I recently learned of a 2008 documentary about American beat poet/writer Jack Kerouac entitled "One Fast Move or I'm Gone: Kerouac's Big Sur." This story has St. Louis ties as local musician Jay Farrar (Uncle Tupelo/Son Volt) and Ben Gibbard (Death Cab For Cutie) recently collaborated to set Kerouac's writing to music and it's featured in the movie. The music is sparse and beautiful, truly an American sound...as American as jazz or blues or dixieland or traditional country in my opinion. Gibbard's voice is channeling a bit of Gary Louris from the Jayhawks, yet still original and true as always. And Farrar's voice and playing is spot-on as usual. If popular country music had half of this soul and emotion tied to the traditional American sound, I'd listen to it. But I don't think anyone could make the claim that contemporary popular country music has much authenticity or respect for tradition and culture.
Son Volt performs live at the Pagent on November 6th with support from one of my all time favorite (and most underrated) British musicians: Peter Bruntnell.
More on this project here.
And you can listen here.