Flannery O’Connor remains one of my favorite fiction authors to this day, so you can bet that murder ballads are one of my favorite relics of American lore. “Banks Of The Ohio,” a 19th century murder ballad made famous when Joan Baez covered it in 1961, follows a fairly standard narrative: Man loves woman, woman rejects marriage proposal, man murders the woman on the side of a river bank. It’s bleak, it’s grotesque, and it’s incredible that this kind of narrative songwriting is such an integral part of American folk culture. Nickel Creek’s Sean Watkins covered the song with his longtime friend Fiona Apple for a 7″ that is set to be released in April. Read an interview with Watkins about “Banks Of The Ohio” over at Rolling Stone and listen to it below.
The “Banks Of The Ohio” b/w “Dead Flowers” 7″ is out in April. Pre-order it at Bandcamp.