Atlanta Music Scene: Mellencamp’s ‘Ghost Brothers’ Songs Previewed At Event
03.15.2012 - By Melissa Ruggieri -
Atlanta Music Scene
The John Mellencamp-Stephen King collaboration, “Ghost Brothers of Darkland
County,” doesn’t receive its preview at the Alliance Theatre until April 4th (world premiere April 11th).
But the show’s brass is getting a head start at getting the word out.
At a private function for media and theater types downtown at the Hard Rock Café
Wednesday night, members of the cast – including stars Shuler Hensley, Justin
Guarini, Jake La Botz and the easily-spotted Dale Watson (have you seen the
awesome hair on this guy?) – mingled and chatted with the intimate crowd.
As director Susan Booth explained, the primary reason for the shindig was to
unveil some of the music in the show – written by Mellencamp with an assist from
musical director T Bone Burnett.
Guarini and Lucas Kavner took to the small stage first to growl out the brooding
country-roots thumper “Brotherly Love.” If you’re a fan of Mellencamp’s darker,
meatier work of recent years, you’ll love the intensity of this one, a song
well-sold by the handsome young men who are the titular brothers in the musical.
La Botz will play the villain in the story, so it was appropriate that “Lounging
Around in Heaven,” which La Botz performed solo, seated with his acoustic
guitar, is a mockery of good and an embrace of evil.
A quartet of cast members, fronted by the angelically voiced Kate Ferber,
rounded out the musical appetizer with “Home Again,” a sweet, melodic hum-along
also in the country-rock vein.
While Mellencamp wasn’t on site, his guitarist, Andy York, was, and backed all
but La Botz with his nimble playing.
Tickets are on sale now for the production, which will run through May 13.
So far, so (very) good.