Our Chicago premiere and a jazzy new 78 from Adam Levy & Gaby Moreno

Our excitement is growing as August gets closer. Especially now that it will bring our Chicago premiere! The 78 Project Movie will screen on August 16th and 17th at Chicago’s Music Box Theater as part of its Summer Music Film Festival.

Tickets are available now. And we’ll be there for a Q&A at both screenings, if you’d like to say hello. Or sit next to us. We’d love that.

Music Box Theater
Summer Music Film Festival
August 16 & 17, 2014
Chicago, IL
Purchase tickets

On a day when the road was at its most challenging, when long drives, short batteries, fried tubes and a weary Presto threatened to dampen the spirit of our California adventure, Adam Levy and Gaby Moreno righted everything immediately with their unmitigated joy. Their happy collaboration on “After You’ve Gone” turned the trials of the day into the perfect evening to create a perfectly beautiful record.

Sounds of Summer: A screening at the Jacob Burns Film Center and a new 78 from Sea of Bees

Exciting news seems to come with each new day at The 78 Project this summer. We’re overflowing with updates and music to share with you.

This week we’re happy to announce that The 78 Project Movie will screen on August 18 at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, NY as part of their Sounds of Summer series. And we’ll be there to answer questions and swap stories! Tickets are available now through the Jacob Burns Film Center website:

Jacob Burns Film Center
Sounds of Summer
August 18, 2014 7:30 pm
Pleasantville, NY
Purchase tickets

Though her song explores a weighty subject, Sea of Bees is a person of celebratory spirit. Which makes her 78, “In My Time of Dying” – recorded for The 78 Project Movie at her home in Sacramento – feel like the perfect acetate to accompany this happy news.

 

Leave You Not Alone: Watch and hear Jackson Lynch’s “Roving Cowboy” recording from the Brooklyn Folk Festival

There was a mood of fellowship in the Bell House the April morning we arrived with our Presto, a feeling in the air that anything could happen, and that anyone at any time might break out into beautiful song. So many people milling around at the Brooklyn Folk Fest that afternoon were great musicians, and every soul in the room an appreciator.

The spontaneity of the day led us to recording a side with Jackson Lynch, and as we always are when struck by good fortune, we were grateful to opportunity and appreciative of the musical talent that continues to grace us. Jackson performed the 19th Century Western Ballad “Roving Cowboy” with his fiddle bow gliding in a long journey across the strings. Like the cowboy of the song, never to settle, headed to who knows where.


 

Also, hear and see John Cohen’s recording “Danville Girl” from the other side of our Brooklyn Folk Festival acetate.

Thanks again to Eli Smith, the Bell House, John Cohen, Jackson Lynch and all the musicians, organizers and folks who came out to the Brooklyn Folk Festival.

Family Story: Hear Christopher King tell the birth of Riley at 78rpm

So often they seem beyond belief, the yarns that are spun around town and around dinner tables, late in the night or in passing on the street.  They are mostly told secondhand. Or third.  Stories from the family lore too wild to think they could have actually happened, and so exciting and colorful we would hardly want to live in a world where they couldn’t.

Often a delightful dubiousness is added to these tales by the distance they traveled to reach our ears, the wine, and the festive manner of telling. This was not the case on the summery night when our friend, acclaimed 78 collector and producer Christopher King, shared with us his family fables. His were told firsthand, and with demonstrations to help us picture the action.

“Did we tell you how our daughter, Riley, was born?” He asked us later, nonchalant as he cleared our plates.  After the stories his family had already shared, of ceiling snakes and hatchets and the town where they live in Virginia, we knew this legend, saved for last, must be the best one.

The warmth of our spirits: Dylan LeBlanc “Innocent Sinner” video clip and acetate

We’ve been hard at work in the editing room since returning home in January from our California road trip. And though we sit in the same room every day as we sort the hours of footage we’ve shot so far for The 78 Project movie, there’s no possibility of sameness or fatigue. Each day we are transported to another room, any of the many different and beautiful rooms all around the country we’ve been invited into to film and make 78s.

This week as scenes from our Southern journey emerged on our editing monitors, the drudgery of winter had disappeared and suddenly summer was bearing down with the last of its might. We were transported to a sunny high-ceilinged room in Nashville mesmerized by a sultry and spectacular sound: the voice of Dylan LeBlanc.

We wanted to show it to you the moment we saw it.  Haunting and reverent and filled with purity and magic, it called to us like the endless roads of our journey, reminded us of the warmth of your support, made us want to say thank you right now and always.

Hallelujah! Hear The Wandering’s 78

It was the true spirit of mobility, a genuine adventure.  Rooting around a dark alley for a power source, decent light, bright sound and a clean-ish, flat surface for the Presto and for the ladies’ fancy shoes.

It was late at night, and there was an energy, a happiness, a spark still glowing from the show The Wandering had just played at Joe’s Pub.  They slipped out the back after their encore was through to make a record with us in the alley. Five voices with the fife as their sixth, bouncing joyfully off the concrete and mixing together in the warm spring air.

Did we feel it?  We hadn’t noticed.  A train went by, fast, beneath our feet.  The Wandering, more accustomed to standing on solid ground than we New Yorkers, felt it rumble.  The Presto felt it, too.  Leaving a pretty-looking zig and a zag on the groove to mark it’s passing, a note stuck forever to the surface of the record telling exactly what their tapping feet had sensed.

We might have never gotten to sleep that night, it’s true.  The excitement of the glorious recording lit us all up so, band, crew and friends alike.  Had The Wandering’s flipside not been just the right reverie, the perfect song for the night’s end, we might have vibrated right through till morning.  It was so beautiful in its calm, so right in its gentle longing, “Rock My Soul” brought us fluttering right back down to earth.

Buy it on iTunes.

How Sweet the Sound: Hear Holly Williams & Chris Coleman sing “Amazing Grace”

Tomorrow is a family day.  Not that every day isn’t, it’s just that this week in particular we make such an effort to gather together our loved ones.  Putting aside the stress and distance, it’s a wonderful thing to find that we are all joined in such a profound bond; that we are not the first, nor will we be the last to experience the world.  It’s not our sole responsibility to navigate it.

Holly Williams’ family has a vibrant musical story.  As Hank Williams’ granddaughter, she has a birthright of song.  And because her husband, Chris Coleman, is a musician, singing and playing guitar is something they can share as a family. When we visited them in Nashville, they sang “Amazing Grace,” together in their home with their dogs at their feet.  It was the picture and sound of togetherness and warmth.

In the Middle of the Night: Hear The Bo-Keys with Percy Wiggins Flipside “Writing on the Wall”

The beginning of a new week means just a few days are left in our 7 days of 78s…and that a holiday weekend is in sight!  Just in case you were afraid your Monday might lack a little flavor, we have a dash of Memphis hot sauce to add to it.  Trust us, it cooks.

We’ve heard that when you’re in Memphis, every night is like the end of the world.  After our last full day there, which we packed with a marathon three recordings, we’re pretty sure we know what that means. The Bo-Keys and Percy Wiggins were our final shoot of the day, and we arrived bone-weary and excited beyond belief. A splendidly shabby room packed with incredible musicians, the dark Memphis night for a backdrop, and a bold, old-school, no-holds barred sound that challenged our mic and carved itself into a perfect record.

 

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