Orton's haunting guitar-driven tunes that are sprinkled with dobro, violin, accordion, and other antique instruments have a gorgeously melancholy nature about them.


Mark Orton
Music from the Motion Picture Nebraska
Milan Records

I’ve only bought a handful of soundtracks over the years, but every instance has been after seeing a film that inspired me to go out and grab the music. Listening to Mark Orton’s score for the soon-to-be released Nebraska had the opposite effect: Because of the imagery this soundtrack conjures, I can’t wait to see this movie.

Is it bluegrass, eclectic country, or maybe, Gypsy Americana? Is it modern or old-timey? Orton owns a sound all his own that’s tough to compare, and these haunting guitar-driven tunes that are sprinkled with dobro, violin, accordion, and other antique instruments have a gorgeously melancholy nature about them. Multi-instrumentalist Orton’s imaginative composition skills and musicianship allow him such storytelling prowess through instrumental acoustic music that he never fails to sound fresh and interesting.

The score represents the first time the three original Tin Hat members have reunited since 2005 with Rob Burger (piano/accordion), Carla Kihlstedt (violin), and Orton teaming up as part of the core band for this project. The 17-track album is collection of both previous work redrawn for the film and new material that came out of those efforts. Every track, however, paints a dreamy alt-acoustic landscape through out-of-this-world songwriting and chops.

Must-hear tracks: “The Ambush,” “Night of the Skeptic”

Photo by cottonbro

Intermediate

Intermediate

  • Demonstrate a variety of drone guitar techniques and approaches.
  • Examine drone points of reference from an array of genres.
  • Learn how to use standard, drop D, and uncommon alternate tunings in drone contexts.

Playing a melody or solo with a “drone” means playing over just one note or, in some instances, one chord. Besides playing without any harmonic accompaniment, it is about as simple a concept as one can image, which also means the possibilities are endless. We’ll look at ways to use drones in a variety of contexts, from ancient to contemporary, blues to metal, traditional to experimental.

Read MoreShow less

See a sampling of picks used by famous guitarists over the years.

Marty Stuart

Submit your own artist pick collections to rebecca@premierguitar.com for inclusion in a future gallery.

How does a legacy artist stay on top of his game? The pianist, hit singer-songwriter, producer, and composer talks about the importance of musical growth and positive affirmation; his love for angular melodicism; playing jazz, pop, classical, bluegrass, jam, and soundtrack music; and collaborating with his favorite guitarists, including Pat Metheny and Jerry Garcia.

Read MoreShow less
x