bass); Pete Wernick (vocals, banjo); Tim O'Brien (vocals, mandolin, fiddle); Doyle Lawson (vocals, mandolin); Tim Carbone (vocals, violin); Jimmy Smith (vocals, upright bass, electric bass, background vocals); T. Michael Coleman (vocals, upright bass, 5-string bass); John Cowan (vocals, bass guitar); Carey Harmon (vocals, drums, percussion); Dave Von Dollen (vocals, kalimba); Glen Phillips, Maura O'Connell, Nick Forster (vocals); Ed Biggerstaff (tenor); David Grissom (guitar, electric guitar); Andy Goessling (guitar, dobro, banjo, ukulele); Richard Watson, Sean Watkins, Bryan Sutton (guitar); Darrell Scott (acoustic guitar, mandolin); Steuart Smith (electric guitar, autoharp, mandolin, harmonica, harmonium); Doug Lancio (electric guitar); John Mock (classical guitar); Jerry Douglas (dobro); Terry Baucom (banjo); Peter Ostroushko (mandolin, fiddle); John Skehan (mandolin, piano); Chris Thile, Alan Bibey, Max Johnston, Sam Bush (mandolin); Ron Stewart, Stuart Duncan, Hunter Berry (fiddle); Keith Langford (harmonica, drums); Lisa Mednick (accordion); Paul Brainard (trumpet); Richard Dworsky (piano); Ian McLagan (organ); Missy Raines (acoustic bass); Pasi Leppikangas, Paul Leim (drums, percussion); Greg Morrow, Larry Atamanuik, Kenny Malone, Daren Hess (drums); R.S. Field (percussion); Jack Reynolds, Wendy Waldman (background vocals).