Photos by G.
The title of this article is NOT misleading. Legends T-Bone Burnett, Stephen King and John Mellencamp have written a musical! “Ghost Brothers of Darkland County” is being released on June 4, 2013 and I spent an hour in the presence of greatness as the trio discussed this project at the Apple Store in Manhattan. The story was written by Stephen King in collaboration with John Mellencamp and T-Bone Burnett served as the musical director.
The story is set in the tiny town of Lake Belle Reve, Mississippi. “Darkland County” focuses on two sets of brothers: the ghosts of Jack and Andy, dead in an apparent murder/suicide, and their nephews, the living Frank and Drake. Joe, younger brother of Jack and Andy, father of Frank and Drake, has decided it’s time to reveal his own terrible secret at the site of the tragedy, before it’s too late. The libretto of the supernatural Southern musical is being released as a book with a DVD of interviews with the trio as well as 2 cds featuring performances by Neko Case, Elvis Costello, Sheryl Crow and Mellencamp just to name a few!
This musical has been in the works for over a decade as all of them have “full time jobs” as they put it. There have been readings of the play already and they are planning on doing a small tour. Depending on interest, “Darkland County” could come to Broadway in New York, so hopefully the tour is a success because it would be amazing to see a full blown production with these three incredible talents at the helm. I guess time will tell. The program was recorded for a free podcast that will be free to download off iTunes, so if you were not able to make it to this historic event, you’ll be able to catch up on what you missed.
On a personal note, to be in the presence of Stephen King, whose books had a huge influence on my life was beyond surreal. His books have scared the shit out of me since I was very little and he even remarked “we try and recruit them when they are young.” I’ve also been a huge fan of John Mellencamp for most of my life as well and T-Bone Burnett has produced so many great songs, most recently the amazing Robert Plant and Alison Krauss album “Raising Sand.” Needless to say, this event was so cool to attend and I’d like to say thanks to T-Bone Burnett, Stephen King and John Mellencamp for being such great sources of inspiration.