Gillian Welch and David Rawlings record Buster Scruggs song – Listen

A nice story RS Country are carrying today about that wonderful song from the first story in the Coen Brothers’ “Ballad of Buster Scruggs” movie. They report: “One of those most important traditions, the cowboy song, is captured in the pair’s plaintive Academy Award-nominated tune, “When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings,” for which they’ve released their own recording.

“Up for the Best Original Song Oscar at this year’s ceremony, “When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings,” closes out the first vignette of Joel and Ethan Coen’s acclaimed Western anthology The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. Starring Coen Brothers’ regular Tim Blake Nelson as the title character, the tale finds Buster going up against a younger cowboy, “The Kid” played by former Old Crow Medicine Show member Willie Watson. Buster’s fate is spelled out pretty plainly both in the song’s title and its opening verse — “Let me tell you buddy and it won’t be long till you find yourself singing your last cowboy song” — and there’s even a bit of yodeling included.

“Everything we would ever want to put in a singing cowboy song, we crammed into this song. They kind of did the same thing with the whole movie,” Welch told Rolling Stone Country. “Yodeling was not a mandatory part of the song. I think [Joel Coen] was really happy that he was going to get a bunch of ‘yippee-ki-yi-yay.’””

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Author: Mark Whitfield

Mark Whitfield has been the Editor of Americana UK for the last 17 years and still feels like this is his pretend job, mainly because it is.

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