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Various Artists: River Of Song

A Musical Journey Down The Mississippi

[cover art]

River Of Song is a 2CD soundtrack album from the PBS TV miniseries A River Of Song, tracing American music along the Mississippi. Singer/songwriter Ani DiFranco narrates the programs, which aired early in 1999. Levon Helm appears in part 3 of the TV series, titled Southern Fusion. The album was released on the label Smithsonian Folkways on November 17, 1998. The full title is The Mississippi: River Of Song - A Musical Journey Down The Mississippi.

Levon contributes "Going Back To Memphis" on disc 2, together with blues man James Cotton who also recorded with Levon for the Great Drives TV series. The PBS River of Song web site has a page for Levon Helm with audio and video clips from the program.

The tracks were recorded between 1995 and 1997, produced by Elijah Wald, engineers include John Tyler, John Paulson and Matt Sakakeeny. The album includes liner notes by Anthony Seeger and Elija Wald.


Disc 1

  1. Powwow Song - Chippewa Nation
  2. 22 - Babes In Toyland
  3. Sail Away, Ladies - John Koerner
  4. I Did My Best - Soul Asylum
  5. Red-Headed Swede - The Skal Club Spelmanslag
  6. The Singing Leaf - Wang Chong Lor
  7. I'll Open My Mouth To The Lord/I'll Be Ready - Sounds Of Blackness
  8. Kim Marie - Karl Hartwich
  9. Jazz Me Blues - The Manny Lopez Quintet
  10. La Unica Estrella - La Otra Mitad
  11. Flat Stuff - Greg Brown
  12. Miss Ferris - John Hartford
  13. Born To Be With You - The Bob Lewis Family
  14. Milestone - Eugene Redmond and Sylvester 'Sunshine' Lee
  15. I'm So Grateful - Fontella and Martha Bass
  16. Stop Breaking Down - Oliver Sain
  17. Get Down, River - The Bottle Rockets
  18. La Guignolee - The Ste. Genevieve Guignolee Singers

Disc 2

  1. The Sweetest Song I Know - The Boundless Love Quartet
  2. T For Texas (Blue Yodel #1) - Sonny Burgess
  3. St. Louis Blues - The Memphis Horns and Ann Peebles
  4. Going Back To Memphis - Levon Helm and James Cotton
  5. Take A Little Walk With Me - Robert Lockwood Jr.
  6. Catfish - Big Jack Johnson
  7. Shake Your Money Maker - Big Jack Johnson and the Jelly Roll Kings
  8. Grits Ain't Groceries (All Around The World) - Little Milton
  9. We Praise Your Holy Name - The Mississippi Mass Choir
  10. Taters And Gravy And Chicken-Fried Steak - Kenny Bill Stinson
  11. La Porte D'en Arriere - D.L. Menard
  12. Bon Chien - Geno Delafose
  13. Marie Lavaux - David and Roselyn
  14. Basin Street Blues - Henry Butler
  15. Time Is On My Side - Irma Thomas
  16. Check Your Bucket - Eddie Bo with Henry Butler
  17. Let Your Mind Be Free - Soul Rebels
  18. La Vida De Un Jaibero - Irvan Perez

Various Artists - River Of Song - 1998 - Smithsonian Folkways 40086

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