Next month, ATO Records is set to release a compilation album entitled Divided & United, a collection of songs from the Civil War era as performed by contemporary and classic artists.
The visionary behind the compilation is Randall Poster, who has earned critical acclaim for his work with Wes Anderson as well as his role in the music selection for HBO’s Boardwalk Empire.
“I was in Nashville, working on a movie called Country Strong and really getting deep into the city’s music culture,” said Poster. “One morning, I saw an article in the The Tennessean about the impending 150th anniversary of the Civil War, and a light went on. I thought, ‘What a great musical focus.’ And because it gave me a broad framework of anniversary to work with, I would have five years to put the record together.”
Divided & United features artists ranging from Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton to Sam Amidon and Chris Thile re-imagining the classic songs. Some artists were able to personalize their choices even further: South Carolina duo Shovels & Rope contributed their own rendition of “Fall of Charleston,” a central tune surrounding the 1865 evacuation of their hometown by the Confederate troops. The song was often heard among Union soldiers as they marched through South Carolina, and listening to the rowdy rendition by Shovels & Rope it’s hard not to want to sing along.
Listen to Shovels & Rope’s take on “Fall of Charleston” in the player below. Divided & United is set for release on Nov. 5 via ATO Records.