Americana Highways brings you this video premiere of Roger Cline’s song “Stories of Valor,” from his forthcoming album due out this summer. The album was produced by Johnny Williams; recorded, engineered and mastered by Wesley Easter at Eastwood Studios with executive producer Debbie Durant of Walnut Run Music.
Musicians on the recording are Roger Cline on guitar and lead vocals; Scott Freeman on mandolin; Nikki Wright on fiddle; Debbie Durant on bass; Dennis Hertzog on viola; and Johnny Williams on harmony vocals.
The video was produced by Gary Pfeffer with photography by Cory Pfeffer. This song and the video are honest tributes to the ravages of war and the lasting scars it leads. With a gentleness in his tone, and a old time mountain music feel, Roger Cline has created a sincere anthem for those times when we honor and thank soldiers for their sacrifices. Play it for Memorial Day.
A picture in my Facebook feed struck a nerve as I was scrolling by last year. I couldn’t get it out of my mind and started typing the words of this song on my phone. When I went back to look for the picture, I wasn’t able to find it again. We set out in this video to recreate the scene and the feelings it inspired in me. After I wrote the song, I realized that I drew on the memory of two brothers from my neighborhood, Butch and Bobby Lewis. We grew up in a small and close community. Our neighborhood was a special place. It seemed like all the kids played baseball together, regardless of age. That was the only way we could field teams large enough to have a real game. So, the smaller kids, like me, knew the older kids just about as well as anyone. Bobby and my brother Sonny were both 3 yrs older than me. Bobby’s brother Butch was several years older yet. Our parents were pretty close, and we spent a good bit of time together. We heard about the war in Vietnam and saw the terrible scenes on the evening news. Then Butch was drafted into the Army. He was an impressive sight in his uniform after his basic training – then, it all became very real. He was off to the war. I heard his mom talking, and I knew she was extremely worried. A month later we got the news that Butch had been killed in action. The senselessness of it all hit home, especially when we heard that it was “friendly fire” that caused his violent death. — Roger Cline