Some Folks Call It a Sling Blade…


…and some folks, when called upon, cannot name you the titles of their favorite films. I am not one of those people; as for me, when it comes to the last ten years, or so, the answer is unequivocally Billy Bob Thornton’s Sling Blade, followed closely by David Gordon Green’s All The Real Girls; both southern Gothic tales set in the new south. But, let’s talk about music.

Thornton’s Sling Blade boasted a score by one of my favorite producers, the multi-talented Daniel Lanois. As discussed multiple times (near ad nauseam) on AD in the past, the Lanois touch is undeniable, no matter the project, be it Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, or The Neville Brothers.

Such is the case with his film scores. Here, musically, Lanois uses both rural, organic, elements (suiting the film’s small town Arkansas setting) as well as modern production and instrumentation; both separately, and in tandem. Also, complementing his own compositions, are the other artist contributions which fall more in line with what you might hear in an actual late twentieth century small southern town (e.g. the Bambi Lee Savage’s “Darlin” found below.)

Put on some headphones and listen to the two disparate Lanois tracks below off the same soundtrack: the first “Shenandoah”, a beautiful and autumnal track, benefits from Emmylou Harris’s angelic voice, while the second track, “Orange Kay” is the aural manifestation of the simmering violence smoldering just barely beneath the film’s surface. The two seem to embody the light and the dark, the duality Thornton pushes and pulls throughout the course of the film’s narrative.

The below clip, a key scene from Sling Blade features a medley of notable faces and performances, including (most notably, the fantastically frightening chops of Dwight Yoakam) Colonel Bruce Hampton, and Vic Chesnutt. But that’s not all — hit up the comments if you can name the others. Hint: Bob Dylan’s drummer.


MP3: Daniel Lanois & Emmylou Harris :: Shenandoah
MP3: Daniel Lanois :: Orange Kay

MP3: Bambi Lee Savage :: Darlin’
Amazon: Daniel Lanois: Sling Blade OST

+ Download your music DRM free via eMusic’s 25 Free MP3 trial offer.
+ Check out additional Daniel Lanois tracks at the Hype Machine.

16 thoughts on “Some Folks Call It a Sling Blade…

  1. Mickey Jones drummed for Bob during 66 or so. He also tried to cash in with that DVD of photos he took during the tour

  2. A truly amazing film, on every level. One of my favorite components is the kid who plays Frank; what an incredible, natural actor. I read recently that acting is secondary to him; he wants to become a professional fisherman (his name escapes me). Stellar performances all around.

  3. May I just throw in – a movie that I really enjoy, even though it has its faults, is Big Bad Love. Its main character is a struggling Southern author who drinks too much and has a failed marriage he keeps trying to rekindle and the line between his written world and reality keeps blurring among the drinking binges and narrative shifts, but the soundtrack really makes it lovely and I’ve enjoyed it more and more over the years.

  4. being a huge widespread panic fan, sling blade has lots of WP ties. Col Bruce Hampton is generally accepted as panic’s “daddy”…in fact their new guitarist Jimmy Herring is from Aquarium Rescue Unit and Col Bruce’s Codetalkers.

    Vic Chesnutt is a frequent panic collaborator, both with panic itself and in the form of the Vic-led, panic-backed sideproject “brute.”

    And of course Billy Bob directed Panic’s first live concert release and one of their first music videos.

    hate hippies? so do i. but widespread’s the real deal.

  5. This is one of the greatest scenes of any movie ever made, and I’ll fight the first one’a’you sons’a’bitches that tries to say otherwise.

    All kidding aside, some buddies and I like to recite this particular scene occasionally. It’s so perfectly dark and comedic at the same time. What? It’s not suppose to be funny? I beg to differ.

  6. “mmm…french fried taters”…great call on all the real girls, by the way, phenomenal movie…not sure how i feel about david gordon green’s upcoming foray into the stoner comedy genre, though.

  7. Karl: [Eating potted meat] I reckon it tastes alright.
    Frank: You really think it’s got peckers in there?
    Karl: You know better than that. You ought not say that word.
    Frank: It smells funny.
    Karl: Yeah, it’s pretty loud. Looky there. I believe you right. I believe I see one right in there.
    [They laugh]

  8. I gotta agree with you on “All The Real Girls.” Say, there’s a real nice Will Oldham song that open up that movie…

  9. The other guy (the vaguely American Indian fellow) I believe is Ian Moore, the Texas guitarist/singer-songwriter.

  10. Check out Ray McKinnin flicks for more southern tales. The Accountant is a fabulous short film about the south, Chrystal is an extremely deep and touching movie (also starring Billy Bob T.) and the latest one Randy and the Mob is hilarious.

    I love Slingblade too. These are very much in that vein.

    My new favorite Col Bruce quote as of late:
    “People say I play country music. Not sure which country that is.”

  11. Sling Blade and All the Real Girls are both fabulous. I’ll nod knowingly to the recommendation for Ray McKinnin above. I’m also super fond of Junebug and Thornton’s The Gift for southern gothic.

  12. The DVD has a lot of extra stuff about this scene…an hour long conversation with BBT, Dwight and Mickey Jones; a behind the scenes video of the band actually playing and an extra scene of Col. Bruce and Mickey Jones playing a song (in character…”I’m baking the cookies of discontent.”)

  13. Indeed … “Randy” is played by Ian Moore. Check out his solo album from a few years back — “Luminaria”. It’s beautiful.

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