Lost in the shuffle over a whether or not Mark Mudd was threatening the life of Paula Abdul was the fact that someone auditioned for American Idol with a George Jones song about moonshine. And the related fact that Randy Jackson said it was a “great song.” Sure, Simon Cowell might not understand the appeal of music outside the Whitney Houston catalog, but there’s an entire segment of our American populace that enjoys hearing songs about backwoods distilleries, and that segment includes this part-time blogger.
Even when I went back to the hills above Boone, N.C., with my father in the ’90s, he gave me the advice not to wander too far off into the nearby woods, because someone might not take to kindly to someone stumbling upon their still. So there’s clearly still a market for songs covering that subject. While a few of my favorites were sadly unavailable, as long as there’s an opportunity to hear Robert Mitchum sing about Appalachia, our world retains a tiny glimmer of hope.
Robert Mitchum, “Ballad Of Thunder Road”:
Dolly Parton, “Daddy’s Moonshine Still”:
Steve Earle, “Copperhead Road”:
Matt Stillwell, “Shine” (this song isn’t great, but it fits):