Music News

Various Artists

Andrew Douglas's art-house documentary Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus gave David Byrne a good enough reason to expand his worldbeat label with a soundtrack. Accompanying troubador Jim White down the back roads of the ol' Confederacy with a 300-pound statue of Jerusalem Slim in the trunk, this collection features Appalachian chestnuts from old-timers Doc Watson, Clarence Ashley and Lee Sexton alongside brooding numbers by the Handsome Family, Sixteen Horsepower and New York Doll David Johansen. Not to mention the most hilariously off-key version of "First There Was" that murder balladeer Johnny Dowd has ever pulled off: Our unemployable hero robs a feed store, buys a pair of Beatle boots to impress the ladies, then guns down a movie usher for calling him a creep. By the time Trailer Bride's Melissa Swingle plays a dog-and-wind-muted version of "Amazing Grace" on musical saw, it feels like all roads to hell lead straight through Dixie.
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John La Briola