Pop & Hiss

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One Song: John Hawkes brings a slice of Americana to 'Winter's Bone'

November 9, 2010 | 12:37 pm

One Song is a new Pop & Hiss series in which an overlooked track is given a second look.


The indie film “Winter's Bone” is a fairy tale with a cold wind running through it -- a stark and realistic representation of rural poverty today that resonates with the timelessness of an ancient hero's quest. Young Ree Dolly must fight her own family of Missouri meth dealers to claim the birthright left by the father who's vanished on her.

Supervised by Ozarks preservationist Marideth Sisco, and featuring mostly Missouri musicians, the film's soundtrack is a slice of Americana free of any artificial toppings.

One outstanding song, though, comes from a surprising source: actor John Hawkes, who formerly played with Austin, Texas, band Meat Joy and still enjoys writing songs. He penned “Bred and Buttered” as a gift to “Winter's Bone” director Debra Granik. She loved it and put it on the soundtrack. It's a fine example of a murder ballad that needs no fake patina to feel as old as death, as intimate as family love.

Listen below:

-- Ann Powers

Photo: John Hawkes. Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times