America's Heart and Soul

America's Heart and Soul



The soundtrack to America's Heart & Soul, an uplifting look at everyday Americans, features similarly feel-good music that ranges from John Hiatt's easygoing "Child of the Wild Blue Yonder" to David Krakauer & Klezmer Madness' "Chusen Kale Mazel Tov." Refreshingly, the album doesn't rely on patriotic anthems to convey its optimism; instead, the rousing power of gospel songs like Mosie Burks and the Mississippi Mass Choir's "This Morning When I Rose" and the homey appeal of "Dreams Come True" by George Woodard and members of the Ground Hog Opry get across the movie's viewpoint far better than another rendition of "America the Beautiful" could. America's Heart & Soul also showcases several of the musicians who appear in the movie. Along with Woodard and the Ground Hog Opry (who also perform the equally winsome "Oklahoma Sunshine"), self-described Cajun crusaders Marc and Ann Savoy contribute the lively "Two Step de Eunice," James Andrews III and Trombone Shorty offer the spicy New Orleans jazz of "Give Me My Money Back," and up-and-coming Boston rock band Waltham's "Cheryl" has an appealing blend of rock and power pop that kind of sounds like a cross between Rick Springfield and Weezer. Joel McNeely's "Score for Minnie Yancey" detracts somewhat from the cross-country concert that makes up the rest of the album, but it does have a pleasantly Appalachian feel. A livelier and more creative soundtrack than might be expected, America's Heart & Soul is a warm-hearted tribute to the different sounds and different people that make up America and its music.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/29/2004
Label: Walt Disney Records
UPC: 0050086116775
catalogNumber: 861167

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4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When the producers of Northern Exposure released a soundtrack that showcased music featured on the unique TV show, it was a breath of fresh air in the normally claustrophobic world of soundtracks. It was the most "Outside the box" soundtrack of its time. Happily, the producers of the excellent feature film documentary "America's Heart And Soul" have done the same thing, reaching for the same level of diversity represented by the people showcased in the film. From Cajun to Folk; from Rock to Gospel, it's almost all there. I say almost, because for some strange reason, they decided not to include the song that opens and closes the film, "The World Don't Bother Me None" by John Mellencamp. Why they left this keynote song off the CD is beyond me and completely unforgivable. Also missing: a haunting Indian Chant from the vignette featuring the Indian clan that should have been included, but wasn't. Once again, it's the short end of the stick for the Native American. That one bit of music would have been worth the price of the CD. However, what's left is still an uplifting reminder of the absolute joy the film gifts us, featuring the very diversity that makes this country what it is. I would highly HIGHLY recommend one see the film first, however, otherwise there's no point of reference for most of the songs. By themselves, however, these songs can stand proudly as a sampling of the cultures they represent. Collectively, you truly have the music that is "The Heart & Soul of America."