From our racist colonial roots to our economically divided present, the ‘American Dream’ has never really been accessible to all. Since it is a belief more than a fact, the first step in changing it is to dismantle the dogma within ourselves so we can be free to imagine a better country together.

— Melody Walker, explaining “Amerikan Dream”

Front Country is an American progressive bluegrass band founded in 2011 in San Francisco, now based in Nashville. The trio consists of lead vocalist and songwriter Melody Walker, mandolinist Adam Roszkiewicz, and lead guitarist Jacob Groopman.

The July 2020 single, “Amerikan Dream” is from the band’s third album, Impossible World, to be released in October:

Front Country – Amerikan Dream

Jon Freeman writes in Rolling Stone Magazine:

“Running on credit, but the shipping is free/You’re free to believe in the American dream,” Walker sings in the opening line, setting up a discussion about the way that dream was designed to be out of reach for the working classes. She touches on factory conditions, immigration, religion, and the various structures that keep the flawed system intact, singing soulfully while the band’s hypnotic mix of banjo and fiddle kicks its way to an insistent, stomping rhythm that’s part post-punk and part E Street Band gallop.

TheAltBlock.com describes the song: “powerful vocals from Walker, ‘twangy’ guitars, fun percussion, and narrative lyrics, which is a perfect example of finding their own sound.”

One Genius.com contributor describes the band: “In a wood-paneled country dive bar in the shadow of the San Francisco skyline, Front Country forged a sound hell bent on merging the musical past with the future. The result lies somewhere between Indie Folk and Americana, in a nether-region they’ve come to embrace as their own.”

Melody Walker said in an interview for AmericanSongwriter.com:

“I started writing ‘Amerikan Dream’ in January of 2017, right after Trump got elected but I didn’t finish it until right before we recorded it, over two years later. I think a lot of people can relate to the past few years bringing a lot of things to the surface, about the founding ideals of this country and whether we will ever live up to them. I think a lot of writers have been processing the urgency of the current moment, as well as the history that got us here, and our own role and complicity in all of it. The song started out as way more of an anti-Trump song, but as a songwriter, my job is to dig for the truth, and in listening more and discerning more, I think the truth is that it didn’t start with him and it won’t end when he’s gone either.”

Melody added: “Even though most of the songs I write are message songs, ‘Amerikan Dream’ is definitely the most straight-up protest song on our whole record. I can’t say I was looking to persuade so much as galvanize the resistance with this one, but I do hope it’s subversive in one important way: it is deeply political without being partisan.”

Front Country – Amerikan Dream

Running on credit
But the shipping is free
You’re free to believe in the American Dream
Working in a warehouse
With no A.C.
You’re free to believe in the Amerikan Dream

Dying on demand now
Living in a screen
You’re free to believe in the American Dream
They say it ain’t a prison
’Cause you can always leave
You’re free to believe in the Amerikan Dream

What will the people do?
When we’ve got nothing to lose

Sail across the prairie
Sail across the sea
You’re free to believe in the American Dream
Take what you can take now
And call it destiny
You’re free to believe in the Amerikan Dream

Rally ’round religion
Protect your property
You’re free to believe in the American Dream
But turn away the stranger
Just looking for relief
You’re free to believe in the Amerikan Dream

What will the people do?
When they’ve got nothing to lose
What will the people do?
When they’ve got nothing to lose
When they’re no longer sleeping
Believing in you

Oh, when we gonna wake up?
Oh, when we gonna see?
We’re free to believe in the Amerikan Dream
The shadow in the mirror
Our own hypocrisy
We’re free to believe in the American Dream

America the faithful
Amerika the free
You’re free to believe in the American Dream
Oh, dreaming in the daylight
While walking in our sleep
We’re free to believe
Free to believe
Free to believe

What will the people do?
When they’ve got nothing to lose
What will the people do?
When we’ve got nothing to lose

When we wake from our sleep and
We’re coming for you


More info:

Front Country [Website]

Front Country [Wikipedia]

Front Country [Twitter]

Front Country [Facebook]

Front Country [Instagram]

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Front Country’s Third Album – Official KICKSTARTER Video

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Front Country’s single ‘Amerikan Dream’ reveals a political statement (Aug. 29, 2020)
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