THE DUKES OF HAZZARD (SCORE)
Music composed by Nathan Barr
Label/Catalog: Promo
Year: 2005
Tracks:

1. Welcome to Hazzard 
2. Boss Hogg 
3. Uncle Jessie 
4. Stealing The Safe 
5. Wash My Mongoose 
6. The General Lee 
7. Campus Cops 
8. Geology Hi-Jinx 
9. Daisy's Undercarriage
10. Make It A Party 
11. Seducing Enos 
12. Donuts 
13. Shoot The Moon 
14. Pardon Me 
15. Hazzard County Picnic
16. Atlanta Chase 
17. Cocktails

Total Time: 35:08
Rating:


Reviewed by
Jorge Saldanha

 

The Dukes of Hazzard is the feature film based on a 80's popular - but silly - TV show. In the film (a Southern action-comedy) cousins Bo (Johnny Knoxville) and Luke Duke (Seann William Scott) and their car "General Lee" (an orange 1969 Dodge Charger), assisted by Cousin Daisy (Jessica Simpson) and Uncle Jesse (Willie Nelson), fight the schemes of the authorities of Hazzard County - Boss Hogg (Burt Reynolds) and Sheriff Coltrane (M.C. Gainey). The movie has some fun moments and relies basically in grosse jokes, car chases and - wow - Jessica Simpson's "artistic attributes".

The available soundtrack album is a song compilation that mixes a lot of Southern Rock from 70's, 80's and contemporary artists and bands. Of course we got Uncle Jesse himself, Willie Nelson, plus The Allman Brothers Band, Stevie Ray Vaughan And Double Trouble, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and the list goes on. Last but not least, Jessica Simpson sings a "countrified" version of "These Boots Are Made for Walkin." A very talented girl, indeed... sadly the album omits completely the score composed by Nathan Barr, that was edited partially on a limited CD only for the composer's promotional use.

Barr is an eclectic instrumentalist and composer that began his career in film music mentored by the Academy-Award winning composer Hans Zimmer. Since the mid-90's, Barr scored dozens of films including From Dusk Til Dawn 3, Club Dread and Cabin Fever, as well as several TV series. For The Dukes of Hazzard, Barr created an instrumental score that reflects the Southern scenario, the light tone of the plot and, of course, the fast action delivered by the car chases that we see at the screen. Barr describes his music as "Allman Brothers meets AC/DC meets ZZ Top", and he in fact employs the legendary ZZ Top's guitarist Billy Gibbons, to give to the music an authentic classic rock feel.

The score can be defined as guitar-oriented, with a solid support provided by keyboards, harmonica, a more than competent rhythm section and, of course, fiddle - the instrument that introduces the score in the emblematic "Welcome to Hazzard". At some moments it reminded me some classics road movie soundtracks like Vanishing Point, with its heavy-guitar-rock sense well balanced with country sensibilyties. Despite the rock backbone, the score incorporates some jazz and blues elements, carried by its excelent performers. On this Promo CD the music is distributed mostly in short tracks - two, three minutes in lengh at maximum. The lenghtier album track is "Atlanta Chase", one of the two bonus tracks that were not used in the film - The Chases you never Heard.

For me, The Dukes of Hazzard's score is much better than the film that serves. It's not especially original but features several joyous, fun and exciting pieces like "The General Lee". It's a shame that it was not released commercially on CD. If there's another single element of this production that can matches Nathan Barr's music is the gorgeous look of Jessica Simpson - and this is the best compliment I can make to the composer's work. I'm sure that at least you, boys, will understand what I mean (shorts!). Kudos to Mr. Barr.

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