Never Again: Redemption, Loss, & Wrecks on the Highway (Part 1)

This is the first of a two-part look at songs (“Wreck on the Highway” and “Percy’s Song”) about road crashes and their aftermath … The meaning of life is that it stops. — Kafka Impact Shards of shattered windshield, mangled steel, the stink of burning rubber. Torn clothes drenched with … → read more

Jon Langford interview, Part Two

Jon Langford (Photo by Barry Phipps, courtesy the artist and Bloodshot Records) Today we continue our conversation with transplanted Chicagoan and jack-of-all-trades (music, art, comic interludes, storytelling) Jon Langford. You can read Part One here; Part Three appears Friday. Today we find out why Langford wanted to record an album … → read more

Hang down your head, Tom Dooley

G.B. Grayson and Henry Whitter [This is the second post this week on “Tom Dooley.” The first post gives the basics of the underlying story.] Hardly a fiddler or a banjo picker in our county… “I’ll tell you all Verlee and I can remember about Tom Dula…. Laura Foster was a cousin … → read more

Katy Dear

Ian & Sylvia Tyson In this week’s second post, we’re going to give a relatively quick listen to “Katy Dear.” It’s in the same song family as “Silver Dagger,” although with a different focus and a more gruesome end. The key differences between the two are that “Katy Dear” is … → read more

Deep as I have been done

Neko Case playing murder victim on the cover of her album Furnace Room Lullaby In response to a previous post on Nick Cave and Johnny Cash, one of our readers commented that “the emotion in Cave’s voice, along with his delivery, create a murder ballad experience which “moves” the listener … → read more

The slayer who ran looked a lot like me

In this interview mentioned in the last post, Nick Cave explained how his musical inclinations were forever changed when – as young boy in a small town in Australia – he started watching the Johnny Cash Show. The first episode of the show aired on June 17, 1969 (Cave would have been about twelve) … → read more