This Is My America Volume 3 - This Is My America


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An American concept album, This Is My America is a three-disc set of original material that captures the spirit of America and chronologically recounts its history over 64 tracks (38 songs and 26 spoken narratives). Fifty-six of America's finest award-winning singers and songwriters, including the Nashville Symphony and the Fisk Jubilee Singers, contribute to the set.

Much more than another collection of patriotic hits, this epic release provides unique insight into the story of America, as told through the original interpretations of the songwriters and performers.

"This Is My America is a musical journey through the history of the United States. It travels through the pages of time, telling stories in song about the significant events in American history."
- Douglas Hutton, Executive Producer


Track Listing:

1) On The Radio - Matt Dame

2) More Than A Train - Thomas Cain

3) Reachin' Up To The Moon - David Pack

4) A Good Rain - Jenny Yates

5) Spirit Of The Horse - Victoria Venier

6) There's A Light - Beth Nielsen Chapman, the Nashville Symphony and the Fisk Jubilee Singers

7) A Bridge Across - Dolly Parton, Mark O'Connor and the Nashville Symphony

8) Hard Times In The Big Easy - Flat River Band

9) A Soldier's Wife - Roxie Dean

10) This Is My America - A Children's Choir

11) The Place That I Call Home - Kathy Mattea

12) Wave On, Old Glory, Wave On - Billy Dean, the Nashville Symphony and the Fisk Jubilee Singers


Volume 3 Cut x Cut

"ON THE RADIO: (STEVE DEAN/FRANK DEAN)
"My dad built crystal radio sets when he was a boy growing up on a farm in the 1930s, and he listened to many of the old radio programs and witnessed many of the events that are sung in the lines of our song, "On The Radio." The historical importance radio has had on our country's development, my fascination with vacuum tube technology, the unique shapes and beautiful wood veneers of the cabinets and the stories passed down to me from a bygone era speared the inspiration to write this song. Having my dad co-write it with me makes "On The Radio" even more special for personal reasons. His contribution was invaluable." (Steve Dean)

"MORE THAN A TRAIN" (THOMAS CAIN)
"When I visited the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, I was inspired by the hardships that African American slaves encountered as they helped in the building of America. It made me realize how they experienced conditions and situations that most human beings could not have endured. The memories and pictures of that visit were embedded in my consciousness and it let me know that, in spite of it all, they were triumphant. It also let me know that they were riding on more than just a train. The train in this song represents the trials and tribulations experienced by black men and women of this country leading up to the Civil Rights Movement and all that has come since - the endurance and inspiration that is our African American heritage." (Thomas Cain)

"REACHIN' UP TO THE MOON" (DAVID PACK)
"As l looked at all the numerous choices for song topics, the idea struck me immediately that I simply "had" to try to combine a tribute to John F. Kennedy with a song that chronicled one of America's greatest achievements in my lifetime - the moon landing. After abandoning my first sketch because it was too complex and non-emotive, I landed on the idea of 'What if the actual song was told from the perspective of the astronaut about to leave his family behind, not knowing if he'd ever see them again?' I found this to be the exact "emotional trigger" along with actual excerpts of JFK's speech to Congress, that made me "feel something" about the melody, write the lyrics, and sing it from this imagined point of view." (David Pack)

"A GOOD RAIN" (CHARLIE BLACK/JENNY YATES)
"'We got a good rain,' 'it was a good rain' - I'd heard those phrases used to describe a steady dousing from the heavens time and time again by my folks, ranchers, farmers, forestry workers and all kinds of people who ever worked with the earth. The first time I got together to write with Charlie Black, I mentioned this phrase as a title. He repeated the phrase, took a puff on his cigar, and we began. I'm not sure who said what, but the lyric came out as conversation between us. One of us said 'He's a farmer,' then 'That's what he likes to do,' then 'So was his father,' and then 'And his granddad, too.' Out came the song! It felt like a cleansing. It was a great day in my life and one of my favorite songs I've ever been a part of." (Jenny Yates)

"SPIRIT OF THE HORSE" (VICTORIA VENIER)
"Douglas Hutton and I were talking about our horses one day, trading stories and our genuine affection for this great creature, when he encouraged me to write something about the horse that could be used on This Is My America. I got my horse when he was nine years old - he just turned 25. I'm not sure how much longer I will be blessed to have him, but I wanted to do something special to honor his life, and the many years of joy he has brought to me. He has taught me much more than I could ever teach him. I began to think about all the uses of the horse, and how they have impacted our country in ways we now take for granted. I took my guitar, went out on my back deck and silently watched him in all his gallant beauty. This song fell out effortlessly. That's what great inspiration does! I cannot tell you how very thrilled I am to have "Spirit Of The Horse" on this project!" (Victoria Venier)

