Jim White

Music from Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus

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British director Andrew Douglas was so taken with Jim White's 1997 Southern gothic road record Wrong-Eyed Jesus that he decided to make a movie about the Deep South with White leading the charge in an old Chevy Impala. Dreamlike, spooky, and often funny, Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus is a series of collages and testimonies on everything from Pentecostal churches to old juke joints with music from a familiar cast of Americana underworld characters peppered throughout. White offers up three atmospheric tracks, one from his lauded debut and two from its follow-up, the bluesy and equally vast No Such Place. In fact, atmosphere is the common thread here, with brooding tracks from familial Chicago duo the Handsome Family ("My Sister's Tiny Hands") and Cat Power ("Crossbones Style") and hellfire and brimstone from the mercurial David Eugene Edwards of 16 Horsepower, who offers up a chilling field recording of "Wayfaring Stranger." Old-timey classics from Doc Watson and Clarence Ashley ("Coo Coo Bird") as well as an eerie version of "Amazing Grace" played on the saw by Melissa Swingle round out a soundtrack that matches its subject with equal parts reverence and obsession. Like the yang to O Brother, Where Art Thou?'s yin, it resonates -- but uncomfortably.

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