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Artist: Matt Felts Project Title: Angels On The Battlefield Label: Unknown Producer: Matt Felts Reviewed By: Scott Evans
You know, I have a lot of various and diverse interests in life. Obviously, Southern Gospel Music is one of those interests but another of those interests is American History and especially the Civil War Era. I have visited numerous battlefields from that era over the years and especially Gettysburg, PA. I have read many books on the Civil War and those who shaped the history of that era. Well, Matt Felts, who sings with the Dixie Melody Boys, has combined music with history on this brand new project titled “Angels On The Battlefield; Songs And Stories Of Faith From The Civil War.” Matt was joined in the studio on this project by Johnny Minick, Mike Allen and Aaron Minick.
The project has wonderful narration throughout the project which tells the stories of the songs. The songs and stories tell a poignant story of one of the most turbulent times in our nation’s history as our nation celebrates the 150th anniversary of the war. The first track sets up the project and tells about the importance that faith in God played in those times. The second track is the familiar “Battle Hymn Of The Republic.” Of course, this is a song that is still a favorite today and this is a great version of the song. “The Prayers OF Stonewall Jackson” tells a story of the faith of that familiar figure in American History. It is a great story of faith in God that we can all learn from. Another familiar hymn is next with “I Love To Tell The Story.” This hymn has one of the great messages of the story of Christ and what it has done and can do. “Angels On The Battlefield” is the title of the project and the title of the next story on the project. It is a great story about a Confederate Soldier showing mercy to wounded Union Soldiers on the battlefield.
The next song on the project is “Amazing Grace.” I am not sure what I could write about this song that has not already been written. In my opinion, this is the greatest song ever written and Matt does an outstanding job on this version of the song. “The Gift” is the next story on the project and this story is about a small Bible in a shirt pocket that saved the life of a soldier. “Rock Of Ages” is the next hymn sung on the project and Matt does another outstanding job. It really is great to hear many of these old hymns recorded once again. Another story is next and “The Death Of Jeb Stuart” is the story of Confederate General Jeb Stuart and his death in 1864. His favorite hymn was “Rock Of Ages” and the story is a great story of accepting God’s Will in everything, even death. Another story follows about a person named Albert. The story is titled “Crossing Chilly Jordan.” He was a deeply religious man whose faith never wavered even though he was mortally wounded.
The wonderful song “Wayfaring Stranger” is a great follow to that story and is performed very well. “A Night Like No Other” is another story on the project and it speaks of a night that a soldier spent on the battlefield. It is sobering story that I am certain was repeated a number of times throughout the course of the battles fought during that war. “There Is A Fountain” is the next song that is sung on the project. This has always been a favorite hymn of mine and I enjoyed hearing it once again. “Though He Is Dead, Liberty Lives” is a eulogy that was given in honor of Abraham Lincoln after the assassination of the President. It is a great eulogy of hope and the final story on this project. The final song on the project is “Star Spangled Banner.” Matt delivers a great performance on the National Anthem and it is a very fitting end to this unique project.
I really enjoyed this project! The stories, while heartbreaking in many places, are designed to inspire and to bless as you realize the faith in God that many of those soldiers had. The songs are all performed very well and are all old favorites which are still sung in many churches today. While the stories can become a little tedious after hearing them several times they are necessary to transition between the songs and I find them to enhance the project tremendously. My favorite songs from the project are “Star Spangled Banner,” “Amazing Grace” and “Wayfaring Stranger.” This is not your run-of-the-mill Southern Gospel Music project. However, if you enjoy American and Civil War History and the old hymns sung and performed very well, you will love this project! For more information on the project visit the website at www.angelsonthebattlefield.com. If you would like more information on Matt Felts, visit the website of the Dixie Melody Boys at www.dixiemelodyboys.com.