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CD147 -

The Promise of the Sowing - Dan Schatz

The Promise of the Sowing

Poor Man

Now Is the Cool of the Day

1 The Promise of the Sowing
2 Gone Gonna Rise Again
3 Boll Weevil Holler
4 Eighty Acre Farm
5 Doney Gal
6 Something in the Rain
7 In the Old Days
8 Poor Man
9 Ain’t No More Cane on the Brazos
10 Cluck Old Hen
11 Yea Ho, Little Fish
12 1800 and Froze to Death
13 The Kind Land
14 One Last Look Behind
15 Now Is the Cool of the Day

“A talented multi-instrumentalist, Dan Schatz plays and sings both traditional folk-songs and contemporary gems that sound like they’ve been polished forever.”

– Folklore Society of Greater Washington

The Promise of the Sowing - Dan Schatz

I spent the Summer of 2010 traveling, singing, and listening to news reports about the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. A few years have passed since then, but the cost of that disaster is still felt in the local fisheries, especially among families that have made their living on the water for generations, and find their entire way of life threatened.

While driving through Appalachia that June, I began to see the connections between our thirst for cheap energy, the way we treat the earth and water, and the lives of ordinary farmers, fieldworkers and fisherfolk. My song “The Promise of the Sowing” became the basis for an album dedicated to the people who give us our food, the local cultures that shape their lives, and the earth that feeds us all.

Some of these songs are traditional, some born from my own observations over the years, and others come from songwriters who care about the land, waters, and farming and fishing communities, today and in the past. On one level, many tell of hard times, with a fair degree of nostalgia for better years – but they also tell of perseverance, justice and respect. In the end, all of these songs are stories of hope.

As I recorded this album, I wondered what business I had performing the songs of people whose lives are so much more closely tied to the land than mine has ever been. Then I remembered – the people who grow and harvest our food sustain all of us. We are bound to them, body and soul, as we are bound to the Earth.

Dan Schatz is a Grammy® nominated folksinger, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and author. His work has been described by reviewers as “brilliant” (Autoharpoholic), “blissful and heartfelt” (PopMatters) and “magical” (Sing Out!). He has appeared on PBS and NPR, and was recently listed by Indie music blog Fatea Magazine as one of the artists in “the topmost drawers of American folk music.” In addition to his solo albums, he co-produced two major compilations - Singing Through the Hard Times: a Tribute to Utah Phillips, which garnered him a Grammy® nomination in 2010, and the acclaimed 2014 release Dear Jean: Artists Celebrate Jean Ritchie.

“There is a sweetness and an elegance to Dan Schatz’s music, a deep reverence for tradition that reminds us why we fell in love with folk music in the first place. A seasoned songwriter himself, here he’s limited his own songs in favor of paying tribute to the musical roots he knows so well; when the roots run deep, the trees stand tall. Listening to the quietly restrained instrumental and vocal skill with which he approaches each song, the unhurried grace and respect he bestows on every person about whom he sings, we are reminded that it truly is a gift to be simple. In this magnificent album, Dan Schatz passes that gift on to us.” - Si Kahn


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