On the "home front" in Kentucky during the Second World War, farm boys Bobby and Eldon Wayner were budding balladeers. They became fascinated with a recluse farmer, "Ol' Weber," a German immigrant. Malicious gossip alleged that he was a Nazi and that he'd murdered his own family. The boys spied on him and discovered that at night he played a beautiful, mesmerizing tune on his piano. And Eldon, wanting to write a ballad about Ol' Weber, took a fatal risk.
Nearly four decades later, after time served in California's Folsom Prison for a barroom killing, Bobby traveled back to Kentucky. As he hitchhiked and road the rails with his guitar, his ballads and memories revealed why he'd run away when Eldon died, and why he'd always been afraid to return. For good reason, he blamed himself for Eldon's death as much as the man who had shot him. When Bobby got home, he found that Judgment Day had been waiting for him.