Historian James Truslow Adams, who coined the phrase "American Dream", wrote: “The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for every man, … unrepressed by social orders”. It’s a world of opportunity where everyone has a fair shot at a decent life. Inscribed with the words "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free", the Statue of Liberty is a symbol of the American dream for downtrodden of the world. It symbolizes the promise of social, environmental, and economic justice bringing hope to people around the world.
The American dream has always been challenged by powerful forces who seek an unrestricted laissez-faire world where they are free to exploit workers and free to ravage the environment. These forces challenge us today. With the decline of manufacturing and the endless rounds of down sizing millions of good paying jobs and lifelong careers have been lost. Massive cutbacks in school funding and increasing college tuition make it harder to get a good education. Our environment is being polluted with massive oil spills, mountain top mining, and poisonous fracking fluids in the endless quest for the dirty fossil fuels that cause global warming. The promise of a good education, a good job, and a healthy environment is fading.
With the music and lyrics of “Americana Dreams” Mike Stout challenges the citizens of the world to keep the promise of the American dream alive. He urges us to stand up for the downtrodden. He calls on us to stand up against social, economic, and environmental injustice. His music yearns for the same peace and justice that has been the theme of the Americana folk music of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger. Guthrie wrote: ¬¬¬¬¬ “A folk song is what's wrong and how to fix it or it could be who's hungry and where their mouth is or who's out of work and where the job is or who's broke and where the money is or who's carrying a gun and where the peace is.”
“Americana Dreams” is dedicated to the promise of making this country and our world a better place where there’s freedom, equality, and justice for ALL, to the poorest, neediest, and not just for the well-to-do and privileged. In his songs Stout celebrates the unheralded heroes and heroines who fought to keep the American dream alive for ordinary working people.