We have mentioned before the film, Hillsville 1912, a story of murder and mayhem that still divides families and communities in parts of southwestern Virginia.
This story of a courthouse shooting 100 years ago doesn’t have a specific bluegrass connection, though its filmmaker, Rick Bowman, is also at work now on a documentary about the storied life of mandolin legend Herschel Sizemore. The soundtrack, however, is thick with old time and bluegrass music of the sort long associated with the Appalachian mountains where this tragedy occured.
All the music on the soundtrack CD was selected, arranged and performed by Mike Conner and John Miller of The Travelers, who also appear as a band on several cuts. The centerpiece of the film music is The Ballad Of Claude Allen, a song contemporary to the shooting, whose authorship is unknown. It appears throughout the film, in both and instrumental versions, with fiddler Nate Leath guesting with Conner and Miller.
The remainder of the tracks on the CD consist of largely familiar songs chosen to support the dire circumstances detailed in the film, including Bill Monroe’s Rocky Road Blues, Lester and Earl’s Darling Please Don’t Say It’s Too Late Now, and Steve Gillette’s Darcy Farrow.
Here’s a taste of the film…
…which can be rented via online streaming at IndieFlix, or purchased through Amazon.
The CD is available via most online download resellers, and CD Baby.