Shadow Trails

CAD $9.99CAD $16.00

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Shadow Trails

California’s Folsom State Prison occupies a hallowed place in the history of country music.  As the location of several Johnny Cash performances and the subject of his song “Folsom Prison Blues,” it has become a symbol of the “outlaw” element of outlaw country.

Now, some 60 years after Cash first put it on the map, the California State Prison complex has had a transformational impact on another country roots musician:  Canada’s Linda McRae.

After answering a call to host a writing workshop at New Folsom in 2011, McRae and her husband, James Whitmire, were moved to develop similar workshops for at-risk youth – to try and prevent them from ending up behind bars in the first place.

Her new, Steve Dawson-produced album, Shadow Trails, is inspired by that work.

“Flowers of Appalachia” features a wistful, insightful poem by elderly New Folsom inmate Ken Blackburn set to a tender mostly-acoustic backdrop of banjo, guitars and bass.

“Sidewalk Princess,” inspired by another poem by a Folsom inmate, is the fictionalized account of a homeless woman in Vancouver.

And “Jesus or Jail” drew its inspiration from the film “Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus” and the message McRae took away from it:   If you’re poor in the south, you have two choices:  Jesus or jail.

Other stand-out tracks on the album include “Why Can’t Waylon?” a fabulous outlaw country-style song that borrows an even more fabulous outlaw country –style utterance from the young son of McRae’s friend: “If Jesus can come back, why can’t Waylon?”

There’s also a stirring cover of Willie P. Bennett’s never-recorded number “When Love is a Game,” featuring beautiful pedal steel by Dawson.

And then there’s “Singing River,” which tells the story of Teh-la-nay of the Yuchi nation.  The nation called the Tennessee River the singing river because they believed a woman who lived in the river sang to them.  When the nation was forcibly relocated to Oklahoma in the 1830s, Teh-la-nay walked for five years to return because she missed hearing the river’s song.

Additional information

Weight 0.1 kg
Type

CD, MP3