Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus
Herein lies the ambience for the film where the Southern states get a freak show treatment, not entirely undeserved. Florida singer Jim White, central in the film, is on three tracks, with the remainder stoking the exotic angle. Johnny Dowd will make you think kindly on gun control with his tale of idiotic mayhem “First There Was.” In a brutal social environment where music is one of the few options beyond religion and crime, singing birds and a soothing autoharp can be a life force. A couple of old-timers add grit to the mix. The hair-raising rendition of “Amazing Grace” fits alongside chilling sagas by the Handsome Family and Sixteen Horsepower. As inspiration for the English director, White’s tunes are a mediating presence on this roadtrip soundscape.