What’s more Americana than Vampires?
Vampire lore has a rich history here in America, not sure what it is. The darkness, the immortality, the passion, the gore. It’s all a little bit Hollywood-fascinating. The idea that there are immortals among us is creepy. People like creepy things.
I’m generally not one of those people who likes creepy things, but I appreciated the Vampire Chronicles, mostly because I have a thing for New Orleans and the hot, sweaty south (I grew up in Florida). Recently, though, I’ve been getting “glamoured” by a TV show called True Blood. The scenario: vampires live in a fictional Louisiana town called Beau Temps. A pretty blond (Anna Paquin) who can hear people’s thoughts falls for a sightly, charming vampire named Bill. Etc. As this site isn’t about television, I’ll cap the scenario there and move on to what I came here to do: talk about music.
Maybe because it’s set in Louisiana, or maybe because the ND community has a friend in Hollywood (or both), the soundtrack for True Blood is incredibly Americana-centric. Season one included tracks from Jesse Sykes, Robbie Fulks, Josh Ritter, Little Big Town, Eleni Mandell, Wilco, Skynyrd, Reverend Horton Heat, Southern Culture on the Skids, Felice Brothers, the Knitters, Johnny Cash, Ryan Adams, Crooked Still, Flying Burrito Brothers, and the list goes on.
It’s enough to make a passably good show that much more watchable, in my opinion. Here’s the opening credits’ theme, “Bad Things” by Jace Everett:
While moody singer-songwriters have a solid place on the Grey’s Anatomy soundtrack, I’ve yet to see any other show throw its musical accompaniment muscle so firmly behind the roots community. With the industry going the way it is, TV and film licensing is often the most effective way for some artists to get heard in the greater world. So, I have to give kudos to HBO for supporting the Americana community.