Award-winning \'Prairieland\' is a joyous musical tour of Pioneer history. The fourteen traditional American folk songs have been freely and whimsically adapted with banjo, fiddle, washboard,and even the musical saw - with Patti\'s warm and powerful voice as the centerpiece. \'Prairieland\' is based on a program originally designed for the Old Town School of Folk Music\'s Global Roots Outreach and the Chicago Historical Society\'s Park Voyager elementary-age history programs. The CD also includes a 24 page, full color booklet with archival photos, historical notes and web addresses for further study. (Booklet not available with MP3 or digital purchase.) \'Prairieland\' is a 2004 NAPPA (National Parenting Publications)Honors award winner and a finalist in the 2003 Children\'s Music Web Awards. Patti Ecker grew up in the Historic Peaslee House in South Elgin, Illinois, now home of the South Elgin Historic Commission. Her interest in history began very early in life with yearly family trips to places like Williamsburg and Jamestown, Va. and Gettysburg, Pa. Patti taught herself guitar as a teenager and began playing in coffeehouses six months later. As a professional musician for more than 25 years, Patti Ecker\'s work has taken her from the pubs of South Florida to the Old Town School of Folk Music here in Chicago. Along the way, she learned to play the banjo, Bodhran (Irish drum) and even the spoons. A veteran of cafes and concerts for adults, Patti Ecker also performs her children\'s folk music history programs in schools, museums, libraries and park district events. **************** Review by Tracie Vida, Rambles.net With it's merry tones and fun lyrics, Prairieland is the type of music you expect to hear at a Pioneer Days festival at your local state park or farm petting zoo. Patti Ecker & Friends give a lighthearted performance on this interesting folk collection. What separates Prairieland from the standard pile of children\'s folk music is her inclusion of Midwestern tunes amongst the Oh, Susanna\'s and Old Dan Tucker\'s -- a change people from the region are sure to appreciate. And while children will love her theatrical solo presentation of the standards, adults will appreciate the more serious fare, as well as the surprising depth and sophistication her dramatic voice receives when she has backup singers. Be sure to check out the extensive liner notes for educational resources and interesting facts about the songs\' historical origins. ***************** The Prairieland Band: Patti Ecker: vocals, guitars, spoons, bodhran, percussion, kazoo L.J. Slavin: fiddle, banjo, harmonica, piccolo, musical saw, jaw harp Gus Friedlander: mandolin, banjo, kazoo David G. Bragman: banjo, percussion Louise Brodie: fiddle Rob Middleton: vocals, pennywhistle, kazoo Lucas Morgan: vocals Barbie Silverman: washboard, vocals Sarah Wilfong: fiddle Steve Askins: vocals, guitar Marc Edelstein: acoustic bass.