Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Film

Two very dear friends of mine have been working for some time now on a film loosely based on/inspired by Appalachian folk music legend (I use that term loosely) Bascom Lamar Lunsford. The whole story of my relationship with them is a little convoluted, but I'll bore you with it nonetheless.

I met these guys during the summer of 2009 when I had just returned to the States from France and was working on a small goat farm in Madison County, NC. I think I met them for the first time at a farmers' market, and then I met them again at a contra dance. It was pure fate. We spent a lot of time together, and there was plenty of eating involved, mostly pancakes and ice cream. But we did all the things that renegade youths working on small farms will do, including milking goats and making sorghum syrup. I pretty much felt like Calamity Jane that summer. It was incredible, and they are truly incredible people.

They graduated from New York University with filmmaking degrees and had come to Madison County to make a film inspired by Bascom. For those of you unfamiliar with him, I'll give you a brief rundown. Bascom Lunsford was born in Madison County, NC. He ultimately became a lawyer, but what he is most known for, and this was his truly remarkable legacy, are the songs and ballads he recorded for the Library of Congress. Go to YouTube and search "I Wish I Was A Mole In The Ground"--it's one of his most famous recordings. He travelled around selling apple trees and exchanging songs with locals, and for a time, he travelled with a Cherokee beekeeper. His contribution to Appalachian heritage is remarkable. I can't really say enough about it. During a time of tremendous change in Appalachia, he preserved sounds and dare I say a certain "mountain spirit" that makes the region so culturally rich.

The film my friends have been working on is in the editing stage. The actual filming took place last summer, in and around Madison County and Cherokee County. Really, I just wanted you all to watch the trailer, which is beautiful, much as I expected it to be. Please feel free to donate to their cause (I shall vouch for them as honorable, starving artists), which is a noble one, if you choose. Or just look at the work they're doing.

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