Bloody War — Songs: 1924-1939

Tompkins Square

bloodyThis collection of original 78 rpm recordings (the phonograph needle can be heard dropping at the start of each) presents performances captured between 1924 and 1939 of songs originating from the Civil War, the Spanish-American War and World War I.

The title song is an indication of the album as a whole, with its instrumentation of fiddle, guitar, Hawaiian-style steel guitar and ukulele; vague origin (folklorists have placed it during the Spanish-American War or the First World War — no printed record has been found); and irreverent lyrics, with this version describing the comic misfortunes of a country boy drafted to serve in WWI.

Slide guitar can also be found on three more songs. Early country music duo Darby and Tarlton had one of the best slide players in Jimmie Tarlton, represented on two selections, “The Rainbow Division” and “Captain Won’t You Let Me Go Home.” The Dixon Brothers’ Howard Dixon, a disciple of fellow millworker Tarlton, plays steel on “The Old Vacant Chair.”

Other highlights include “Long Way to Tipperary,” featuring Frank Hutchison alone on guitar and rack harmonica; the pep song “Dixie Division,” with Fiddlin’ John Carson, about Southern regiments in Europe during the First World War (made even more interesting when it segues into an instrumental medley of “Are You From Dixie?” “Dixie,” “Swanee River” and other Southern favorites); and “Uncle Sam and the Kaiser,” another one-man affair with Ernest V. Stoneman on autoharp and harmonica.

A portion of all proceeds from sales will be donated to the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.gnm_end_bug

1.  Just As The Sun Went Down – Zeke Morris
2.  Bloody War – Jimmy Yates’ Boll Weevils
3.  The Faded Coat Of Blue – Buell Kazee
4.  Army Mule In No Man’s Land – Coley Jones
5.  The Rainbow Division – Tom Darby & Jimmie Tarlton
6.  The Battleship Of Maine – Red Patterson’s Piedmont Log Rollers
7.  Long Way To Tipperary – Frank Hutchison
8.  Dixie Division – Fiddlin’ John Carson & His Virginia Reelers
9.  The Old Vacant Chair – Dixon Brothers
10.  Johnnie Get Your Gun – Earl Johnson & His Clodhoppers
11.  Uncle Sam And The Kaiser – Ernest Stoneman
12.  He Is Coming To Us Dead – G.B. Grayson w/Henry Whitter
13.  Captain Won’t You Let Me Go Home – Tom Darby & Jimmie Tarlton
14.  Not A Word Of That Be Said – Wade Mainer & Sons Of The Mountaineers
15.  Everybody Help The Boys Come Home – William & Versey Smith

Total time: 47:46

External links
label’s ‘Bloody War’ website