Various Artists: Lawless soundtrack (Sony)

 |   |  <1 min read

Ralph Stanley/Emmylou Harris: Fire in the Blood/Snake Song
Various Artists: Lawless soundtrack (Sony)

Music to a movie with interesting credentials. From the novel The Wettest Country in the World by Matt Bondurant about his bootlegging grandfather in Virginia, a screenplay by Nick Cave and directed by John Hillcoat (The Road, Cave's Proposition and Ghosts of the Civil Dead), it is a Depression-era gangster-cum-bootlegger story starring Shia LaBeouf, Guy Pearce and Gary Oldman.

And songs by Mark Lanegan, bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley, Willie Nelson and Emmylou Harris brought together by Cave and Warren (Bad Seeds, Dirty Three) Ellis.

It comes from a different angle than Bonnie and Clyde.

Here Lanegan delivers the strident, fiddle-coloured Fire and Brimstone and a bluegrass-kissed version of Lou Reed's White Light/White Heat, Cave and Ellis offer typically unnerving material, and Harris the ethereal You'll Aim Towards the Sky. And she has variations on Cave and Ellis' Fire in the Blood.

A highpoint is Stanley with his ancient sounding version of the same piece which segues into a breathy Harris on Townes Van Zandt's spooky Snake Song.

This is for Cave completists and the movie is some way off, but don't wait until then to hear 85-year old Stanley offer a moonshiner's take on Reed's heroin rush White Light/White Heat.

Like the sound of this? Then check out this.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: James McMurtry: Just Us Kids (Lightning Rod/Elite)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: James McMurtry: Just Us Kids (Lightning Rod/Elite)

The murky photo of a small, barroom audience on the inner sleeve of this brittle and typically dark album by singer-poet McMurtry might have included me. It looks like it was taken in the... > Read more

Of Montreal: Paralytic Stalks (Shock)

Of Montreal: Paralytic Stalks (Shock)

Quick rule of thumb? Avoid songs which have the word "destiny" in them, they are usually worthy, pretentious, over emotional and . . . frankly, they are usually awful. Now we might... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

NEW ZEALAND TOP 20 SINGLES OF THE SIXTIES compiled by WARWICK FREEMAN

NEW ZEALAND TOP 20 SINGLES OF THE SIXTIES compiled by WARWICK FREEMAN

This may be the silliest, most obsessive but singularly important book on New Zealanders' music listening and buying habits in the Sixties ever written. And it is just lists. But what... > Read more

GUEST WRITER NICK SMITH confronts musical prejudice and pure emotion

GUEST WRITER NICK SMITH confronts musical prejudice and pure emotion

Musical prejudice or snobbery is always with us. Fans are forever dismissing whole swathes of music for reasons that seem ephemeral. A common one is it's popular; another one is it’s old.... > Read more