On a warm morning in Memphis, during our Southern Road Trip, we met Star & Micey in St. Mary’s Cathedral. They started the day with this sweet and haunting version of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”, and as the days warm up and we start this summer, we’re excited to share it with you.
We think about this performance often, the beauty of the sound and the setting, the way loneliness can be soothed by singing. So it was a joy to include it in the bonus materials included with The 78 Project Movie. And to share even more of this immense journey with you.
Star & Micey – “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”
Shot on the road in Memphis, TN September 4, 2012
Thank you again to the city of Memphis and all of our dear friends there.
We’ve been quiet this winter, planning for the road ahead, and pausing momentarily to take in all the beauty of the last two years. They have been eventful and exciting, and full of singular moments like this one.
This video and acetate by Craig Finn were shot and recorded at our joyful homecoming screening at IFC Center in New York City last June. He closed out the night with his distinctive interpretation of “The Ballad of Jesse James.”
Craig told us all how he had been drawn to a particular phrase in the song – He’d a hand and a heart and a brain – and when he sang it that night, that phrase summed up the spirit of the song perfectly: the danger of the life of an outlaw and the love of a lost hero.
Craig Finn – “The Ballad of Jesse James”
Shot at IFC Center in New York City, June 4, 2015
Thank you again to IFC Center for being our generous hosts.
A new season breaks through and we are filled with the promise it brings. Exciting new music and screenings and big, big news are all ahead. The 78 Project this Spring is green with new growth. And we wanted to start by sharing with you a performance from our California trip, the sweet and wistful flipside to the beautiful acetate we cut with John Reilly and Tom Brosseau for The 78 Project Movie.
John Reilly & Tom Brosseau – “Single Girl, Married Girl”
Shot in Pasadena, CA, January, 2013
Recorded in Pasadena, CA, January, 2013
We love a gentle winter lullaby and a sweet, cheery carol, but sometimes your holidays just need a little holler. That’s why we wanted to share this recording from our nationwide theatrical release tour to screen The 78 Project Movie.
This September as we journeyed once again across the country, we made a stop in Little Rock, AR, where The Oxford American presented a screening of The 78 Project Movie in the beautiful CALS Ron Robinson Theater. Onstage after the screening, local musician Adam Faucett joined us to craft a very distinctive live 78. Adam wowed us all with his mighty voice, performing “Moonshiner” a capella. It’s a performance that remains as commanding on record as it was in the room.
Thank you again to Adam Faucett, our great friends at the Oxford American and everyone who came out to see the film screen in Little Rock.
Waking up to this chilly December morning, we thought some warm memories might be in order. Enjoy these two clips from The 78 Project Movie, of Joe Bussard at home in Maryland, and the Reverend John Wilkins in Mississippi. They’re both featured tracks on the Original Soundtrack to The 78 Project Movie on vinyl + digital, now available in The 78 Project Shop!
Joe Bussard – “Guitar Rag”
Shot in Frederick, MD, December 2012
Reverend John Wilkins “I Want Jesus to Walk with Me”
Shot at Hunters Chapel in Como, MS, August 2012
Touring to bring The 78 Project Movie to theaters and to watch the film together with audiences has been a gift to us. It’s given us a whole new set of memorable experiences. Making the movie brought us into new places and introduced us to new friends, and showing the movie has once again been a journey of connections and momentous events.
We traveled to Athens, GA in September on the invitation of the Athens Ciné, an independent movie theater run by truly the kindest, coolest folks, and Patterson Hood generously offered to join us there to cut a live 78 after the screening. Patterson sang a warm and visceral rendition of “Tramp in the Rain,” a family song from his childhood. As all of us in the room let out the breath we had been holding during his performance, Patterson explained that his grandmother sang the song to him when he was a child, as a lullaby at night. He had learned his words, and the subtle and sure style of singing them, from her.
Thank you again to Patterson, the fine folks at the Athens Ciné, and everyone who came out to see the film.
We hope you’ll be able to see The 78 Project Movie on the big screen. Take a look at our sidebar for a new batch of screenings coming up both in the U.S. and abroad.
The Creole musicians speak to their Malian bandmates in French. Most everyone in the room, Americans and Africans both, speaks French to one another, explaining what is being explained as the house is set up for the recording. The four members of International Blues Express – Sidi Toure and Abdoulaye Kone dit Kandjafa from Mali, Cedric Watson and Desiree Champagne from Louisiana – are bonded by the common language, bonded to us by it, too. Heritage, experience and instinct all combine so that musicians, filmmakers, recordists, from different continents and different corners of them, are all communicating.
The Creole and Malian musical styles and songs melt together perfectly. The bright plucking sounds of the ngoni and guitar dance lightly on the steady rhythm of the washboard and the fiddle’s dulcet drone. Celebration is something that we all experience, and we instinctively know the sound of a joyous occasion when we hear it. “Hanna” means a joyous all-night gathering, and is a song for celebrating the first child born into a family. It can take on a form that is endless, so that the dancing can continue until dawn. It is a song of thanks-giving. We are thankful for this day, thankful for the chance to see the world light up with this connection, the makings of a new musical genre emerge, the possibilities that collaboration and exploration can offer.
At the end of the day, the house is filled with the smells of the meal that everyone shares. The fundamental pieces of life are the same everywhere.
The 78 we made with International Blues Express has two Side As. In the next installment, our Creole friends take the lead, and lead us from birth to the unknown beyond it.
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.