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Ride with the Devil by Mychael Danna

Composed and Produced by Mychael Danna
Conducted and Orchestrated by Nicholas Dodd
Performances by Dirk Powell (Banjo and Fiddle solos),  John Whelan (Accordian), Jeff Dover (drum), Jewel (Vocal)
Kelly Werts (Fiddle), Roger Landes (Mandolin, Guitar) 
Released by Atlantic Records 1999


Q-Review

As one of the of the sleeper scores of 1999, Mychael Danna supplies a superior effort for the made-for-tv-film, Ride with the Devil.  Danna weaves an authentic and pulsating score together utilizing the "twang" of the fiddle, banjo, and accordian, as well as a full blown orchestra.  The highlight of the score is the action/suspense theme that he employs several times throughout the score.  It is introduced in track 4, Clark Farm Shootout.  The percussions set a heart-pounding tone and the as the strings and brass fill in, a tight, high-energy piece is formed- not unlike John Powell's work in his score for Endurance or Trevor Jones unforgettable Last of the Mohicans.   Ride with the Devil also features three traditional pieces and one contemporary cut, the end titles, performed by Jewel.  These detract only somewhat from the overall enjoyability of the score.

 


The Bottom Line

Mychael Danna makes his mark through the action sequences of the film.  While many composers are noted for their lovely, romantic themes, Danna is able to set himself and this score apart through the intensely memorable pieces written for the battle sequences.  Ride with the Devil certainly carries on the great tradition of superior film music for a Civil War film.  Edelman's Gettysberg and Horner's Glory are still a notch above this effort, but this score certainly deserves to be mentioned with them.   If one is looking for some fresh action music, Ride with the Devil, is worth investigation.

 Category

Score

Rating: 7/10

 Originality

8/10

 Composition 7/10

 CD Length

6/10

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