What is The Old, Weird America: Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music about?
Prepare for an eclectic journey through The Old, Weird America. Rani Singh's new documentary film tracks the history of Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music from its initial compilation of 78 records from rural Americana to its release on Folkways Records in 1952. Instrumental in helping inspire the urban folk revival of the 1960s, the Anthology continues to influence modern music. An incredible set of interviewees reveal the lasting impact of the Anthology and the remarkable personality of Harry Smith. After the box set's re-release on CD in 1997, Hal Willner's Harry Smith Project concerts celebrated Smith's idiosyncratic vision, from Nick Cave's cathartic take on spirituals to Lou Reed's mesmerizing evocation of Blind Lemon Jefferson. The film includes rare archival footage, performances, and interviews with Elvis Costello, Beck, Sonic Youth, Beth Orton, Philip Glass, David Johansen, John Cohen, Greil Marcus, and more. Join us for a wild ride through a remarkable musical landscape.