One of the beautiful things about Cormac McCarthy’s fiction is his choice of setting. Whether my home of rural, southern Appalachia or my wife’s home(ish) of the Texas-Mexican border, Cormac writes about people who fight and love with equal vigor.
If you’re going to sing country music (and, make no mistake, Southern Rock is as much country music as it is rock), then your songs will live and die by your ability to tell the story of two things: violence and love.
Southern Rock revivalists The Steel Woods tackle the first with Straw in the Wind. You know how the mining rep never leaves Harlan alive in “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive”? Now imagine an entire song like that. That song is Straw in the Wind. As a bonus, the music video is masterfully composed of public domain silent movie era Westerns.
Uncle Lloyd (written by Darrell Scott, not The Steel Woods) tells a different story. It is a more complex story of love than that of the usual sappy love story. It’s the story about the fraternal love between the narrator’s father and the man who he invites into his house to live as the narrator’s uncle. A man who “worked just like a man of twenty until the working day was done.” It is a story of a new, created family. But it is also the story of the family the man lost and the irreparable harm to the soul that incurs. “How a man at 57 winds up living so alone.”
You can find every video featured for Music Monday here.
Follow Hillbilly Highways on Facebook.