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Sing My Troubles By
Visits with Georgia Women Carrying Their Musical Traditions into the 21st Century
A film by Neil Rosenbaum
Friday, January 24, 2014 at 7:30pm
Woodruff Arts Center, Rich Theatre
1280 Peachtree Street, NE
Atlanta, GA 30309
This feature-length documentary honors older Georgia women who treasure and continue to perform the gospel, blues, mountain music, and ballad traditions they grew up with.
Folklorist and artist Art Rosenbaum visits the women (and some men!) in the homes and churches where their music lives on. These visits reveal not only the music, but also the memories and life experiences of these grass-roots singers and musicians.
The four main segments of the film feature Blue Ridge Mountain ballad singers, sisters Mary Lomax and Bonnie Loggins; early African American spirituals and gospel performed by Rev. Willie Mae Eberhart and nonagenarian blind piano player and singer, Mother Fleeta Mitchell; a mountain string band and harmony singing group, the Myers family and their friends; and the acoustic guitar and singing of south Georgia country blueswoman Precious Bryant.
Most of the performers in the film can be heard on Dust-to-Digital’s box set “Art of Field Recording, Vol. I, Fifty Years of Traditional American Music Documented by Art Rosenbaum,” which won the 2007 Grammy for Best Historical Recording, and its companion compilation, “Art of Field Recording, Vol. II.”
On seeing the film–in which he appears–traditional north Georgia banjo picker Ed Teague said, “Some people like to ‘jelly it up’, this [film] is more natural, this is what it ought to be…it’s telling the story…If there was something that was wrong, I’d tell you right straight out.”
This final version was shown at Ciné in Athens, Georgia in December 2010, and many of the singers and musicians featured were in attendance. Earlier cuts of “Sing My Troubles By” have been shown at venues including the Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo, New York and the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, as well as Emory University. After the latter showing, Professor Daniel Barber commented: “The film casts a subtle and complex light upon people and ways of living too often generalized about and fuels a strange kind of love of life and art.”
-Heather Vogell, Access Atlanta