NEW YORK–Carry You On, the unique benefit “Album for Action” from noted recording artist Marcus Goldhaber bridges the gap between civilians and military veterans through the power of music.
The album, released through Krian Music Group/Universal Records, is a compelling collection of story-based songs told to Goldhaber-first-hand by veterans. Created to open new windows into the everyday lives of veterans and their families, the songs are the culmination of an ongoing mission by Goldhaber that started five years ago to deepen the discussion beyond “Thank You for Your Service.”
Half of the proceeds from physical sales of Carry You On directly support Iraq Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), a non-partisan, non-profit which similarly seeks to connect, unite and empower post-9/11 veterans, while strengthening the civilian-veteran bond. The album was entirely funded through a Kickstarter campaign that the marquee crowdfunding site declared a “Project We Love,” in raising nearly $70,000.
Propelled by the swirling B-3 organ of Todd Caldwell (David Crosby, Stephen Stills), and the earthy soulfulness of Marc Cohn, with the effortless bounce of Barry Manilow, “Song For Peace” lifts Goldhaber’s hopeful message of peace and unity through music while deepening the understanding of what many military families endure (“Every soldier needs a shoulder, don’t fear them, just hear them”).
“Song For Peace is meant to deepen the understanding of what a military family goes through,” says Goldhaber, “and bring people together around a hopeful message of peace.”
Goldhaber aims to fortify the civilian-veteran dialogue and broaden the national conversation about veterans with Carry You On. As the album illustrates, the discussion hardly ends with “Thank you for your service.” Furthering that conversation between civilians and military veterans is the true challenge.
Known for his vivid songwriting and intimate approach to the American songbook, Goldhaber makes a bold departure from his jazz roots, and charges beyond stars-and-stripes patriotism to achieve a greater conversation of nuance and individuality. With music as his vehicle to drive the conversation, Goldhaber blends a variety of styles and special narratives that summon the timeless sensibilities of classic singer-songwriters, from James Taylor to the Lumineers. All original lyrics on Carry You On were inspired by conversations Goldhaber has had with civilians, active-duty service members, veterans and their families during a five-year journey that began with one like-minded song, the anthemic “Come Home America,” which has been newly arranged for Carry You On.
Goldhaber has been performing these songs on military and patriotic stages, from Super Bowl and Fleet Week events to the nation’s largest Veterans Day Parade and Independence Day celebration. The impact he’s witnessed and reactions he’s received along the way became the impetus to record the full album with producer Thad DeBrock (Duncan Sheik, Ari Hest) and a stellar group of studio musicians whose credits include David Bowie, Paul Simon, the Black Crowes, Bon Iver, Joni Mitchell, Cassandra Wilson, Suzanne Vega, and Crosby, Stills & Nash.
Among the other Goldhaber originals, “That’s My Dad” surveys the generational shift in perspective of the veteran-civilian relationship with a Sgt. Pepper’s vibe. “Cassandra Knows,” in classic troubadour style, explores a woman’s struggle to accept her decision to join the Marines after losing family on 9/11. And “Sometimes I Wish” applies an American folk-rock tapestry to introduce survivor’s guilt amid veterans who struggle to move on without those who’ve served by their sides, wishing sometimes “that it were me instead of them.”
“There are themes in all the songs that are much bigger than one subject,” says producer DeBrock. “And in times like these, it’s good to have anything that brings people together as opposed to taking them apart. Marcus has done a great job in creating songs like that.”
Adds Goldhaber: “It’s really exciting to see how audiences mixed with civilians and military folks connect through this message at our shows. It’s beautiful and inspiring to witness them truly engaging with each other and bonding as they leave the performance. We all have the power to help eliminate the US/THEM culture that unfortunately still plagues our communities.”