John A. Walsh of Vienna has brought together an impressive group of singers, songwriters and musicians for "The Fields of Gettysburg" project.
In the works for the past three years, "The Fields of Gettysburg" tells the story of the Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War and a tragic love story through narration and 12 songs. The record album is scheduled to be recorded by the end of this month with a release date in the spring, said Walsh, a singer/songwriter and guitarist who has been a student of Civil War history for 20 years.
Walsh noted his project will coincide with the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, July 1-3, 1863, and West Virginia's Sesquicentennial next year.
Participants in the project include Larry Groce, host and artistic director of West Virginia Public Radio's Mountain Stage, as narrator; Walsh, The FOG's composer who sings the role of Confederate Gen. James Longstreet in the song cycle; Todd Burge of Parkersburg, co-producer who sings the role of Union Gen. John Buford; Jessica Baldwin of Marietta, the voice of Mary Wade; Justin Arthur, who sings the role of Wesley Culp; D.J. Archer, who sings the role of Jennie Wade; Colton Pack, who sings as Jack Skelly; Grammy-winning Tim O'Brien plays the fiddle; Ted Harrison, bass guitar; Ammed Solomon, drums and percussion; Michael Lipton of the Carpenter Ants, electric guitar; Bill White of Marietta, piano and keyboard; Cynthia Puls of Parkersburg, cello, and Julie Zickefoose, penny whistle.
Walsh wrote all of the songs for The FOG, which includes many styles of Americana music.
"We have stellar musicians working on the project," Walsh said. "I am excited in the way it sounds. The music enhances the story."
Recording has been done at David George's River Rat Studio in Marietta, at Josh Antonuccio's 3 Elliott Studio in Athens, and at studios in Nashville and Charleston.
Burge said he was impressed by the high quality of the production and the "great singers" who joined the project.
Walsh hopes his project entices others to study the Civil War. The website is www.thefieldsofgettysburg.com.
A record $6,000 was raised to provide Christmas presents for 19 local children during the 11th annual holiday auction at the 19th Street Country Club in Parkersburg on Dec. 11. Shoppers from 19th Street CC fulfilled the Christmas wishes of the children through the Salvation Army by purchasing clothes and toys. Some children received bicycles and tricycles through donations from businesses, said Dave Wright, owner of the tavern. A Don Whitlatch print of the "Mountaineer" sold for about $800 at the auction.
Twelve members of the GFWC Parkersburg Woman's Club and other friends were guests at the home of Judy and Everett Parrish of Vienna for a viewing party of the "12-12-12" concert from Madison Square Garden in New York City to raise money for victims of Hurricane Sandy. The Parkersburg friends each contributed $12.12 to be donated to help people in distress. After the gas line explosion along Interstate 77 in Sissonville, the club members decided to send their contribution to help those who lost their homes in the Kanawha County disaster, said Judy Parrish, vice president in charge of programs for the woman's club. Parrish said the club members had fun at the viewing party and wanted to show they care about others.
Parkersburg native Aaron Suek was one of the U.S. Air Force personnel selected to participate in pre-game ceremonies at the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas today. The bowl game between Boise State and the University of Washington begins at 3:30 p.m. and will be televised by ESPN. Suek, a technical sergeant, is the son of Mark Suek and Dreama Alderman and Jacquie and Duane Fluty, all of Parkersburg. He is a 2002 graduate of Parkersburg South High School and lives with wife, Chesilin, and their children Azlin and Barrett in Las Vegas near Nellis Air Force Base.
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