Free Comic Book Day is as good of an opportunity as any for comic book publishers to get some extra eyeballs on their upcoming projects, and Z2 Comics is going the extra mile this year — with a free song by blues musician Robert Finley and Black Keys singer and guitarist Dan Auerbach. CBR has the first look at the music video for their collaboration.
The song is a cover of “In the Pines,” a folk song that dates back in one form or another to the 1870s. It’s most commonly associated with blues legend Lead Belly, and a certain generation will know the song best from Nirvana’s version on the “MTV Unplugged in New York” album.
This take is performed by Finley and Auerbach, with the latter also composing and producing. Readers who pick up Z2’s FCBD offering, “The Ballad of Franklin Bonisteel,” will receive a link to download the song for free. It’s one of five songs from an EP by Auerbach that will accompany the release of Z2’s upcoming “Murder Ballads” graphic novel by writer Gabe Soria and artist Paul Reinwand.
The video uses images from a “Murder Ballads” preview that’s the back-up story of Z2’s Free Comic Book Day issue. The main story, the titular “Ballad of Franklin Bonisteel,” is by Soria and artist Warren Pleece, a black-and-white prequel “of sorts” to “Murder Ballads,” which tells the story of “a day-into-night bounty hunt for a musician who may have stolen a hit song from legendary producer Franklin Bonisteel,” according to a press release.
The “Murder Ballads” project was originally announced in Jan. 2016.
“It was pretty fully formed in Gabe’s mind,” Auerbach told Vulture of his collaboration with Gabe Soria. “The music that he was talking about seemed — well, I could wrap my mind around it. He knew I was really big into northern Mississippi music, so I understood the reference points when he was talking to me about it.”
Z2’s Free Comic Book Day release, “The Ballad of Franklin Bonisteel” is available on Saturday, May 6, at participating retailers. “Murder Ballads” is scheduled for release on June 28 and currently available for pre-order. It’s a busy June for Dan Auerbach: His second solo album, “Waiting on a Song,” is scheduled for release on June 2.