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I love (Oxford) America(n)

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Imagine if your good, music-lovin friend burned you a CD, a CD he took great care to create. Imagine if this friend had an extraordinarily deep collection of folk, blues, country, jazz, indy and oddball rock, and other rare and wonderful recordings.

Further, this friend has put together compilations for you before, and they’ve always been a classy ride, tracing rootsy strains in music from America’s past to its present. What’s really cool is this friend edits a fine magazine and makes it a habit to include the CD with his annual music issue.

As a friend, he might have just given you the CD, but since he lives in Little Rock, Arkansas, and you don’t, you figure you might as well pay for it and support him professionally while you’re at it.

So when you walk into a bookstore and see the music issue of Oxford American , you snap it up. Perusing the tracklist before you pop it into your car CD player, you know you’re in for another treat.

Tracklist:

1. “Why You Been Gone So Long”
Johnny Darrell

2. “Total Destruction to Your Mind”
Swamp Dogg

3. “1952 Vincent Black Lightning”
The Del McCoury Band

4. “La Chanson d’une Fille de Quinze Ans (Song of a Fifteen Year Old Girl)”
Ann Savoy and Linda Ronstadt

5. “Swan Blues”
King Pleasure

6. “Run on for a Long Time”
The Blind Boys of Alabama

7. “Evelyn Is Not Real”
My Morning Jacket

8. “Lake Charles Boogie”
Nellie Lutcher

9. “Hot Rod”
The Collins Kids

10. “No Headstone on My Grave”
Esther Phillips

11. “El Paso”
The Gourds

12. “Leaving Loachapoka”
Marshall Chapman

13. “Grits Ain’t Groceries”
Little Milton

14. “Killer Diller Blues”
Memphis Minnie

15. “Miss Maybelle”
R.L. Burnside

16. “God Moves on the Water” Blind Willie Johnson

17. “Niki Hoeky”
P.J. Proby

18. “See That Coon in a Hickory Tree”
The Delmore Brothers

19. “Leaning on You”
The Yo-Yo’s

20. “You and Your Sister”
Chris Bell

21. “Columbus Stockade Blues”
Willie Nelson

22. “A Little Girl from Little Rock”
Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell

23. “Goodnight Moon”
Will Kimbrough

Imagine it. Something good and true and rootsy and American. It’s enough to give one hope.

Disclaimer: I subscribe to Oxford American, so did not actually buy it at the newsstand. Editor Marc Smirnoff is my friend in the same way as the folks on my blogroll. Upon initial listen, I did not first read the tracklist, which helps to guard against preconceived notions. I usually end up wondering halfway through the song, who is this? Then I pick up the CD cover and attempt to read the relatively small print while avoiding an accident.

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About George Partington

  • Eric Olsen

    Whoa George, that’s a beauty, thanks for the heads up!

  • Lisa M.

    The OA music editions and CDs have been consistently excellent, but I think this one is the best by far. Everyone should seek this magazine out and buy it! And then subscribe to the magazine because it’s a great magazine.

  • http://highwater.blogspot.com George

    I agree, Lisa. The OA CDs have been consistently excellent. For me, the jury is still out on whether the latest is the best one yet. I’ve always been partial to no. 3, the 1999 edition.

  • bonnie wren

    I was given this CD and magazine by a friend and totally loved both – then I lost the magazine – Can I get another copy?