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Album Of The Week: Various Artists | Allen Ginsberg’s The Fall of America: A 50th Anniversary Musical Tribute

An eclectic slate of acts put new spins on the legendary Beat poet's patriotic words.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “This exciting tribute celebrates the 50th anniversary of beloved poet Allen Ginsberg’s The Fall of America: Poems of these States, 1965-1971.

In the fall of 2020 with the 50th anniversary of those poems fast approaching we reached out to many of Allen’s musician and artist friends, including Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo, The Handsome Family, Yo La Tengo, Angelique Kidjo, Bill Frisell, Andrew Bird, Mickey Hart and more. Many responded enthusiastically about interpreting these poems to music; even those poems that presented more of a musical challenge.

Our model for this exciting project was Allen’s 1989 The Lion for Real, produced by the masterful Hal Willner. We had hoped that he would offer us his guidance and with some musicians on board he might have been persuaded to join us as he had done with other projects over the years. Sadly, fate intervened and Hal became one of the first casualties of this deadly pandemic. Although we cannot come close to the genius he would have brought to this project, he will forever be our guiding light, our guardian angel and inspiration for this project . He has left us a model to work with and we will shoot for the stars as his spirit guides us. His blueprint for unexpected combinations and looking in unexpected places inspired us and to our surprise we found international interest from around the world including Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Korea and Japan.

Music has an incredible power not only to move but also to unite people. With that in mind, all proceeds from the sales of these tracks will be donated to HeadCount.org, an organization which promotes voter registration and participation in democracy through the power of music. The Fall of America is the warning and the world is listening.”