At present there’s an informal debate going around many country music sites and message boards. Bro country is all the rage, and there’s no denying pop has encroached on country in a way thought impossible a decade ago. Now the film Buckshot takes on the issue, and one thing is apparent just by watching the trailer.
Tim Dezarn (pictured above) in the role of the character Buckshot is most definitely an attention getter. That’s not surprising. Dezarn, who has traditionally favored “bad guy” roles, is a familiar face. From a recurring role in the excellent TV drama Deadwood and the equally excellent The Shield to roles in films like Fight Club, Dezarn is an actor who transforms himself completely into any role he takes on.
The gist of Buckshot is at the heart of the ‘where is country going’ debate. On the official website, there’s a synopsis:
“Buckshot is a dark comedy that follows Charlie Stillman, a struggling country singer from New Jersey, who journeys to Nashville to follow in his late father’s footsteps of becoming a country star. But when his father’s checkered past derails his chances, his only job offer is to drive Buckshot Thomas, an aging, hard-living, honky tonk legend, cross-country to his final concert. Along the way, the two men forge a rare friendship, which could change both their lives forever.”
The trek to Nashville, veritable golden grail for many aspiring country singers, comprises the setting for Buckshot and Charlie to, each in his own way, define what country music really is all about. Despite the fact you no longer have to go to Nashville, L.A., or anywhere else to build a fan base, Nashville remains the destination for any film involving a country music wannabe. The city in Tennessee has become more than a city—now it’s a symbol.
I noted one funny moment in the trailer, when Buckshot calls some of the songs Stillman shared “Yankee poetry.” That’s a style I’m familiar with because both my daughters write songs that don’t fit into a traditional mold or cookie cutter format.
I plan to watch the film—it’s available on Amazon Prime, on demand on various cable nets, and on DVD. I’ll do a full review once I’m able to see it. I didn’t even know about it until whoever handles social media contacted me via Twitter.
The film features outlaw country music, and it includes tunes by Sickstring Outlaws featuring Ron Houston, Peewee Moore, Mike and the Moonpies, and others. Joshua J. Smith, who wrote, directed, and produced, has won a number of awards for his work, and Buckshot has already won some awards at high profile festivals. Tim Dezarn also served as producer.
(Kay B. Day/Sept. 12, 2018)