Harry Dean Stanton

Harry Dean Stanton

Harry Dean Stanton

Partly Fiction

Omnivore Recordings

A character actor is generally described as one who portrays “unusual or eccentric” characters. In over 250 movies dating back to 1956, Harry Dean Stanton has pretty much defined the term. From early work such as Cool Hand Luke or In the Heat of the Night to classics such as Repo Man, Wise Blood and his masterpiece, Paris, Texas, Stanton has become famous for… well, being Harry Dean Stanton. His low-key delivery, use of space and silence, as well as having “an entire movie in his face” have made him one of the most beloved talents in film.

Now we can add singer to his resume. Although he’s been known throughout his career for music (he performs “Just a Closer Walk with Thee” in Cool Hand Luke) this soundtrack to the oddly compelling documentary of Stanton Partly Fiction is his first musical release, and he brings all the mystery and wonder of his filmed appearances to play with these 12 cuts. Backed up by Jamie James on guitar, and accompanying himself on harmonica, this record, recorded on a laptop in Stanton’s living room, is every bit as unique and heartwarming (in his own weird way) as his films.

His song selection is heavy on weepers- from Orbison’s “Blue Bayou” and George Jones’ “She Thinks I Still Care” to “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”, Stanton’s unadorned voice seems made to sing these songs, and in much the same way as his roles in movies seemingly couldn’t be done by any other actor. “Everybody’s Talkin'” (with Harry’s aside of “this is a song about heroin”) is letter perfect, as is his take on “Danny Boy”, that strips the well-worn song of all trappings of histrionics that generally plague it and replaces it with a sort of resigned emotional plea. In the movie he relates growing up singing Mexican folk music for his mother, and his “Cancion Mixteca” is warm and heartfelt, even if you can’t understand a word, and in fact, Stanton sings better in Spanish than he does English.

Harry Dean Stanton was the inspiration in part for Kris Kristofferson’s “The Pilgrim”- See him wasted on the sidewalk in his jacket and his jeans/Wearin’ yesterday’s misfortunes like a smile, and as Partly Fiction shows, he is one of our greatest character actors- only the character he plays is Harry Dean Stanton. God bless him, and may he sing forever.

www.omnivorerecordings.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Sarah Adina Smith
    Sarah Adina Smith

    One of the biggest surprises of this year’s AFI Fest came with Buster’s Mal Heart, the impressive second feature by director Sarah Adina Smith that stars Rami Malek, Kate Lyn Sheil, and DJ Qualls. Generoso Fierro spoke at length with Smith about the film, its Y2K era setting, and the race and class discussions contained within.

  • Exits & Entrances: A Celebration of Shakespeare
    Exits & Entrances: A Celebration of Shakespeare

    Exits & Entrances: A Celebration of Shakespeare (EMR Dench Classics). Review by Carl F Gauze.

  • Drakulas
    Drakulas

    Raw Wave (Dirtnap). Review by Jen Cray.

  • Love Is A Drag
    Love Is A Drag

    The reissue of Love Is A Drag has James Mann recalling his father.

  • Juho Kuosmanen and J.P. Passi
    Juho Kuosmanen and J.P. Passi

    Lily and Generoso Fierro were fortunate enough to speak with director Juho Kuosmanen and cinematographer J.P. Passi after the debut of their sweet and poignant new film, The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki, the true story of the famed Finnish boxer and his shot at becoming the 1962 World Featherweight Boxing Champion.

  • Honeyblood
    Honeyblood

    Honeyblood rocked with a great sound, close to perfect if it weren’t for the crappy sound mixing from Baby’s All Right.

  • AFI Fest 2016
    AFI Fest 2016

    From November 10th to the 17th, the American Film Institute Festival celebrated its thirtieth year of connecting audiences with world-renowned directors and actors by presenting new works and classic films. Lily and Generoso Fierro take you through the many special events, conversations, and most importantly, the reviews of twenty new feature films that premiered at this year’s festival in Hollywood.

  • Matthew Mayfield
    Matthew Mayfield

    Recoil (Sweet Exchange Records) Review by Andrew Ellis.

  • Yellowcard
    Yellowcard

    Yellowcard bid farewell to 20 years worth of fans in Orlando, and Jen Cray was there to capture it all.

  • Dee Snider
    Dee Snider

    We Are the Ones (Red River Records) Review by Christopher Long

From the Archives