Lucero's Ben Nichols missed his chance with Reese Witherspoon
Lucero frontman Ben Nichols will soon be applying his songcraft to the silver screen, as he will be contributing music to Mud, an upcoming feature film starring Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon. Ben Nichols is older brother to Mud's writer/director Jeff Nichols, who won last year's Critics' Week Grand Prix award at the Cannes Film Festival for his widely-acclaimed psychological drama Take Shelter. The Nichols brothers previously collaborated on Jeff's directorial debut Shotgun Stories (2007), a "beautiful Southern-gothic family drama" also starring Take Shelter lead actor Michael Shannon (HBO's Boardwalk Empire).
A recent profile in the LA Times on the more senior of the Nichols brothers, Ben, notes that he had been "working overtime at Memphis' Ardent studios, tightening up songs for his younger brother, director and screenwriter Jeff Nichols' next film." An earlier interview with the Lucero frontman in The Vinyl District last fall reveals that he, in fact, "was supposed to be in a scene with Reese Witherspoon, but I was in Texas, so they had to have someone else do it. I was really pissed off about that." He also describes the film as a "modern day 'Huckleberry Finn'" which certainly fits the fairytale-like synopsis about an unlikely friendship between a fugitive (McConaughey) and a 14-year-old boy (The Tree of Life star Tye Sheridan) who helps him escape off an island in Mississippi, evade the law and bounty hunters, and reunite him with his sweetheart Juniper (Witherspoon). Sam Shepherd and Sarah Paulson also co-star in the film. [The Playlist, 3/27/12]
While Mud should be making the rounds on film festival circuit this fall, Ben Nichols will be in the Twin Cities this week to headline the Mainroom with Lucero. The band is touring in support of their latest album, Women & Work, which can be streamed in its entirety (with Nichols giving song-by-song commentary) on the Lucero event page.