Singer-songwriter Richard Buckner has been recording and performing poetic, Southern Gothic music for more than 20 years now, though he's overdue for some new tunes. Buckner's most recent album was 2013's Surrounded (Merge Records), but last year saw the reissue of his 2000 LP The Hill, which was inspired by Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology, a 100-year-old book of epitaphs-as-poems voiced by more than 250 dead residents of the fictional Midwestern town of Spoon River.

Singer-songwriter Richard Buckner has been recording and performing poetic, Southern Gothic music for more than 20 years now, though he's overdue for some new tunes. Buckner's most recent album was 2013's Surrounded (Merge Records), but last year saw the reissue of his 2000 LP The Hill, which was inspired by Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology, a 100-year-old book of epitaphs-as-poems voiced by more than 250 dead residents of the fictional Midwestern town of Spoon River.

Backed by Joey Burns and John Convertino of Calexico, The Hill was a departure for Buckner, in that he used someone else's words instead of his own to tell stories about overlooked characters in desperate situations. But whether he's creating or curating, Buckner's unmistakable voice lends gravity and solemnity to the songs he sings.