Kill County on following the muse

When we create our stories each week, one of the most agonizing decisions is what to call people. How do you distill a life—in the case of our storytellers, an otherworldly life—into the three or four words of a title scroll?

This week we celebrate an anniversary of sorts on 3-Minute Storyteller. It was a year ago that the idea of 3MS was formed and we interviewed a Native American storyteller in the Arizona desert. You can read more about that in yesterday’s post.

But this week we want to look back at some old, flawed, but personally meaningful footage.

It was also a year ago that the great Americana band Kill County put out their stark, remarkable masterpiece “Broken Glass in the Sun.” Of all the musicians we’ve talked to, all the music we’ve heard, nothing has stuck with us like that record or that band.

When I heard it, I had to find them and find out about them. When we visited them in the small Austin home they were renovating, we laughed, we played with their dogs, we told stories of our lives, and we cried a little when they pulled out their instruments and played “Beat Up Iron” for us. It was a gift I’ll never forget, and a moment where we thought “This. Is. What. We. Want. To. Do.”

Songwriter Josh James tells of how songs come to him. Ringo talks about how his banjo became his muse and turned his life around. And Jon Augustine tells of how his bandmates forever changed the trajectory of his life.

Because that’s what music can do.

3-Minute Storyteller is about those little moments in life that break your heart and make it swell, those little moments that make your life what it is, that make you what you are. Go buy their record and have a moment.

(And yes, we left Pickles the dog in on purpose–how could you cut that out?)

Check out our first 3-Minute Storyteller Parlor Session, featuring a German Shepard, a great banjo player caught without his banjo, a couple of PBRs. What a great, great song.


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