Best of 2003: Best Song
|1.||"Old Joe's Place" - The Folksmen|
|2.||"Just That Kinda Day" - The New Main Street Singers|
|3.||"When You're Next To Me" - Mitch & Mickey|
|4.||"Never Did No Wanderin'" - The Folksmen|
|5.||"Fare Away" - The New Main Street Singers|
|6.||"One More Time" - Mitch & Mickey|
|7.||"Loco Man" - The Folksmen|
|8.||"The Good Book Song" - The New Main Street Singers|
|9.||"Skeletons of Quinto" - The Folksmen|
|10.||"Never Did No Wanderin'" - The New Main Street Singers|
|11.||"The Ballad of Bobby and June" - Mitch & Mickey|
|12.||"Blood on the Coal" - The Folksmen|
|13.||"Main Street Rag" - The New Main Street Singers|
|14.||"Start Me Up" - The Folksmen|
|15.||"Potato's In the Paddy Wagon" - The New Main Street Singers|
|16.||"A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow" - Mitch & Mickey|
|17.||"A Mighty Wind" - The Folksmen, Mitch & Mickey, and the New Main Street Singers|
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|by Dan Goldwasser
May 11, 2003
He took on community theater with Waiting for Guffman. Then he took on dog shows with Best in Show. Now, for his third feature film, director (and actor) Christopher Guest takes on the world of folk music. Reuniting with Harry Shearer and Michael McKean, the trio (also known at times as Spinal Tap) in A Mighty Wind play together as The Folksmen, a folk-song group made popular in the 1960s by record producer Irving Steinbloom. Steinbloom has just passed on, and his son Jonathan, who now runs the record label, decides to put together a memorial concert featuring some of Steinbloom's favorite musicians. These include The Folksmen, The New Main Street Singers, and Mitch and Mickey (Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara). As with his previous films, Guest allows the humor to come from the characters and the situations. The people on screen are so serious about what they do - even if it's absurd - and that is what makes the film work.
As the film revolves around folk song, you would expect the soundtrack to be filled with them. You would be right. There are plenty of songs in the film, all of them written by Guest, Shearer, McKean, and Levy. They aren't necessarily spoofs or parodies of anything, so inherently they don't come off as funny. But it's their context in the film, as well as the messages in the lyrics, that make it work. These are songs that are so stereotypically "folk", that it's hard not to smile. From such "new" classics as "Old Joe's Place" to "Blood on the Coal" (which mixes two of folk's favorite themes: a train wreck, and a mining accident), the songs just seem to fit perfectly.
The Mitch & Mickey songs are tender and romantic (especially "A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow"), the Folksmen tunes are whimsical ("Skeletons of Quinto", and a cover of "Start Me Up" that didn't appear in the film), and The New Main Street Singers (a group of nine singers) perform clean, wholesome tunes. The last track on the album, "A Mighty Wind", is breezy yet energetic, and ends with a double entendre lyric that will have you on the floor.
Running a solid 45 minutes, this album also includes multimedia content when you put it in your computer - you get the full video performance of Mitch & Mickey's "When You're Standing Next To Me", and it's pleasant to watch. If you haven't seen the film, you might not get as much out of the album (context is everything, especially in this case), but anyone who is a fan of folk music can find something to latch on to with this album - it truly nails the genre, for better or for worse.
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