An all-star music album celebrating the 50th anniversary of Beatnik writer/poet Allen Ginsberg‘s The Fall of America: Poems of These States will feature contributions from a number of notable artists ranging from Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart to Sonic Youth co-founder Lee Ranaldo.
Titled Allen Ginsberg’s The Fall of America: A 50th Anniversary Musical Tribute, the album will arrive on digital formats on February 5th with a CD/vinyl release planned for June 4th and proceeds will go to benefit voter registration non-profit Headcount. The album will be comprised of new music compositions interpreting Ginsberg’s poetic works from The Fall of America which were written during his time traveling across American between 1965–1971. Recordings of Ginsberg reciting his poems will also be synced alongside some of the new music compositions.
The eclectic roster of musicians and creatives who will be featured on the album include Beat poet Ed Sanders, Howie B with Gavin Friday, Yo La Tengo, Japanese composer Shintaro Sakamoto, African singer-songwriter Angélique Kidjo, Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore, Americana duo The Handsome Family, Venezuelan-American singer-songwriter Devendra Banhart, jazz guitarist Bill Frisell, indie rock multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bird, and Asian dub/world fusion duo Kaya Project to name a few.
“While most people tend to reflect the brightness of the era, Ginsberg didn’t shy away from the darkness,” Mickey Hart said of his involvement with the project in tribute to the late poet and Beatnik figure. “He writes the scene in all its complexity, the busts of excitements and Dionysian excesses as well as darker images, such as the sculpture of the hanged man. He forces us to recognize the children sleeping in the bed and the police cars parked outside, red lights revolving in the trees.”
A number of recordings to be featured on the album including “Scanner feat. Allen Ginsberg – Elegy for Neal Cassady”, “Ed Sanders – Memory Gardens”, “Disco Pusher – A Prophecy”, “Steven Taylor – Continuation of a Long Poem of these States” and more are already available to stream on Bandcamp.
Click here to head to the Allen Ginsberg Bandcamp page to hear the select recordings, along with the album’s pre-order info.