This is an extremely well performed collection of vocal pieces by early American composer William Billings. Actually, he was a tanner by trade, and wrote these songs as something of a hobbyist. Amazing -- people back then found all this time for artistic expression, and here we are with all our supposed time-saving technology, seldom finding time to whistle a tune, let alone compose one!
The Billings songs evoke an historical era, and the way of life that found exhuberant expression in common song. Listenting to this disc brings about a mixed reaction from me: joy in the very "social" feeling of the music, and a bit of sadness that we live in an age where people now seem to spend more time at home watching TV or playing computer games. We don't have a TV in our home, and be forewarned... if you listen to this disc and succumb to its spirit, you may trash your own set and insist that the kids partake in a nightly, family "sing along." Oh the beautiful power of music! Also recommended: "New Britain" and "Simple Gifts: Shaker Chants and Spirituals" (Joel Cohen and the Boston Camerata), "The World Turned Upside Down" (Barry Philips). Enjoy!