Surprise! Strikingly beautiful sounds in “Vernon Florida”

One of Vernons Characters

I love finding beautiful sounds in unlikely places. Sometimes when you least expect it, you find something that knocks your socks off and adds to your musical map in a way you could never predict. It sometimes amazes me, how the original capturers of these sounds underestimated them and therefore gave them less than their due, or included them only as spice. Like that scene in Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Look Back” when he is playing an almost ambient deconstruction of american blues music on the piano, that I don’t think ever got developed (at least not in this manner). In the movie it lasts all of a minute and is just in there for color. Where is the rest of that scene? Why is it unimportant? Is anyone but me dying to hear the rest of that?

I had a moment like that again last night watching “Vernon Florida”. The intro to the movie shows a bunch of shots of Vernon… pretty standard. However, the music that was playing in the background was stunning. It sounds as if a man is humming and playing harmonica the same time, complete with beautiful, rural background noise. The combination of this strange technique and what he’s playing – a slow, mournful, soulful take on some old spiritual – is breathtaking. I’m not sure which one of the “characters” from the movie is playing/ from the credits it looks like it may be Claude Register. Either way I can only imagine that he is playing in a little known regional technique that he is probably one of the last to have mastered.

While I am thrilled to have found this even very short sample, I’d love to hear more. And I wonder… is anyone documenting this stuff seriously? Sublime Frequencies? Folkways? I sure hope someone is at it, otherwise this amazing sound could very well die away completely.

If anyone happens to know of any labels, individuals, ect. documenting this kind of thing, I’d love to know. I’m sure it’s being done, but probably too little and fearfully too late.

- Claude Register(?) – Intro to “Vernon Florida”

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3 Responses to “Surprise! Strikingly beautiful sounds in “Vernon Florida””

  1. df Says:

    whoaaa great tune!!! any more info on it?

  2. howsthatsound Says:

    Thanks for visiting DF. Unfortunately I do not have any more info on this. I will have a look around again and see if I can dig anything up, but I’m pretty sure this person is not a professional musician, so this is probably the only published recording of them. If he put out a record I’d buy it tho.

  3. Joseph A. Says:

    *applauds*

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