The Fields of Gettysburg @ Peoples Bank Theatre This Friday!

Statue of Brigadier General John Buford. Photo by Dave Sandt.

Statue of Brigadier General John Buford. Photo by Dave Sandt.

I've been honored to be a part of the song cycle / concept album The Fields of Gettysburg for the past couple years. This is such a special album...a labor of love by singer-songwriter John A. Walsh, an MOV native. John served in the military as a young man and later developed a strong soul connection to the stories of the people involved in the Battle of Gettysburg after a visit to the site of the battle. He cites the moment when he came upon the statue of John Buford at the battlegrounds as the starting point when he felt compelled to tell the stories of General Buford and others through song. His inspiration has come full circle: the album is now on the shelves at the Gettysburg Visitor Center.

John chose six diverse historical figures for the story: two generals (Confederate and Union), two young soldiers (Confederate and Union), and two civilians, mother and daughter. From these six perspectives, the listener gets a mutli-faceted view of this historical day. 

I don't think you have to be a history buff to appreciate this cycle. On the contrary, I think John almost tricks you into appreciating the history because he interweaves it with these compelling, universally-relatable personal stories.  

For the musical style, John chose Americana styles like country and rock. He wanted the project to stay local, so he and producer Todd Burge put together a cast of regional folks that I'm really proud to be counted among:

Clutch MOV (one of my new favorite things where I live) chose The FOG as the subject of their first podcast, where you can hear more behind-the-scenes info about the cycle and the people who made it happen.  

In 2013, on the eve of the 150th anniversary of the battle, we had the honor of performing selections from the cycle on NPR's Mountain Stage, which is broadcast to 150 stations around the world.  

Peoples Bank Theatre in Marietta, Ohio

After having a few performances around the area in smaller local venues, we finally get to stretch out into a big space, and it's the newly renovated, gorgeous Peoples Bank Theatre in Marietta. We'll be there this Friday. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. The concert will begin with music by solo artists Larry Groce and Colton Pack, followed by an intermission and then the cycle. You can buy tickets here.

The Fields of Gettysburg

On Sunday evening, June 30, I will be singing on NPR's Mountain Stage as a part of John A. Walsh's Americana song cycle The Fields of Gettysburg. Other musicians on the bill include Jason IsbellStephen KelloggAmanda Shires, and Lora Faye. You can get tickets here. (Update 6/28/2013 4:34PM - Show is sold out!)

All of the songs on the album represent people involved in the Battle of Gettysburg, which happened July 1-3, 1863, almost exactly 150 years ago to the day of our Mountain Stage performance. My Civil-War-History-buff dad would probably be a little sad to hear me say I didn't know much about the battle, but this album was a great introduction. My character, Mary Wade, was the mother of the only civilian casualty of the battle, Jenny Wade. While Jenny was making bread for Union soldiers, a bullet came through the door of her home and killed her instantly. The next day, her mother Mary finished baking the bread and delivered it to the soldiers. My song, "Bread Alone," is sung in the moment she gives the bread to the soldiers in honor of her fallen daughter.

I'm not typically known as an Americana style singer, so I was a little surprised when John and co-producer Todd Burge asked me to be on this album, but I'm sure glad they did. At my recording session, John asked for a Bonnie Raitt flavor on the track, not knowing she's a huge influence of mine. I was more than happy to oblige. After I was asked on board, the project continued to grow, pulling in the talents of GRAMMY winner Tim O'Brien, Mountain Stage Host Larry Groce, Mountain Stage Band members Michael Lipton & Ammed Solomon, Ted Harrison of the Carpenter Ants, WV-gone-Nashville boy Colton Pack, and local musicians including Justin Arthur, DJ Archer, Bill White, Cynthia Puls, and Julie Zickefoose. Thanks to John and Todd for making it all happen. What a great project.

Check out the album below: