The album is a project of the Juneau Chapter 100 of Veterans For Peace. It was released Aug. 10, in Seattle at the organization's national convention, and is available in Juneau stores and online.
The four-month project is Chapter 100's first venture into music production and sales. All Internet proceeds from the sale of the CD will go to benefit the local chapter.
It follows on the heels of the chapter's other performing arts project, the play "What I Heard About Iraq," which was co-produced this past winter with the Juneau-Douglas Little Theatre. The group reprised an updated version of the play in Juneau on Aug. 6, and performed it at the VFP convention in Seattle on Aug. 10.
"We hope the CD makes some money to help us fund other peace-related projects," said first-time music producer and VFP member Ed Hein.
"Just as important, we hope it will spread the message of peace in an entertaining and thought-provoking way to people throughout Alaska, the U.S. and around the world."
The album features Juneau artists Buddy Tabor, Mike Truax, Martha Scott Stey, Curt Terrall, Jane Roodenburg, Riley Woodford, Tony Tengs, Collette Costa and numerous others.
Also appearing are Will Putman of Fairbanks, Burl Sheldon of Haines, and Stewart Ely of Pelican and Juneau.
The 18 tracks on the CD are mostly folk songs, but also include a blues number by Woodford, a rock song by Lahna Deering and Neil Down, and an a cappella gospel-style piece by Juneau-native Katie Henry and her California-based group, Mudlark.
All the songs in this eclectic collection have a pro-peace, anti-war message. Most are original compositions by the performers, but there are four covers of songs written by Steve Earle, Loudon Wainwright III, Eric Bogle and Derroll Adams. Several songs are new and were written specifically for the album.
Hein enlisted local folk singer Pat Henry to help bring together some of his colleagues, most of whom are veterans of the Alaska Folk Festival.
"I've known most of these people for 10, 15, 20 years - long enough that I forget when I first met them," Henry said.
Besides performing one of his own songs on the CD, Henry accompanies others on mandolin.
He also recorded most of the tracks at the kitchen table of his Starr Hill home, and mixed and mastered the disc.
"It was a bit of a challenge mixing together kitchen-recorded stuff with commercially recorded tracks so they fit together. I never tried to do that before," he said.
The cover of "Wounded Dove" uses original art by Jim Fowler. Those who have seen his "Honor the troops. Mourn the dead. End the war." poster in windows across town will recognize the art immediately.
Fowler added a wound on the breast of the dove, which is perched on an American flag.
The design was adapted for the album by graphic artist Sarah Asper-Smith of Lucid Reverie.
Many of the artists on the album will join together for a live performance at a release party and concert at 7 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 26, at Northern Light United Church in Juneau.