Back in the old days when Illinoishighschoolsports.com was worth visiting, there was this man. Well, a legend of sorts. His screen name was Reggie Dunlop. If IHSS had a Hall of Fame, he would be first ballot. Truly some of the best message board posts you can find on a site dedicated to the athletic pursuits of the youth, that had nothing to do with the athletic pursuits of of the youth.
Reggie was the IHSS Superman.
In Clark Kent form, Reggie is Jeff. Jeff is a connoisseur of the rustic life, both the bucolic and the desolate. Especially the desolate. He is the kind of guy who once he has your home address, sends you books. Collections of stories of desperate men and women, ways out, the creek, the holler, the trailer, the banjo and the beater pick-up. And you read them, because you trust his taste, and his knowledge of yours.
For the last couple of months, Jeff has been posting a Rural Noir song of the day on his Facebook. It is the kind of stuff that makes you want to reread some Elmore Leonard or Winter’s Bone. 6 hours, 35 minutes of tales of small towns, longing for more, and a fair amount of crime, petty or otherwise. Also, Petty. The most frequent flyers are Chris Knight and The Handsom Family. Chris is going to be the mayor of this here village.
Well, I piggybacked off him, adding his daily selections to a Spotify playlist as he went along. It has become one of my favorites. Grow up poor ’round here, wherever here is, and you can’t help but like it. It’s just…familiar.
So, I present this week’s Playlist: Rural Noir. Ninety-Nine songs long, because screw one more.