This Is My America Volume 2 - 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) Mississippi (Roll On Home With Me) - Charley Pride

2) He's A Cowboy - Tim Ryan

3) Somewhere Where I Belong - Jon Vezner

4) 32 Questions - Perry Danos

5) Step Into The Sky - Karyn Williams

6) Canary - Ashley Monroe

7) American Dream - Matt King

8) Terre Haute - Ron Wallace

9) Little Orphan Girl - Jenny Gill

10) Scarface - Matt King

11) Ridin' The Rails - Matt Dame

12) Secret Of The Rohna - Wood Newton

13) Hot Night In Memphis - Billy Burnette


Volume 2 Cut x Cut

"MISSISSIPPI (ROLL ON HOME WITH ME)" (BRIAN WHITE/BILL SHORE/ DAVID WILLS)
"I used to live in Memphis, and many times I would go downtown and just sit and watch the Mississippi roll on by. Throughout our history, the Mississippi River has played such an integral part of American life. They don't call it mighty for nothing." (David Wills)

"HE'S A COWBOY" (TIM RYAN ROUILLIER/SHARON VAUGHN)
"I wanted this song to be special because it represented so many of the men that both Sharon and I had grown up with. I was raised in Montana on a ranch. My dad was a cowboy. I grew up with real cowboys - men who were tough and strong in their beliefs, full of courage with an instinct of survival that would carry them through anything - from a drought, cold and hunger, depression and loneliness. I listened as they told the stories of unpredictable horses, long days and hard work, little pay and surviving with very little, yet still having everything. Who better to write this song with than Sharon Vaughn, writer of "My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys"? I know my dad would have loved this song." (Tim Ryan Rouillier)

"SOMEWHERE WHERE I BELONG" (SALLY BARRIS/JON VEZNER)
"Sally Barris and I were chatting about our love of songwriting and the leap of faith it took to come to Nashville and follow our dream. That led to a conversation about our parents and our parents' parents--to those that traveled to this country on "Wing and a Prayer" - all the sacrifices they made and the courage it took to make the long journey. When Douglas Hutton first approached us about this project, he spoke about his ancestors who had come from Europe and the hardships they endured. He said he wanted a song reflecting the early settlers' hopeful vision. This song is a moving remembrance for those that came over from abroad and the adversity they faced to survive." (Jon Vezner)

"32 QUESTIONS" (VICTORIA VENIER/LYNN WILBANKS)
"As a child, I grew up listening to the stories my grandfather would tell us about "the Old Country" and his "new home in America." As a six-year old boy, he crossed the Atlantic as a third-class steerage passenger on the steamship, The Rochambeau. He arrived at the port of Ellis Island in the spring of 1912. This song was written with Victoria Venier, whose grandfather, Lorenzo Venier, also came to this country with $20 in his pocket and a dream in his heart. Every third-class steerage passenger was asked an average of 32 questions by a uniformed inspector at Ellis Island. Their entry into America was based upon their responses to these questions and whether or not they also passed several intense health and wellness inspections. This song was written by two American granddaughtersâ?¦the third generation of naturalized immigrants, to honor our grandfathers almost 100 years later!" (Lynn Wilbanks)

"STEP INTO THE SKY" (BRIAN WHITE/TONY WOOD)
"For the last couple of decades, I've spent a week each summer at my in-laws' beach house at the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The big porch where we sit at night faces the monument atop the hill where Wilbur and Orville took their leap of faith. Having already spent many hours there, imagining the courage it took in that moment and all that led up to it, it was my joy to finally have a reason to try and capture it in a song. To me, their story is a classic testament of American ingenuity and perseverance." (Tony Wood)

"CANARY" (MATT KING/SARAH MAJORS/ANNA OWENS)
"The inspiration of this song was a collaborative effort. My personal point of reference was from my great grandfather, B.T. Wright, who worked in the Van Lear coalmines of Kentucky. The safety measures were far from todayâ??s standards and often times, the miners were at the mercy of the canary in the mine with them. As long as the bird was singing, they knew there was air to breathe. When the bird stopped singing, look out!" (Matt King)

