Various Artists

Free the West Memphis Three

by Erik Gamlem


The power of music is amazing. Sometimes it can bring you to such a wonderful and beautiful place. It’s a time machine, for when you hear a song from your past your entire body can be transported to an exact moment in your life. It can also convict you of murder; just like three boys found themselves seven years ago in West Memphis, Tennessee. The power of music is absolutely incredible.

If you have not heard of this case that has robbed six boys of their entire lives then it is long over do that you get the information. The bottom line is that three boys with long hair into Stephen King and Metallica were convicted of murdering and mutilating three smaller boys in the woods of a small southern town. Like may people, including me, the boys were misunderstood teens that in their young lives related their own frustrated energy into the power of heavy metal and horror stories. Their main crime was that they did not live a cityscape like New York or Washington DC. They made the mistake of living in a small town where weirdoes scare everyone.

cover art

Various Artists

Free the West Memphis Three

(Aces and Eights)

Hopefully the power of music can help these boys and retell their story to many more people. This impressive compilation with new songs by great artists and interesting covers by some very unlikely musicians will have a hand at helping true justice be served. Such noted and amazing songwriters such as Tom Waits and Steve Earle have crafted songs specifically for this compilation and directly related to this case. Clash crooner and guitarist Joe Strummer offers up a dub-like version of Jimmy Cliff’s “The Harder They Come” with the Long Beach Dub All Stars. Even world-renowned vocalist Eddie Vedder croons a John Doe (who also appears on this collection) composition with the Supersuckers.

There is so much great music on this compilation. It’s not very often you can pick up a collected record and like just about every track. What makes it even better is that the money raised from this record will be collected up for the three boys in prison now so they may send and receive mail, gain a college education, and take care of loved one’s outside the walls of a Tennessee jail. The artists you have not heard will blow you away; those that you have will not disappoint. Even if you don’t know any of the musicians you are sure to hear some spectacular music made for such and important reason.

Inside a prison cell three boys sit and wait for appeals. One looks at numbered days as he is on death row with one shot left at justice and survival. Three other boys have had their young bodies laid to rest in a warm grave. They will never have a chance to grow old and experience the many joys and pains of life. All six have been grossly raped by a system not of law and justice but fear and judgement of that which is not “normal.” More then anything the West Memphis Six deserve to be vindicated and not have their memory pass in vain. Three boys have already lost the opportunity to be transformed and changed by the power of music. Help the other three boys meet an end where one day they may walk in open air and hear this music that has been made for this cause. Free the West Memphis Three.

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