Lands and Peoples
Bill Mallonee & the Big Sky Ramblers
In the Platonic cinema of the forms, there’s an epic movie called something like Americana Melancholia, which chronicles all the interior, wide-sky woe of the great American narrative from Dust Bowl to Rustbelt. It’s about the brokenness that’s been in the American dream from the very beginning. It’s a heart-breaking, gorgeous film, whether or not it exists. But it has a soundtrack that definitely does, and that’s the music of Bill Mallonee.
When I graduated from high school, an older guy I looked up to in my youth group gave me the record/EP combo that pushed Bill Mallonee to the margins of fame: Audible Sigh/Room Despair. It was a breath of dusty, whisky-tinged air into my CCM world of Jars of Clay, Caedmon’s Call, and company. Mallonee sang about something earthier, richer, and somehow deeper– certainly something more…
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