News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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December 3, 2012

In tune with the Wabash

Local CD pays homage to our rolling river

TERRE HAUTE — River music is rolling into the Wabash Valley with hopes that it washes into a new memorial sculpture.

A locally produced album, “The Wabash,” will be made available to the public beginning Friday night at the fourth annual Miracle on 7th Street. Recorded by local artists inside the studios of Don Arney, the album will be used as a fundraiser for a sculpture honoring Terre Haute native and songwriter Paul Dresser near his childhood home in Fairbanks Park.

The effort is organized by Art Spaces as part of the Wabash Valley Outdoor Sculpture Collection Inc. Supporters hope a groundbreaking occurs next year in conjunction with the “2013 The Year of the River” initiative.

Inside his home studio outside Pimento, Arney said the project really showcases  musical talent flowing within the Wabash Valley.

“It was a lot of fun. Especially the guys who wrote original music for the project,” he said. “It was really impressive.”

The album will be available for $10 at a number of downtown stores beginning Friday, as well as online through cdbaby.com or wabashvalleyartspaces.com/thewabash beginning Dec. 20.

The album’s 13 acts span folk, rock, country, bluegrass, American jazz, blues and barbershop.

“The heart of this project is the many musicians who so generously shared their talents as writers, arrangers and performers to bring new life to the Wabash River through music,” said Mary Kramer, one of the producers and executive director of Art Spaces.

“The songs are personal, celebratory, intriguing. Don Arney, Mark Bennett and Ted Piechocinski produced a collection of music that may even have the river itself humming along.”

Other acts on the album include Dicky James and the Blues Flames performing “River Run”; The Crow Cannons’ “They Gonnna Wash Away”; and Faron Glenn and the Midwest Playboys’ rendition of Johnny Cash’s 1977 hit “If It Weren’t for the Wabash River.”

Dresser’s signature song “On the Banks of the Wabash” was written in 1897 and is also included on the album.

“2013 marks the 100th anniversary of the declaration of ‘On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away’ as the state song,” Kramer said. “Many adults from this area remember singing it in school when they were young,  not something practiced today. This CD gives new life to the song and reintroduces it to a wide audience.”

Michael White of Diamond Hill Station also offers a rendition of “Wabash Cannonball” on the album.

“The song “Wabash Cannonball was written over 100 years ago, so Diamond Hill Station tried to recreate what the song could have possibly sounded like during that time.,”  he stated in a media release.

More information is available online at wabashvalleyartspaces.com.

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