Lifeline: Music of the Underground Railroad (Live) Lifeline Quartet, Michelle Mayne-Graves, Quinton Fitzgerald & Walter Penniman II
Label: Yarlung Records
Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)
- 1If I Can Help Somebody (Live)02:50
- 2Steal Away to Jesus (Arr. M. Maynes-Graves) [Live]03:24
- 3Canaan's Land - Fare Ye Well (Arr. M. Maynes-Graves) [Live]03:22
- 4Wade in the Water (Arr. M. Maynes-Graves) [Live]02:28
- 5Talk About a Child (Arr. M. Maynes-Graves) [Live]03:57
- 6Hold On to the Gospel Plow (Arr. M. Maynes-Graves) [Live]03:00
- 7Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen (Ola's Song) [Arr. M. Maynes-Graves] [Live]02:24
- 8Down by the Riverside (Arr. M. Maynes-Graves) [Live]03:41
- 9Motherless Child (Live)03:45
- 10Ain't Goin' to Let Nobody - Joshua Fit de' Battle (Arr. M. Maynes-Graves) [Live]02:22
- 11Deep River (Arr. M. Maynes-Graves) [Live]02:42
- 12Saints' Medley (Arr. M. Maynes-Graves) [Live]02:55
Info for Lifeline: Music of the Underground Railroad (Live)
Michelle Mayne-Graves and her Lifeline Quartet perform spirituals from the Civil War era and before, celebrating code songs written as reminders and guides for the Underground Railroad. These spirituals include hidden messages about maps, navigational strategies and timing for slaves to escape toward freedom in the Northern States and Canada.
In addition to directing choirs, performing spirituals and helping to coordinate and lead veterans singing groups, Michelle supervises a team and works as the RN Case Manager for Housing Homeless Veterans at the Veteran’s Administration in Los Angeles.
For Lifeline’s debut album (planned for release in 2019) we chose If I can Help Somebody to be our opening track. This song not only honors Harriet Tubman, but reveals Michelle’s generous heart as well. Michelle lives what she sings. Harriet Tubman is one of the better known heroes who escaped slavery herself and then worked as a “conductor” on the Underground Railroad, helping subsequent groups of people flee to the North.
For many years, Yarlung Special Advisor Billy Mitchell and producer Bob Attiyeh have wanted to create an album celebrating this critical part of America’s musical heritage. Slavery may be the worst chapter in the history of the United States. The scars from slavery may fade over the years but will never go away. It is marvelous and perhaps miraculous to witness the magnificent music created by an oppressed people during and despite this incredible suffering.
Wade in the Water, for example, serves as a reminder for escaping slaves of where to walk in the rivers to make it harder for dogs to scent people escaping at night. I’m On My Way to Canaan’s Land talks about the route to Canada.
Michelle Mayne-Graves, vocals
Quinton Fitzgerald, vocals
Walter Penniman II, vocals
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