STEAM! | Heartland

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United States - Kansas

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Folk: Contra Dance Folk: Contra Dance Moods: Type: Acoustic
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After moving to the heart of the continent, we found ourselves learning and playing many tunes from and about this beautiful and under-appreciated region, inspiring us to put together this collection of waltzes.
Genre: Folk: Contra Dance
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Wheat
2:31 $0.99
2. Kansas City Moon
3:05 $0.99
3. Heaven Right Here
3:15 $0.99
4. Heart of the Heartland
3:49 $0.99
5. Prairie Waltz
2:24 $0.99
6. The Blue River Waltz
3:26 $0.99
7. Tallgrass
3:05 $0.99
8. Home on the Range
3:05 $0.99
9. A Place in the Heart
4:37 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Wheat | Martha Edwards
Not only did we enjoy the wonderful hospitality of Martha and Bob when we played in St. Louis, but we got this lovely tune that Martha wrote for her son’s wedding.

Kansas City Moon | Greg Allen
Greg Allen, from Lawrence Kansas, knows ALL the chords, and he managed to get lots of them into this jazzy tune. Embrace the “tyranny of the dotted crotchet”.

Heaven Right Here | Cathy Barton
The gathering of musicians and dear friends at the Walnut Valley Festival (aka
“Winfield”) is the musical highlight of our year. Our band grew out of the decades-long musical connections forged during jams lasting ‘til early morning hours. Cathy’s song captures not only the welcoming and eclectic nature of our camp, but also our sense of returning home to a magical place where everyday cares disappear.

Heart of the Heartland | Peter Ostroushko
We couldn’t really leave this great tune off an album called “Heartland”, could we?We dedicate this to Charlie Hall, who submitted it for the Winfield ”homework“ 10 years ago. Hey Charlie … we finally learned it!

Prairie Waltz | Traditional
Dave learned this from a book of Canadian waltzes played by Don Messer. He chose this one because it had the most notes. It seemed appropriate to include, given that Alice grew up on the Canadian prairies.

The Blue River Waltz | Jay Unger
Little known fact: Jay Unger lived for a time in Manhattan Kansas, a town owing its existence to the Big Blue River. When settlers, funded by the Manhattan Company, were making their way up the Kansas River in 1855, they ran aground on the sandbar created by the Blue, abruptly ending their journey. We picture a lazy summer afternoon float down this meandering, cottonwood-lined stream.

Tallgrass | Alice Boyle and Robert Rosenberg
Alice’s day job is biology, and she has spent countless spring mornings studying birds of tallgrass prairies. This tune was inspired by seeing dawn break and hearing the Grasshopper Sparrows, Dickcissels, and Eastern Meadowlarks add their voices to the morning chorus.

Home on the Range | Traditional
We re-interpreted this frontier ballad, collected by Alan Lomax in 1908, that is now the familiar state tune of Kansas. The lyrics are a sad homage to the natural and cultural changes that have transformed the plains region. We tried to evoke the raw, earthy reality of the white settlers who displaced tribes such as the Kansa and who were the last generation to experience the great migrations of bison.

A Place in the Heart | Bill Crahan
We learned this tune the same month that composer Bill Crahan died. Bill was a beloved member of the music community in Lawrence Kansas. We play this for all of those who have a place in our hearts.

Recorded and mixed at Cavern Studios Tucson by Bill Cashman Mastered by Barry Bernard at Cavern Studios Tucson
Graphic design: Dena Friesen
Senior Executive Opinionator: Pat Japenga
Photos: Chris Heltzer, Alex Carr, Alice Boyle
Bird sounds: Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (ML 105618 and ML 523639)

Biography of the band:
STEAM! is a cross-continental musical team playing contra dances and weekends across the U.S. To find out when they will be in your area, check out their calendar at These fine musicians are drawn to unique driving, jazzy, and traditional tunes...and for each one, they like to find the hook and the rhythm to make it thoroughly dance-able and ear-catching! Here's a bit more about each band member:

Alice is known for her joyful fiddle style and inventive harmonies. Originally a professional classical violist, she fell in love with traditional music and has immersed herself the tunes and fiddle styles of North America and the British isles. Her skillful twists and turns lend a bright top end to the band’s dance tunes and her violist harmonic sensibilities add lovely depth to their waltzes.

Dave hits the ground with a driving rhythm that makes feet start tapping on and off the dance floor. He specializes in those “grab you”tunes that have unique twists, lighting them on fire with his eclectic style and gift for syncopation. Incorporating a blend of old time and Irish techniques, Dave plays mandolin, banjo, bouzouki, and occasionally bodhran with the band.

Robert’s guitar rhythms establishes a solid rhythmic foundation, and sets the stage, but his interesting chord choices and ability to jump right into flat picking when the muse strikes, adds extra bounce and variety to the band’s sound. He also plays and teaches banjo and he is the go-to person for a ton of great old songs.

Claire is the chameleon of the band, adding the rich heart-beat of the bodhran (Irish drum), spunky clogging rhythms, a shaker egg here and there, and she also plays the anglo concertina. A well respected traditional Irish singer, Claire expands to sing old time and various lovely waltzes with STEAM. At dances, you can catch her adding some lilting magic to a tune set and she s also a captivating caller with a love of zesty and flowing dances.



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