It’s an unlikely pairing: the world’s most famous horror writer, Stephen King, and… John Mellencamp? The unlikely duo have been working on a stage musical together for the last 13 years and now, they’re releasing it for the world to see, reports Rolling Stone.
Titled Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, the musical debuted in a working version at Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre in April. Now, a DVD of that performance and an all-star soundtrack of the show’s songs, as well as handwritten lyrics and a mini-documentary about its making, will be released March 19th. The soundtrack includes the likes of Elvis Costello, Sheryl Crow, Kris Kristofferson, Rosanne Cash, Taj Mahal, Neko Case and more performing music penned by Mellencamp (of course, Mellencamp performs as well). Listen to Costello’s contribution below.
The story itself feels like a distinctly American tale, with Mellencamp drawing inspiration from his own cabin outside of Bloomington, Indiana. He claims the cabin is haunted, following an incident in the 1930s, in which two brothers got into a fight over a woman at the cabin. One brother ended up dead, while the other sped away with the woman in question – later crashing into a lake and drowning. King’s resulting story involves two sets of brothers who weather the same sorts of struggles at the cabin, 30 years apart.
“I called up Stephen King and told him I wanted to make a musical out of the thing,” Mellencamp said. “It’s outside both of our wheelhouses.”
The duo also recruited another American treasure of culture for the project: superstar producer/songwriter/music supervisor T-Bone Burnett, who was brought in as the show’s musical director towards its completion.
However, the group remains unsure whether Ghost Brothers of Darkland County will ever make its way to Broadway, though they are in talks with potential investors.
“We were talking about Broadway right away,” King said. “John believes in reaching for the stars in everything he does. …But a lot of Broadway these days is f***ing Disneyland. It’s blue-haired ladies from Westchester County. They come in buses and they want to see Aida or the Lion King. It’s almost like an amusement park.”
Get a taste of Ghost Brothers of Darkland County with a video from its Atlanta stage production, and check out the full soundtrack roster below.
Ghost Brothers of Darkland County soundtrack:
“That’s Me,” Elvis Costello
“That’s Who I Am,” Neko Case
“So Goddamn Smart,” Dave Alvin, Phil Alvin, Sheryl Crow
“Wrong, Wrong, Wrong About Me,” Elvis Costello
“Brotherly Love,” Ryan Bingham, Will Dailey
“How Many Days,” Kris Kristofferson
“You Are Blind,” Ryan Bingham
“Home Again,” Sheryl Crow, Dave Alvin, Phil Alvin, Taj Mahal
“You Don’t Know Me,” Rosanne Cash
“My Name Is Joe,” Clyde Mulroney
“Tear This Cabin Down,” Taj Mahal
“And Your Days Are Gone,” Sheryl Crow, Dave Alvin, Phil Alvin
“Jukin’,” Sheryl Crow
“What Kind of Man Am I,” Kris Kristofferson, Phil Alvin, Sheryl Crow, Dave Alvin, Taj Mahal
“So Goddamn Good,” Phil Alvin, Dave Alvin, Sheryl Crow
“Away From This World,” Sheryl Crow
“Truth,” John Mellencamp
– Jillian Mapes, CBS Local