Steeldrivers music in new film, The Watchers

A new film, The Watchers, directed by Ishana Night Shyamalan and set to release in June, will include music from Nashville’s bluegrass genre-benders, The Steeldrivers.

Their contribution is a collaboration the ‘Drivers recorded with Irish band Dervish in 2019 for their album, The Great Irish Songbook, which offered Dervish versions of some of the most popular songs from Ireland’s long history of folk music. It’s a popular number called There’s Whiskey In The Jar which features all the members of both groups in the studio.

Despite it being an Irish song, the combined bands give it a bluegrass treatment, sung by Kelvin Damrell of The Steeldrivers. It’s not only great fun to hear the whistles, flutes, accordion, bodhrán, and Irish fiddles along with the banjo, mandolin, and bluegrass fiddle, it’s very effective musically as well. Once they all run through the story of a brigand who robs a rich man and ends up in jail after being turned in by his wife, the arrangement is given over to a rousing Celtic instrumental.

Here’s a listen to the track.

The Watchers stars Dakota Fanning, and serves as the directorial debut for Shyamalan, daughter of acclaimed filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan, who produced the film. Unsurprisingly, given the family oeuvre, it’s a horror story written by A.M. Shine, about a young artist who gets lost in a wild forest in Ireland, and then trapped with three others who are visited each night by strange creatures who scrutinize them, i.e., The Watchers.

Have a look at the trailer.

There’s Whiskey In The Jar comes in during a scene when Fanning’s character, Mina, visits a bar in disguise and chats with the locals.

The Watchers will be in theatrical release on June 7 from Warner Bros Pictures. Steeldrivers fans will certainly want to see it.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.