This is a very nice collection of songs by singer-songwriters that have recorded on Rounder. And, since Rounder is well known for great singer-songwriters, it should come as no surprise that this is a great album. All songs are from Philo albums, but the chances of you owning all of them are pretty slim. According to the liner notes, each song has been remastered from the original session tapes, so these songs might sound somewhat different from the album recordings. This album provides a great way for you to sample some people you have heard about, but maybe haven't heard.

The choice of songs is interesting as well. The "big hits" aren't necessarily included, but I would be hard pressed to pick the "worst" song on the album. The criteria seems to be songs that connect on an emotional level. These are songs that, although they sound great and are nice to listen to, also make you feel and/or think about the lyrics. This album is best listened to when you aren't doing something else. If you try it, I suspect you will find yourself stopping to listen to more than a few songs. That was a joke :^)

The quality doesn't stop with the sound, either. Even if you own all the original albums for all the songs in this collection, you probably want to get this for the liner notes alone. If you, like me, feel cheated when you open similar collections to find a thin piece of paper with a minimum amount of information, you will love the liner notes for this collection. There is a great introduction by Steve Netsky from Rounder (who chose the songs) to the entire album. This is followed by a brief bio and picture of each artist. Next comes complete lyrics and credits for each song, along with a discography of their other albums on Philo. It is clear that this work was a labor of love.

Artist Various
Title Singer-Songwriter Collection, The
Date 2002
Label Rounder
Cat # 1166-11591
Track Title Time Artist
1 Howl at the Moon 3:25 Wheeler, Cheryl
2 Weightless 3:39 Paul, Ellis
3 Young Westley 5:02 McCaslin, Mary
4 She's That Kind of Mystery 3:26 Morrissey, Bill
5 Ain't Love Grand 4:12 Lavin, Christine
6 Moon Over Tucson, The 3:48 Newcomer, Carrie
7 Enola Gay 2:38 Phillips, Utah
8 Big Town 5:30 Savory, Tanya
9 Metal Drums 4:15 Larkin, Patty
10 Icarus By Night 3:31 Gilbert, Vance
11 Without Love (We're Just Wastin' Time) 3:46 Hubbard, Ray Wylie
12 Love at the Five and Dime 4:39 Griffith, Nanci
13 Tramps and Hawkers 4:48 Ringer, Jim
14 Alimentar Mi Alma 4:20 M'Carver, Kimberly
15 Spirit Song 3:50 Staines, Bill
16 I'm Still Here 3:40 Miles, Lynn
17 Caterpillar 4:30 Olney, Dave