This is quite a unique record that starts and ends with excerpts from Franklin Roosevelt's fireside chats, and presents a depression era recording of Slim Smith's BREADLINE BLUES from a 1932 78rpm disc(!) to get the music started. (the record ends with a 2008 version of the same song, this time performed by Del McCoury, Mac Wiseman, Tim O'Brien, Gillian Welch & David Rawlings). In between there is some fine music, much of it borrowed from other labels, such as Patty Loveless' YOU'LL NEVER LEAVE HARLAN ALIVE and Dan Tyminski's CARRY ME ACROSS THE MOUNTAIN, plus three songs by Merle Haggard and an Emmylou Harris version of Haggard's MAMA'S HUNGRY EYES. There is a fine line between songs that beautifully express hardship and problems in a thoroughly musical way and those that let anger & resentment overpower the music. Haggard's IF WE MAKE IT THROUGH DECEMBER, WHAT HAPPENED? & FARMER'S BLUES are all wonderful examples of the former. Tossed into the mix in this interesting collection are a song by Bruce Hornsby & The Fairfield Four, a medley by Mac Wiseman, and TRAIN NOT RUNNING by Chris Knight.