Despite Nashville’s best efforts to sanitize it for mass-consumption country and roots music has a long history of dealing with the dark side of life. Murder, violence, inebriation, the Devil, graveyards – all the classic themes that also weave through All Hallows Eve are there. Hard times, hard feelings and the tension between a righteous life and the tugs of temptation have led to some of the best music made. Gothic Country bands revel in dark misery like Carrie White drenched in pig’s blood. Except without all the telekinetic smiting. Enjoy!
10. Those Poor Bastards: This World Is Evil – There are few Gothic Country bands thatrepresent the genre so thouroughly as TPB. This World Is Evil is a prime example of the wretched wonder that they bring to thir live show.
17 Lashes is a horns-driven dark sea shanty by Austin-based Rev. Glasseye (Adam Glasseye ex-member of Slim Cessna’s Auto Club) worthy of going down with the ship with.
8. Munly & the Lee Lewis Harlots: Amen Corner – This is a side project for Munly Munly, the front man for Slim Cessna’s Auto Club. It’s a yelping slice of brooding goodness.
7. Sixteen Horsepower: Wayfaring Stranger – This is a live version of Wayfaring Stranger from Club Lek, January 26 2000. 16 HP is no longer a band but this is a great testament of a man meeting his maker.
6. Scott H Biram: Blood, Sweat & Murder – Austin’s Dirty Ol’ One Man Band’s excellent gutbucket murder tune.
5. Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers: Agony Wagon – Part Western-noir and part klezmer band Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers’ Agony Wagon is a frantic plummet into the pit of hell.
4. Creech Holler: Pretty Polly -A gritty take on the traditional English-language murder ballad.
3. Strawfoot: Churchyard Cough – A rousing Irish jig about the dirt nap from this fine band’s upcoming release How We Prospered.
2. Pine Box Boys: I Kept Her Heart – A boot stomping take on the murder ballad from this great San Francisco-based band.
1. O’Death: Low Tide – More frantic mayhem and doom from this New York band on what could be thier best song.