Winter in the Blood (2013) - official trailer. This movie looks amazing - people, setting, music - why haven’t I seen it playing anywhere?? This track, “Into the Open” by the Heartless Bastards, I think is a genius choice for the trailer, and even more genius is having the Bastards do the soundtrack for the whole movie. This song, with its simple, repetitive, mellow piano chords in the background, give the events that it narrates the feel of unimportance, the everyday - you get a sort of blissfully ignorant wandering feeling. This movie is clearly not the epic of a dashing hero, whose movie trailer would most likely be backed by a full orchestral rendition of Beethoven’s 5th. In the novel by James Welch which this movie is adapting, the protagonist, a 32-year-old Blackfeet Indian whose is never named, is certainly not our hero. Self-destructive, indulging in alcohol and women, he is utterly directionless, with an uncertain future and a troubled past. He wanders like the soundtrack, going from town to town, bar to bar, woman to woman, looking for his girlfriend who left and took his gun, but she’s almost just an excuse. The book is really made up of long poetical descriptions of haying, punching cattle, the companionship of a cow horse, looping bar conversations, the frustrations of family, flashbacks to the troubled pasts we all have. There’s not so much a resolution at the end, a crescendo. Our protagonist and the story just wanders. This gives the book a feel of universality (why else would our anti-hero be anonymous?) Cause who doesn’t wander through life? He is but one of many who have lives like this. Things like this happen everyday. That’s why this tedious, monotonous, directionless song is perfect - because our unnamed anti-hero’s life could be characterized by the same words, ALL our lives could. The choice to have the Heartless Bastards do the soundtrack is genius for similar reasons. This band, from Ohio, have been called by some the savior of modern blues rock. Like most blues rock, they focus on improvisation and have long jams that spiral endlessly resulting in 7 plus minute tracks. The lead vocals are gritty, shameless, and bold, their overall sound similar - dirty and rough, beat down by life but as real as can be. If Winter in the Blood had a “sound” I think it be that too. That’s real gosh-darned country life, those of us who grew up in the sticks know it. What is it about blues rock that goes so well with world-weary shoulders stooped at a bar, bootcut jeans, brown weathered skin and regrets? Winter in the Blood is really just one long poem about Montana, about rural life, about life, and blues rock of the Bastards is literally the perfect accompaniment. I applaud the Smith Brothers, directors of this movie, for taking time to read the book, I think they really got it, as evidenced by their choice of music. Bravo boys.