This recording of folk songs in a big-band arrangement continues to be among my favorite and most-listened to CDs in my collection. The songs are fantastic and practically require that one sing along in a spirited fashion. the accompanying DVD of the making of the album is also great. It is fun to see the process that went into the recording, as you can see Springsteen and the band creating the arrangements as they play them. During the few days of recording, everyone is huddled into Springsteen's country home (the horns are way off in the foyer for the sake of sound levels) by day, and then the group vocals are added in the evening. The fiddle playing on the recording strikes me as particularly exceptional. "Buffalo Gals" and "Old Dan Tucker" are some of my favorites.
I was fortunate to see one of this band's first live performances at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in 2006. It was the first jazz fest after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, and this set of music had an extremely powerful cathartic effect on the thousands in attendance. Enjoy these folks songs done in a high-energy, dance-along and sing-along style!