Written by Paul Slade ‘Unprepared to Die – America’s greatest murder ballads and the true crime stories that inspired them‘ explores the real stories behind the murder ballad. These ballads are a staple of American roots music, Slade explores the reality behind eight of these iconic songs and murders.
Each chapter takes a murder story and explores the elements of truth and myths that grew up around them in an enthralling manner. Slade then lists some of the best versions of the song at chapter end, everyone from Nick Cave to Martin Carthy via The Frantic Flintstones is referenced.
Slades passion for the music and a grisly crime tale soaks every page like the innocent victims spilt blood. What also comes out is the fascinating journey that folk song has taken from Britain to the Americas and back, a fascination with violent death often at their roots.