Alan Ball was known for his masterful use of music in Six Feet Under. He's lost none of his touch when it comes to his current HBO series, True Blood - which happens to be set in the Louisiana swamps, not terribly far from Houston.
Season 3, Episode 12: "Evil"
It's weird, y'know? When Alan Ball was doing Six Feet Under, he turned out what may be the absolute best season/series finale of all time in that show's fifth season. He just can't seem to get there in True Blood - thus far, every season has ended on a very "meh" kind of feeling.
This time around, Sookie (Anna Paquin) has thrown Vampire Bill (Stephen Moyer) out of her life again, the season's big bad was encased alive in concrete, which cannot possibly come back to haunt our protagonists, and basically a whole bunch of storylines come to their absolutely predictable endings.
Oh, and Sookie dresses like frakkin' Tinkerbell and disappears into fairy light in a graveyard that we swear was lifted straight from the set of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
All and all though, it was a hell of a season with good stories, good boobs, good blood and good music.
Jace Everett, best known for composing the incredible True Blood theme song, "Bad Things," is the one to take us one out of season three with the help of C. C. Adcock and an old Howlin' Wolf tune called "Evil."
Howlin' Wolf was the blues musician without the blues life, at least when he got grown, that is. Before that, he was kicked out of several homes until he settled in happily with his dad's large family. Later in life, at the peak of his career, he tried to make amends with his mother who had earlier disowned him, but she refused to take any of his money or see him since he was employed making "The Devil's Music."
All that makes for a very blues life, but unlike most other bluesmen of the '50s and '60s, Wolf found love, stayed away from alcohol and drugs, lived frugally, basked in the admiration of luminaries like the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton, and basically lived long and died happy.
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Everett has taken Wolf's old standard and, well, made it a Jace Everett song. It's still got that solid blues backbeat, but the creepy has been upped considerably. Thanks to an HBO short special, we actually got to go behind the scenes and check out the recording process. One of the things that really gives the song a third testicle is Everett singing a backing track directly into the pick-ups of his guitar.
The end result sounds like the voice of Beelzebub, and forms an amazing contrast to Everett's otherwise crystal-clear growl and the soft, child-like cry of "evil" that makes up the backing vocals in the chorus. All in all, another stellar bit of devil's music from the Nick Cave of the American South.
And another great season of True Blood. See you fangers next year.
Be sure to visit the Loving True Blood in Dallas blog, where Jef With One F is a semi-regular contributor to the podcast this season.