What happens when you buy a $50 dollar banjo off of Craigslist? If you're the Last Tycoon, you write an ominous tune in the vein of Tom Waits called "Ballad of the Bloodstained Bible".
While living life as an expat in Stockholm, John Gladwin—also known as the Last Tycoon—found himself longing for a place a bit removed from the chilly north: the state of Arkansas, his place of birth. No wonder, then, that upon returning to the United States, Gladwin took to Nashville to record Death by Dixie EP, whose Americana roots make Gladwin’s fondness for the South quite plain.
For Death by Dixie, Gladwin was joined by Jim White, who brought to life what were otherwise fairly straightforward Americana tunes through the use of atypical instruments like hammers, gas cans, and children’s toys. With White’s involvement, the tunes on this EP took on another dimension, with Gladwin’s lyrics given additional texture through the varied instrumentation throughout.
For one example of this, stream the Southern ghost story of “Ballad of the Bloodstained Bible” below.