The Veterans in a New Field recently enjoyed performing for two great audiences; The Ulster County Civil War Roundtable at the Legislative Chambers in the County Office Building in Kingston, NY on 6/25/15 and in the historic Center Church at the Civil War Heritage Music Gathering & Encampment in Windham, NY on 8/1/15.
At each performance we were rewarded with enthusiastic applause for or efforts which included our unique renditions of the Hutchinson Family Abolition song; “Clear the Tracks”, with Kevin Umhey’s harmonica ‘train whistle’, and Bill’s ‘train bell’ and that family’s campaign song “Lincoln and Liberty” as well as “We’ll Fight for Uncle Sam”, “General Munroe”, the latter with Kevin Karashay’s snare drum accompaniment and well known tunes such as “Kingdom Coming” and “The Battle Cry of Freedom”, and Dale Welwood’s poignant “Annie Laurie”.
Our own signature songs were also represented including RJ and Bill’s adaptation of a traditional Irish song. “The Ulster Recruit” tells the story of a young, immigrant from Ireland who chooses to leave his dangerous job working in a blue stone quarry in Saugerties to join the Union Army.
At the Roundtable we were particularly delighted to have back with us Bob Lusk, one of the founders of the Vets in a New Field, to play with us the song that he and Bill adapted to another traditional Irish tune. “The Men Who Held the Line” is a poem written to commemorate the dedication of the monument to the 120th NY Volunteers Regiment at Gettysburg. Bob and Bill first performed it for Heritage Folk Music at the 1700 Kiersted House in Saugerties and we saw it as a very appropriate song to present before the Ulster County Roundtable in the 120th’s own ‘home town’ in Kingston, county seat of Ulster County, NY.
As always, the Vets thoroughly enjoyed playing at each venue, engaged the respective audiences and were reciprocated with the appreciation of groups of people who have a passion for this music and the history of the critical time in our Nation’s life when ‘the cruel War’ was raging.
Our books and CDs were on sale at both venues and were equally well received.
The Vets are looking forward to performing for our friends at the Roundtable and the Windham Gathering again in the future.