This CD had to have been assembled by DJs. It rolls like a big train over tracks that vary in tempo and style yet hang together as a compilation because it’s programmed like a radio show rather than just a bunch of tracks.
Dave Alvin, formerly of The Blasters; local bluegrass gal Laurie Lewis; former Marin songstress (now in Nashville) Audrey Auld; Texas songwriter Wayne “The Train” Hancock; and former Wayback now on his own Stevie Coyle are among the contributors. FTB2 is noteworthy for bringing us talent that we might have missed like Hayes Carll‘s “She Left Me for Jesus”.
“She says I should find him/and find peace at last
but if I ever find Jesus/I’m kickin’ his ass.”
Dave Alvin’s “It Don’t Make Sense (If You Can’t Make Peace)” adds social consciousness in the mix as does Peter Cooper‘s “For Hank Aaron” which chronicles the prejudice Hammerin’ Hank dealt with while breaking Babe Ruth‘s home run record (without steroids).
Some songs like Bill Kelly‘s “20 Years in the Big City” and Slaid Cleaves‘ “Tumbleweed Stew” are for fun. Others like Sam Baker‘s haunting “Who’s Gonna Be Your Man” and Sharon Allen‘s “Do-Si-Do” aim for the heart. Other’s like Bruce Robinson‘s “Born to Roll” just rock out. It all adds up to a compilation built for Americana fans by Americana fans, and ain’t that a good thing? Roll on, big freight train, roll on.