Various Artists – Fanning The Fire: Bluegrass For A New Generation
Bluegrass Heritage Foundation
You will be enthused about bluegrass after you see this documentary from the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation. Of course, if you’re reading BU, you’re already enthused about bluegrass, but seeing and hearing the shear joy and energy of 16-year-old Lucas White, the film’s primary focus, will give you (as it did me) an added boost, maybe make you reach for your guitar or banjo again, or double the number of festivals you attend.
For twenty minutes or so (with the interviews and extras, the film runs about an hour), the cameras follow White as he moves about a festival in Texas, plays his guitar alone or with his band back and onstage, listens to other players, explains what drew him to and what he gets from bluegrass, and bubbles over about his plans for a career in the music, which given his missionary zeal and his burgeoning talent as a picker, is on a good track. Interspersed in usual documentary fashion are brief and general comments about the bluegrass experience from performers, producers and promoters, along with longer interviews with legends such as J.D. Crowe and Rhonda Vincent and with rising stars such as the Toy Hearts. We get a little history and a look or two behind the scenes of bluegrass life and the festivals. This is a film made primarily for introducing bluegrass to the young and to a wider audience—you can’t watch it without being lifted. (Bluegrass Heritage Foundation, 1601 Elm St., Ste. 4000, Dallas, TX 75201, www.bluegrassheritage.org.) BW