Foreign Gospel Music

‘American Hymn’ Songbook Addresses Race, Cultural Barriers & Diversity

In 2020, Nashville recording artist, pianist and composer Kory Caudill partnered with The Episcopal Church in designing the Concert for the Human Family. The series includes a team of musicians, artists and creatives shaping a musical journey exploring the powerful intersection between art, social justice and faith. Now, he’s diving further into this musical journey via the ‘American Hymn’ songbook, out September 17th.

‘American Hymn’ offers five instrumental songs that masterfully interpret the heavy human emotions that continue to resound through conversations of race, cultural barriers, diversity and navigating the most important moments in our country.

Co-written by Caudill, who grew up in the Appalachian foothills of Kentucky, ‘American Hymn’ combines the topical and sonic perspectives of musicians from vastly different backgrounds. He collaborated with renowned drummer Chester Thompson (Genesis, Frank Zappa, Weather Report) bassist Justin Smith for ‘American Hymn,’ which was conceptualized by Caudill’s business partner, multi-PLATINUM selling R&B/pop record producer Marc Costanzo.

Written over the course of two years, ‘American Hymn’ is a complex instrumental reflection of Caudill’s perspectives and experiences through the decline of Appalachia, navigating the effects of COVID on American society, raising children in a socially divided country and more.

Caudill spoke to American Songwriter about the importance of using music as a voice of social conversations, here:

Recorded live at Ivy Hall, a 1930’s Victorian era home in East Nashville by Eric Loomis’ who specializes in warm jazz recordings, ‘American Hymn’ also takes a deeper look into Nashville’s place in music and how it brings together musicians of diverse backgrounds.

Each song offers an intimate and emotional listening experience, making listeners feel like they’re in the room while the band performs by using spatial techniques from the ‘50s and ‘60s era of music recording. Caudill’s gorgeous piano that finds diverse genre inspirations across the songbook are inspired by his grandmother who grew up in rural Appalachia, and her unpolished approach to playing hymns that illuminated music’s role in spirituality.

‘American Hymn’ follows Caudill’s previous collaboration with Baltimore rapper Anthony “Wordsmith” Parker under the Concert for the Human Family umbrella, the ‘Progressions’ EP (5.21), which shined a light on everything from the passing of Kobe Bryant to the Black Lives Matter Movement, the 2020 election, the tragedy and strain of the COVID-19 pandemic and more.

The first in-person event in the Concert for the Human Family series will take place Live from Christ Church Cathedral in Cincinnati, OH on Thurs., Sep. 26. For more information on the series, visit

‘American Hymn’ Tracklist:

1. American Hymn No. 1 (Kory Caudill)

2. American Hymn No. 2 (Kory Caudill)

3. American Hymn No. 3 (Kory Caudill, Chester Thompson and Justin Smith)

4. American Hymn No. 4 (Kory Caudill)

5. American Hymn No. 5 (Kory Caudill, Chester Thompson and Justin Smith)

6. Bonus Track – “Over The Rainbow”

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