Stace England | Greetings From Cairo, Illinois

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Greetings From Cairo, Illinois

by Stace England

Concept/historical album on the fascinating history of Cairo, Illinois.
Genre: Rock: Americana
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Goin' Down to Cairo
1:54 $0.99
2. Cairo Blues
3:52 $0.99
3. Grant Slept Here
3:25 $0.99
4. Equal Opportunity Lynch Mob
3:56 $0.99
5. The North Starts In Cairo
3:29 $0.99
6. Far From the Tree
4:04 $0.99
7. White Hats
4:54 $0.99
8. Jesse's Comin' to Town
4:58 $0.99
9. Buy My Votes
3:34 $0.99
10. Prosperity Train
3:02 $0.99
11. Can't We All Get Along
3:46 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Greetings From Cairo, Illinois is a concept/historical album about this obscure, remarkable town. The project is a culmination of five years of research, hundreds of conversations and "countless hours of general hanging around" in what England describes as "the most fascinating town in America, bar none." The CD traces Cairo's history from 1858 to the present through the Civil War, lynchings, the blues years, civil rights struggles and spectacular decline. England is joined on the CD by top musicians from southern Illinois, Los Angeles and Nashville including alt-country legend Jason Ringenberg of Jason and the Scorchers, and Gnashville Sounds label mates Gutter Swans.

“Top Ten Albums of 2005”
Greil Marcus

“Pick Hit”
Robert Christgau’s Consumer Guide

“Singer-songwriter Stace England's mesmerizing song cycle about political tensions Downstate ranks right up there with Sufjan Stevens' cult hit disc "Illinois."

“These eleven audio post cards tell of the rise and fall of one town doomed by floods and prejudice, and proceed to rock us right into the present.”

“All in all, think Johnny Horton's 1959 classic Johnny Horton Makes History, gussied up for postmodern times, and retooled for the 21st century.”

"England wasn't just some fly by night troubadour trying to profit from Cairo's woes. With the help of 50 other local musicians and singers, England had employed an impressive musical range to try and explain the puzzle that is Cairo."

“Stace England's Greetings from Cairo, Illinois was a gigantic accomplishment. England managed a rare feat-- he crafted a concept album that actually holds together, with individual parts that nearly all stand on their own.”

"Operating on a smaller scale, recording artist Stace England focused on just one Illinois town: Cairo (pronounced kay-row) to create an album that’s more accessible and just as satisfying as his indie rock counterpart (Sufjan Stevens)."

“Every now and then a CD will find its way onto your stereo and proceed to stomp both your ass and ears into the ground. Stace England's Greetings From Cairo, Illinois is one of those discs, an ambitious work of staggering brilliance and stunning confidence.”

"Greetings from Cairo, Illinois" is a remarkable disc that grows in splendor with every listen, at a rate that has yet to slow down. Enormously recommended and without question one of the best CDs in this genre this year.”

"A disc magisterial in its conception and its execution alike, Stace England’s Greetings From Cairo, Illinois may at a glance appear to be a jape, a goof, instead of an extraordinary meld of music and history.”

"It's (Equal Opportunity Lynch Mob) an irony worthy of Randy Newman. England's assuming the mob's perspective is a brave move that few could match."

"For Stace England, the journey on 'Greetings from Cairo' begins and ends in the southern Illinois region from which he hails. If (Sufjan) Stevens is a wanderer, then England is a settler."

"Along the way we meet General U.S. Grant, an “equal opportunity lynch mob” and the Committee of Ten Million, a racist organization called “White Hats” thanks to the pale hard hats they wore. Fascinating."

"The world’s only remaining cool folkie . . . "



to write a review

Ellis DeWitt

Outstanding collection of well-written songs
Stace England has put the finishing touches on his project Greetings from Cairo, Illinois and you have to check out this CD.

First of all, you need to know that Cairo is pronounced like Karo syrup, not the Egyptian city.

Second, you need to know that Stace has really put together a significant collection of historically accurate tunes here. Now, writing songs is tough. Writing good songs is incredibly hard. Taking historical legends and stories, and turning out compelling tunes with such variety and style as found here is next to impossible.

It is apparent that Stace has a passion for Cairo, and he has obviously done tons of research. The results are songs that capture the soul of a city - one on the verge of death - dredging up the memory of real events that impacted the racial and social realities of the time, and left scars all over Southern Illinois that are still visible today.

Stace uses a broad range of musicians and styles to help him achieve this task, and the songs veer from the authentic folk blues of Henry Spaulding's "Cairo Blues" to "White Hats", a tale of prejudice which reunites him with former band mate Shaun Mason. Mason and his LA-based band Gutter Swans provide a highlight to the festivities with their slide-soaked swamp rockin'. Other standout tracks in strong rotation around these parts are "Far From The Tree" and "Can't We All Get Along".

However, the marquee name here will be Jason Ringenberg, the legendary former lead singer of Jason and the Scorchers, the guy who invented cowpunk and kicked opened the barn door for every alt-country band that has put a safety pin in a cowboy hat since. His reading of "Prosperity Train" sounds like an outtake from the Scorcher's classic "Lost and Found", which should be taken as a compliment to both the songwriter and the singer. The presence of this track will hopefully get Stace the exposure this recording deserves.

Buy it - NOW!