Rural Rhythm Records has released a special event album God Didn’t Choose Sides: Civil War True Stories About Real People. The album release date is February 12 on Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. They have pulled out all stops on this recording and feature a wealth of talent from their books to deliver a historical tribute to one of America’s most defining periods.
There have been hundreds of books, movies and songs created about the battles, presidents, generals & heroes as told in our history books about the Civil War. However, rarely do we hear the stories on a personal level of the unsung heroes who gave their lives or had their lives totally turned upside down during the War Between the States, which has had such an important impact on our American culture and historical foundation. Such people like Carrie McGavock, “Tod” Carter, John P. Parker, Jennie Wade, Amos Humiston, Nancy Hart, John Burns, Andrew Jackson Andrews and more.
God Didn’t Choose Sides is the first release from a new series of albums that focus on the common men and women who were thrown together into the realities and horrors of war and displayed amazing acts of kindness, selflessness, faith, love and brotherhood to their fellow Americans.
Project creator Sam Passamano, II explains,“Even as a young child I have always been drawn to the events and people during the Civil War, probably because of the importance these years had on our American history and culture. Being a second generation record executive and the president of Rural Rhythm Records I have had a dream for a long time to do a different type of Civil War album project. There are many songs available about the popular military commanders, battles and the politics, but I wanted to focus on real stories about the common soldiers, citizens, slaves and immigrants whose lives, and the lives of those around them, were changed forever because of the Civil War…these true stories and people should not be forgotten or lost through the years”.
This new music series combines today’s top artists with new original songs written by some of today’s top songwriters, bringing to life real stories about important people, places and events during the Civil War. Produced by Steve Gulley, God Didn’t Choose Sides contains songs written by top Country, Bluegrass and Roots music songwriters: Paula Breedlove, Mark Brinkman, Brad Davis, Ray Edwards, Mike Evans, Terry Foust, Steve Gulley and Tim Stafford with performances by #1 hit artists including Marty Raybon, Russell Moore, Ronnie Bowman, Lonesome River Band, Dale Ann Bradley, Carrie Hassler, Bradley Walker, Tim Stafford, Steve Gulley, and more. In addition, a who’s who list of award winning musicians were chosen to accompany these top vocalists including; Ron Stewart, Adam Steffey, Justin Moses, Tim Stafford, Alan Bibey and Mark Fain.
God Didn’t Choose Sides has been a labor of love having taken over two years to create songs that would be worthy of the project. The songs not only had to be historically accurate, but would have to bring the soul, heart and emotion of these incredible people and times to life through music. All of the songwriters cared deeply about the songs and I can tell you we laughed, cried, felt humbled and had many bouts with chill bumps creating the songs. When you add many of the best vocalists on the planet and an incredible cast of musicians, the result is a magical, emotional and extremely powerful – Mark “Brink” Brinkman.
Accompanying the 13 song album is an extensive 16 page booklet filled with historical notes, photographs and lyrics on the songs. The historical content supervision and photographs for the album project was provided by the Carol Campbell and Michelle Ganz at Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum of Lincoln Memorial University, Harrogate, TN and the historical booklet notes were provided by Jamie Lynn Brinkman.
I’m Almost Home” written by Steve Gulley and Tim Stafford and is performed by Steve Gulley has been sent to radio stations and is available on AirPlay Direct. The song is about Theodrick “Tod” Carter who grew up in the quiet village of Franklin, Tennessee. In the Spring of 1861, Tod left a promising law career to follow his older brother into the Confederate Army. In 1864, Tod found himself only a few miles from home. Energized by the thought of seeing his family, Carter volunteered to lead the 20th Tennessee Infantry in a charge toward the Union lines entrenched just south of Franklin, shouting “follow me boys, I’m almost home!” Tod was mortally wounded in the battle yards from his doorstep. His father found him, and after three years away from home, he died in his front parlor surrounded by his family.
Steve Gulley said, “This project has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my musical career. It really serves as a group of portraits based on real-life events that help to define a unique, ironic, divisive time in American history. What I love is about the music and group of songs is the fact that they are documented, real stories about real people, their struggles, faith and triumphs. Collectively, they form a snapshot of true Americana that allows you to not only hear, but see and feel every emotion in every song. I’m so proud to have helped create this great historical work of music.”
This story and eleven other true stories about real people during the Civil War is contained is what comprises God Didn’t Choose Sides. Rural Rhythm has set up a dedicated page for the album that includes interviews, additional content relating to the history behind the songs, songwriters, performing artists and musicians. Please visit RuralRhythm.com for more information.
- I’m Almost Home – Steve Gulley
- A Picture of Three Children – Russell Moore
- The Legend of Jennie Wade – Lonesome River Band
- Christmas in Savannah – Dale Ann Bradley
- Providence Spring – Tim Stafford
- Old John Burns – Rickey Wasson and Dwight McCall
- The Lady in Gray – Ronnie Bowman
- Last Days at Vicksberg – Bradley Walker
- Rebel Heart – Brad Gulley
- Carrie’s Graveyard Book – Carrie Hassler
- The River Man – Dave Adkins
- God Didn’t Choose Sides – Marty Raybon
- There is a Fountain – Gap Creek Quartet
“God Did Not Choose Sides” is beautiful! Thank you to everyone for a wonderful bit of history in song. Toe tapping with tears falling. We listened to it twice in total awe. WOW!