The National Parks: America’s Best Idea CD review

national_parksIf you like the songs of the old West, you will love this CD of instrumentals from the documentary series The National Parks: America’s Best Idea. The songs include samplings of fiddle, banjo, flute and guitar and are among the most relaxing sounds you may ever hear. It’s perfect to play when you’re in a reflective mood, or would like to relax and mellow out — it’s easy to close your eyes and imagine that you have a view of the ocean or the forest when listening to these compositions. Contributing musicians include Joseph Fire Crowe (“Horse Stealing Song”), Al Petteway, who’s known for his Celtic inspired songs and Sam Bigney, whose “Late Summer Air” was inspired while sitting on the roots of a redwood and watching an otter play. Other songs are traditional, such as Pretty Polly and Dunlap’s Creek. My personal favorite is Psalm of the Prairie, which, as the title indicates, gives off a reverent, but also somewhat melancholy air. And if you’re inspired enough by the music to want to know more about the 12-hour PBS broadcast, it will be available on a 6-disc DVD set this Fall. The National Parks: America’s Best Idea CD runs 62 minutes and comes with a four page/eight panel insert. Available at shopPBS.org. ~Alexandra Heilbron

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