Music

An original soundtrack is next up for release in the near future.  We will have much more information regarding it here, in this section, as we get ready to release it.

(All photos in this section are from Dan Rose, unless noted otherwise.)

For the time being, this is slowly being published as sort of a photo diary from Dan Rose.

Eddie Kirkland is seen here performing “Gone To Diddy Wah”, on a 1-string, electric diddley-bow heard towards the end of Wayne County Ramblin’.  You can here a section of it when playing the ‘trailer’ on this website.  It is the first music heard in the trailer.  In all, Eddie worked on six tracks for our soundtrack.  “Gone To Diddy Wah” was done at Coyote Studios with Mike Caiati engineering, in Brooklyn, and was produced by Mick Collins, as was most the original music recorded for Wayne County Ramblin’.  My friend Dave Talman and I, lovingly built this instrument as Mick and I wanted a one-string recording for a particular scene in the movie.  Mick was planning on performing it, until we decided to run the notion by Eddie, since we already had him in the studio for other soundtrack recordings.  Eddie laughed hysterically (that’s no exagaration!).  He told us that he hadn’t done that since he were a boy, growing up in Alabama.  Eddie first learned ‘guitar’ with 1 string of wire pulled taught over a glass jar on the side of his home.  Eddie was born in Jamaica, moving to Alabama when he was four.  Aside from having a dynamic career of his own, how many can tell the story of having been slapped in the face by Billie Holiday for unsolicited advances while touring with her as a teen?, or played guitar on the original recording of John Lee Hooker’s “I’m In The Mood”?  (see Mike Murphy’s article on Eddie from the Metrotimes!)  Other recordings with Eddie on our soundtrack are a solo guitar track entitled “Meet Me On The Boardwalk”, a work for guitar and harmonica called “Iron Train Scrape”, a piece for guitar and drum he recorded with Fan Fan called “Odegbami (Gift From Ogun)”.   This latter track is also featured on the YouTube trailer.  Eddie also played guitar on a track with Lorette Velvette, and guitar on the end title track that is sung by Iggy Pop.  More on the latter two tracks deeper into this section.  Mick and I were real proud to have worked with Eddie on our soundtrack for his talent, legend, charm, and company.

Chan Marshall has a Presidente @ rehearsal for “Auf dem Strom”.

“Auf dem Strom” is a poem written by German poet Ludwig Rellstab that translates as ‘On The River’, and is a meditation on dying.  Rellstab was also a music critic.  Composer Franz Schubert put it to music in the final year of his life, and performed it at the only public performance he ever performed personally, on 3/26/1828.  The piece was compsed for voice, piano, and french horn.  It’s a long, lyrical work both sad and beautiful at the same time.  It was our inspiration for what we made with it to open our movie, Wayne County Ramblin’.

Jou Jou & Fan Fan on the vaksin.

Chan didn’t know the german language.  We merely aimed for her to sing it as if she was defiantly speaking it with the utmost confidence.  The ‘german’ words of transfiguration were lovingly interloped with a “Nago”, African rhythm, reserved to invoke the god of war and iron forging; General Ogou.  Since we had already traded the french horn for the creole Koné, and swapped the hammered-piano out for a west-African sacred rhythm (often represented by a hammer and anvil), we wanted to render the vocal by uttering a language not native to the tongue forging it; indeed, foreign.

Chan Marshall contemplating the german text of ‘Auf dem Strom’.

Mick Collins played some blue/white-light, distorted guitar before mixing the work down.  We recorded “Auf dem Strom” at 6/8 Studios in NYC in 1999 with Perkin Barnes engineering, and ended up mixing it with Jim Diamond of Ghetto Recorders at Tempermill Studios in Michigan, some time later.

Lyres; Steve Aquino on guitar, Paul Mu

rphy on drums, Jeff Conolly on organ and vocal, Rick Coraccio on bass.  (photos; Ri Anderson)

In 1999, legendary r ‘n b, Boston band, Lyres, were commissioned to make a recording for Wayne County Ramblin’.  They produced it theirselves and recorded at Supersonic Recording Studio in Cambridge, Massachusettes, with Dave Kirkpatrick engineering.  It is, like so many of their recordings; remarkable.  We were/are very grateful for all four of their heartfelt participation.  It were remarkable ‘line-up’ #19 on the historical Lyres / DMZ website.

Lyres live in a sold-out alley, NYC, around the same time as their recording session for Wayne County Ramblin’ .

