Lifeline: Music Of The Underground Railroad
Label: YARLUNG RECORDS
Michelle Mayne-Graves and her Lifeline Quartet perform spirituals from the Civil War and earlier celebrating code songs for the Underground Railroad. These spirituals include hidden messages about maps, navigational strategies and timing for slaves to escape toward freedom in the Northern States and Canada. "Wade in the Water" serves as a reminder of where to walk in the rivers to make it harder for dogs to scent people escaping at night. "I'm On My Way to Canaan's Land" talks about the route to Canada. Harriet Tubman is one of the better known heroes who escaped slavery herself and then worked as a "conductor" on the Underground Railroad, helping subsequent groups of people flee to the North. In addition to directing choirs, performing spirituals and helping to coordinate and lead veterans singing groups, Michelle supervises a team and works as a nurse assisting homeless veterans at the Veteran's Administration in Los Angeles. For Lifeline's debut album we chose "If I can Help Somebody" to be our opening track. This song not only honors Harriet Tubman, but reveals Michelle's generous heart as well. Michelle lives what she sings.