AN ALBUM, A BOOK, A MUSICAL, AND A MOVEMENT!
NEWS FLASH: Family Style Acoustic Show March 26tth
Available now! The twelve song story album chronicles four generations of a Texas cattle ranching family - their debates, divisions, and a return to love, reflective of a needed movement among "The Commoners" of America.
Glory and Warfare offers a macro level strategy on how we can do our part to wake up, pray up, rise up, and speak up from underneath the fog of politics, in a return to love to reunite “The Commoners” of this beauty-full country.
What was intended to be a storyboard video of the album became a homespun film that won Anthem Film Festival 2020 for Best Original Score. The film is now a multimedia stage production, aka "The first Americana Musical!"
ABOUT THE PROJECT
Jill Riley was born into the fourth generation of a large cattle ranching and wheat farming family. In her award winning "Songumentary" film, she tells their important story spanning four generations with a message to the fifth - "the fifth" representing all future generations. Her great grandparents and their children somehow survived the dirty thirties and the great depression in the Texas Panhandle. Jill grew up observing the fitting debates and resulting divisions among the cattlemen of the second and third generations. Winner of the Anthem Film Festival 2020 for Best Original Score, her film shares the lessons she has learned through digging into the rich soil of her family heritage. Through this work, she has magnified a micro version of the issues we face together today, as an entire nation - the people or “family” of America as a whole. The project exists to inspire a celebration of heritage and to bring renewal to divided relationships. The writings and productions of The Common Ground Sound Project spark relevant and imperative conversations for the times we live in and aim to encourage, from underneath the fog of politics, a return to love and unity among "The Commoners" of this beauty-full country.
"We've all got roots in common ground."
When I lived in L.A. in 2006, I decided to get back to a regularly scheduled songwriting day. The very first day, I wrote a song which told me that this story-album idea, which had been beckoning since 1993, was never going to leave me alone until I surrendered to it and finally wrote it. I locked myself up for two weeks in a house on the outskirts of Angel Fire, New Mexico. There, I finally finished writing these songs. From there, I began producing the album version of these songs in a studio in Amarillo, Texas. Then, I gathered the guts to book my first live performance of the songs in a small room 30 miles south of Nashville. When the encouraging response came from the audience members of this sold out show, I knew that what I needed to do next was tell the story, Ken Burns documentary style. So, I wrote, directed, and produced what I now call the "Songumentary"
version of this story, and filmed it in the humble kitchen of my little 1899 farm house just off the city square of Franklin, TN