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  • Playlist: Branson

    Mon, 06 Jul 2009 06:34:56

    Playlist: Branson - Director Brent Meeske and Jackson Cash share their playlists with ARTISTdirect.com in this exclusive feature...

    With his new documentary Branson, director Brent Meeske goes deep. He digs into the lives of local performers in Branson, Missouri. The drama that Meekse delves into rivals that of any Hollywood tale. It's poignant and powerful in a tangible manner. Meeske constructs a humorous and heartwarming analysis of the American dream where it's really being pursued—in the heart of the country.

    Meeske and the film's primary subject Jackson Cash sat down with ARTISTdirect.com to share their playlists. Their selections are just as dynamic as they are!

    Check out their playlists below and don't miss Branson

    Brent Meeske's Playlist:

    1. Curtis Mayfield — "Move On Up"

    This is the number one song I'll pick because I put it on every single playlist that I ever make. I think it's the greatest song ever, and it just puts me in a happy mood. If I'm in a great mood, I listen to it. If I'm in a bad mood, I listen to it. This one gets your blood pumping and gets you ready to go.

    2. Sly & the Family Stone — "If You Want Me to Stay"

    I think of music in terms of movies, and this was a song that I used in a short film that I made years ago. I don't know if I can put it into words, but it just rocks. It's a great song for movies because it drives forward and has natural edit points. I'd love to use it in a film some day.

    3. Stevie Wonder — "Always"

    This is just an uplifting song. Stevie is one of my favorite performers of all time. He plays every instrument and sings every vocal track, which is astounding. I think the ultimate documentary would be if they could've filmed him making this album. "Always" is so multi-layered that I wish I could've seen a film about the process. For me an ultimate goal in filmmaking would be to film the creative process. The hard thing is, you never know when it's going to happen. It's such a spontaneous occurrence.

    4. Ozzy Osbourne — "Revelation Mother Earth"

    I'm a huge Ozzy fan. Back in the day, before we knew him as the new "Ozzy 2.0" with the reality show, he had this image of being the "Prince of Darkness." However, if you listened to his music, he was such a loving and warm guy. He was the opposite of that persona. If you listen to Tribute, he says, "I Love You" to the audience about a hundred times in between songs. "Revelation Mother Earth" is a very sweet song, and he shows such a tender side of himself. I love this song because it shows how complex he can really be. It illustrates that the "prince of darkness" thing was just an image and he really was just a sweet guy at his core. I love Ozzy's honesty. He was never afraid to show who he was. He never lied in interviews. He was always completely honest about his problems with drugs and the crazy things that he did in his life. That's the reason I'm so attracted to him as an artist.

    5. David Ralicke — "Mad Finder"

    It's one of these tiny albums. If I didn't know him, I don't know if I would've been able to get my hands on it. It's this great, uplifting up-tempo track that's so fun to dance to. He's a wonderful artist. He's played with Beck, and he plays the trumpet and all of these other brass instruments. He wrote and played some of the tracks on the Branson score.

    6. Jackson Cash — "Levenworth"

    I'm a big fan of the guy sitting across from me. Before he became a Johnny Cash impersonator [Laughs], he was a great songwriter and had a lot of success in the '80s. He had a bunch of albums. He wrote a song called "Levenworth" that's in the spirit of Johnny Cash. It's a prison song. Go to his site. I'd encourage anyone who's interested in Jackson's songs in the movie to check out the original songs that he's written. We have three of them in the movie. I hope the movie will give him a chance to get back to his songwriting and go beyond the Johnny Cash persona.

    7. John Gold — "Ghetto"

    He did the score for Branson. For a white guy, he's got incredible soul [Laughs]. He's wonderful. I'm very impressed with multi-instrumentalists. I'm not a musician and I don't really understand it, so to me, someone who has all of those things going on in his head and puts them together. It's a mystery. It's amazing when that happens.

    8. Fela Kuti — "Water Got No Enemies"

    I've got to go out with this song! To me, this is the pinnacle of Fela. It's just the ultimate in afro-beat. It's a great track. Fela's amazing! He's the opposite of a multi-instrumentalist with his 40-piece band on stage. I love afrobeat!

    Jackson Cash's Playlist:

    1. Perry Como — "Little Drummer Boy"

    Every time I hear this song, I ball like a baby. It's a lullaby on an album that he put out that I can't even find called Saturday Night With Mr. C. It's a lullaby that my adopted father would rock me to sleep and sing to me when I was a little baby. It's so beautiful. I love Perry Como. He's so underrated. I used to play this album to go to sleep because it calmed me down so much. It was so wonderful to listen to. It was my meditation album even when I was in my teens doing drugs during the hippie Woodstock days. If I was having a bad trip on acid, I'd put that on, and it'd help me come down. It put me in the right place.

    2. John Lennon — "Imagine"

    I believe in a lot of that philosophy, and I think that's a really good attitude.

    3. Billy Whitesides — "Friendship"

    a He's a friend of mine, and this song sounds like something The Eagles would've done. It's just a beautiful song. He does these harmonies. Everybody that hears it loves it, and it's all about friendship. I think it's a hit. I always have. It's never been released or cut, but we used to play it when we were young. I love the song.

    4. Johnny Cash — "Hurt"

    I love Johnny Cash's version of Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt." I sing that song. I relate to it all the way from the beginning to the end. I can empathize with that song. Cash can empathize with it too.

    5. Jackson Cash — "Dear Mom"

    What the Hell I might as well put one of my own songs on this list! [Laughs]. I wrote a song called "Dear Mom." This song has been a process of growth for me. It's actually a letter and a message to my biological mother who put me up for adoption at birth. At first, I felt abandoned and I was confused. It took a long time for those walls of resentment, fear and confusion to come tumbling down. Thanks to a lot of step work, help from others and time and healing that I was able to understand. I finally wrote the song 13 years ago and it's a love song to my mother begging for her to come find me and saying I forgive her saying please let's meet and let's get through this thing. Two weeks after I wrote the song, I met her in Las Vegas Nevada. Music has a lot of power. It has the power to move mountains, brother. I mention my birth mother in that song and explain to my mother that no one's going to ever take her place. She gave me love and my biological mother gave me life. It says it all. More than anything, it helped me. People would ask me to sing this song. To this day, whenever I play it, there's always at least one if not several adoptees or birth parents of adopted children in the crowd. When I sing this song the tears start flowing and the walls of resentment come tumbling down from the children who always thought they didn't want to meet their biological parents. We've actually had reunions as a result of that song. There was one 90-year-old woman in a nursing home who said that she never wanted to meet the daughter she put up for adoption at 16. I played that song, she cried and she met her daughter before she died.

    6. Elvis Presley — "Don't Be Cruel"

    That pretty much explains itself. I loved Elvis. He was my main inspiration in music. I'm an Elvis baby.

    7. James Taylor — "You've Got a Friend"

    This gave me a new perspective on the rules of writing music. There ain't none!

    —Rick Florino

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