Singer-songwriters have always been a part of America's musical landscape. From the early blues pioneers singing songs of work and unrequited love, to the modern folk troubadours reflecting on everyday existence, singer-songwriters have endured. Four of today's brightest voices are now featured on The Singer-Songwriter Collection.
Being a pop icon or rock and roll star never mattered to singer, songwriter and guitarist Ellis Paul who immersed himself in the music of Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan. His stirring falsetto and witty storytelling captured the imagination of audiences on the Boston folk scene in the early-1990s.
"Weightless," a song about a couple questioning their beliefs, first appeared on Ellis Paul's 1996 album, A Carnival Of Voices. Raised in a small town in northern Maine, Paul is described by The Boston Globe as "the quintessential Boston songwriter: literate, provocative and urbanely romantic."
New England is also home to singer Cheryl Wheeler who takes a bittersweet look at the world on "Howl At The Moon" from The Singer-Songwriter Collection. According to Cheryl, "Howl At The Moon" was inspired by her four-month-old border collie sleeping at her feet as she wrote the song.
The Singer-Songwriter Collection features performers from all over the country, including New York, Indiana, Iowa, Arkansas and California. From Texas comes folk veteran Ray Wylie Hubbard. He was a daring, young renegade who emerged from the honky-tonks of West Texas and New Mexico in the early-1970s.
Like fellow Texans Robert Earl Keen and the late Townes Van Zandt, Wylie mixes folk with Southern blues and country-rock. His metaphorical ode to love titled "Without Love (We're Just Wastin' Time)" comes from his 1997 album, Dangerous Spirits.
The Singer-Songwriter Collection on Rounder Records' Heritage Series also features the music of Christine Lavin, Bill Morrissey, Vance Gilbert, Nanci Griffith, Carrie Newcomer and Iowa-born singer Patty Larkin, performing "Metal Drums."