(photo; Michael Zwack)

Mick Collins performing Wayne County Ramblin’s closing music, a solo keyboard composition of his own; “You Wanna Go Home?”.   This is one of the last recordings we did for the Wayne County Ramblin’ soundtrack.  Mick amazed me throughout the whole endeavour.  Recorded at Tempermill Studios and engineered by Dave Feeny in 2002.

Kasia & Iggy outside Easley Recording Studio; Memphis.(photo by Geoff Burrows)

Many years later, while shooting our final scenes with Iggy, we returned to Easley / McCain Recording Studio, where we had some voice over work to do

with Iggy’s character,

as well as Kasia’s. The voice over was to go over Mick’s closing composition; “You Wanna Go Home?”.  After breaking for an amazing lunch catered by Ellen’s Soul Food, we had hoped, but were not counting on, a vocal contribution from Iggy on a song for the end credits.  Mick had already laid down some tracks with Doug Easley as we already had the studio for the entire day.  I don’t know if it was Fan Fan & Jou Jou’s percussion and Koné work, Alex Greene’s keyboards, or the soul food, but Iggy were lulled to sing.  Even though we had all eaten too much, and there wasn’t much time before he had an airplane to catch.

While yet in a food coma, Iggy Pop & Dan Rose discuss the vocal on the end credits song at Easley / McCain Recording Studio.  Photo; Geoff Burrows

‘I know just where we leftt off.’  Mick at Coyote Studios where we intended to lay down guitar, bass, and back-up vocals to the end credits music.

Me, the director, w/ the legendary Doctor ‘Isaiah’ Ross, the Harmonica Boss.  The Doctor is holding his copy of the Wayne Count Ramblin’ script.  Sadly, he passed away before filming could begin.  He is represented in the film, audibly, physically, and liminally.  (photo; Demitri Phillips)

$3.00 To Legba; Lorette Velvette from the ‘Eager Boy’ music video directed by Dan Rose.  photo; Tana Dubbe

Otha Turner’s granddaughter, Sharde, moves about her drums in Wayne County Ramblin’.  We made a field recording of Sharde putting an old african-american ‘folk rhyme’ to a rhythm on the trap drums; ‘Fishing Simon’, as she plays it at Penny.  It rings real familiar as the same story Penny recalls her grandfather telling her while fishing when she was a little girl.

Eddie gets acquainted with a new, electric diddly-bow.  (photo by David Talman)

Eddie and Mick talk chords at Coyote Studios while preparing for a guitar track on the end credits music that was recorded in three different studios in three different states.  More on this towards the bottom of the page.

Mick Collins, Fan Fan, Jou Jou, and Chan Marshall of Cat Power, rehearse for “Auf dem Strom”, the music we created for the opening credits of Wayne County Ramblin’. The credits were to be intercut with establishing shots of the three main characters (Penny, Johnny, & Jim), the west-African spirit Ogou / Ogun (personified by the soundtrack’s producer; Mick Collins), Erie (Penny’s doll), and establishing shots of the city of Detroit where the journey emanates from.  The music features the percussion work of master drummer & houngan; Fan Fan.  Jou Jou contributed the koné (pictured below), as well as the banbou tracks on this recording.  Koné (also known as klewon) are long home-made trumpets, usually formed from old paint cans.  They make one note, and are usually played in conjunction by different players performing on different size konés to make different notes.  The banbou (also called vaksin), pictured below (left) with Jou Jou and Fan Fan warming up, are a percussive wind instrument made from bamboo and wrapped with bicycle inner-tubing.  They, too, make only one note, and are usually played in conjunction with several other banbou players, playing off one another with different size vaksin.  These instruments are from Haiti and are usually reserved for Rara parades (called Gaga in the Dominican Republic on the other side of Hispañola).

from left to right; Jou Jou, Mick Collins, and Chan Marshall rehearsing.

“Auf dem Strom” might translate along the lines; ‘…beyond the strand I bid you well, as the raft departs faster when the river’s current catches hold and brings me away.  I behold the shore I know; my love, my family, my home, but the heavy river pulls me further and further away.  An endless sea without familiarity is where I am heading.  I no longer see the shore, even though I think for a moment that I still can.  The sea becomes more cold, more dark, and stars are slowly sharpening into view.  Perhaps it will be with their light that I will find my love again?’

Jou Jou playing the Koné for “Auf dem Strom.”

The Producer gently placing the finishing touches on “Auf dem Strom.”

