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Mark Wills Second Time Around Benefits USACares – Country Music Archives

October 17, 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFrom the Archives during Country Music month!


Mark Wills has been at the top of the charts and in the awards shows. He’s been a long time supporter of our troops, with several trips to entertain the troops around the world including to Iraq. USA Cares is a non-profit organization that helps our military families and is operated with donations from Americans as well as corporate and foundation supporters. USA Cares has assisted thousands of veterans with more than $5.5 million in assistance.

With the release of “2nd Time Around” it’s a musical trip through some fan favorites as well as a chance to help soldiers through the combat injured program, housing and critical needs too often overlooked. Because not all injuries are visible, and because music is such a healing thing this is a win-win chance to help someone and get some great music.

This isn’t just re-recording songs that are in a different order onto a new cd – this is a totally redone project. As his single “Entertaining Angels” offers new material from the “Familiar Stranger” cd, The old favorites are done with a present day presentation.

Kicking off the CD is “Jacob’s Ladder” followed by “Back At One” and “I Do (Cherish You)” – all hits that have reached many who listen to country music. “Loving Every Minute” and “Back On Earth” both offer new perspectives as well as “High, Low and In Between” with the same integrity of the music but a slightly different presentation. Is it possible for the songs to sound even better than before? The answer is an unreserved yes, but the selection and presentation gets even better from here if you consider the personal nature of the music as well as that it does benefit our soldiers who have given so much that, in some ways, they’ll never get back.

With the beginning of “Wish You Were Here” it’s simple in presentation yet powerful without altering the song. How many get that card or letter after a loss and the memories don’t just go away. “In My Arms” is a personal song for Mark Wills about his daughter as a baby…an image repeated and a lyric felt by so many military families away from their loved ones. The perspective takes the song to new levels. “Places I’ve Never Been” continues that thought – even when not face to face the images of common places are what pulls many military families through the long deployments.

“19 Something”, “Time Machine” and “When You Think of Me” get a slightly new sound without losing a thing to time. Perhaps the most reflective and powerful is a ringside listen to “Don’t Laugh At Me” which is an anthem for many in tough times. It’s at the end to hear it was recorded in Balad Iraq and the crowd cheering are our soldiers serving there.

All in all if it was just for the music or just for the benefit of the troops I’d say this was a can’t miss cd – but having both together just makes it better. Do yourself and a soldier a favor – get this cd. If you can check the insert in it for another way to give to help those who have done so much for us. It’s the least we can do. As the 4th of July approaches it’s a perfect time to give a gift to those who insure our freedom and protection around the world and great music from a talented artist removes the risk. You can even get some extra treats at the website.

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