I have heard Jesse McReynolds called the iron man of bluegrass. He is certainly one of the strongest and most innovative musical talents that I have ever known.
From the first time as a youth that I looked up on the stage of the Lavonia Bluegrass Festival at he and his late brother Jim, I knew that they were the most polished musical act I had seen.
Jesse’s musical talents were at the core of that polish and today at 81, he is still creating and working to find new ways to reach audiences that may be unaware of the body of work that brought him to the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame.
But he is the first to say his latest venture is more an attempt to leave a legacy of encouragement to his fellow Americans.
Throughout his career he has shared his love of the United States of America and his home state of Virginia through live performances, numerous recordings and through his own military service.
McReynolds said with the trends he has seen in America over the last few months, he was led to write an anthem from his heart that reflects the feeling he wanted to share with his fellow Americans.
What happens when you bring together a Bluegrass Hall of Famer Jesse McReynolds (www.jimandjesse.com), Grand Ole Opry star John Conlee (www.johnconlee.com), Country Music Hall of Famer Jimmy Fortune of The Statler Brothers (www.JimmyFortune.com), Gospel Music Hall of Famer Duane Allen of the Oak Ridge Boys (www.oakridgeboys.com), and some of Nashville’s hottest pickers?
Jesse’s anthem for Americans – “United We Stand”
“I love this country. I served in Korea. There is hardly a town across this great nation that my music has not taken me,” McReynolds said. “I’ve come to know its people and the strength we have when we work together. We are Americans, citizens of the United States of America; our future depends upon us pulling together. I have the faith that if we do, we can turn this country towards a positive future – ‘United We Stand – Divided We Fall.’”
The Grand Ole Opry star, who is known as an American master of the mandolin, wrote the song and created two versions welcoming Charlie Cushman on banjo, Steve Thomas on fiddle and guitar; Kevin Grant on bass for the bluegrass version.
For the country version, he welcomed even more stars including RFD-TV’s Marty Stuart (www.martystuart.net) playing guitar and Grand Ole Opry star Buck White of the Whites (skaggsfamilyrecords.com/) playing piano; Steve Thomas on guitar; Kevin Grant on bass; Chris Wood on drums; and Tommy White on steel guitar.
J&J Music released the new single in association with Crimson Records to over 1,500 radio stations featuring country, bluegrass, gospel and folk music.
“I hope that fans of my music will call in and request it,” McReynolds said. “But more than that, I hope that all those who love this great country will take this song to heart and unite for the future of America.”
United We Stand is available for digital download at itunes, Amazon.com and more information can be found at www.jimandjesse.com.
Jesse is not letting any grass grow under his feet since coming Oct. 5, musically he will push the lines of bluegrass again as Woodstock Records releases Jesse McReynolds & Friends with David Nelson & Stu Allen, Songs Of The Grateful Dead: A Tribute to Jerry Garcia & Robert Hunter.