A few weeks ago I read that Dave Alvin was to appear in an episode of Justified, a television series I had never seen and had only heard of in passing. A bit more searching led me to believe that the series would be of interest- the setting was certainly an area of interest and the premise of the show was appealing. Without ever seeing an episode (as far as I can tell, it isn’t available in Canada) I bought series one on DVD this past week and my wife and I watched all 14 episodes this past weekend. The pilot episode was very promising, but after three more episodes we expressed mutual disappointment. I had expected more geography, more local flavour in the show and the vanilla generic locales were underwhelming. If you’re going to set a series in Kentucky, make me feel like I’m seeing Kentucky. (I realize the series isn’t even filmed there. California, anyone?) I had expected more darkness in the series, less obvious good vs bad. As it turns out, the series rapidly improved through the next ten episodes although it still wasn’t as powerful as I had expected. It reminded me a lot of The Closer, a series we both enjoy but which is hardly groundbreaking.
I told you that to tell you this…Dave Alvin’s new song- apparently performed in that series two episode of Justified is streaming at http://soundcloud.com/yep-roc-music-group/dave-alvin-harlan-county-line. The song is better than the series, in my opinion. At least, based on what I’ve seen.
I’ve never visited Harlan County- and after about the fifth episode of Justified, my wife assured me that we never will!- and listening to this song, I ‘m not sure I have a better feel for the place. But, I like the premise, the story the song tells. The song has a few expected Alvinisms…the slow, meandering burn is present in the first 25 seconds and doesn’t let up. The voice, of course. Pretty impressive. I’m looking forward to the album.
Thanks for visiting Fervor Coulee. Donald