Rolling Stone - p.743.5 stars out of 5
-- "[With] a soundtrack composed by jazz guitarist Bill Frisell, who colors the tale with skewered Dixieland brass, shivering strings and groaning woodwinds."
Composer: Bill Frisell.
Tributee: Hunter S. Thompson.
Personnel: Jenny Scheinman (violin); Eyvind Kang (viola); Hank Roberts (cello); Doug Weiselman (woodwinds); Ron Miles (trumpet); Curtis Fowlkes (trombone); Kenny Wollesen (drums, percussion).
Audio Mixers: Vanessa Parr; John Kilgore; Martin Brumbach.
Recording information: John Kilgore Sound & Recording, New York, NY; The Village, West LA, CA.
Actors: Dr. John; John Joyce; Will Forte; Annie Ross; Ralph Steadman; Tim Robbins .
The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved is technically the first piece of gonzo journalism from maverick writer Hunter S. Thompson, whose loose-cannon approach to covering the 1970 Kentucky Derby for Scanlan's Monthly included never actually seeing the race, and instead documented the careening alcohol and drug-fueled world surrounding the event. Reprinted years later in Thompson's The Great Shark Hunt, it is much beloved by Thompson fans. This spoken word presentation of it actually turned out pretty interesting, with Tim Robbins turning in a wonderful reading as Thompson, and Bill Frisell's often eerie musical soundtrack making things into a kind of sound collage that somehow fits Thompson perfectly in tone and spirit. This is an audio book with some serious gonzo kick, which is as it should be. ~ Steve Leggett