The National Anthem is without question one of the most difficult songs to sing, let alone sing well, especially acapella. We have seen some incredible versions, like Whitney Houston's Super Bowl rendition and some very bad versions...Rosanne Barr. Every singer has their own unique take on the song and everyone has an opinion on any one version. My father-in-law gets very irritated when artists try and make it their own. A listener sent me an e-mail suggesting I go to YouTube and check the below version done by American rock band Madison Rising. Yes, their specialty is guitar heavy rock music, but their message is always one of pride in being an American and their songs are laced with patriotism along with a great love and respect for the American way of life...they are not your everyday rock band.

Last year, they recorded this version of the National Anthem, which received more than four million views on YouTube. Most critics of the Anthem just want it played the way it was written by Francis Scott Key, but how did Key intend for the song to be played?

Maybe a version that reflects the modern world is in order, but that is strictly a matter of opinion. Madison Rising is led by vocalist Dave Bray, who is a U.S. Navy Veteran and guitarist Alex Bodnar who definitely gave us a very modern and unique version.

I have to say, this is one of the most impressive renditions of the song I have ever heard and it has nothing whatsoever to do with country music vs. rock music, so just leave that aspect out of the equation. Take this version for what it is, one of the most heartfelt renditions you have ever seen or heard. These guys REALLY believe in and care about what they are doing and that is undeniable.

This rendition is certainly not for everyone, but it will resonate with most, especially the young. It could give our kids a renewed interest in our country and who we are and how can that be anything but a good thing.

I personally think this is one of the most powerful renditions I have ever witnessed mainly because of what the group is putting into it. The performance, coupled with the imagery, make this worth watching if nothing else. Bottom line, these guys love this country and you can tell. Please watch with an open mind, it's worth it.


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