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Director's Blog

January 28, 2012

Most movies use a wide variety of music including previously-recorded songs, an instrumental score and sometimes even a song or two written expressly for the movie.

Deadline has all three. What makes the music for Deadline unique is that all three categories of music are composed and performed by the same person – the inimitable Dave Perkins.

One of the best parts of making movies in Music City is the depth and breadth of musical talent here. There’s no better example than Dave. I was marveling at his latest album Pistol City Holiness when it hit me – this music is the soundtrack for Deadline. Dave’s gritty, raucous, rootsy blend of blues, rock and more captures the essence of Deadline perfectly and gives the movie a distinctive sense of place. Several cuts from Pistol City are used in Deadline, as well as an incredible score Dave composed and performs. He even wrote several new songs for the movie, including the title track.

If you could hear it all together, or even in a contiguous stream, Dave’s musical career comes off like an exercise in extremes.  Dave goes to those extremes to create the soundtrack for Deadline.  The movie’s narrative demands that a musical bridge be built between the traditional rural South, and the shiny, new urban South of cities like Atlanta, Nashville and Charlotte.  Pulling, on one hand, from his experience playing bluegrass and swing jazz with fiddle maestro Vassar Clements, blues and jazz with Papa John Creach, and Texas renegade-Country with Jerry Jeff Walker and, on the other hand, from his work in modern and industrial rock with Chagall Guevara and Passafist, Dave builds that bridge.

While traveling Deadline’s musical narrative, the listener will encounter a number of human issues that continue to cause concern and action – racial and economic inequality, human worth, stereotype, justice, redemption and love.  The music embodies these themes quietly with solo acoustic guitar or banjo and, on the other sonic and stylistic extreme, with the full force of modern computer-driven beats and explosive guitars.  Once the listener crosses Dave’s musical bridge in Deadline, he or she can look back and see the bridge for what it is.  All aspects considered, the Deadline soundtrack is a Blues with many movements.   After all, if there is one music that cries the pain of the South’s troubled past but also sings the spirit of its hope for the future, it is the Blues.