A largely self-taught composer, Stephen Foster was the most influential—American songwriter of the 19th century. As described by the Songwriters Hall of Fame, "Foster's songs were the first genuinely American in theme, characterizing love of home, American temperament, river life and work, politics, battlefields, slavery and plantation life." Although written in a simple harmonic language, Foster's songs captured unique qualities of the American experience. In the current album, Lee Evans applies to these works the extended harmonies that are a feature of the 20th century American Songbook. In doing so, he provides us with a wonderful opportunity to examine this music in a new musical light.