As a history teacher, I am constantly on the lookout for music that can help to bring the past alive. This CD does a wonderful job for both the American Revolution and the Civil War. While the country twang of some of these pieces may jar young sensibilities, students quickly warm to the authentic verve of the performances. The Revolutionary period includes such chestnuts as the "Riddle Song" (and actually omits "Yankee Doodle"), but also some jokes of the period, including a hysterical folk version of a taming of a shrew. The Civil War period is split between northern and southern songs. There are the standards "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" and "Dixie," but also more obscure songs like "Lincoln and Liberty" and "Goober Peas." All in all, a great tool, especially for the price. (Quote from Amazon reviewer)
2008 four CD anthology that covers Ayers' musical career from 1969 to 1980; a period most fans and critics deem his best. Ayers remains one of Rock's oddest enigmas. He makes ordinary subjects extraordinary with his rich low vocals and inventive wordplay. He projects the image of a Prog-Rock beach bum writing about life's absurdities with a celebratory, relaxed detachment, yet he is also one of Prog- Rock's more important innovators, helping to launch the Soft Machine, and working with noted progressive musicians Mike Oldfield, Lol Coxhill, and Steve Hillage. Ayers' solo material reflected a Folksier, lazier, and gentler turn than Soft Machine. He was often compared to Syd Barrett, but without the madness and is never less than enjoyable and original, Discs One to Three contain 49 hits, album tracks and more while Disc Four was recorded at The Queen Elizabeth Hall, London on 25th May 1973.
The concept of a compilation of Bob Dylan's gospel songs is certainly an idea whose time has come. That this does not feature Dylan performing the original versions of these songs is yet another. Executive producer Jeffrey Gaskill assembled a wide-ranging assortment of the hottest talent in the gospel arena, both past and present, to perform the songs from Dylan's Slow Train Coming and Saved albums, and producer Joel Moss extracted phenomenal performances from Shirley Caesar, the Fairfield Four, the Sounds of Blackness, Rance Allen, the Chicago Mass Choir fronted by Regina McCrary (who sang backup for Dylan on the 1978 and 1979 tours when these recordings were originally done), the Mighty Clouds of Joy, Helen Baylor (with Billy Preston), Aaron Neville, Dottie Peoples, Lee Williams & the Spiritual QC's, Mavis Staples, and Dylan himself (performing a duet on a completely rewritten version of "Gonna Change My Way of Thinkin'").