1865 – Songs of Hope and Home from the American Civil War
with Bruce Molsky, fiddle, banjo, guitar, and vocals
Anonymous 4’s third and last album of their American Trilogy recordings for harmonia mundi—and their final brand new touring program—commemorates the 150th anniversary of the end of the American Civil War. 1865 focuses on the personal experience of men, women, and children from the north and the south toward the end of the Civil War and in its immediate aftermath. The songs may originally have been written for the stage or the parlor, or they may have emanated from the hills and back roads of America. Many of the songs in 1865 were published between 1861 and 1865; others first appeared in print earlier but were sung constantly during the war years, perhaps in an effort to bring to mind the familiar and the good. Yet other songs and instrumental tunes are not datable; by the year 1865, they had already been passed down from generation to generation without the aid of the printed page.
Joining Anonymous 4 for this project is Bruce Molsky, renowned old-time fiddler, master banjo and guitar player, and vocalist. Anonymous 4 and Bruce have put their own stamp on the songs in 1865, including five-part harmonies on the Stephen Foster gem “Hard Times, Come Again No More,” “Home, Sweet Home,” and “Listen to the Mocking Bird” accompanied by the minstrel banjo; an homage to the Carter Family on “The Faded Coat of Blue,” the high lonesome sound on folk songs such as “Bright Sunny South,” Bruce’s fiddle and banjo playing on instrumental tunes “Rebel Raid” and “Polly Put the Kettle On,” and the four-part a cappella singing of Anonymous 4 on the hymn “Abide with Me,” and the memorial song for Abraham Lincoln, “The President’s Grave.”
“Throughout the evening, the quartet maintained its signature sound and style, the voices resounding with power and energy, yet delivered with a melting sweetness of tone in perfect accord with the evening’s fare.”
–The Washington Post
“There simply isn’t a recording of comparable quality in this repertoire.”
“Molsky is one of America’s premiere fiddling talents.”