It’s a new song written by Aaron Bibelhauser and Pat Younger, Carolina and Tennessee, with a message that a lot of younger folks are learning in a year when so much of what we have taken for granted has been closed off to us by government diktat. People have known for centuries the importance of recognizing ourselves in others, though it has often been demonstrated how quickly we can be taught to reject those who think differently than we do.
Bibelhauser says that this message emerged in the song almost unbidden.
“What originated as a love letter acknowledging the picturesque beauty and peace in the Smoky Mountain regions of Western North Carolina and East Tennessee has grown into something much more profound with Unspoken Tradition’s take on Carolina & Tennessee. Of course there’s the obvious metaphor equating the two states with two partners walking through the happiness and hardships of love. But something bigger crept its way in as my co-writer, Pat Younger, and I crafted the tune, and even more so when the band worked up their own rendition for this single release.
I believe the deeper message that Unspoken Tradition delivers here is that there is a simple underlying fact that transcends the imaginary lines that divide us. WE ARE ALL HUMAN BEINGS. It may not soften the blow of the immense societal challenges ahead of us, but it certainly shines a light of hope to recognize that we are all deserving of human dignity, respect, and love.”
This has been the message of Christian charity for 2,000 years, expressed so eloquently in the Sermon on the Mount. But it does seem that humility is a tough sell among those of us adamantly convinced of our own personal virtue and rectitude.
Aaron and Pat’s message is well conveyed by the newest voice among Unspoken Tradition’s several vocalists. Bass player Sav Sankaran, who joined the group last year, gets his first chance out front on this track which he says meshes perfectly with his own thoughts.
“I knew from the moment I heard Aaron Bibelhauser’s demo of Carolina and Tennessee that we had to record it! I’m so excited for it to be my first opportunity to sing lead on an Unspoken Tradition track. The subject material of the lyrics was one of the things that drew me to the song; the idea of ‘finding out that our boundaries [are] imaginary lines’ resonates so deeply during such polarized times in our world.
The song took on even more meaning having been created during a time of forced isolation, in which we have all been reminded of the importance of all of the relationships in our lives, romantic and otherwise. I think this song really illustrates the band’s versatility; it allows me to showcase my lead vocal, and the guys provide instrumental and vocal accompaniments that add depth and complexity without distracting from the message of the song. Unspoken Tradition has always been about crossing those ‘imaginary lines’ that define what a modern bluegrass band is; Carolina and Tennessee is no exception!”
Here’s the track…
Along with Sav, Unspoken Tradition is Audie McGinnis on guitar, Zane McGinnis on banjo, Ty Gilpin on mandolin, and Tim Gardner on fiddle.