The Red Hills Music Collective
Greetings From Lawrence County Illinois
It all began with a simple question. What does Lawrence County Illinois sound like? What if a group of friends and musicians tried to plug into the vibrations of this particular place in south-central Illinois on the Indiana border, and it's unique feel and rhythms? What if we listened closely to trains, pump jacks, tractors, combines, crickets, songbirds, local radio, hard rainstorms, the rushing of the Wabash and Embarras rivers, the soft, gentle quiet of countless rural locations and more. What might come out musically?
Early in the summer of 2020 the challenge was on, but Covid-19 presented incredible hurdles. We couldn’t get together and write songs in person, or work out the arrangements and record them together in a studio. Some of the players didn’t even live in Lawrence County anymore, they’d just grown up there and in many ways it still felt like home. Conversations started happening. Emails flew back and forth. The players decided to record at home, wherever they were, using Garageband and other recording software and send their parts back and forth to each other. And we included a few good friends outside the region who had interest in the project and wanted to contribute. The result is Greetings From Lawrence County Illinois.
What does Lawrence County sound like and feel like to us? Earthy, rural and workingman. Genuine without pretension. Proud. Neighbor helping neighbor. A place where you want to take a nice vacation occasionally out of the county but are always glad to get home. Where the last names of people you went to school with are found on old markers at numerous cemeteries. Where faith is a huge part of the equation, even if you’re not that religious. Where you can raise a family and wouldn’t mind your bones spending eternity in that familiar clay soil. Where the flow is different from adjoining counties like Wabash, Richland or Knox in ways you can’t quite articulate or explain.
We hope listeners enjoy the intent and scope of the project. And heck, we also hope the collective keeps active and attracts new members. There’s a lot more music to draw from Lawrence County. Give it a listen and start generating your own ideas for music and other artforms. Inspiration for ten thousand songs, poems, paintings and much more await discovery at the Lawrence County Historical Society. We bet you’ve got a few in you. C’mon, jump on board with us and let’s see what happens next!