One of country music's most distinctive vocalists, Grammy and CMA award winner Suzy Bogguss is set to release her latest album, 'American Folk Songbook,' (including a companion songbook) on July 18 at all Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores. The collection will be in stores and digital outlets on August 2.

Suzy reveals that the idea for the project first came to her while on tour with Garrison Keillor. She realized that while everyone loves to sing along to such enduring folk tunes as 'Red River Valley,' with music education disappearing from public schools, many children aren't being exposed to the folk songs that have been a vivid scrapbook of the American experience.

"Music has always been my purest joy even as a child," Suzy writes in the introduction to the songbook. "One of my favorite memories is my grade-school music teacher pounding on the piano and leading the class in rousing renditions of folk songs from all around the world. In the summer of 2008, I toured with the brilliant and engaging Garrison Keillor. The energy that passed between the audience and Garrison was overwhelming at times. Several thousand people standing and singing together-old songs, hymns, the Beatles and the Everly Brothers. People of all ages, sharing music. Ahhh, pure joy."

"It's different. It's kind of a palette cleanser," Suzy told The Boot of the album, which started as a CD sampler available at her concerts last year. "When I was first starting this project, I thought, 'I know so many [fellow artists] who would like to do this.' But then I thought, 'That's not what this is for, to get every person I know to sing along with me on it.' I guess, selfishly, it's how I like to sing the song. I don't like decorations. No decorations. Just give me the melody."

Supplementing the contemporary arrangements of the 17 familiar songs (produced by the singer herself) is a band comprised of some of Music City's finest acoustic musicians, including Jerry Douglas on Dobro, Stuart Duncan on fiddle, and Pat Bergeson on guitar.

Suzy says the hardcover 96-page songbook was modeled after her "good old 5th grade songbook," filled with illustrations, historical stories about the songs, sheet music arrangements for piano, voice and guitar and personal insights and anecdotes from Suzy. Intending the book itself to be attractive to music lovers and musicians at every level, the Illinois native says in the introduction: "that way, younger generations could share these slowly fading gems with their families and tell their stories of how they learned a few chords on the guitar or a couple of favorites to play at family gatherings."

Other tunes on the CD and in the songbook include 'Shenandoah,' 'Wayfaring Stranger,' 'Ol' Dan Tucker,' 'Rock Island Line' and 'Beautiful Dreamer.'