Mojo Rising; or, The Red Dead Redemption Songs

When things get gritty–gnarly deadlines, eye-batting heroines to save, elderly cats to inject with life-saving H2O, classic whiskeys to be drunk, blog posts to write after, like, weeks–it’s time for a gritty soundtrack. I hereby invoke you…





Sometimes Roy Rogers’s warbling will not do. Sometimes Morricone’s coyote-ish howls are too been-there-done-that.

So I pull up Friend of Dean Martinez’s Bill Elm and Woody Jackson’s video-game collaboration and prepare to view the world through a bitter, squinty-eyed haze, cigarello in my mouth (*cough, cough*–okay, tossed over my shoulder), cayuse beneath me, or whatever spaghetti western steeds are called. I ride…

Like the video game, I can choose to ride or play, shoot or flee. I am master, for the space of nineteen songs (although today I’ll need to put it on “repeat”).

The main theme has the faraway church bell, the slow horns and guitars, and the distant martial drumbeat of the snare. It says, “Do what you have to do. Do not shirk and become merely a common mortal.”

“Born Unto Trouble” and its eerie spaghetti-western whistle (and surprisingly melodious piano) says, “I know your pain. dude. I know it all too well.”

“Redemption in Dub” says shake your thang, poncho swung over your shoulder, eyes a-squinting. But only when you’re done doing what you have to do (reminder to self).

So I do. Knowing that something this good can exist only through jams, collaboration, and meticulous planning. A reminder to continue strive and look epically cool while doing it.







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