Soldier’s laments, heart-songs, and patriotic tunes have been an essential part of the American soundscape for many generations. Most of these compositions, however, have been identified with the Vietnam war or with World War II. This newly minted collection presents performances captured between 1924 and 1939 of songs originating from the American Civil War, the Spanish-American War, and the “war to end all wars,” the First World War. These recordings were the folk foundation both of the common soldier’s perspective of the battlefield and of the family and loved ones that were left behind.
‘Bloody War’ recreates the musical panorama of the early 20th century with songs of warfare that are humorous and tragic, sardonic and vivid. Many of these songs have not been heard since they were originally issued in the 1920s and 1930s and are as relevant today as they were when they were first composed. Highlights of this collection include the masterpiece “Dixie Division” by Fiddlin’ John Carson, the legendary Atlanta, GA entertainer that was among the first rural performers to wax country music. His idiosyncratic fiddling meshes together a paean for Southern soldiers that have fought in the American Civil War to the First World War, held together with a medley of “Dixie,” “Swanee River,” and “Yankee Doodle.” Contemporary banjoist and singer, Wade Mainer, contributes the poignant “Not A Word Of That Be Said” a mere two years before the outbreak of World War II.
A deep diversity of artists & performances are to be found in this anthology: from the inspired street-singing of William & Versey Smith to the plaintive balladry of Buell Kazee and from the red hot breakdown of Earl Johnson to the mesmerizing guitar blues of Darby & Tarlton. Produced by Christopher King and Josh Rosenthal, with art-design by Susan Archie and liner-notes by country music historian Tony Russell. A portion of all proceeds from the sale of this album will be donated to Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA.org).