HARROGATE, Tenn. — Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) and the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum (ALLM) will welcome some of the nation’s top bluegrass artists for a special benefit music event at the Sam and Sue Mars Performing Arts Center of the Duke Hall of Citizenship on Feb. 22.
The historic concert will celebrate the Feb. 12 release of Rural Rhythm Records’ “God Didn’t Choose Sides: Civil War True Stories about Real People” album that coincides with the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. The concert and CD features some of today’s top artists including: Steve Gulley, Dale Ann Bradley, Marty Raybon, Carrie Hassler, Brad Gulley, Tim Stafford, Rickey Wasson, Dwight McCall, Dave Adkins, and the Gap Creek Quartet. Supporting musicians include: Sierra Hull (mandolin), Jason Burleson (banjo), Brandon Godman (fiddle), Phil Leadbetter (dobro), Bryan Turner (bass) and Debbie Gulley (vocals). Mark “Brink” Brinkman will also provide a special songwriter segment.
The proceeds from the concert will benefit the ALLM and help fund a documentary on the project that is currently under development. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show will begin at 7 p.m. Two ticket options are available. A VIP experience includes a reception at the LMU President’s House before the concert, a copy of the CD, VIP seats at the show and a meet and greet with the musicians after the show. VIP tickets are available for $100. General admission tickets are $35. Tickets can be purchased online at http://Alumni.lmunet.edu/concert.
The album, “God Didn’t Choose Sides: Civil War True Stories about Real People,” includes 12 original songs inspired by journals, stories and artifacts from soldiers, civilians and politicians during the Civil War. Also included on the recording is the traditional song “There is a Fountain” performed by the Gap Creek Quartet. It’s a collection of songs that focus on the common men and women who were thrown together into the realities and horrors of war; people who displayed amazing acts of kindness, selflessness, faith, love and brotherhood. All but one track, “Legend of Jennie Wade”, on album were recorded, at least in part, at Steve Gulley’s The Curve Studio in Cumberland Gap, Tenn.
Accompanying the music is an extensive 16-page booklet filled with historical notes, photographs and lyrics. LMU and ALLM archivist Michelle Ganz provided historical content supervision and materials from the ALLM collection. Additional assistance was provided by ALLM Program and Tourism Director Carol Campbell and the historical booklet notes were provided by Jamie Lynn Brinkman.
Rural Rhythm Records has set up a dedicated site for the album that includes interviews, additional content relating to the history behind the songs, songwriters, performing artists and musicians. Visit RuralRhythm.com for more information.
The Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum is located on the historic campus of Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tenn. Housing one of the top five Lincoln and Civil War private collections in the world, the Museum is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about this and other programs at the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum, call 423-869-6235.