by Jim Lewis
There is nothing as American as American music, nor anything that we, as a nation, do better. It is our conquering cultural export, more dominant than movies, more widespread than blue jeans, or muscle cars, or cheeseburgers. Other nations have poets and dancers, painters and designers. But all around the world the past century has run on the beat and the sound of our songs, from bluegrass to rap, from jazz to rock, with a dozen more running alongside. In 5000 years’ time, it’ll be what they remember about us.
Do you hear that sound, the sound on this album, the album you’re holding? Do you know what it is? You can hear our history in these harmonies, from Stephen Foster to Ornette Coleman and beyond. You can see our landscape riding up and down the notes, the movements travelling from the mountains to the desert, down the river, across the plains, along the ridges, beside the fields. You can feel our cities, their crowded housing and crazy parades, weekends in the parks, nights on the avenues.
Perhaps you’ve come across Goethe’s remark that “architecture is frozen music.” Most people don’t realize that he preceded it with another: “Music,” he said, “is liquid architecture.” So it is, and I call this music our home.
Recording: Charlie Kramsky, audio engineer, Blue Rock Artist Ranch and Studio, Wimberley TX
Mix: David Boyle at the Church House, Austin, TX
Mastering: Paul Blakemore
Art direction: David Grosvenor
Production Coordination: Danielle Crisafulli
Produced by Carla McElhaney, Stephen Barber, and David Boyle
© 2018 Stephen Barber
Sunken Gong Music (ASCAP)
I. Prelude – Family and Fellowship
II. Human Hive – Work
III. The Shattered Lantern – Exile and Aftermath
IV. Freedom – The Road is Always Better than the Inn
V. Hymn – Nature is Now a Visible Song
VI. Form from Within
VII. Epilogue – Ode to C. D.