Order from Gothic Records
Reflecting our shared American heritage like a patchwork quilt, this is a charming collection of folksongs performed by conductor Philip Brunelle and the 32-voice VocalEssence Ensemble Singers with guitar, harmonica, accordion, bass and piano. Classic arrangements by the likes of Norman Luboff, Alice Parker and Robert Shaw capture each folksong’s unique appeal.
American Record Guide
When this is good, it’s very good. Dixie comes off as the wistful, attractively introspective song it ought to be. Favorites like My Old Kentucky Home, Shenandoah, and Down in the Valley also tug at the heartstrings in handsome arrangements sung sensitively by this 32-voice choir from Minnesota.
[On the CD there is] a most imaginative resource guide which includes not only biographies of the composers and arrangers, words, editions, and program notes, but also cultural, political, linguistic, and social background information on each song and interesting study exercises for the students. As many of Stephen Foster’s songs, Oh Susannah, for instance, were written for minstrel shows, there are obvious issues of race, language, and audience to be explored.