Various Artists

Great American Train Songs, Vol. 2

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American pop music in all of its forms, from country to jazz, has always been in love with motion, and there are countless songs about horses, carriages, sleighs, cars, trucks, surfboards, jet planes, rockets, you name it -- and a ton of songs about trains, a powerfully compelling metaphor, it seems, for so many things in the 21st century. There's just something endlessly intriguing about a collection of train songs. This ten-track set, the second volume in a two-disc series (both are available combined into a single-disc 20-track package as well) is drawn from the vast CMH Records bluegrass catalog, and includes modern bluegrass tracks like Grandpa Jones' kinetic and funky (this guy could really play banjo, you know) take on "Jesse James" and Carl Story's crisp "Heaven Bound Train" -- he sounds like he's in a really big hurry to get there, too. It's all fun and nostalgic and full of high energy, the sort of thing modern bluegrass does so well.

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