New Album The Battles Rage On — Interview with the Legend Himself — Music Video for “Weapon of Prayer”
A member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and the longest living member of the Grand Old Opry, Charlie Louvin is a true legend of country music. His work has influenced The Beatles, Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris, The Byrds and Lucinda Williams among many others.
Released today (Nov. 9), The Battles Rage On (True North) is a collection of twelve “songs of war, patriotism and sacrifice” and is a tribute to the men and women in military service past and present.
Backed by a solid band that includes his son Charlie (Sonny) Louvin Jr. and Ben Hall on guitar, Mitchell Brown on bass, and harmony vocals by Del McCoury, Louvin’s voice shows its age (he’s 83 after all, and battling cancer) but still retains the passion and depth of feeling it always has. This is by no means a weepy collection of Christian, flag-waving patriotic songs, but is instead an album of simple and emotional story-songs mostly about young soldiers far from home, missing loved ones while enduring the horrors of war.
Standouts include Merle Haggard’s “I Wonder If They Ever Think of Me,” told from the perspective of a prisoner of war, Tom T. Hall’s “What We’re Fighting For” and the Louvin Brothers’ “Mother I Thank You For the Bible” and “Weapon of Prayer.” As Charlie says of the latter song: “Please don’t misconstrue this song and lyrics as pro-war. This is a pro-troops song. No matter how you feel about the current wars there is nothing wrong with keeping the troops in our prayers.” In short, love will prevail.
Recorded in Nashville and produced by Mitchell Brown, The Battles Rage On is as musically pleasing to listen to as it is unabashedly honest and real — it closes, fittingly, with Charlie’s arrangement of “Down by the Riverside.”
In a recent interview with Christian Moriarty, Charlie talks about his service in the Army Air Corps in Korea, his early career with his brother Ira (as The Louvin Brothers), their first appearance on the “Friday Night Frolick” at the Grand Old Opry, shooting the cover artwork to the Louvin Brothers infamous Satan Is Real in a rock quarry in the rain, meeting a 13-year-old and shoeless Johnny Cash.
After the interview, check out Charlie’s first-ever music video (where’ve you been, Charlie?) for “Weapon of Prayer.”
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