Rick performs entertaining and enlightening music and history programs

Rick Pickren performs the very finest in music and history programs for Libraries, Seniors, Historical Societies, Schools and Museums.

The State Songs CDs Vol. 1-4

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"Thank you for the gift of your wonderful CD. 
I particularly enjoyed "Michigan, My Michigan". 
I am adding The State Songs Volume One to my personal lending library at the office."
  Jennifer M. Granholm, Governor of Michigan

"I really like the music of this CD. I am a fourth grade teacher and 
I play the CD as we learn about the regions of the United States. 
The students like to guess which state the music comes from." 
         Barbara Murphy   

"Pickren has breathed not only creativity, 
but real life and affection into even the most leaden relics!" 
Rick Huff,  The Western Way, Best Of The West reviews      

"Love this new CD, as usual Outstanding!!   
“My Old Kentucy Home" I love it as this is my birth state it is the first song 
I ever learned and sang every day of my school years, until we moved to Colorado. 
Keep up the great work Rick!"
Barbara Richhart, Western Belle of WSJD

                                                              Click To Listen

   If you have ever been curious about America's often-tucked-away State Songs, this CD is certainly the means through which they can be not only tolerable for you but downright enjoyable!  Pickren treats  each with earnest conviction and feeling, and in the arrangements he has some fun.

For my own state of New Mexico, the 1912 song "O Fair New Mexico" was written by Elizabeth Garrett, the heralded "Songbird Of The Southwest" and daughter of Sheriff Pat Garrett. I'm a New Mexico native and I've only heard the stodgy thing perhaps twice before. Rick Pickren's take on it converts it to a subtle, sultry cha-cha!!  I love it!

My one regret is that the songs don't come with notes as to their origins. Wait a minute!  Considering politics...maybe those sleeping dogs should lie...

  "Incredible...you did a fantastic job. I truly enjoyed listening to your CD."
Governor Bill Richardson, New Mexico

  "Even when the songs themselves are institutionally mediocre, 
  Pickren's folk/bluegrass-tinged interpretations enliven them. Entertaining." 
Tom Bingham, General Eclectic, WCVF-FM

              Now available at Amazon.com, iTunes, CDBaby.com and other fine music outlets.

Once again the erstwhile balladeer Rick Pickren tackles some of the tougher tunes to ever tangle the tongue! It’s Volume Three showcasing that treacherous thee-thy-thou laden, bounteous harvest flaying, glory unfurled world of our official State Songs!  Covered (well and respectfully, as always) this time are the songs of Alaska, New Hampshire, Maryland, Wyoming, Virginia, South Carolina, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Missouri and Wisconsin. He breaks the straight-faced sincerity only with the addition of a whoopee slide whistle to the “On, Wisconsin” march! But, hey! A guy needs a little R & R.  These albums are fascinating fun and a fine addition to the general library of Americana. The project is funded in part by the Illinois Arts Council. Rick tells us the final volume will be out in the spring, and the previous two modestly priced albums in the series remain in print.   Rick Huff/ The Best of the West


It’s sad to see this series end, but he ran out of states!  There are only fifty of ‘em.  ‘Any territories or holdings have official ditties??
Once again skilled balladeer Rick Pickren makes the nearly unsingable nicely palatable.  Here we find the songs of North Carolina, California, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Maine, Georgia, New Jersey, South Dakota, Nebraska, Vermont, Delaware, Utah and New York.  The unintentional humor of the often quaint thee-thy-thou lyrics becomes another point of enjoyment as Pickren deftly renders each waltz, march, schottische or gavotte…depending.  Yes, Virginia, now you can cha-cha to Georgia’s song!  South Dakota’s needed that Jimmy Buffet touch!  And who could resist throwing some “Broadway” into New York’s song??
Pick up the set!  It’s good fun. 
Rick Huff, Best of the West.

The Official 50 State Songs Project has come to a close.
I am grateful to the Illinois Arts Council for partially funding this project from start to finish. A special thanks to those who have purchased and/or downloaded the previous volumes or individual state songs. The response has been beyond my wildest dreams. Thank you! 
All four volumes are available from iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby and from other digital retailers. 
The four set CD can also be purchased from me directly for $45 or $13 for one CD (postage included). Paypal, check or MO accepted. 
Mail to: Big Strike Music, 122 Ashland Ave., River Forest, Illinois, 60305.

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