David (along with his associate from American Roots Publishing, Tamara Saviano) was one of the forces behind the Grammy winning tribute to Stephen Foster, Beautiful Dreamer, from 2004. He's back and back big, with another epic idea. This one originated with former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno and her nephew-in-law, Ed Pettersen, a musician and producer who resides in Nashville. The story goes that Ed was singing folk songs at a family gathering when Janet voiced the idea of a collection of songs that would together tell the story of the history of America.
They worked the concept around for some time before they enlisted the help of Macias, whose work on the Stephen Foster tribute had caught Reno's ear at a political function. This is exactly the kind of project that galvanizes Macias, both an erudite history buff (and rather encyclopedic in his knowledge of things African-American) and the epitome of a person with his finger on the pulse of what's going on with all manner of roots music and its spinoffs.
Between Macias and Ed Pettersen, the list of people they successfully engaged to join hands in this 50-song project is truly impressive. It was very inspired that they also enlisted the irreplaceable services of engineer/producer Bob Olhsson, whose participation literally guaranteed a superior sonic result.
There are over 50 reasons to buy this remarkable collection, and we will include but a paltry sampling of the many stirring renditions therein. Consider the combining of a few mentioned here: Devendra Banhart, John Mellencamp, Janis Ian, Take 6, Andrew Bird, and Bettye LaVette. Unless we miss our guess, this is another Grammy winner in the making, and one well deserved. Bravo.