Piece Comment

John's Eye For a Story

John has this knack for finding the obvious, compelling stories that are hidden in plain sight. More to the point, he presents stories of the forgotten people. Prisoners, the exiled, military wives, farm workers - people without a voice. With John's great treatment, these forgotten people's plights are voiced and the injustice is beautifully addressed because John's pieces don't just sing, they sing opera.

This racial cleansing story is great example of John's eye for a story. In our youth, we Americans were all taught about the Civil War and its bloody aftermath but somehow we fooled ourselves into believing that our terrible history was as far away and long ago. John's recasting of this sanitized history updates our understanding. There was racial cleansing, a Southern guerrilla movement that restored much of the pre-Civil War government, and the results remain evident today. Thanks to the clear vision of John Biewen, we can learn from the history of our country.