Mystery Train: Classic Railroad Songs, Vol. 2

Various Artists

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Mystery Train: Classic Railroad Songs, Vol. 2 Review

by Steven McDonald

The lure of the railroad is explored thoroughly in the second volume of Rounder's railroad compilations, with songs recorded from the 20s through to the 80s. The image of the railroad is burned into American history, representing just about anything you want it to represent - freedom, loss, greed, power, mystery, flight, mythology, integration, disintegration, growth ... whatever symbol you need. The fourteen songs here have as many themes to them, from the last fatal run of Casey Jones to men and women whose sweethearts waft away on long black trains. Most affecting when the songs come out of the bluegrass tradition, entertaining throughout. Artists include Johnny Cash, the Whitstein Brothers, Steve Goodman, the Carter Family, Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys (cutting the rug effectively with "Take The "A" Train") and Mary McCaslin amongst others.

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