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Two New Albums for You to Love

August 5, 2004

Releases this week by Pierce Pettis and Riders in Sky had Folk Alley host Jim Blum all a flutter. Singer/songwriter Pierce Pettis has always been one of Jim's favorites and he has high praise for his new effort: Great Big World on the Compass label. Lots of fine artists stopped by to add their talents to the album, including Compass leader and banjo genius Alison Brown.

When I asked Jim about the new Riders in the Sky album, he said, "These guys are my heroes!" The new CD, out on Rounder, is called Riders in the Sky Present: Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier. It's a collection of songs from everyone's favorite cowboys celebrating one of America's most beloved statesmen and frontiersfolk.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at August 5, 2004 5:53 PM


For me if you like Riders in the Sky you don't like folk, you are somewhere else, this Texas swing sound is not where I am at, from a true old fokie or fogy, but then again taste is so subjective, Riders in the Sky have never had a message, never, and what is folk without a message?

Posted by: Wayne at August 6, 2004 1:21 PM

I saw Pierce in Jacksonville last night, and he performed the entire new album in his second set. It is a winner. Wonderful show. He was in good spirits and having a lot of fun on stage. That song about Alabama in 1959 is one of his absolute best.

I'm curious... I've seen him about once a year since I've been in Jax for the past 7 years and he hasn't performed 'Legacy' - another of my favorites. Guess I'll ask him next time.

Posted by: Ken Connors at August 6, 2004 7:37 PM

Interesting comments about folk music and Riders in the Sky, Wayne. Meanwhile, I once took a film class in which the professor taught that all movies, even seeming bubblegum movies, have some kind of ideology. Sometimes the message simply lies in what something or someone is, and not always in what someone says.

I could distill some messages from what the Riders in the Sky are doing, even if they're not sending lyrical messages. Besides, there's a lot of instrumental folk music from all over - Ireland, sub-Saharan Africa, China... - that has no apparent message. It's folk because it's passed down from person to person and has become a part of that folk tradition.

Nephi Jay Henry

Posted by: Nephi Henry at August 11, 2004 1:16 AM

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