An unusual roots album that blends old-timey themes (and even some remixed archival recordings from the Library of Congress, such as the original Leadbelly vocals on "Cow Cow Yicky Yicky Yea...") with oddball, modernized sonic backgrounds. Arrangers Conrad Praetzel and Robert Powell use a few electronic "beats," although many tunes seem more ambient or even world music-ish. It's certainly a novel approach to the material, reverential yet strikingly innovative. The opening tracks, particularly those featuring vocals by Bay Area honkytonker Tom Armstrong, are pretty cool, though the second half of the album seems to meander and lose focus. Still, this album opens up some really interesting possibilities for a new approach to this old-fashioned American music.