Home Read Classic Album Review | Various Artists: A Mighty Wind Soundtrack

Classic Album Review | Various Artists: A Mighty Wind Soundtrack

The Spinal Tappers’ folk-music parody is more subtle than its rockin’ predecessor.

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This came out in 2003 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


Nearly two decades after Michael McKean, Christopher Guest and Harry Shearer gave heavy metal a musical wedgie in This is Spinal Tap, they’re back — this time skewering old folkies in Guest’s new mockumentary A Mighty Wind.

From all reports, the film is a hoot. But when it comes to the soundtrack, fans expecting the big dumb laffs of Tap tracks like Sex Farm and Big Bottom may be disappointed. Just as folk music is more subtle and traditional, so is the parody here. As The Folksmen, Guest and co. are goofing on acts like The Kingston Trio, and while you don’t have to know that to get the gags, some folk familiarity helps during smart sendups like the strummy Old Joe’s Place, the calypso Loco Man and the mining-disaster-meets-rail-disaster epic Blood On The Coal. ’Cause trust me, if you don’t get those gags, the minimalist humour of cuts by Mitch and Mickey (Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara doing Ian and Sylvia) and the New Main Street Singers (a parody of the New Christie Minstrels) are going to zoom right over your head.

A Mighty Wind does have its knee-slappers — The Folksmen’s cover of Start Me Up ends with the line, “You make a dead man Kumbaya” — but for the most part, Smell the Glove Unplugged it ain’t.

 

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