Saturday, January 3, 2009

"The Camp Chase Fifes & Drums" Review

As you may or may not know, I am an elementary school teacher, and teach the sixth grade. One of the subjects I teach is American History, and in sixth grade we study the Civil War. With that in mind, I recently purchased a CD of Civil War era music to play for the kids as they work and, more importantly, play for myself!

The Camp Chase Fifes & Drums is my favorite available period band. I originally got a bunch of their songs off of iTunes (they were featured on the Gettysburg soundtrack) because I knew they were not big band renditions, but rather music much closer to what you hear as the columns march... the only sounds missing were the yells of officers, the clink of accouterments, and the whir of cicadas, which all combine to form the most beautiful music on earth! A few weeks ago I decided it was time to plump for a whole album, because I could only play a CD in school, but also because I could play a CD in my wargames room with ease, and at a very reasonable $15, it just made sense.

The album I purchased was Volume II - "The Civil War," as these were all military marches, which is exactly what I was interested in, moreso than simply period music. The CD has some 45 different tunes in 15 or so tracks; the tunes are usually short, but there are enough for a solid 42 minutes of music. As you might expect, the only instruments are the fife and drum, with the occasional holler from the officer; when listening, be sure to listen on something with a good sound system, or you miss the bass of the drums while missing NONE of the shrill fife, which can be a bit much at times. However, once you turn the subwoofer up a touch, the boom of the drums and the sharp fife combine to set your back straight, your chin up, and feet and heart ready to march!

Overall the album is fantastic, and the sort of thing that is perfect to keep on in the background while playing your favorite wargame. Easy to recommend, this album is a perfect Civil War era CD.

You can find the Camp Chase Fifes and Drums here, and you can purchase their music here. You can buy their CDs, or even buy and download the tracks online. Give it a look!

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