White Mansions: A tale from the American Civil War 1861-1865
This is a hidden gem and definitely something we never saw enough of, a country concept album. The premise is simple, it’s the tale of several characters as they live through the American Civil War. The characters are played by Jessie Colter, Waylon Jennings, John Dillon and Steve Cash. I didn’t know until I looked it up, but Steve Cash is a founding member of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils. Waylon and Jessie I know, but I still don’t know who John Dillon is. Bernie Leadon and Eric Clapton are also part of the band and it was written by some dude named Paul Kennerley.
Regardless, the album is fantastic! Some of the songs would sound out of sorts on their own, but as a cohesive album, they work great. There are some great songs as well, “Dixie: Hold On”, “The Union Mare and Confederate Grey”, “The Last Dance & Kentucky Racehorse” and a song that you wish would last forever, “Story To Tell”.
Not only the music, but the package is incredible, including a 27 page book with photos that tell the story. They’re great photos with full sets in mansions, on the battlefields and plantations where the music takes place. All of the characters look the part and everything looks incredibly authentic. The story is laid out perfectly too, with the circumstances surrounding the Civil War explained to help give the album context. Then the story is explained before the lyrics, you couldn’t for a better way to listen to a concept album.
Unfortunately, not an easy album to find, you have to look for it. But, it is definitely worth a search, even if you have to pay the shipping on ebay.