Documentaries

The Troubadour Blues Roadshow, a unique blend of film, poetry, acoustic songs and plugged-in rock & roll, visits three cities in Tennessee this month. The show features singer-songwriters RB Morris and Nancy Apple, roots-rockers the Tim Lee Three, and a special preview of the film Troubadour Blues (which will be on sale at all shows). We’ll be at the Pilot Light in Knoxville on Thursday, Oct. 10, the Family Wash in Nashville on Friday, Oct. 11 (with special guests Amelia White and Julie Christensen), and Kudzu’s in Memphis on Saturday, Oct. 12. Click the links for details.

Troubadour Blues Roadshow poster.

Hope to see you there! We’ll be undertaking similar mini-tours in other parts of the country over the fall and winter, with a rotating roster of great performers.

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You may not know this, but a film’s “star” rating on the IMDB database is an important factor for streaming video services like Netflix and Hulu, who use it to decide what films to license and for how long.

The process is simple and you don’t even need to have an IMDB account to do it. Simply go to the film’s IMDB page and click where it says “rate this film. Here’s a screen shot to help you.

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MVD Visual, a division of MVD Entertainment Group of Oaks, PA, has picked up North American distribution rights for Troubadour Blues on home video, download and streaming platforms. MVD is a family-owned company that got its start in the heyday of MTV, distributing music videos on VHS to the burgeoning video rental market — they are music people and will help get this documentary into appreciative hands.

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Ashland Coffee and Tea, the listening room near the railroad tracks in
downtown Ashland, VA, feels like a second home to filmmaker Tom Weber,
whose documentary Troubadour Blues screens there Wednesday, Dec. 5.

“So many important scenes in the movie happened in that room,” says
Weber, a Pennsylvanian who spent 10 years collecting material for the feature-length
film. “I filmed Peter Case there on my very first weekend of shooting, back
in October 2002. I got the film’s title from a song that Mark Erelli had just written
when he opened for Chris Smither that following spring.”

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One more day till the World Premiere of Troubadour Blues at the Buffalo International Film Festival. Read a nice preview article from the Buffalo Artvoice, written by Kevin Hosey, who also produces the Buffalo Roots blog. I met Kevin and his wife Val years ago, when Peter Case was playing at Mohawk Place in downtown Buffalo. If you need to get tickets to the BIFF premiere, the link is here.

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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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