A Country Gothic Playlist

October 6th, 2008 | Categories: Playlists | Discussion: 12 comments

Silver daggers. Unrequited love. Senseless murder. Graveyards. Encounters with Death. Crazy women wandering the hills. People frozen in various stages of grief.

Gothic elements have long been an important part of bluegrass music, but they also show up from time to time in the country mainstream. With Halloween fast approaching, here’s a playlist of spooky country to put you on edge.

I’m only including one song per artist (some performers have lots more) and one artist per song (some songs are oft-recorded bluegrass standards), so there should be lots of room for you to jump in with your own suggestions. Additions from the alt-country scene, about which my knowledge is quite spotty, would also be most welcome.

  • Angel of Death - Hank Williams
  • Banks of the Ohio - Red Smiley
  • Barbara Allen - Bradley Kincaid
  • Cold Dark Waters - Porter Wagoner
  • Delia’s Gone - Johnny Cash
  • Delta Dawn - Tanya Tucker
  • He Stopped Loving Her Today - George Jones
  • Jeannie’s Afraid of the Dark - Robbie Fulks
  • Katie Dear - The Seldom Scene
  • Knoxville Girl - The Louvin Brothers
  • Little Glass of Wine - Paul Burch (with Ralph Stanley)
  • Long Black Veil - Lefty Frizzell
  • Mountain Angel - Dolly Parton
  • O Death - Ralph Stanley
  • Open Pit Mine - Nashville Bluegrass Band
  • Pretty Polly - The Stanley Brothers
  • Sorrowful Angels - Patty Loveless
  • The Thunder Rolls - Garth Brooks
  • Whiskey Lullaby - Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss
  • Would You Lay With Me (In a Field of Stone) - David Allan Coe

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  1. Chris
    October 7th, 2008 at 16:23
    Reply | Quote | #1

    “Bones” by Little Big Town.

  2. Brody
    October 7th, 2008 at 17:37
    Reply | Quote | #2

    Here’s a few that I’m pretty sure fit the criteria:

    “Little Omie Wise” - Doc Watson
    “Little Mathie Grove” - Ralph Stanley
    “I’d Deal With the Devil” - Dale Watson
    “L.A. County” - Lyle Lovett
    “Rubber Room” - Porter Wagoner

  3. countryuniverse
    October 7th, 2008 at 23:23
    Reply | Quote | #3

    Molly Brown”, Vince Gill. It even has a bluesy guitar lick to go with it.


  4. John Maglite
    October 8th, 2008 at 19:38
    Reply | Quote | #4

    Nice additions, folks. Thanks for helping round out the list.

  5. John Maglite
    October 8th, 2008 at 21:40
    Reply | Quote | #5

    Here’s an addition from Lynn at Country Universe:
    “Broken” by Cherryholmes

    She describes it as “a haunting song with a fierce string arrangement about a woman who dies alone with a shattered heart.” Sounds pretty gothic to me!

  6. Autopsy IV
    October 9th, 2008 at 15:34
    Reply | Quote | #6

    Needs more Those Poor Bastards (http://www.myspace.com/thosepoorbastards) and Sons of Perdition (http://www.myspace.com/eschatologist)

  7. J.R. Journey
    October 14th, 2008 at 14:23
    Reply | Quote | #7

    Ooh, I am making a CD of this playlist right now … Some of us are still in the dark ages and remember what CD’s are, people.

  8. cmw
    October 14th, 2008 at 16:52
    Reply | Quote | #8

    Fun! Let us know how it turns out. I haven’t gotten around to making this into a CD yet, but will before Halloween.

  9. cmw
    October 16th, 2008 at 01:52
    Reply | Quote | #9

    Here’s what I get for posting this playlist:

    Dear webmaster,

    We would like to work with you setting up Dating Site for Gothic Singles…

    Anyone think I should go for it?

  10. J.R. Journey
    October 16th, 2008 at 15:19

    Ha! @ the gothic singles site. It would sure change your demographic - new readers, ya know …

    Anyway, I am having a hard time tracking down all these songs. Most notably, the Nashville Bluegrass Band, Bradley Kincaid, and the Dolly Parton track you have listed - those are some tricky tracks to track down.

  11. cmw
    October 16th, 2008 at 17:08

    Searching for the song + artist at Amazon usually does the trick:

    Mountain Angel - Dolly Parton
    Open Pit Mine - Nashville Bluegrass Band
    Barbara Allen - Bradley Kincaid

  12. Kathy Nichols
    January 4th, 2009 at 13:16

    Unrequited Love by My Brave Love

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