Bloody War: Songs 1924-1939

Bloody War: Songs 1924-1939


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New York's Tompkins Square imprint continuous its restless, even relentless journey to document the hidden, ignored, and often altogether forgotten American music with the release of Bloody War: Songs 1924-1939. The era is important because it was a period when songs from the Civil War were still being performed and recorded, as well as songs of the Spanish-American War, and those from the First World War were in still recent memory. There are familiar names here, to be sure: Fiddlin' John Carson, Buell Kazee, Frank Hutchison, Ernest V. Stoneman, Tom Darby & Jimmie Tarlton, and more. But there are others too -- the Dixon Brothers, Jimmy Yates' Boll Weevils, Coley Jones, Earl Johnson & His Clodhoppers, and William & Versey Smith among others. The songs offer a historical portrait of war and shared history in the American consciousness in the early 20th century. The listener might be surprised, no matter how seemingly benign many of these narrative tunes are, they all seem to express that war is literally hell, and the national sense of duty inherent in engaging in the unpleasant business of it to serve a greater good. The music ranges from early country sounds to blues, with almost everything in between. Zeke Morris's "Just as the Sun Goes Down," composed in 1898, offers a chilling view of the battlefield after the fighting ends. "The Rainbow Division" by Darby & Tarlton is set to the tune of "Red River Valley"; it's named for a divison in the National Guard and Army who fought in the First World War. Kazee's "The Faded Coat of Blue" is the chilling first recording of a song written in 1868 -- though many might recognize it from the Carter Family's later version. The set closes with the 1927 blues "Everybody Help the Boys Come Home," by William & Versey Smith. A WWI themed-tune, it underscores the "duty" of paying additional taxes to fund war efforts. It's an interesting contrast to the views of politicians contemporary to the comilation's release who wished to cut taxes while escalating military spending and conflicts. These 15 songs are indispensible for fans of American folk music, and for those contemplating what war itself means in the 21st century. Clearly, its meaning now, as demonstrated here, has been separated from the view of history. The set comes with a booklet containing complete song annotations, copious liner notes, and features painstakingly beautiful sound considering the source material.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/24/2010
Label: Tompkins Square
UPC: 0894807002479
catalogNumber: 2479
Rank: 118635

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Buell Kazee   Vocals
Carson Robison   Guitar
Clyde Moody   Vocals
Wade Mainer   Banjo,Vocals
Ernest V. Stoneman   Harmonica,Autoharp,Vocals
Fiddlin' John Carson   Fiddle,Vocals
Tom Darby   Guitar,Vocals,yodeling
Frank Hutchison   Guitar,Harmonica
Earl Johnson   Fiddle,Vocals
Coley Jones   Guitar,Vocals
William Smith   Vocals
Jimmie Tarlton   Steel Guitar,yodeling,Vocal Harmony
Howard Dixon   Steel Guitar,Vocals
G.B. Grayson   Fiddle,Vocals
Zeke Morris   Guitar,Vocals
Land Norris   Banjo
Henry Whitter   Guitar,Spoken Word
Lee "Red" Henderson   Guitar
Emmett Bankston   Banjo
Bert Hirsch   Violin
Jay Hugh Hall   Vocals
Percy Setliff   Fiddle
Mutt Evans   Guitar,Vocals
William & Versey Smith   Vocals
Dick Nolen   Tenor Banjo
John Fletcher "Red" Patterson   Banjo,Vocals
Lee Nolen   Guitar
Dorsey Dixon   Guitar,Vocals
Jimmy Yates   Steel Guitar
Treadway   Ukulele,Vocals
David Lischkoff   Fiddle
Alfred McCarty   Guitar

Technical Credits

David Freeman   Source Material
Tony Russell   Annotation
William Smith   Duet
Sherwin Dunner   Source Material
Christopher [1] C. King   Producer,Liner Notes,Source Material
Josh Rosenthal   Producer
William & Versey Smith   Duet
Rich Nevins   Source Material

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