Depending on your taste and perhaps your generational cultural cues, Stephen King, T-Bone Burnett and John Mellencamp are either legends of their crafts or names you’ve seen on your dad’s shelves. Not too long ago, these three mighty forces came together to write a supernatural folk-rock musical, Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, which premiered in 2012 in Atlanta. Now, the team is releasing the whole all-star soundtrack, which will meet a wider public on June 4th.
Ghost Brothers of Darkland County is rooted in actual events, the story of a fight between two brothers in rural Indiana that ended in death and destruction and woe, as these things often do. Mellencamp brought the story to Stephen King, and the two came up with this tale of two sets of brothers, one living, one (presumably) dead, from the same family, and the younger must learn from the elder to not make the same mistakes. King wrote the book, Mellencamp wrote the songs, T-Bone Burnett produced, and now we have a soundtrack.
The musical’s songbook is full of stars in the country and folk worlds, including Sheryl Crow, Neko Case, Rosanne Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Elvis Costello and Taj Mahal. Crow, Phil Alvin, Taj Mahal and more reassure with the soothing, breezy “Home Again,” which sounds like it could close an act, with the words speaking of reconciliation and return. Kristofferson’s “How Many Days” is dusty and contemplative, trudging with intent across the Indiana plains and speaking with a voice that sounds quite haunted. Elvis Costello’s “That’s Me” is sinister but not malevolent, a good introduction for a ghostly character. Listen to the whole, lovely, haunted America soundtrack below.
[via the Wall Street Journal]