Like his previous recordings, Lang writes, or co-writes, the songs, and brings in top vocalists to interpret them in the studio. It’s something of a new model for bluegrass, but it has worked well for Rick, making him a popular artists who never sings a line.
They Sawed Up A Storm is an inspirational story from the 1940s, when a group of women in New Hampshire offered to take over a sawmill after the men who had run it were called off to war. The US military still needed the wood for wartime operations, but there was no one left to staff it. So these ladies asked the state legislature to authorize them to keep it going, and after overcoming some initial skepticism, permission was granted. This plucky batch of patriotic women keep the mill running throughout WWII, and Rick remembers them with this song.
Lang credits this episode to his friend, Sarah Shea Smith, who researched the history and related the true story os the mill in Turkey Pond, NH in a book by the same name. The sawmill was in the midst of a salvage project when the US entered the war, harvesting a vast amount of timber that had been knocked down in hurricane winds before it rotted on the ground. These ladies were able to finish the reclamation of this wood in Turkey Pond.
In the studio, the song is sung by Becky Buller, who also plays clawhammer banjo. For the video, we find Becky with Jana Mougin on guitar and Laura Orshaw on fiddle, singing harmony with Buller outdoors. Also on the track are Stephen Mougin on guitar, James Kee on mandolin, and Todd Parks on bass. Becky plays the fiddle on the recording.
Well done all.
A Tale To Tell is available now from popular download and streaming services online.