American Folk Songbook

[Loyal Dutchess]

Suzy Bogguss has tried out her gorgeous voice on a variety of genre projects lately. There was her 2003 Swing set, as well as a Christmas album. As the title of her new album suggests, she’s now taking on classic American folk songs—and it proves to a perfect pairing. Bogguss doesn’t gussy up these traditional tunes, which span the country from the “Erie Canal” to the “Red River Valley.” Her simple, straightforward approach carries to her singing. She resists the easy temptation to over-emote on the gospel-flavored “Swing Low Sweet Chariot,” shows her playful side with a frisky version of “Ol’ Dan Tucker” and dips into family-friendly territory with “Froggy Went A-Courtin.’” Although she doesn’t do anything radical with the material here, Bogguss and her talented buddies (including fiddler Stuart Duncan and Dobro ace Jerry Douglas) have created a lovely valentine to American music. –Michael Berick

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