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Saturday May 28, 2016
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Shawn Mullins

 

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boulevard / of the fallen." Aside from these it's hard to point to a Mullins specialty; he's a journeyman musician who's been at it for a couple of decades, and he can bring a new idea or twist to even a very common song narrative.

On the new album that ability is especially evident in "Catoosa County," which takes up one of the oldest American genres: it's the strongest Civil War song to appear in quite a while. Told from the perspective of a rebel boy who "turned seventeen, spring of 1861" and "killed twenty men before I turned twenty-one," it delivers a monster of an antiwar chorus:

The blue and the gray paint the colors of the lie--

How the old men find a way to send the young men off to die.

If I could I would place a hundred-million-dollar bounty

On the hate that makes a war that digs the graves of Catoosa County.

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