Charlie Louvin The Battles Rage On

Charlie Louvin The Battles Rage On
Charlie Louvin, lit cigarette in his mouth and white cowboy hat on his head, graces the cover of his latest album, The Battles Rage On. The 83-year-old country music patriarch served in both WWII and the Korean War, and it is this illustrious history that helps to explain the motives behind his release of a collection of traditional war anthems. Some of the songs date back to the Civil War, such as "Just Before the Battle Mother." Others, like "Weapon of Prayer," were penned in the '50s by Charlie and brother Ira, when they played together as influential country duo the Louvin Brothers. The strongest element of The Battles Rage On is definitely Louvin's voice; it is confident, strong and emotive, yet also rich with the experience of an octogenarian. Yet all of the musical prowess in the world can't dislodge the awkwardness of adding lyrics like these to country standards: "Oh, Bin Laden, along with Hitler, will be riding on a rail/and Hussein will beg for mercy, as a leader he has failed." No doubt there will be a plentiful demographic to appreciate the pro-war sentimentality found in The Battles Rage On. Personally, I find it hard to reconcile the artistic merit in altering old Zeke Clements lyrics to allow for a Bin Laden cameo, even though the mental image of a screaming eagle is indeed badass. (True North)