Video Premiere: Grit and Grace from Balsam Range

A new music video debuts today from Balsam Range for their current Mountain Home single, Grit and Grace.

It’s something of a departure for the band, a very personal story of grappling with what life can throw your way, yet finding ways to cope, recover, and ultimately, triumph over great difficulties.

Coming to the band by a circuitous route, the song was inspired by a conversation that fiddler and vocalist Buddy Melton’s mom, Ann, had with a man who had seen some of the worst aspects of the human race in his life. She was called to put his story to verse, and was assisted by the hit making songwriting partnership of Milan Miller and Beth Husband.

Buddy shares some more details…

“The inspiration for Grit and Grace came from a man who served his country, walked the Bataan Death March, and was a prisoner of war for 3½ years, Walter Middleton. When my mom asked him how he got through it, his answer was simply, ‘I provided the grit and God provided the grace.’ He later in life wrote a book about his time spent as a prisoner of war and he signed the book to my mother with,’For folks like you I would gladly do it again.’ It is hard to comprehend the willingness to suffer that greatly for others, but many before us have. Life is about learning, teaching, sharing, and helping those along our journey that are experiencing what we may have already experienced and by grace overcame.

We may be living in troubled times, but we are not the first generation to do so. The old saying, ‘history often repeats itself,’ proves itself true way too often. Because of this, it is important to remember and study our history. History teaches us valuable lessons and it should also bring us comfort in knowing we too can overcome. We have to put our trust in the right places and live with the faith that God’s grace is promised. As the old hymn says, ‘Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come, Tis grace has brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me home.'”

For the video, the band asked fans to submit photos to be included, and the final project mixes these images with footage of Balsam Range cutting the track in the studio. Its hopeful, motivational message has a very powerful impact. The black & white photography provides the grit here, and the message is the grace.

Along with Buddy, Balsam Range consists of Darren Nicholson on mandolin, Marc Pruett on banjo, Tim Surrett on bass, and Caleb Smith on guitar.

Melton continued with his close connection to the song, relating it to his own serious injury in 2012 in a farm accident that left him with severe facial injuries that required delicate surgery and a lengthy recovery.

“Every person who walks this earth has a different story, and regardless of whether you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth or with the hopeless doubt of survival, we all have moments of struggle. Regardless, at that moment when we find ourselves surrounded by uncertainty, we often feel alone and helpless. Some are very vocal with their struggles, yet there are those with extreme struggles that remain silent. What do those suffering silently know that others do not? What keeps them silent? Is it their faith or knowledge that something greater exists for them? For all of us? Or is it that their struggles are too difficult or too overwhelming to verbalize or admit. We all need help at times in our lives. Sometimes asking seems harder than the problem itself.

To reach the other side of those struggles, we all must dig deep and find the inspiration and belief that we can make it through. For each of us, it is something different that motivates us to make the decision to persevere. For me, laying in a hospital bed with much uncertainty of the future, inspiration was my family, often my daughter, for whom I would gladly give my life for but not without a fight. What is your source of grit?”

Grit and Grace is available now wherever you stream or download music online, and to radio programmers via AirPlay Direct.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.