Sam Bush delivers a clear call to action in his rousing new song “Stop the Violence.” The amplified anthem, released as a standalone single, features the newgrass pioneer setting aside his expected fleet-fingered acoustic sound in favor of hard-charging Southern rock.
It’s an effective way for Bush to get across his message about being fed up with mass shootings, social inequality and political divisiveness. “I hate living in a world where there’s so much pain,” Bush sings in the opening line, and from there he and his backing band intensify their plea for peace with impressive distorted fret work.
Bush co-wrote “Stop the Violence” with regular collaborator Jeff Black, who’s had songs cut by Alison Krauss and Waylon Jennings.
“Violence has become a disease, a bad gene in our DNA,” Black said in a statement. “It’s not normal, but it’s being normalized and it’s happening right in front of our kids. When Sam brought me the track and his vision for the song, I started thinking about all the folks who grow up in a violent environment, and that’s all they know. I think about the children in particular and how they are cast into it without a choice. I think the hope, because violence itself is taught and handed down through the generations, is that someday, by small acts, we can break the chain.”
Bush released his latest studio album, Storyman, in 2016. A fixture on the Americana and bluegrass festival circuit, he’s set to perform at MerleFest in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, on April 27th and DelFest in Cumberland, Maryland, on May 26th.