Clinch Mountain Echo

OST - Lawless

(Sony 88725455472) 2012

CD Tray

Average Album Rating: 1.5
(Total votes 2)

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I never thought I'd ever hear Ralph sing songs by Captain Beefheart, Link Wray and the Velvet Underground, but as Ralph said:- "It just goes to show you can never tell what's about to happen. Like Carter used to say, 'It's a big world out there.' Big and crazy, too."[1]

Nick Cave and Warren Ellis' prohition era film, attempted to use a contemporary, punk-ish soundtrack, as Nick described:- "What we didn't want to do is do an Americana soundtrack in the sense that we didn't want to do the kind of top-shelf. - We wanted to make this music ourselves. And what I mean by "ourselves" is we actually play it - me and Warren and a couple of musicians that we know, even though we don't know anything about bluegrass music or our bluegrass chops are pretty limited. And in that way we could get something that was very raw and brutal and punky, and that's what we were really aiming at rather than doing something that was more respectful of the genre."[2]

Personally, I don't think the soundtrack works too well - bands like The Earl Brothers and any of the raw banjo pseudo-hillbilly bands, Hank III etc would have been a better fit.

The most powerful musical element of the film is the square note singing in the church house scene... and that isn't on the CD...

Ralph is featured on four tracks. White Light..., used in the credits in the film and which sadly is rather poor. Likewise, Link Wray's 1971 Fire And Brimstone doesn't feature Ralph at his best... He is in much better voice however on Fire In The Blood and Beefheart's classic Sure 'Nuff 'N Yes I Do, both of which are performed a cappella. I don't think Sure 'Nuff 'N Yes I Do ended up in the film... at least not on the DVD version I've got.

Hal Willner in the CD liner notes:- "...Ralph Stanley was very suspicious when it came to singing songs by Lou Reed in his Velvet Underground period and a Captain Beefheart song. This was new territory for him, he needed some convincing and wasn't even sure that he was going to be able to pull it off - but would give it a try. He brought his music director and guitarist, James Shelton, with him. As with many artists, once he got a handle on what the song meant to him, it was pretty smooth. Ralph saw 'White Light / White Heat' as a song about the effects of moonshine. I didn't enlighten him on what I always thought the song was really about. Ralph and James messed with it for a while and, once a comfortable meter was found, he made a classic Ralph Stanley song out of it. 'Sure 'Nuff 'N Yes I Do' was a bit different as he wasn't even going to try to figure out what it meant - and of course it's reference to a Jaguar (the car) was confusing as they didn't exist during Prohibition, but he went in and did it as a field holler. Lou Reed came to the mix session and heard Ralph's version of 'White Light / White Heat'. He got a bit choked up, shocked that he actually wrote a real hillbilly folk song. I wish Mr Van Vliet (Beefheart) could have been around to hear Ralph sing his song."

It's probably worth noting that Ralph and Carter as children, helped distribute moonshine for an uncle to 'make ends meet'.

And if you think this is Ralph's weirdest collaboration - read the Re:Generation entry...

Fire And Brimstone
- Mark Lanegan

Fred Lincoln Wray Jr.
Burnin' Hell
- Nick Cave

Bernard Besman / John Lee Hooker
Sure 'Nuff 'N Yes I Do
- Ralph Stanley

Herb Bermann / Don Van Vliet
Fire In The Blood
- Emmylou Harris

Nick Cave / Warren Ellis
White Light / White Heat
- Mark Lanegan

Lou Reed
- Emmylou Harris

Nick Cave / Warren Ellis
Fire In The Blood / Snake Song
- Ralph Stanley / Emmylou Harris

Nick Cave & Warren Ellis / Townes Van Zandt
So You'll Aim Towards The Sky
- Emmylou Harris

Jason Lytle
Fire In The Blood
- Emmylou Harris

Nick Cave / Warren Ellis
Fire And Brimstone
- Ralph Stanley

Fred Lincoln Wray Jr
Sure 'Nuff 'N Yes I Do
- Mark Lanegan

White Light / White Heat
- Ralph Stanley

Lou Reed
End Crawl
- Nick Cave & Warren Ellis

Nick Cave / Warren Ellis
Midnight Run
- Willie Nelson

Marc Copely / James Bernard Dolan / Adam Stuart Levy

Go To Top Of Page [1] Ralph Stanley & Eddie Dean's book 'Man Of Constant Sorrow' (p. 424)