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Every time I listen to the pile of music stuffed onto my hard drive, I am constantly reminded of the difficulty of good storytelling. In music, as in writing, it’s not only the story, but how the story is told. Below I’ve posted a few videos of those artists I hold in high esteem and that color my world.

James McMurtry


Bruce Springsteen


Townes Van Zandt


Gillian Welch


Tom Waits


Enjoy! If you’ve got any faves that inspire your writing or just make your jaw drop, include ’em in the comments.

Comments ( 5 )

  1. ReplySara McClung
    Jeff Buckley-Hallelujah ES Posthumus-Nara Evanescence-My Immortal/Going Under/Bring Me To Life Seether/Amy Lee-Broken (Can you tell I kinda have a girl crush on Amy Lee? ha)
    • ReplyJonathan Danz
      Nice! I dig the ES Posthumus sound. I'm a huge fan of soundtrack-type stuff when I write, though I've been coming around on more vocal stuff recently. Tom Waits is the default for dystopic steampunk city writing. Thanks for commenting!
  2. ReplyN. R. Alexander
    I've an article in the works about this very thing, so you've caught me at just the right time to consider what music I find sets the tone for my writing. Lots of soundtrack stuff is what I most often have queued up: Clint Mansell, John Murphy and so on. Murder by Death have been a recent find - they aren't nearly as noisy as their name might have you thinking. In fact they recorded the soundtrack to Jeff Vandermeer's last novel, Finch. Well worth checking out.
    • ReplyJonathan Danz
      I have to confess, I've listened to the Finch soundtrack whilst writing. Love it. I need to purchase the soundtrack so I can put it in my writing mix. For soundtracks, I've got a playlist with Hans Zimmer (Gladiator and Black Hawk Down), Howard Shore (LoTR), and some others thrown in for good measure. I wrote this post thinking about musicians that I think tell great stories in their music, but I like where it has gone. Thanks so much for commenting!
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