Title - Americana Railroad
Artist - Various
For those not in the know, the idea of a new album of traditional railroad songs had been percolating for a decade or so before recording began for Americana Railroad.
After talking about artists and songs and label partner possibilities every few years producers Carla Olson and Saul Davis decided to just begin and see what was possible.
The first artist they asked was Stephen McCarthy (Dream Syndicate) to see if he would be interested in such a project, followed by Robert Rex Waller (I See Hawks In L.A.), John York (Byrds), Dave Alvin, Rocky Burnette, Gary Myrick and James Intveld.
Rock íní Roll, Rockabilly, Americana - the genre or category is for the listener to decide. The goal was simple - railroad songs performed by great expressive artists.
After recording the nine tracks that Carla produced, the thought then turned to locating a record company partner.
Executive David Hirshland noted, When Saul brought this to me for possible release by Renew / BMG it instantly made sense. There is sch a deep history of trains in the American musical canon I felt that we should expand the project and get more artists on board. Every artist we subsequently approached was eager to join.
Ergo, what we now have is a collection that consists of 19 classic and original train songs performed by a variety of artists from the worlds of Americana and Rock.
None of these tracks have been previously released and most feature innovative takes on songs you are likely familiar with. Together they tell a story of the intersection of the history of railroads and popular music in America.
1. Here Comes That Train Again - Stephen McCarthy & Carla Olson
2. The Conductor Wore Black - Robert Rex Waller Jr.
3. Mystery Train - Rocky Burnette
4. This Train - Peter Case
5. City of New Orleans - John Fogerty
6. Marrakesh Express - Dustbowl Revival
7. Train Leaves Here This Morniní - Kai Clark
8. Train Kept A Rolliní - Gary Myrick
9. Southwest Chief - Dave Alvin
10. 500 Miles - Alice Howe
11. People Get Ready - Deborah Poppink
12. Steel Pony Blues - Dom Flemons
13. Runaway Train - John York
14. Waiting For A Train - Paul Burch & Fats Kaplan
15. Freight Train - AJ Haynes of Seratones
16. Whiskey Train - Carla Olson & Brian Ray
17. Mystery Train - James Intveld
18. Midnight Rail - Robert Rex Waller Jr.
19. I Remember the Railroad - Stephen McCarthy & Carla Olson
This quite stunningly orchestrated, wholly ambient, and tremendously atmospheric new collection opens on the guitar rock of Here Comes That Train Again (Stephen McCarthy & Carla Olson) and the rambunctious The Conductor Wore Black (Robert Rex Waller Jr.) and then backs those up with the aptly-named, chuggingly atmospheric Mystery Train (Rocky Burnette), the quietly melodic This Train (Peter Case), the acoustic, harmonica-layered fare of City of New Orleans (John Fogerty), and then we are treated to both the upbeat and poppy Marrakesh Express (Dustbowl Revival) and the laid back twang of Train Leaves Here This Morniní (Kai Clark).
Next up are the clanging, reverberatingly heavy guitars within Train Kept A Rolliní (Gary Myrick) and the euphonious Southwest Chief (Dave Alvin) and they are in turn followed by the delicate musings within 500 Miles (Alice Howe), the harmoniously melodic People Get Ready (Deborah Poppink), the bare boned Steel Pony Blues (Dom Flemons), and then comes the beautiful trio of the Springsteen-esque imbibed Runaway Train (John York), the countrified, steel guitar twang of Waiting For A Train (Paul Burch & Fats Kaplan) and the lazy, hazy summerí day vibe of Freight Train (AJ Haynes of Seratones).
This vividly historical, and highly entertaining new album then continues onward with the flat out rocker Whiskey Train (Carla Olson & Brian Ray), the rhythmic guitar work of Mystery Train (James Intveld), finally rounding out with the quietly methodical ambiance of Midnight Rail (Robert Rex Waller Jr.), coming to a righteous close on the Americana folk-pop sound of I Remember the Railroad (Stephen McCarthy & Carla Olson)
Renew / BMG Website