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iTunes Review

This compilation brilliantly blends old country-folk recordings with contemporary crooners to build on a concept that compares the pastoral people who struggled during the Great Depression and the parallel plights of modern farmers and rural families who are similarly striving to survive today. Early recordings of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's "fireside chats" bookend Moneyland, but it's the scratchy "Breadline Blues 1932" by Bernard "Slim" Smith that sets the tone with the antiquated crackles and pops of an old 78 rpm platter sounding like it's playing out of an old Victrola gramophone. Del McCoury follows it up with the title track showcasing his band's bluegrass pickin' prowess and McCoury's nasal toned inflections wailing about the root of all evil over an acoustic steam engine of fiddle, banjo, mandolin, upright bass, and flat-picked guitar. Marty Stuart and Merle Haggard come together on "Farmer's Blues," a weepy, waltzing, country song with melancholic pedal steel notes and bluesy yodeling. Emmylou Harris provides a drop dead gorgeous song in "Mama's Hungry Eyes," a modern Americana ballad with Rodney Crowell singing harmonies on the choruses. The narrative here is almost as harrowing as the last chapter in Steinbeck's The Grapes Of Wrath.

Customer Reviews

Best Recording Ever!

I'm not a huge McCoury fan, I usually buy their new albums. I bought this on a whim, with just over 90 bucks in the bank for another week. Opening and closing with Franklin Roosevelt's Fireside Chat, talking about how the country has been enslaved by the powers behind the economic depression, this recording by McCoury and friends speaks to us of contemporary America like no other artistic endeavor of our time. I was astounded at the poetry, like Dylan, Steve Earle, Anne Sexton, Guy Clark and Muhammad Ali all rolled into one. Merle Haggard doesn't sound out of place on his songs, like the bluegrass stuff he's done in the past. He's true to form, never sounding better. Wiseman makes a stout comment by simply changing directions in the middle. All the rest of the friends deliver Great performances, notably Chris Knight. No other album has spoken so directly to our problems since . . . maybe the Beatles or Bob Dylan's second album. This recording is like a Great American Novel, one which is the catalyst for social change. I doubt if bluegrass can really incite such a change in America, but thanks to Del and the Boys for giving it a shot. I've never been so pleased with a recording as I am with this one. Bryan Bridges

Country rocks Bluegrass rules

This is BLUEGRASS!!!!!!

Del Mccoury IS Bluegrass

One question...when has a Del Mccoury album ever disappointed? They're one of bluegrass' finest acts, and nice guys to boot. Buy their CD and support great American music.

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Moneyland, Del Mccoury Band and Friends
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Customer Ratings