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Various Artists

America Will Always Stand – 2004 (TimeLife Music)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by Various Artists

After a slew of patriotic, mainly pro-military songs since 9/11, this collection of 14 mainly new songs goes back aways to the US Civil War. And instead of the rah rah patriotic songs of the past few years, this batch takes a generally tender look at the war.

"Brother fighting brother" sings Darryl Worley (of "Do You Remember?" fame) in the lead off "Shiloh (Presence of the Past)," underscoring the sadness of the war. There's no hint of kicking anyone's ass on these songs.

Most of the songs fall into the tender, ballad category (Rick Skaggs' "Charlie & Johnny Reb" with lots of good fiddle from Stuart Duncan, Daron Norwood's "God and General Lee" and Josh Turner's "Tears of God"). Collin Raye is restrained on "Oh Virginia." Lee Ann Womack turns it up more than a few notches with a strong performance on "On a Woman's Heart." When all is said and done though, as Randy Travis sings on the previously recorded title track, "America Will Always Stand."