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Moving Stories: Videos from the American South


Firekid: “Baby You Done Me Wrong”


 
 

Among the thousands of Southern bluegrass musicians, Dillon Hodges is hardly typical.

Yes, the Alabaman is a master of bluegrass flat-picking on the acoustic guitar, but he is also a fan of electronic music. Along with partner Heidi Feek, Hodges is half of Firekid — an ambitious musical project where the oldest of the old-time songs get filtered through modern gadgetry. And Firekid's latest video takes the concept into the world of moving pictures.

We'll let Hodges tell you the story of "Baby You Done Me Wrong":

"While sample-based music is mostly associated with hip-hop and the modern era, its methodology is present as far back as music is traceable. Early American folk music, and the latter bluegrass movement that I grew into, is a quilt of influences, borrowed lyrics, and recycled melodic tropes. 'Baby You Done Me Wrong' is an example of this evolution and a testament to the power of public domain. The song itself originates (as far back as I can tell) from 'Parson Done The Town,' written by the 19th century composer Sam Devere. It was rewritten and rerecorded in 1929 by Uncle Dave Macon. We have re-rewritten the song and sampled the Macon track to bind the folk-tradition of borrowing creativity to the hip-hop tradition of borrowing creativity.

"Heidi and I wanted to create a video that tells a story, complementing the song, using only public-domain materials. I fell in love with the silent short films of the early 1900s and the very first stop-motion techniques. We ultimately landed on the story of a Barcelona man who resorts to bull-fighting to impress the woman he loves. The video is a heavily edited cut from Joseph Sunn’s 1926 claymation film, Long Live the Bull.”

The Bitter Southerner is proud to debut this new video from Firekid — one more piece of ammunition for your next conversation with the guy who asks, "They really make stuff like that in the South?"