FAME Review: Various Artists - An Unreal Dream - The Michael Morton Story
Various Artists - An Unreal Dream - The Michael Morton Story

An Unreal Dream -
The Michael Morton Story

Various Artists

Blue Corn Music - BCM-1305

Available from Amazon.com.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Bob Gottlieb

This is the soundtrack of the movie, An Unreal Dream - The Michael Morton Story. It tells the story of Michael Morton a husband in Texas whose wife was brutally murdered in 1986 in front of their only young child. He is wrongly convicted of the murder and spends 25 years in the Texas' prisons until, finally, thanks to the Innocence Project and a number of pro bono lawyers, he is exonerated. First thing to ask with a movie is does the soundtrack flow with the film and enhance it, is it so powerful or weak that it detracts from the film? These are questions that are legitimate but can't be answered by the public until the film is shown in your area, or on Cable News Network December 5, 2013.

About the music: there are a number of top shelf names in Texas Music linked to it, Eliza Gilkyson, Said Cleaves, Robert Earl Keen, Jerry Jeff Walker, Tina Wilkins and Jimmy LaFave; along with Rich Brotherton. The last of those named co-produced the disc with Chuck Pinnell and the 2 of them also wrote most of the music. They are also the main core of the musicians as Mr. Pinnell plays acoustic and classical guitar, and hammer dulcimer; while Mr. Brotherton plays acoustic, tenor, electric, resonator guitar, dobro, cittern, mandolin, electric bass and keyboards.

There are 5 songs that are given special treatment; 3 are songs listed as traditional, and then Amazing Grace the autobiographical song many consider a traditional one, written by John Newton, Whispering Hope written by Septimus Winner in 1868, and Reunion which was written by Brotherton and Pinnell, where there are vocals, and/or additional musicians and the special guests vocalists listed above take their turns.

This is a moody, at times introspective, at times brooding, at other times menacing, and at other times thankful and transcendent. The film has won a number of awards including an official selection of the 2013 Human Rights Watch Film Festival in NYC, strong indication that it lives up the excellence of the music. The music has ensured that this household will tune in to CNN on Dec. 5.

Track List:

  • Opening
  • Christine
  • In The Pines (PD vocal, Slaid Cleaves & Eliza Gilkyson)
  • Ambush
  • Conviction
  • Belly of the Beast
  • Midnight Special (PD vocal, Rich Brotherton)
  • Last Goodbye
  • Ramsey Unit Stomp
  • Epiphany
  • Take This Hammer (PD vocal, Robert Earl Keen)
  • At Last, Truth
  • Monsters
  • Transcendence 1
  • Amazing Grace (PD vocal, Jerry Jeff Walker)
  • Freedom
  • An Evil Place
  • Transcendence
  • Reunion
  • Whispering Hope (PD vocal Tina Wilkins & Jimmy LaFave)

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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