An earlier report in Rolling Stone stated that the album would arrive in stores in March. However, producers have now revealed that two versions of the album — single-disc and multi-disc deluxe formats — will be made available in June. The musical debuted to a lukewarm reception in Atlanta last spring. The cast included Tony Award winner Shuler Hensley, Tony nominee Emily Skinner and Justin Guarini. A New York reading took place last fall, but there are no firm plans announced for a full New York production of Ghost Brothers.
A standard, single-disc version of Ghost Brothers will include the complete songs, dialogue excerpts and digital libretto; while a two-disc format will feature complete songs (with and without dialogue), deluxe artwork, "handwritten lyrics," a libretto and a DVD with a "Making of Ghost Brothers" documentary including interviews with King, Mellencamp and album producer T Bone Burnett along with other bonus material.
In addition, the Ghost Brothers of Darkland County digital editions for tablets, smartphones and e-readers will allow users to interact "in unprecedented ways with the complete soundtrack and digital libretto, as well as exclusive video and graphic materials."
The album will feature performances by Kris Kristofferson in the role of the father, Joe; Elvis Costello as the satanic character The Shape; Roseanne Cash as the mother, Monique; and the sons portrayed by Will Daily (Frank), Dave Alvin (Jack), Phil Alvin (Andy) and Mellencamp (Drake). Sheryl Crow voices Jenna with Neko Case as Anna, boxing legend Joe Frazier as caretaker Dan Coker and novelist King in the role of Uncle Steve. Also featured on the album are actors Matthew McConaughey, Samantha Mathis and Meg Ryan. Glenn Morshower serves as the narrator.
The musical's blues-tinged music and lyrics are by Mellencamp. " Carrie," "Misery" and "The Shining" novelist King authored the book. Here's how the work is billed: "In the tiny town of Lake Belle Reve, Mississippi in 1957, a terrible tragedy took the lives of two brothers and a beautiful young girl. During the next 40 years, the events of that night became the stuff of local legend. But legend is often just another word for lie. Joe McCandless knows what really happened; he saw it all. The question is whether or not he can bring himself to tell the truth in time to save his own troubled sons, and whether the ghosts left behind by an act of violence will help him — or tear the McCandless family apart forever."
Songs on the album follow:
"That's Me" (Elvis Costello)
"That's Who I Am" (Neko Case)
"So Goddamn Smart" (Dave Alvin, Phil Alvin, Sheryl Crow)
"Wrong, Wrong, Wrong About Me" (Elvis Costello)
"Brotherly Love" (Ryan Bingham, Will Dailey)
"How Many Days" (Kris Kristofferson)
"You Are Blind" (Ryan Bingham)
"Home Again" (Sheryl Crow, Dave Alvin, Phil Alvin, Taj Mahal)
"You Don't Know Me" (Rosanne Cash)
"My Name Is Joe" (Clyde Mulroney)
"Tear This Cabin Down" (Taj Mahal)
"And Your Days Are Gone" (Sheryl Crow, Dave Alvin, Phil Alvin)
"Jukin'" (Sheryl Crow)
"What Kind of Man Am I" (Kris Kristofferson, Phil Alvin, Sheryl Crow Dave Alvin, Taj Mahal)
"So Goddamn Good" (Phil Alvin, Dave Alvin, Sheryl Crow)
"Away From This World" (Sheryl Crow)
"Truth" (John Mellencamp)