FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 22, 2009
New album celebrates the glory days of steam-powered farming
Songs of the Iron Men sets the poetry of early 20th century farmers to original folk music
TOPEKA, Kan. (June 22, 2009) — In the technology age, it’s easy to lose sight of how we used to do things five years ago, much less 100 years ago. SteamTraction.com brings steam-powered farming’s past to life with “Songs of the Iron Men,” a new folk album featuring 12 poems written by early 20th century farmers, threshermen and their wives. The poems ran in issues of Iron-Men Album (later renamed Steam Traction) in the 1950s and ’60s.
“Songs of the Iron Men” takes listeners on a musical journey into the lives of these hard-working men and women, reflecting on their experiences and work with steam-powered farming.
Christian Williams, editor of SteamTraction.com, selected the poems directly from past issues of Iron-Men Album, a steam enthusiast magazine first published in 1950. As a songwriter, Williams saw a unique opportunity to combine his passion for folk music with his interest in antique steam engines.
“Farmers are often characterized as tough and stoic, so I was struck by how romantic and funny these poems are,” says Williams.
Williams wrote the music, sang, played all instruments and produced the entire album in his home studio. To give the songs an old-time American feel, he used instruments unique to folk music including the banjo, washtub bass, steel resonator guitar and autoharp.
Listen to the tenth track, “Smoke on the Prairie,” in its entirety by clicking on the audio player at http://www.farmcollector.com/steam-engines/songs-of-the-iron-men.aspx.
“Songs of the Iron Men” and the poems that inspired them help us remember that at one time, things were different. This collection of songs harkens back to both simpler and harder times, through lyrics that display a clear nostalgia for the close relationships that farmers once had with each other and the land.
To purchase “Songs of the Iron Men” for $10 plus shipping and handling, go to SteamTraction.com or call toll-free 800-456-6018.
NOTE: MP3 files of “Smoke on the Prairie” and review copies of the entire “Songs of the Iron Men” album are available upon request.
About Christian Williams
In addition to his duties as editor of SteamTraction.com, Christian Williams writes original country/folk music inspired by the nature and history of the American prairie. He has released five albums since 2006, all of which can be heard in their entirety at http://www.christianwilliams.net/.
SteamTraction.com provides steam-traction engine enthusiasts with an online community to connect with other collectors; learn more about restorations, specific engines and manufacturers; and buy, sell and trade parts and engines through its extensive classified section. The site stems from Iron-Men Album, later renamed Steam Traction magazine, now out of publication.
About Ogden Publications Inc.
Ogden Publications Inc. (www.OgdenPubs.com), based in Topeka, Kan., is the leading information resource serving the sustainable living, rural lifestyle, farm memorabilia and classic motorcycle communities. Its brands include industry authorities Mother Earth News, Natural Home, Utne Reader, The Herb Companion, Capper’s, Grit, Farm Collector, Gas Engine Magazine, Motorcycle Classics and Good Things to Eat. In addition to its media portfolio, Ogden Publications offers a complete line of individual accident, health and life insurance and annuity products through its Capper’s Insurance Service division. Capper’s Insurance Service serves individuals in Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri and Iowa.
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