If you haven’t seen the trailer for The Winding Stream : The Carters, the Cashes and the Course of Country Music – You might want to check it out.
Even if Kris Kristofferson wasn’t in this new film, I would still be very excited to see it. The news gave me goose bumps just reading about it. You haven’t seen the trailer yet? Let’s fix that now.
Used with permission from the filmmaker, Beth Harrington.
The Carter family has brought music to their fans for more than ninety years, long before the media as we know it even existed. Many artists have named this group as their inspiration, if there is an artist or group that wasn’t influenced by their work in some way, there is no denying the impact they have had on the country music industry overall. It is possible that without Americana Country and Folk music going mainstream, the music revolution of the 60’s might not have happened at all. It would surely have been less dramatic without the structure and distribution pathways that were carved out because of public demand for access to good music.
This movie from Argot Pictures is currently doing its rounds on the festival lineup. We should hopefully get the opportunity to see this documentary later this year.
According to the preview, filmmaker Beth Harrington has put together a comprehensive story of the Carter family, following them from the beginnings in the mid 1920’s, right through the ups and downs, highs, lows and the madness that was and is the Country music scene. From old folk song standards, to playing and recording their own work, the family have been at the heart of Country music since before it even became a genre. Although the founding members are no longer with us, the name lives on. The Carter and Cash families are still strumming and singing and promoting country music.
Janette Carter, one of the three children of the original Carter Family lineup established the Carter Family Fold before she passed away. Her daughter, Rita, still runs it. The Centre is sited on the old family homestead, and exists “to promote old-time music and pay tribute to the Original Carter Family.”
These ideals are met by hosting booze free, family centred acoustic music nights in keeping with the old traditions. A browse through the on site museum would surely be fascinating day out, especially when followed by a tasty, traditional meal.
Here is a video clip of Rita Forrester talking about the Carter Family Fold.
All that said, it always comes down to the music. We know that Kris Kristofferson is sharing the stage with John Prine in LA soon. With that in mind, the music lineup in this movie will get me off the sofa, and into the cinema as soon as it crosses the pond, and lands in the UK.
The tracklist of the Winding Stream includes –
Bear Creek Blues (John Prine), Worried Man Blues (George Jones), Will the Circle be Unbroken (Johnny Cash with the Carter Sisters), and Gold Watch & Chain (Nitty gritty Dirt Band & Kris Kristofferson). Roseanna Cash performs the title track, the Winding Stream. Carter Family favourites and performances by other artists complete the package.
John and June’s son, John Carter Cash, provided family photographs for the film. Studio recordings by George Jones & Sheryl Crow add to the friends and family vibe I get from the preamble, and hearing that some of the final Johnny Cash film footage ever is included makes me want to pack my bag and crash the next festival that features this film. From what I have seen this looks to be a friendly, intimate narrative with lashings of big personalities and dollops of humility.
I won’t rush off with my backpack, but I will wait in inpatient anticipation for the film to come to me. Real roots music, bring it now.
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