The Civil War
offers the complete recorded adaptation of Frank Wildhorn's acclaimed stage musical; spread across two discs, the assembled roster spans not only the musical spectrum (everyone from Hootie and the Blowfish to Patti LaBelle
to Deana Carter
) but also the worlds of drama (Danny Glover
, James Garner
and Ellen Burstyn) and even literature (Dr. Maya Angelou
). The results are often fascinating -- both the personal and political drama of the war between the states resonate throughout these songs, and the performances achieve an intriguing balance between period texture and contemporary energy.