AMERICAN SONGBAG 

 

 

Beside his poetry, the great 20 th Century writer Carl Sandburg made two other major contributions to our American heritage: the definitive biography of Abraham Lincoln and the 400-page compilation of indigenous folk songs he called The American Songbag. Collected with the help of his many friends around the country, the Songbag celebrates the great American experience as lived humorously or tragically by workers and hoboes, white pioneers and black slaves, immigrants and native-born, lovers and outlaws, lumberjacks, sailors, loggers and soldiers, boatmen and troubadours. In the outpouring of recorded music in the 1950’s which led to the famous era known as the folk music revival, Sandburg’s songs played a central role. From Pete Seeger to Dave Van Ronk, Burl Ives to Josh White, Joan Baez to Odetta, every folksinger borrowed from Sandburg. Almost universally, these recordings were of one singer accompanied by one instrument – a guitar, a mandolin, a banjo. Here, in the American Songbag 2.0. we have added a dozen or more instruments to provide the kind of full sound contemporary listeners are used to.