There’s a long history of murder ballads in folk music that dates back probably about as long as people have been making music. It’s a lost art, but some artists, such as Colter Wall, have vowed to keep the tradition alive. There’s no better example of a modern rendition of the murder ballad that Wall’s “Kate McCannon”.
“Kate McCannon” is an eerie tale of a scorned lover that, in a fit of rage, takes the life of the subject’s sweetheart, when he discovers her with another man. It’s a tale as old as love itself, and it’s why the murder ballad has been an institutional part of music making for so long.
Colter Wall is a Canadian singer/songwriter that’s build a following playing a blues infused folk music that harkens back to the late 19th and early 20th century. Wall’s got a sound that predates recorded music. He’s a throwback to the old story-telling sound that is lost in today’s mainstream music. It’s a shame, because there’s nothing like Colton Wall or “Kate McCannon” anywhere on your radio dial these days.
Want to hear Murder Ballads? Here’s a playlist with a whole bunch for your listening enjoyment and cultural education.