Saving Country Music’s 2016 Halloween Playlist


From the beginning, there has always been a dark, Gothic side to American country and roots music. From murder ballads to ghost stories, to tales of struggle and lunacy, Gothic country never gets its due credit, nor do the dozens of artists and bands who keep these traditions alive with new music bathed in the darkness and depression and unsettled minds of America’s dying agrarian landscape.

Halloween is the perfect time to re-engage with this darker side of country, whether it’s with newer artists such as Those Poor Bastards and the Sons of Perdition who both just released new records, or legends like Johnny Cash and Ray Wylie Hubbard who regularly reached back to the Gothic roots of American music to tell dark tales.

For those who do the Spotify thing, you can find the playlist below (and follow Saving Country Music while you’re at it), and for everyone else, below is a list of artists, songs, and albums that will hopefully open up the underworld of country music for your Halloween listening.

NOTE: A cuss word or two might be present.

  1. “Raise The Moon” – The .357 String Band – Ghost Town
  2. “Graverobber Blues” – The Bloody Jug Band – Coffin Up Blood
  3. “Ballad of a Prodigal Son” – Lincoln Durham – Exodus of the Deemed Unreighteous
  4. “Gravedigger” – Willie Nelson – Moment of Forever
  5. “Mr. Skeleton” – The Pine Box Boys – STAB!
  6. “Someday I’ll Fall” – Rachel Brooke, Lonesome Wyatt – A Bitter Harvest
  7. “Swamp Fist” – The Slow Poisoner – Swamp Fist!
  8. “Witches” – Sons of Perdition – Gathered Blood
  9. “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” – Johnny Cash – American V: A Hundred Highways
  10. “Everybody Dies” – Those Poor Bastards – Necrosphere
  11. “My Last Black Scarf” – Slim Cessna’s Auto Club – Unentitled
  12. “Black Wings” – Ray Wylie Hubbard – A: Enlightenment B: Endarenment
  13. “Blood Train” – The Bloody Jug Band – Coffin Up Blood
  14. “Introducing Drake Savage” – Slackeye Slim – El Santo Grial: La Pistola Piadosa
  15. “Dead Body Moving” – The Devil Makes Three – I’m A Stranger Here
  16. “If The Beasts Should Hunt Us” – Lonesome Wyatt, Rachel Brooke – Bad Omen
  17. “Shake Yer Bones” – Viva Le Vox – Dirt For Sale
  18. “Murder of Crows” – Lindi Ortega – Cigarettes & Truck Stops
  19. “Eyeball Kid” – Tom Waits – Mule Variations
  20.  “Demon in the Night” – The Goddamn Gallows – The Maker
  21. “Dead Bury The Dead” – The Legendary Shack Shakers – The Southern Surreal
  22. “Wolves in the Streets” – The Dinosaur Truckers – The Dinosaur Truckers
  23. “O Death” – Ralph Stanley – O Brother, Where Art Thou? Soundtrack
  24. “Dark Was The Night” – Heathen Apostles – Boot Hill Hymnal
  25. “Kingdom It Will Come” – Dad Horse Experience – Dead Dog on a Highway
  26. “Sweet Lunacy” – Filthy Still – Dirty and Low
  27. “Chord of the Organ” – Hank Williams III – Ghost of a Ghost/Guttertown
  28. “Box of Pine” – Black Eyed Vermillion – Never Shed a Bloody Tear
  29. “Bone Man – Black Jake & The Carnies” – Where The Heather Don’t Grow
  30. “When Evil Comes to Town” – Joe Buck Yourself – Who Dat?

**And anything from Unknown Hinson (whose not on Spotify), and Izzy Cox too.

© 2023 Saving Country Music