My pal Stace England has put the finishing touches on his project Greetings from Cairo, Illinois and you have to check out this CD.
First of all, you need to know that Cairo is pronounced like Karo syrup, not the Egyptian city.
Second, you need to know that Stace has really put together a significant collection of historically accurate tunes here. Now, writing songs is tough. Writing good songs is incredibly hard. Taking historical legends and stories, and turning out compelling tunes with such variety and style as found here is next to impossible.
It is apparent that Stace has a passion for Cairo, and he has obviously done tons of research. The results are songs that capture the soul of a city – one on the verge of death – dredging up the memory of real events that impacted the racial and social realities of the time, and left scars all over Southern Illinois that are still visible today.
Stace uses a broad range of musicians and styles to help him achieve this task, and the songs veer from the authentic folk blues of Henry Spaulding’s “Cairo Blues” to “White Hats”, a tale of prejudice which reunites him with former band mate Shaun Mason. Mason and his LA-based band Gutter Swans provide a highlight to the festivities with their slide-soaked swamp rockin’. Other standout tracks in strong rotation around these parts are “Far From The Tree” and “Can’t We All Get Along”.
However, the marquee name here will be Jason Ringenberg, the legendary former lead singer of Jason and the Scorchers, the guy who invented cowpunk and kicked opened the barn door for every alt-country band that has put a safety pin in a cowboy hat since. His reading of “Prosperity Train” sounds like an outtake from the Scorcher’s classic “Lost and Found”, which should be taken as a compliment to both the songwriter and the singer. The presence of this track will hopefully get Stace the exposure this recording deserves.
So, check out the Listen/Buy link at Stace’s website, and spend $10!