As part of an ongoing series Cohesion arts are set to release their second volume of musical stories relating the moving stories of Irish immigrants in the American Civil War.
The creative artists collection, Cohesion Arts, are set to release “The 1861 Project, Volume 2: From The Famine To The Front” (on 18th September, 2012) following the great response from “The 1861 Project, Volume 1”, in 2011. Critics, historians, educators and lovers of great songwriting aligned in unanimous praise of a new kind of recording endeavor.
Subtitled “From Farmers To Foot Soldiers” the first volume of songs told stories of hardship and emotional upheaval endured by everyday people over the course of the war.
Project producer/principal songwriter, Thomm Jutz, focusing on the wartime struggles of Irish immigrants was a natural next step in the evolution of “The 1861 Project”.
"The Irish tradition is woven tightly into so much great American culture and music," he says. "It continues to be a huge influence on me."
The veteran musicians Jutz gathered around him to record Volume 2 revel in that tradition, injecting Nashville heart and soul into this remarkable collection of Celtic-inspired songs, and bringing some real-life heroes vividly into the present.
"Irish immigrants played such an integral role in the US Civil War,” Jutz says. “Some fought for the North, some fought for the South; the American conflict of brother against brother was also Irish against Irish."
In the wake of the potato famine in the late 1840s, Ireland's young population left for America in droves. Volume 2's opening track, "The American Wake," performed by acclaimed Irish songstress Maura O'Connell with dobro master Jerry Douglas, captures the heartbreak of departure and the stark realization that those who left would likely never return home. It's a stunning performance that sets a high bar for what's to follow, and the songs on “The 1861 Project, Volume 2” don't disappoint.
Jutz and his team of Nashville co-writers dug deep to unearth a fascinating cast of characters and stories all but lost in the sweep of history. From folk icon Jim Rooney's reflective, half-spoken tribute to Confederate General Patrick Cleburne, "Stonewall Of The West," to Sierra Hull’s haunting "Song Of The Mystic" to Liam Merriman's rollicking take on "Irish Whiskey," these songs are populated by historically important figures including Union General T.F. Meagher, Chaplain William Corby and Father Abram J. Ryan.
The 1861 Project, Volume 2: From The Famine To The Front brings history brilliantly, musically alive, reviving real people, real emotions, and some still-relevant-and-real issues.
You can pre-order the album or order a copy of Volume 1 here.
Here’s the audio for “The American Wake” and other songs from their collections:
Little known tale of generous Turkish aid to the Irish during the Great Hunger