October 28th, 2013

Headstone

Halloween Countdown, Day 28

Today I have a special treat for you! My wonderful husband, Larry, is a son of the Blue Ridge Mountains, an Appalachian man, and during the Halloween season he swears by the melancholy tales of death, hauntings, and mystery told via bluegrass music (or should I say "boograss" music?). As with all of bluegrass, some of these songs trace their ancestry back to older traditional ballads.

This year, he's shared with me his countdown of the spookiest, eeriest, most atmospheric "boograss" songs. (NOTE: All links go to YouTube videos for your listening/viewing pleasure.)

Moonlight Fog


Larry's "Unlucky Thirteen" Best "Boograss" Songs

1. "Bringing Mary Home"
as performed by The Country Gentlemen or Mac Wiseman

2. "Knoxville Boy"
as performed by Larry Stephenson

3. "Long Black Veil"
as performed by Seldom Scene or Bill Monroe

4. "Eli Renfro" (a.k.a. "The Ghost of Eli Renfro")
as performed by Del McCoury Band or Nashville Bluegrass Band

5. "O Death"
as performed by Ralph Stanley

6. "I’ve Come to Take You Home"
as performed by Seldom Scene

7. "Brown Mountain Light"
as performed by Charlie Moore or Tony Rice or The Country Gentlemen

8. "Ghost of Norma Jean"
as performed by Steep Canyon Rangers

9. "It’s Just the Night"
as performed by Del McCoury Band

10. "Little Margaret"
as performed by The Knitters or Sheila Kay Adams

11. "He Had a Long Chain On"
as performed by Tim O'Brien or The Knitters or Jimmy Driftwood

12. "The Ballad of Sarah Malone"
as performed by David Davis and the Warrior River Boys

13. "Caleb Meyer"
as performed by The Greencards or Gillian Welch


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Mountain Intensity


Well, many say they've seen him,
His hands all red with blood.
But he gets off: his daddy's rich
And his grandpa is the judge.
Townfolk up and lynched him,
But 'til this very day,
Although they hung the Knoxville boy,
He won't stay in his grave.

When the fog rolls into Knoxville
And the river is on the rise,
Don't go near the Knoxville boy --
There's murder in his eyes.


- "Knoxville Boy," Larry Stephenson