In God We Trust: Songs of America's Faith & Promis
I have always been interested in the many different cultures that make up our great nation. All of the customs, languages, and foods seem to blend so well to make a distinctly 'American' culture. American music is also a result of influences from other cultures. Much of our music originally comes from immigrants. Many American folk songs are from the Scotch-Irish. We have beautiful spirituals from African Americans. Even some of our most patriotic melodies, such as 'America', and 'The Star Spangled Banner' have origins in England and Germany. There is not much in our history that cannot be traced to another country. When I set out to make this album I was worried that too much patriotic music might result in too many march tempos and it wouldn't be something someone would want to listen to for enjoyment. So I thought of what America really means to the people who have been coming here for centuries. These people came with promises of a better life - they came for economic, social, religious and political reasons. So I tried to put myself in their shoes and think about what songs would give me hope and promise - songs like 'Homeward Bound,' 'The Promised Land,' 'America the Beautiful,' and even brand new compositions such as 'Ellis Island.' My grandparents came to this country through Ellis Island. I still have the steamer trunk in which they carried all of their wordly possessions. I can only imagine what it must have felt like to leave your native country, and all of your family and friends - everything you knew, and come to start a new life halfway across the world. This is what this album is about: the faith, hope and promise that America represents.