Americana Highways presents this premiere of The Rough & Tumble’s song “God of War” from their forthcoming release Only This Far, set to be available on May 12. The album was produced by Dave Coleman and The Rough & Tumble at Howard’s Apartment Studio in East Nashville, TN.
“God of War” is Mallory Graham on vocals, and wine glasses; Scott Tyler on vocals, acoustic guitar, high strung guitar, baritone electric, and piano; Chris Benelli on drums and percussion; and Dave Coleman on electric bass.
The Rough & Tumble make music that’s progressive folk style, rooted in acoustic bluegrass, with lyrics that are provocative and sensitive on each side as you flip the coin. This song is an important folk ballad of the frailty of familial Appalachian gun toting religious mix of beliefs: “My dad is a Believer, he serves no god but one / Pays tithes to the Sunday plates and to the preacher’s son / Who supplies the congregation with their automatic guns / Serves but one, but it’s the God of War.”
Growing up, we spent every weekend at the cabin, hunting and shooting skeet, and making sure we were back for church on Sunday morning. Now, my parents are stock-piling AK47’s and pledging their allegiance to the flag at church on Sundays. How this transition happened from my childhood to my 30-somethings is baffling in juxtaposition, but can be traced in contemporary criticisms of Christian Nationalism and the long line of destruction it’s created in the last 50 years.
This is a song about grappling with what it means to be the country that supplied the rest of the world with their war weapons.
This is also a song about taking responsibility.
That strange piercing sound is just my finger on the top of a wine glass – we let it reverberate throughout and split the tones, then re-stacked them, to generate the feeling of post explosion – the ringing that happens in your ears. We wanted this track to feel like war, and its aftermath – as well as Appalachian in its placement. — Mallory Graham