Bobby Horton

"Unfailingly entertaining and unself-consciously informative...all the wit and joy, pathos and fatalism of the
Civil War soldier and his times."—A&E Networks Civil War Journal

Combining his love of history and music, Bobby Horton is widely recognized as one of the country's leading authorities on Civil War music. He is a seasoned performer, multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer and music historian. Bobby has worked with documentary film maker Ken Burns for 30 years over the course of 16 films including The Roosevelts, The Civil War and Baseball. He has composed, produced and performed more than 21 films for the National Park Service, and his series or recordings of authentic period music has garnered critical acclaim from around the world. In performance, his storytelling, musicianship, warmth and genuine love for the people who settled this nation, fought for our future and contributed to way of life is insightful and inspiring. 

Performance offerings include Songs and Stories of the Civil War, Songs from a Christmas Gathering and The Long Steel Rail in America.

Songs and Stories of the Civil War is a trip back in time to the most turbulent era in our nation's history. Dressed as a 19th century performer, using period musical instruments, Bobby explores the stories of both the North and South through the music they loved. Songs are placed in context with historical background and portrays the struggles, hopes, and fears of Americans during this long and bloody conflict. These songs and stories tell of sweethearts and families left behind, fallen comrades, the hope of going home, and the pride, bravery, and patriotism of the volunteers who answered their country's call. This is not just a performance for Civil War buffs but for anyone who loves great music, inspired storytelling, and an evening of unforgettable entertainment.

In Songs from a Christmas Gathering audiences are invited to celebrate the joyful spirit of the season as they participate in an old fashioned Christmas carol sing-along that includes minstrel tunes, Civil War songs, folk hymns, Stephen Foster's music and of course old-fashioned Christmas carols. Once prohibited in much of colonial New England, a few settlers continued to celebrate with small religious ceremonies and as waves of immigrants arrived, so did their Christmas traditions, eventually moving into the mainstream. From these humble beginnings, Christmas grew so popular with the American people that in 1870 Congress declared it a Federal holiday. By the 1880's, holiday parties consisted of socializing, dining, party games, and a vital component was music. 

The Long Steel Rail in America explores the development of the American railroad system was one of the most important phenomena of the Industrial Revolution.  It brought forth profound social, economic and political change to a country that, at the time, was only 50 years old.  Railroads meant jobs, bridges, train depots, robber barons and, of course, the majestic machinery of the rail locomotive. Bobby celebrates the railroad experience as it grew with our nation. Through songs and stories, he explores the themes and tunes that have become woven into American culture.