So last Thursday night we did make our way to the Zellerbach Theater at the Annenberg Center on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania for the viewing of the first film of the inaugural year of the WXPN Music Film Festival. The Flim Festival will feature 20 movies over the weekend, starting with The Big Easy Express!
The night started with an opening introduction from the originator of the festival XPN general manager Roger LaMay who thanked the Philadelphia Film Society and all the sponsors of the event. He then introduced David Dye who spoke about the new quarterly series that World Cafe is doing at WXPN called “Sense of Place”. In this series David Dye visits various cities, so far they’ve done Dublin, Ireland and Portland and you can view them here. The next one up will be New Orleans. The idea behind the program is that who knows more about the music scene in these towns than the artist who live there. In Portland they were shown the town by the Decemberists’ Colin Meloy. They previewed a five minute clip from the New Orleans show which featured David Dye being shown the Second Line of New Orleans by Trombone Shorty. Seems like a pretty great idea and could lead to some interesting stuff!
The main feature of the night though was The Big Easy Express. The film documents The Railroad Revival tour featuring three bands; Mumford and Sons, Old Crow Medicine Show and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes. The tour started in Oakland and ended in, of course, New Orleans with stops at several locations in the southwest. Concert clips were shown from each stop highlighting each band and for me the highlight was the Austin High School band playing behind Mumford and Sons on “The Cave”. The looks of happiness on the faces of the band members was priceless. The main thing I took from this film though was that it was the tale of three band composed of a group of great musicians enjoying what they do! They all really love music and like each other so after the shows the picking and singing went on into the night. Each of the bands has some terriic musicians so the music was really flowing!! In the end a good time was had by all both the participants and the viewers of the movie! The show ended with this great finale as the group’s covered Woody Guthrie’s “This Train is Bound for Glory”