The producers of the upcoming Porchlight Sessions film have assembled this set of outtakes from the many hours of footage they shot as a tribute to Earl Scruggs.
You’ll see comments and music from Chris Pandolfi, Béla Fleck and Alison Brown – not just about Scruggs, but also about the revolution he set in motion.
The Porchlight Sessions, still in post-production, is a project masterminded and produced by Anna Schwaber. Its goal is to put bluegrass and other forms of modern Appalachian-derived folk music into a more favorable perspective than is often the case, and explain the music and the culture to the uninitiated.
As Anna put it in an earlier interview with Bluegrass Today:
“I realized fairly early on that there was little compelling educational content about the region of the US that I grew up in. When I younger, I was an avid white-water kayaker and spent my summers on rivers in the Smokys while based in Brevard, NC. I remember the music as a soundtrack to these adventures, which was cool and all but we’d watch films like Deliverancebefore kayaking the river it was filmed on, the Chatooga River.
I really didn’t like how the people of the region were depicted in mainstream cinema and felt that a lot of my distaste for the music was steeped in the fact that is was poorly documented. As an artist and filmmaker, I saw this subject as my responsibility. I wanted everyone in the masses who equated bluegrass to the misleading concepts in Deliverance to see the beauty in the culture surrounding the music as I saw it.”
The film combines interviews and live performances in a documentary style. Some of the music is captured in its element, while some is special for the producers – like this unamplified bit from Crooked Still.
Schwaber is soliciting support now at Kickstarter to raise the money needed to complete editing and get the film onto screens.