Banjo Stylin’ – Porchlight Sessions

The Porchlight SessionsThe 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.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.