Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Following The Winding Stream

photograph by Beth Harrington; The Winding Stream Facebook page

I owe it to [this interview] that I was granted, to make sure it sees the light of day. It feels like a big trust has been placed upon me. 

--Beth Harrington on Johnny Cash's final interview, which appears in The Winding Stream

As we look ahead to the new year, few things in our corner of the arts world are as exciting as the possibility of seeing The Winding Stream on silver screens across the country. This is a documentary project directed by Beth Harrington, an award winning musician, journalist and producer whose film Welcome to the Club--The Women of Rockabilly was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2003. The subject of this film will be near and dear to many of our readers' hearts: The Carter Family. While many other wonderful films have centered around A.P., Sara and Maybelle, The Winding Stream promises to trace a wider arc--from Clinch Mountain all the way out to the terrains of contemporary music:
The Winding Stream is the tale of the dynasty at the very heart of country music. Starting with the seminal Original Carter Family, A.P., Sara and Maybelle; this film-in-progress traces the ebb and flow of their influence, the transformation of that act into the Carter Sisters and Mother Maybelle, the marital alliance between June Carter and music legend Johnny Cash, and the efforts of the present-day family to keep this legacy alive.

A story that has never been told in its entirety. The Winding Stream covers the epic sweep of this family’s saga all in one film.  It is told by family members; including Johnny Cash, Rosanne Cash, Janette Carter, as well as the musicians they influenced. And their musical contribution is vividly illustrated in performances by roots music practitioners like John Prine, George Jones, Sheryl Crow, Kris Kristofferson and many others.
While this documentary touches on vital (and less-discussed) connections between traditional and modern music, between the country and city, the most important element of this story at the present moment is that The Winding Stream project could use our help. Ms. Harrington has set up a Kickstarter page so that her audience can support the costly production of this film. For those that may not have heard of Kickstarter, follow this link; this is an amazing organization that allows for secure individual funding of grass-roots arts projects.

No amount of copy on our part will serve to highlight the fantastic promise of this film more than a few of Ms. Harrington's clips. In the first, we get a chance to see a bit of the aforementioned interview with Johnny Cash:

The second clip tells the story of Maybelle Carter, the Nitty Gritty Dirty Band and the legendary Will The Circle Be Unbroken sessions--it can be found here, streaming in high-definition.  To see additional selections, please visit the film's website or join its Facebook page