"AMERICAN DREAM" (MATT KING/BUDDY MONDLOCK)
"I was working for commission part-time at a local store back home in Hendersonville, North Carolina. I also had a job detailing cars at an auction. As a young married guy with high hopes for doing better, it seemed as if my dreams were always dashed by the reality of hours of work and little pay - it was like trying to make moonshine with one ear of corn and having 50 mason jars to fill! After a weeks' work, I wound up with $50 take-home pay and, needless to say, that was it. I then realized I was one of the many Americans who get their fill of 'reality' through television. My own reality was vastly different. This song is an analogy of sorts and a simple rendering of how we can be 'living the dream' with beautiful opportunities in this country, but still carry the burden of being a majority of struggling citizens living within the margins and looking through a glass ceiling." (Matt King)

"TERRE HAUTE" (RORY BOURKE/JAMIE FERRUGIA)
"The period of American history between 1900-1920 has long fascinated us, particularly the United States' entry into WWI, which thrust America into a new era. Ordinary young men and women became extraordinary heroes as they left family farms and traveled to foreign lands to defend America. Terre Haute, Ind., is located smack dab in the center of our country. In the '20s it was known as the crossroads of America. Having spent time in Terre Haute, it seemed a natural choice as a place to begin and end our song about heroes." (Rory Bourke)

"LITTLE ORPHAN GIRL" (MATT KING/SARAH MAJORS)
"I've always had a love for mountain music and the amazing fabric of familiarity that is wrapped around those songs and stories. My own family is comprised of many generations of beautiful Appalachian souls that lived so many of the songs that I grew up listening to. There was always a bittersweet resonance I would feel when hearing about the hardships during the Great Depression and how the music seemed to be a way for people to relate to each other's trials and triumphs over such extreme poverty of mind, money and spirit. Sarah and I sat down one day and she had a wonderful mandolin riff and all I had was a line about a tent preacher (called a "squawker" in those days) who had more than sharing the gospel on his mind. Somehow, we stumbled upon the idea of a little girl who was orphaned as a result of her mother dying during childbirth and his travels. In spite of her frail and lonely little life, she had an uncanny gift for playing mountain music with a fiddle and a rebellious streak to boot. We ended up with what I think is a universal story of triumph over tragedy and a snapshot of how the innocence and courage of a child can create amazing paradigm shifts for those of us who've grown a bit hardened by life." (Matt King)

"SCARFACE" (MATT KING/ALAN MILLER)
"Al Capone's name rings a familiar bell with anyone from the age of eight to 80. It is synonymous with black & white photo images of smug gangsters in custom-made suits and tipped fedoras brandishing tommy guns and boasting ear-to-ear grins. These thugs were untouchable, and awed a nation with their brazen disregard of the law. Capone, in particular, filled our imaginations with macabre fascination as the most vilified of all the bad guys." (Matt King)

"RIDIN' THE RAILS" (RORY BOURKE/JAMIE FERRUGIA)
"As an American History scholar and long-time songwriter, I have always found inspiration in the choices people have made as they struggle to survive. Simply put, this song was inspired by the 1933 William A. Wellman Depression era masterpiece, â??Wild Boys of the Road," a movie which told of the story of teenage boys and girls who took to the rails in order to relieve the burden on their parents." (Rory Bourke)

"SECRET OF THE ROHNA" (WOOD NEWTON/LYNN WILBANKS)
"So many books have been written and movies and TV documentaries made about the events of World War II. How could it be that Americaâ??s worst wartime disaster at sea was kept from widespread public knowledge, even from the families whose sons were killed and whose bodies never recovered? Such was the case for my family. My mother, Madrid, lost one of her eight brothers, Ralph Tucker, in the sinking of the Rohna - one of the first-ever successful hits by a guided missile. A total of 1,015 men died that day. Sixty-four years after the fact, during the summer of 2007, my family finally learned the details of my uncleâ??s death. For a while, we were hopeful that heâ??d been buried in the American cemetery in Tunisia, like some of the others whose bodies were recovered. But we found his name there among those listed as 'lost at sea.'"(Wood Newton)

"HOT NIGHT IN MEMPHIS" (JIM WEATHERLY)
"I had this idea for writing a song about Elvis Presley's first recording session and how Elvis, Scotty Moore (guitar) and Bill Black (bass) changed music and our culture forever. It was basically the story of the birth of Rock & Roll, a period now known as Rockabilly. I was trying to figure out what to write for the This Is My America project when I got an email from Douglas Hutton saying they needed a song about Elvis. I pulled out the lyrics that I had and finished the song and sent it to Douglas. He thought it would be perfect for the project. So thanks to Douglas, the song will now be heard." (Jim Weatherly)

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