HAPPY HALLOWEEN from Haiti.  (photo; Michael Zwack)

The photos here were taken by artist/houngan, Michael Zwack, at a Guede ceremony in Port Au Prince, Haiti, put on by Fan Fan & Societé Minokan (Michael also illustrated the veve’s in Wayne County Ramblin’ and its website).  Guede is lord of the dead and his colors are purple and black.  His ceremony is typically held in early November.    Fan Fan brought purple Dirtbombs shirts with him to mask the musicians for Guede. On this trip to Haiti to visit his family, and honor Guede, Fan Fan produced 2 recordings for Wayne County Ramblin’; “Papa Legba”, and “Ogou Badagris”.   They are old, traditional songs to these spirits, that come from the neighborhood that Fan Fan grew up in.  To our knowledge, they have not been recorded before.  They were recorded by Societé Minokan at Valcourt’s Studio Sound Recording in Petionville, Haiti.  The song for Ogou is in the movie Wayne County Ramblin’, as well as the soundtrack, but the song for Papa Legba will only be in our soundtrack CD.  It will open the soundtrack, as Papa Legba must be saluted before any other spirit, as he resides at the crossroads between our world, and their’s.  Only he can open the door to the other lwa (spirits).

(photo; Michael Zwack)

Mick Collins detours momentarily to create “Simon’s Grave”.  An other-worldly, solo-piano, composition of Mick’s.  Recorded at Tempermill Studios and engineered by Dave Feeny in 2002.

Producer Mick Collins rehearses with Fan Fan an evening before recording for the end credits song.

Jou Jou gazes across the room at Fan Fan and Mick while rehearsing for the end credits song in Memphis.

Pleased with our tracks recorded in Memphis, we set out to continue many months later in Brooklyn, at Coyote Studios.  We recorded an electric guitar track from Eddie Kirkland, a bass track from Caroline Seitz, and back-up vocals from Mamoune and Staycey St. Germaine (Mamoune is Fan Fan’s wife).  Not having the time to mix it, we put that off many moons until Mick and I could schedule another day in the studio.  We ended up mixing it with Dave Feeny at Tempermill Studios back in Detroit, but not before Mick added a track of ‘fills’ on the trap drums.

Much more details and photos coming from the Wayne CountyRamblin’ soundtrack.  Including the Jågermeister bottle that started it all!

Please check back soon!

Lorette Velvette also personified Erzulie / Oshun in Wayne County Ramblin’

Mick and I outside of Easley Recording Studio in Memphis, Tennessee, at a recording session for Lorette Velvette, produced by Alex Chilton in 1992 (I believe).  “Winged Serpent”, from this session, was culled for Wayne County Ramblin’, as it is a remarkable, inspiring song Lorette was writing while I was still writing the screenplay, when we met.  Mick ended up doing some guitar, drum, and vocal work on the record that was released as ‘White Birds’ in 1993 on the Veracity label out of Germany.

Jim Diamond of Ghetto Recorders with Moon Record’s Cordell Jackson.  Jim did field recordings for Wayne County Ramblin’, as well as some location sound.

An amazing show, if we don’t say so ourselves, one July evening, way back in 1993.  We already had a round-trip airline ticket for Dr. Ross, as he was looking forward to performing in NYC, as well as acting in the movie, but he passed away a few weeks before.  The show ended up being a tribute to the beloved Doctor, as well as a last  hurrah for the Gories.  It was a most, positive evening.  The show’s purpose was to raise money and consciousness for the Wayne County Ramblin’effort, and to share a grand time.  We failed miserably, save for the latter!   See a 2 camcorder shoot cut together of The Gories from this event.

Final Gories performance in NYC, for the Little Ruby Pictures “Revival! – Revival! Dr. Ross Tribute and Wayne County Ramblin’ Happening”,

July the first, 1993.  It were promised that, if possible, they would reunite for the sake of a scene in Wayne County Ramblin’.  From left to right; Peggy O’Neill on drums, Mick Collins on guitar, Dan Kroha on guitar.  See a 2 camcorder shoot cut together of The Gories from this event.

(photo; Jose Moreno)

This is one of June Bug’s (Sandra ‘Kramer’ Shaw) photos she took of her man Boll Weevil (Bill Peitsch) and Erie while she was singing a nursery rhyme to her.   “I believe, I believe, my baby has a mojo, she’s got a mojo, …in her backbone.”   June Bug grew very fond of Erie after they Kidnapped her from Penny.  Drawing her close, and singing to her in a lulling fashion, it were as if  Erie were conjuring maternal instincts from deep within June Bug.  Boll Weevil were surprized to witness that developing, even a little threatened.