Stephen King makes his debut as a playwright, delivering everything one could ask for. Indeed, Ghost Brothers of Darkland County impresses as a paranormal morality tale on the surface, but at its core it spins a story in the vein of Cain and Abel - or, for one dysfunctional family living in the backwoods of Mississippi, as recent as a mysterious tragedy from 40 years ago.
The superb blues 'n' roots music of the play reflects the wide range of styles and influences suited to a work that spans the decades. Mellencamp's unusual score uses its melodies to reveal the emotions and inner workings of the characters.
For this 2014 tour, Ghost Brothers of Darkland County has been re-conceived as a theatrical concert, with much of the costumes and lighting staging of the original musical being stripped away to draw more focus to Mellencamp's songs.