Lifeline: Music of the Underground Railroad (2019)

Traditional African American Spirituals

Lifeline Quartet, Michelle Mayne-Graves, Quinton Fitzgerald, Walter Penniman II, Michael Fitzgerald

DSD 512 Exclusive

Michelle Mayne-Graves and her Lifeline Quartet perform spirituals from the Civil War and earlier celebrating code songs 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.

For the Lifeline Quartet's debut album, Yarlung chose "If I Can Help Somebody" to be the opening track. This song not only honors Harriet Tubman, but reveals Michelle's generous heart as well. 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.

"Wade in the Water" serves as a reminder 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 lives what she sings. In addition to directing choirs, performing spirituals and helping to coordinate and lead veterans singing groups, Michelle Mayne-Graves supervises a team and works as a nurse assisting homeless veterans at the Veteran's Administration in Los Angeles.

 

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Michelle Mayne-Graves

Human slavery, part of human history from the beginnings of our civilizations on earth, remains one of the worst aspects of our story on this planet.  We live with the wounds from slavery every day, particularly in the United States, where African slaves powered the plantation industries in the South before the Civil War.  These wounds heal overtime, but with scar tissue.  156 years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation declaring the end of slavery in the South, inequality of opportunity and achievement for people from different ethnic backgrounds remains a serious problem in modern society. 

Lifeline: Music of the Underground Railroad celebrates spirituals from the Civil War era and before.  Michelle Mayne-Graves arranged these songs for her Lifeline Quartet as a tribute to Harriet Tubman and the thousands of unsung heroes who escaped slavery for Pennsylvania, Ohio and later for Canada.  Escape routes to the North were nicknamed “The Underground Railroad,” and Tubman was one of its most celebrated “conductors.”  As she is reported to have said, “I never ran my train off the track and I never lost a passenger.”  This program celebrates some of the spirituals that were adopted by the Underground Railroad and served as memory aides and morale boosters for escaping slaves. These songs were usually biblical in nature and would have been sung in church.  They would have been heard as such by slave owners.  But in addition to their religious content, these spirituals contained hidden clues, navigational instructions and are therefore known as code songs.  Harriet Tubman herself was reputed to use Wade in the Water to remind escaping slaves where they should walk in rivers and streams to avoid the scent hounds of the slave catchers.

 

It is Michelle’s hope that this music will help liberate all of us from whatever imprisonment in which we may find ourselves, whether physical slavery, psychological slavery or drug addiction.  We can use the power of these code songs to remind ourselves that there is a way out and there are people to help us find the path.

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.  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.

photo: provided by YARLUNG ARTISTS

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Lifeline: Music of the Underground Railroad (2019)

Traditional African American Spirituals

Lifeline Quartet, Michelle Mayne-Graves, Quinton Fitzgerald, Walter Penniman II, Michael Fitzgerald

    NativeDSD Listener

I am a Pyramix user and sound engineer. I bought Lifeline: Music of the Underground Railroad in Stereo and Multichannel DSD 256. It is simply beautiful and wonderful!!! Thank you.

Gioacchino Secondo Chinnici

    Amazon.Com

A Capella at it's finest! I've already listened to this twice and I am In love with it! Great harmonies and fascinating stories behind these "code songs". Michelle Mayne-Graves and the guys are powerfully blessed deliverers of this magic!

CT

Lifeline: Music of the Underground Railroad (2019)

Traditional African American Spirituals

Lifeline Quartet, Michelle Mayne-Graves, Quinton Fitzgerald, Walter Penniman II, Michael Fitzgerald

Analog Recording Equipment: SonoruS ATR12 Analog Tape Recorder
Digital Converters: Hapi by Merging Technologies
Mastering Engineer: Steve Hoffman & Bob Attiyeh (Stereo & Surround Sound), Tom Caulfield (DSD Stereo & DSD Surround Sound)
Microphone Preamps: Elliot Midwood
Microphone Technician: David Bock
Microphones: Ted Ancona’s famous “Frank Sinatra” AKG C-24 vacuum tube stereo microphone and two additional mid-hall Ted Ancona Schoeps M222 vacuum tube omnidirectional mono microphones from Ancona Audio
Notes: DSD 512 Stereo files created by Tom Calulfield at the NativeDSD Mastering Lab using Jussi Laako's modulators from Signalyst
Producer: Bob Attiyeh
Recording Engineer: Bob Attiyeh & Arian Jansen
Recording Location: Samueli Theater, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa, California on October 27, 2018
Recording Software: Pyramix by Merging Technologies
Recording Type & Bit Rate: Analog (Stereo), DSD 256 (Surround Sound)

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This album is available as ST+MCH download (Stereo + Multichannel)
Included in any DSD purchase is access to the base DSD64 resolution. All DSD capable units will be able to play DSD64.
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YAR78677DSD: Lifeline: Music of the Underground Railroad
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Tracks.
1.
If I Can Help Somebody
Traditional African American Spirituals
00:02:50   Select quality & channels above
2.
Steal Away To Jesus
Traditional African American Spirituals
00:03:24   Select quality & channels above
3.
Canaan's Land - Fare Ye Well Medley
Traditional African American Spirituals
00:03:22   Select quality & channels above
4.
Wade In The Water
Traditional African American Spirituals
00:02:28   Select quality & channels above
5.
Talk About A Child
Traditional African American Spirituals
00:03:57   Select quality & channels above
6.
Hold On To The Gospel Plow
Traditional African American Spirituals
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7.
Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen (Ola's Song)
Traditional African American Spirituals
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8.
Down By The Riverside
Traditional African American Spirituals
00:03:41   Select quality & channels above
9.
Motherless Child
Traditional African American Spirituals
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10.
Ain't Goin' To Let Nobody - Joshua Fit De' Battle
Traditional African American Spirituals
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11.
Deep River
Traditional African American Spirituals
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12.
Saints' Medley
Traditional African American Spirituals
00:02:55   Select quality & channels above

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