Greetings From Cairo, Illinois is a concept/historical album about this obscure, remarkable town. The project is a culmination of five years of research, hundreds of conversations and "countless hours of general hanging around" in what England describes as "the most fascinating town in America, bar none." The CD traces Cairo's history from 1858 to the present through the Civil War, lynchings, the blues years, civil rights struggles and spectacular decline. England is joined on the CD by top musicians from southern Illinois, Los Angeles and Nashville including alt-country legend Jason Ringenberg of Jason and the Scorchers, and Gnashville Sounds label mates Gutter Swans.
“Top Ten Albums of 2005”
- THE VILLAGE VOICE CRITICS POLL
Robert Christgau’s Consumer Guide
- THE VILLAGE VOICE
“Singer-songwriter Stace England's mesmerizing song cycle about political tensions Downstate ranks right up there with Sufjan Stevens' cult hit disc "Illinois."
- CHICAGO SUN TIMES
“These eleven audio post cards tell of the rise and fall of one town doomed by floods and prejudice, and proceed to rock us right into the present.”
- NO DEPRESSION
“All in all, think Johnny Horton's 1959 classic Johnny Horton Makes History, gussied up for postmodern times, and retooled for the 21st century.”
- POP CULTURE PRESS
"England wasn't just some fly by night troubadour trying to profit from Cairo's woes. With the help of 50 other local musicians and singers, England had employed an impressive musical range to try and explain the puzzle that is Cairo."
- NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO
“Stace England's Greetings from Cairo, Illinois was a gigantic accomplishment. England managed a rare feat-- he crafted a concept album that actually holds together, with individual parts that nearly all stand on their own.”
"Operating on a smaller scale, recording artist Stace England focused on just one Illinois town: Cairo (pronounced kay-row) to create an album that’s more accessible and just as satisfying as his indie rock counterpart (Sufjan Stevens)."
“Every now and then a CD will find its way onto your stereo and proceed to stomp both your ass and ears into the ground. Stace England's Greetings From Cairo, Illinois is one of those discs, an ambitious work of staggering brilliance and stunning confidence.”
"Greetings from Cairo, Illinois" is a remarkable disc that grows in splendor with every listen, at a rate that has yet to slow down. Enormously recommended and without question one of the best CDs in this genre this year.”
- ROOTSTIME, BELGIUM
"A disc magisterial in its conception and its execution alike, Stace England’s Greetings From Cairo, Illinois may at a glance appear to be a jape, a goof, instead of an extraordinary meld of music and history.”
"It's (Equal Opportunity Lynch Mob) an irony worthy of Randy Newman. England's assuming the mob's perspective is a brave move that few could match."
- LUNA KAFE, NORWAY
"For Stace England, the journey on 'Greetings from Cairo' begins and ends in the southern Illinois region from which he hails. If (Sufjan) Stevens is a wanderer, then England is a settler."
- ST. LOUIS POST DISPATCH
"Along the way we meet General U.S. Grant, an “equal opportunity lynch mob” and the Committee of Ten Million, a racist organization called “White Hats” thanks to the pale hard hats they wore. Fascinating."
"The world’s only remaining cool folkie . . . "