AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL: A FORGOTTEN VERSE BRINGS A FRESH TAKE ON A CLASSIC SONG

 

 

10 NOVEMBER 2020 (Midway, Utah) Singer Songwriter James Lanman just released his newest single America the Beautiful off his forthcoming album to coincide with one of the biggest elections of our lifetime. Like the version made famous by Ray Charles, Lanman’s take is a soulful, heartfelt rendition that serves as both a prayer for a nation divided and a hope for what could be. 

This version, however, has a twist: By reincorporating lines from the original poem written by feminist and forward thinker Katharine Lee Bates in 1883 entirely left out of modern adaptions of the song, Lanman is able to draw newfound relevance from an old tune in an era rife with political corruption and unrest. Recorded between Los Angeles, California and Midway, Utah, Lanman sings, “America, America, God shed his grace on thee, Till selfish gain, No longer stain, The banner of the free!” Lanman’s sonorous vocals backed by piano, keys, bass and drums brings an aspirational energy to a song that dances the line between patriotism and protest while also begging the question as to whether those two ideas are mutually exclusive. 

 

Watch the official lyric music video for  America the Beautiful HERE

Like the rest of the forthcoming album entitled, America, the novelty in this song and the other highly curated tracks on this album is that they don’t attempt to color a perspective for the listener. By taking the words and voices of the original authors and composers, Lanman is simply letting these songs speak for themselves as they were written — And unsurprisingly, they have a lot to say. In the context of our current climate, these songs are a trove of prescient commentary on the American experience. Lanman says, “These songs speak to who we were but also to who we are today and who we might become if we fail to learn from the past.”

Lanman, who grew up in California and now lives in Montana, lost his livelihood as a touring artist when the pandemic hit. Like many of his touring focused colleagues, Lanman decided to lean into recording. With his new album, America, he is hoping the familiarity of these songs will draw listeners in who otherwise might shy away from protest songs or songs of patriotism. As a result, he is hoping to open up a world of questions for the listener to ponder and bridge disparate schools of thought. Lanman remarks, “At the heart of it, this album is about questioning what it means to be a patriot, what it means to protest and why the most American thing one can do is ask more of their country. That’s the American experience, the question and the evolution. That is the America I love.”

 

Watch the official lyric music video for  America the Beautiful HERE

Find more information on James Lanman visit his website HERE

To request a copy of the new album, America, for review ahead of release email us here or reach out via the info below and we will get you a digital copy!

America, album cover

 

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