Sunday, October 9, 2011

Music To Write By: Darrell Scott's "You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive"

Why listen? For soulfulness and passion; a taste of rural noir; an example of how to turn biography into art.

When the country-fried hardboiled crime drama Justified needed a song to close out each of its cordite-scorched season finales, it chose the Darrell Scott-penned ditty "You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive." Unfortunately, the show's creators ignored the original version, settling instead on a poppy cover by Nashville star Brad Paisley. That's a shame, because Scott infuses the noirish narrative with a soulfulness befitting the gloomy hollers of old Appalachia. It doesn't hurt that he drew on his own family history in chronicling the attempts of two star-crossed lovers to escape a corner of Kentucky that claims the life of almost everyone who ventures into it. Spare and striking, "Harlan" shows how to turn biography into art.


pattinase (abbott) said...

Oh, this was great and I miss Justified just hearing it. Sounds like a great place to hear music.

Loren Eaton said...

I miss Justified, too. Can't wait for the third season. Such a good show.