The American Epic Sessions

Feature | NR | 140 min


Green Hills Cinema - Theater 16 Fri, Apr 22, 2016 7:00 PM
Film Info
Section:Special Presentations Feature
Run Time:123
Premiere Status:Tennessee Premiere
Country:United Kingdom
Original Language:English
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Bernard MacMahon
Cast:T Bone Burnett
Jack White
Alabama Shakes
Willie Nelson
Merle Haggard
Steve Martin
Edie Brickell
Elton John
Taj Mahal
The Avett Brothers
Ana Gabriel
Producer:Duke Erikson
Bill Holderman
Bernard MacMahon
Allison McGourty
Adam Black
Screenwriter:Bernard MacMahon
Allison McGourty
Duke Erikson
Bill Morgan
Cinematographer:Vern Moen
Editor:Dan Gitlin
Jim Hession
Gillian McCarthy


Jack White and T Bone Burnett invite today’s greatest artists to test their skills against the long-lost machine that recorded their musical idols and forebears. The producers rebuilt a 1920s recording system, timed by a weight-driven system of clockwork gears. Stripped of the comforts and security of modern technology, Nas, Elton John, Alabama Shakes, Steve Martin, Taj Mahal, Ana Gabriel, Ashley Monroe, Willie Nelson, and Merle Haggard are among the artists who have three minutes and one chance to get their music etched into the surface of a revolving wax disc before the weight hits the floor.

Conceived as a sonic experiment, an attempt to recreate the conditions of the early record company field teams, the result is a series of career-topping performances by familiar artists pushed to meet the standards of their heroes. Going back to basics and capturing the energy of a unique live performance in the grooves of a rotating wax disc, these recordings are heard exactly as they were made—“lightning in a bottle”.