We’ve had many occasions over the past few years to remark on how much we admire this band, and how everything they do is just a step ahead of what we expect from a bluegrass act. Their musical vision and execution, their deep understanding and appreciation of the folk traditions that combined to produce today’s contemporary grass, and the highly entertaining nature of what they produce all combine to make this bunch something special.
And we see that in this video for I Wish The Wars Were All Over, a modern ballad of olden days written by Tim Eriksen, that adds another chapter to the forlorn story of Pretty Polly. In this edition, Polly is despondent as her true love has gone off to war, and the song – and the video – finds her at the water’s edge, pining for her Billy that she fears she will see no more.
Plaintively sung by Barry Abernathy, with sparse and eerie support from bowed strings and mandola, this track carries a stark reminder of the awfulness of war, made more compelling and persuasive by the video, really a short film, that details the story amidst images of the band performing it, told by a witness to the scene.
An artistic triumph on all sides.
Along with Abernathy on banjo, Appalachian Road Show is Darrell Webb on mandolin, Jim VanCleve on fiddle, Todd Phillips on bass, and Zeb Snyder on guitar.
Tribulation is widely available wherever you stream or download music online.