Imagining a Better Future by Re-imagining the Past

Monday, June 12, 2017

American Epic

I recently watched a series that every Dieselpunk should see, American Epic.

American Epic comprises a three-part historical music documentary, a feature-length performance film, and a set of companion album releases. The project is executive-produced by Jack White, T Bone Burnett, and Robert Redford directed by Bernard MacMahon and written by Bernard MacMahon, Allison McGourty, and Duke Erikson of Lo-Max Films..

Featuring newly discovered film footage and photographs, American Epic is the result of "some eight years of research" by MacMahon. It examines the period from the 1920s when US record labels explored rural America to find new audiences for music, and recorded "a huge variety of folk, blues, country and ethnic songs", representing "the DNA of America, its raw expression". The films feature "exclusive interviews with some of the last living witnesses to that era, when the musical strands of a diverse nation first emerged".

In addition to the three-part historical documentary there is a recording session with contemporary musicians released as a DVD and CD.

The official American Epic web site
The official American Epic PBS site
The official American Epic BBC Four Arena site

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