‘American Epic’, a three-part documentary, feature film, and recording project executive produced by Jack White alongside T Bone Burnett and actor Robert Redford (who narrates), is finally coming to PBS (in the U.S.) and BBC (in the U.K.) next month. The documentary, which was originally supposed to be released in 2016, focuses on the first days of recorded sound and music in the 1920s. The accompanying film, titled ‘The American Epic Sessions’, will feature modern-day musicians such as Beck, Nas, Elton John, Alabama Shakes, and Willie Nelson, performing with 1920’s recording equipment.
The three-part documentary will air every Tuesday starting 16th May, while the feature film will be shown 6th June. A set of soundtracks, including a companion soundtrack, a 100-song box set, studio performances from ‘The American Epic Sessions’, as well as archival recordings, will be available from 12th May via Sony Music’s Legacy Records and Columbia Records.
Jack White said in a statement:
“In American Epic we can examine how important the fact is that when phonograph records were invented, for the first time ever, women, minorities, poor rural men and even children were given the opportunity to say whatever they wanted in song, for the whole world to hear, shockingly without much censorship. What they were allowed to say on phonograph recordings, they were not allowed to speak in public or in person. That is an astounding thought.”
Watch the new trailer below…