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Whiskey for my Men, Beer for my Hoopleheads: pt. 2 photo

Read Kevin Mahler's Introduction to his ongoing 5-part "Portrait Series Paralleling Characters in HBO’s Deadwood with Contemporaneous Pop Country Musicians," and check out part 1 here

As I create and you view these portraits, I think it is important to remember that in the wake of the newly released Deadwood movie (which was amazing, by the way!!!), I am drawing these people as they appeared in 2004 through 2006. I am trying to draw the country stars the way they appeared in 04 - 06, whether that means they are before or after their heyday. Likewise I am doing my best to NOT draw the Deadwood stars in the way they look now; I am drawing them as they appeared in the original three seasons.

Travis Tritt the mulletted woodsman who sings to himself while heating up a bowl of soup in the 90s radio perennial “Great Day to Be Alive” was a memory who yielded to a slightly washed-out Billy Ray Cyrusesque red carpet standby. Tritt was already trying to tame the mullet and dress like a metronashvillesexual, but the animal tooth necklace still swung behind the high-collar shirt. Dan Dority (W.Earl Brown) stared into the mirror before (and after) the fight with Captain Turner and saw a lone wolf staring back at him.

At the time that Deadwood was on the air, Alan Jackson had grown into country music’s alpha male, the 6’4” strawman against which all the new boys would bounce their songs and personas. He was the former Chattahoochie wild boy who carried a mighty bag of fame on his wide shoulders. Wild Bill (Keith Carrradine) carried his fame into every barroom he sauntered into.

Jane Cannary (Robyn Wiegert) acts the way Gretchen Wilson sounded on her first two albums. Gutteral and evocative of George Jones. Can’t you just hear Jane yelling at Charlie Utter: “I ain’t no high class broad”?

Natalie Maines said the thing no one else had the guts to say in Europe. Trixie (Paula Malcomson) had the guts to do what had to be done. Everyone thought she was just a harmless girl with no gumption.

Dierks Bentley and Johnny Burns (Sean Bridgers). Curly hair, young, plucky, puppy-like.

Do you spend all day listening to country music and spend all night watching Deadwood? What do you see that I don’t see?



Dan Dority (W. Earl Brown) & Travis Tritt



Trixie (Paula Malcomson) & Natalie Maines



Wild Bill Hickok (Keith Carradine) & Alan Jackson



Calamity Jane Cannery (Robyn Wiegert) & Gretchen Wilson



Johnny Burns (Sean Bridgers) & Dierks Bentley



image: Kevin Mahler