||INNOVATORS IN MUSIC (6 x 24')
GENRE: MUSIC PERFORMANCE & PROFILE
PRODUCED BY DANIEL K. BERMAN
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INNOVATORS IN MUSIC is a series of six documentary
profiles about great musicians. The idea is to give the
voice to the artist, to explore the creative process,
songwriting, other areas of artistic interest, to try and
delve a little deeper, take a little more time to express
things. Taken together the six shows should reveal a
glimpse into the dynamic world of rock?n?roll?s
influential music makers. All performances filmed in HD.
The Birthday Ramble.
LEVON HELM. On most Saturday nights since
January 2004, LEVON HELM has hosted evenings of music at
the "barn," his home studio in Woodstock, New York. These
magical nights are called The Midnight Ramble Sessions. On
May 23, 2009 Helm celebrated his 69th birthday at the
Midnight Ramble and the Levon Helm Band gave birth to a
night of stage magic- The Birthday Ramble! The performance
is a veritable tour through the American songbook. After
overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds, Helm released
Dirt Farmer, his first solo recording in 25 years, and won
a Grammy. Rolling Stone hailed his Midnight Ramble as
"2008's Best Jam Session" and the Americana Music
Association bestowed on him the Artist of the Year Award.
The Real Folk Blues.
STEVE EARLE is an American singer-songwriter
primarily known for his rock and country music, but also
for his political views. He is also an actor who
played in three seasons of HBO's THE WIRE; an activist; he
has written and directed a play, published books, and is,
of course, a 13 time Grammy nominee - 2 time winner.
Filmed in Knoxville, Tennessee on a hot summer day in
June, we captured a remarkably candid, and open interview
Steve. He addresses many of his passions: songwriting,
history, politics, American identity, the elusive nature
of art and love, his novel, abortion, and the death
penalty. Not to mention Charlie Parker, Heroin,
Jail, addiction and what 7 marriages can do to a guy.
Watch as the live show blends Mr. Earle's
commentary and one begins to sense a rare look at how the
songs and ideas of a unique artist come to life.
The Northampton Shuffle.
BILLY BRAGG is an English musician and
songwriter who artfully blends elements of folk music,
punk rock and protest songs. His lyrics often embrace
romantic and political themes, hence his alter ego Mr.
Love and Justice. In a music career spanning more
than 30 years, Bragg has written some of the most
memorable songs of his generation. And as a
died-in-the-wool progressive activist he has inspired
legions to seek freedom and justice for those less
fortunate. We caught up with a warm and friendly Billy on
a cool and rainy July day in Massachusetts. We spoke at
length about the role of political music in society,
overcoming cynicism, the death of his father, of engaging
his audience politically, his profound love for all things
Smokey Robinson, the Constitutional Monarchy, raising kids
who play loud electric guitars poorly, Thin Lizzy, Pete
Seeger, Bob Dylan, English identity, more Bob Dylan, and
of course, the elusive alchemical art of finding a great
song hidden deep, down inside.
Billy entertains locals at free
storefront afternoon performance! Rednecks demand less
politics and more entertainment! (a real live dust-up!)
Talking Drums. MICKEY
HART: Alongside his work of nearly 30 years as
a drummer with iconic rock band the Grateful Dead,
MICKEY HART has flourished as a solo artist, painter,
bandleader and the author of several books. His lifelong
interest in ethnomusicology, along with his travels and
love of all things percussion have led him to amass a
remarkable collection of instruments, (the world's largest
private collection of drums), and to collaborate with
musical masters the world over.
We were fortunate to spend some time at
Mickey's home and studio in a remote area of northern
California. Mr. Hart generously shares his thoughts
about music, art, space, vibrations, percussion, the Big
Bang, the Grateful Dead, and the impromptu miracle of true
collaborative improvisation. At his home is Mickey?s
performance is joined by Indian tabla master Zakir Hussein
and Nigerian talking drum guru Sikiru Adepoju for an
exclusive session of music recorded just for this series!
The Eternal Kansas City.
SONIC YOUTH. Thurston Moore and Lee
Ranaldo arrived in Manhattan in the late '70's, just in
time for the end of punk rock and its avant-garde cousin,
no wave. According to Rolling Stone Sonic Youth is the
"...avatar of noisy, underground guitar rock. After making
the transition from uncompromising avant-rockers in the
early '80s to indie guitar-pop trailblazers by decade's
end, the group became the alternative-music world's
In 2009, Sonic Youth's sound continues to
influence and push boundaries, and though the band has
always written memorable songs, their passion for wild
experimentation has never slowed. With never-before-seen
footage from the band's early years and extensive
commentary from guitarists Thurston Moore and Lee Renaldo.
Talkin' Rock n' Roll Blues.
DAVE STEWART. As a 30-piece orchestra
digs into the opening riff of his haunting track Sweet
Dreams, DAVE STEWART, one of the most respected and
accomplished artists in modern music, seems to enjoy a
rare moment of looking back on his astonishing
legacy. Over the past 25 years, Stewart has sold
more than 75-million albums worldwide with Eurythmics
partner Annie Lennox. But Stewart
is already onto to his next creative idea well before the
second chorus begins.
Bob Dylan describes Stewart as ?a
fearless innovator? and it is exactly that approach to his
life and his work that has led him to become one of the
most sought-after writers and music producers in the
world. It has also given Stewart the freedom to
extend his talents well beyond the music studio, including
photography, as featured our encounter with Stewart at the
opening of his photography exhibit at the Morrison Hotel
Gallery in New York's Bowery district.