An Army Without Music: Civil War Stories from Hallowed Ground
The early battles of the civil war were fought in the Virginia farmland around DC, and now they are about to be swallowed up by suburban sprawl and multi-story office buildings. But memories remain, and this collection of nine gently acoustic tracks takes us back. This is a small operation; Vanessa Olivarez and Elizabeth Elkins sing and play piano as they tell us musical tales of the remnants of the war. Some are based on the famous (“No Stars”-Robert E Lee), some on the obscure (“Goodnight House”- Jefferson John Polk), some on the corrupt and scandalous (“Glorieta”- John Chivington) and some are mystical tales from buildings themselves. (“Chantilly Grace” by Cornelia Lee Tuberville Stuart’s sideboard). Everything is calm and a bit sad, whatever the war did or didn’t accomplish it destroyed many a homestead and many a family. Here is a faint echo of those past dreams, sweet yet a bit maudlin.