"THERE'S A LIGHT" (BETH NIELSEN CHAPMAN)
"There's A Light" will forever be intertwined in my heart with the shift of the world after 9/11. It is a song that comforts me still in its message: "We will fly, we will fly, we will all go..." To me it's about trusting that all of us in the human family will cross into a place of peace beyond this world. While meeting with Douglas Hutton, and the folks involved in the This Is My America project, I immediately thought of "There's A Light" as the perfect song to honor the families who lost loved ones, as well as a way to speak to the transition of our country as our nation struggled to come to terms with the fact that nothing would ever be the same. The addition of orchestra and a choir is very exciting for me. This song, coming from the first whispers into my tape recorder, to the majesty of such a fantastic collaboration with the Nashville Symphony and the Fisk Jubilee Singers, all under the artful direction of Carl Marsh, is truly a triumph of spirit!" (Beth Nielsen Chapman)

"A BRIDGE ACROSS" (TOM MCBRYDE/LYNN WILBANKS)
"When Douglas Hutton told me the story about Canadian musician Samantha Robichaud, a student in the Mark O'Connor String Camp, becoming a recipient of the Daniel Pearl Memorial Violin, he suggested that we include a song in the project about peace. I wanted to create something that expressed how the work and dedication of one man has continued to inspire so many. With co-writer Tom McBryde, I researched how international journalist Daniel Pearl bridged differences among people and crossed all types of social and economic barriers by playing his fiddle and violin. We hope that this song will serve to honor the memory of Daniel and help to build bridges among all people. When Dolly Parton graciously agreed to sing the lead vocals and Mark O'Connor agreed to play the "Daniel Pearl Memorial Violin" with the addition of the Nashville Symphony, we knew this would be something very special to honor the life's work of a very special man." (Lynn Wilbanks)

"HARD TIMES IN THE BIG EASY" (WOOD NEWTON)
"In 1999 I was on a boat trip down the Mississippi to New Orleans. I was reading the book, "Rising Tide," by John Barry, which chronicles the events that led up to the great Mississippi flood of 1927. The city barely escaped then, and the same kind of political power plays that happened back then are still going on today. Many people paid with their lives and property for these mistakes. In 2005, hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. So many neighborhoods, built in areas that are below sea level and depend on levees and pumps to keep the water out, were completely destroyed when both systems failed. We will all be paying for years to come much more than it would've cost to fix the problems in advance. This was the only inspiration needed to dedicate a song to the strength of the people of this city and the great devastation that so easily could have been avoided." (Wood Newton)

"A SOLDIER'S WIFE" (ROXIE DEAN)
"Freedom has always come at a high price. America's history is rich with heroes who have fought and died to protect our right to wave the flag of freedom. During times of conflict, it is easy to remember to give thanks for the brave men and women serving our country on foreign soil; it is easy to remember to ask God to protect our soldiers and keep them safe, but we often forget that there are heroes here at home who need our support and prayers as well. These are the unspoken heroes who inspired 'A Soldiers Wife.'" (Roxie Dean)

"THIS IS MY AMERICA" (BILL MISENER)
"This was the first song commissioned and written for this project. Douglas Hutton knew what he wanted written about "A Place Called America." It is really hard not to evoke the national anthem when writing a song of this nature. However what inspired me is that wherever you go in this great country, "Your America" is right outside your door. Regardless of how much you have seen of this country, you always have your own personal geographic point of reference. This is the imagery I used to conjure the message and sentiment of the song - to fortify the beauty, strength and diversity of 'A Place Called America.'" (Bill Misener)

"THE PLACE THAT I CALL HOME" (DAVID CARROLL/JON VEZNER)
"Dave Carroll and I were talking about all the places our musical journeys had carried us over the years. When I was asked to be a part of this project, I thought about this song and how it might be a good fit. I went back through my mental Rolodex to my early twenties and the memories I had from spending a couple of summers hitchhiking around America. I combined some of them with the ones Dave and I already had. What I like about this song is that it gives a sense of ownership to this great country of ours." (John Vezner)

"WAVE ON OLD GLORY, WAVE ON" (WOOD NEWTON/JIM WEATHERLY)
"At one of our last writer's meetings, Douglas asked Jim and I to write a song about the flag as a way to "wrap up" the This Is My America project. Our flag is such an important symbol for our country, and it continues to inspire people around the world. The song depicts several famous historical events associated with the flag, including the little known story of Captain William Driver. Captain Driver commanded the brig "Charles Doggett," and in 1831, prior to leaving for his famous voyage where they rescued the mutineers of the "Bounty," he was presented with a flag. As it unfurled for the first time on the masthead, Driver exclaimed, "There goes Old Glory!" Today, that same flag is displayed at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. The hope is that this song, and the entire album, will encourage everyone who hears it to dig deeper into the history of our nation." (Wood Newton)

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