Archive for April, 2011

Outtake of the week, April 15

In: News

OK, it’s only been five days, but who’s counting? While going through the vaults, I found this live performance from 2004 of a song Peter rarely performs any more.

Because Peter is performing unamplified in a big, echoey living room, I love how the audience singalong fills out the choruses.

Slaid Cleaves and Mary Gauthier are two other artists in the film who love to unplug and go out into the crowd to sing. The way the troubadours of old used to do it. This is what separates the true artists from the wannabes.

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Outtake of the Week, April 10

In: News

As I get the film ready for what looks like an August 1 release, I’m going to start sharing some of the great musical performances that didn’t make the final cut of the film. These are strictly for friends and fans, and in most cases I’m not allowing downloads of the original clips.

Here’s Slaid Cleaves singing a song by the legendary Texas songwriter, the late Don Walser. Walser, the “Pavarotti of the Plains,” passed away a few years back after a career spanning many decades. The song, “Texas Top Hand,” is reputed to be one of the hardest in Walser’s repertoire.

Slaid was recorded at Concerts in the Park in Greensburg, PA, in summer 2004. With Jeff Plankenhorn, dobro; Ivan Brown, bass; and Rick Richards, drums.

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About the Film

Troubadour Blues is a feature-length documentary that explores the fascinating world of traveling singer-songwriters. We see them in a variety of situations: impromptu performances, concert stages, formal and informal interviews and songwriting sessions. This is a story that needs to be heard. In our media-saturated age of instant pop stardom, there is real danger that the tradition of the itinerant working musician -- the tradition of Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly -- is being diluted or lost. Troubadour Blues explores the hidden corners of our culture, where honest, authentic songs reflecting the human experience are still being made up and sung.

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