Long Time Gone - The Civil Wars & T Bone Burnett

from the original motion picture soundtrack A Place At The Table (2013)

The Civil Wars and T Bone Burnett are "two great tastes that taste great together" as evidenced by the song Long Time Gone.  I became a fan of The Civil Wars in 2011 with the release of their album Barton Hollow.  The quality of Joy Williams and John Paul White's vocals and songwriting is some the best stuff to come out of Nashville in the past decade.  Their song Poison & Wine is the most beautiful example, demonstrating the incredible ability of their voices to hit soaring harmonies.

T Bone Burnett is simply a master of the music from the American south.  His body of work as a producer and musician is beyond compare.  Check out Killing The Blues by Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, One Time One Night by Los Lobos, See That My Grave Is Kept Clean by B.B. King, Lovable by Elvis Costello, or I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow by The Soggy Bottom Boys (from the film O' Brother Where Art Thou) to hear some of my personal favorites.

This song offers the best of both.  The songwriting is perfectly crafted for the vocalist's jaw-dropping talent.  It builds, comes down, and soars again.  The vocals give me chills.  I have never heard a male and female voice each let it hang out like that while sounding so perfect together.  This is particularly noted during the chorus of "It's been a long time coming / It's been a long time gone."  Crazy good.

And then there are the instruments, arrangements, and production. All stellar.  I particularly dig the drum track.  The smack down beat with its cracks and thuds offers the perfect counterbalance to the vocals.  I also dig the way the acoustic and electric guitars intertwine.

Click Here to listen to the recording.

Click Here to watch them play the song live for the first time at a 2011 show in Birmingham, Alabama.


  1. I love (love!) this song. Never heard of them before, nor the movie this song is in but will make it a point to check both out further, for sure.

    T-Bone Burnett is really something. Funny how all the songs you mention that he produced are some of my faves as well. I didn't know that. He also has worked with the BoDeans, and that grass roots rock jive is what he does best. Good "shtuff".

  2. Holy Moly, I forgot that T-Bone Burnett produced The BoDeans. I still spin their first album every once in awhile. Imaging starting your first album with such cool songs as She's A Runaway and Fadeaway?

    Did you know that Mitchell Froom - who just produced the Ron Sexsmith album I wrote about earlier this month - plays organ on the 1st BoDeans record?

    Thanks. Time to put on the BoDeans.

    Rock on Milwaukee!!!

  3. Holy Moly, I'm not the only one left in the free world who says "holy moly"...

    I didn't know that about Ron Sexsmith- it all makes sense though, how great artists find each other somehow, some way.

    And I can't imagine a better first album- those songs are the best.

    Now you've put me in the mood to listen the The BoDeans, which is really saying something. I have been in deep mourning since August 25, 2011, when Sam Llanas split from the band 3 days before I went to see them and made me cry at the concert. No one makes me cry at a concert and expects me to just carry on being a BIG FAN... what do they think I am anyway?? Some sort of a sap? In fact I put a comment on one of their facebook posts, to which Sammy actually personally messaged me back! To no avail though- their breakout was akin to Paul and John not writing together anymore. To me, anyway.

    Guess I should just let all that fadeaway already, huh? I don't want to be a runaway anymore. (get it?)

    Rock on BoDeans...!

  4. That is a sad story. Just remember that everybody wants to live how they want to live. And if that leaves you staring at the world thru your own private Idaho, it is better than standing naked.

  5. Once again, you are correct. Taking off this black veil, I can see only the good things. Turns out, paradise, it ain't hard to find, lookin' out your window at the world outside.

    Thanks- I've been BoDean-afied. I am closer to free now.

    (This could go on and on- I know every lyric...) :))

    Think I will go spin "Homebrewed-Live at the Pabst" in your honor today.


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