Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Show for Jan 6, 2013. Filmmaker Ben Harbert on Louisiana prison music.

In 1933, folklorists John and Alan Lomax went inside Louisiana’s Angola prison and made a series of celebrated recordings and musical discoveries. Eighty years later, filmmaker and musicologist Ben Harbert followed in the Lomax’s footsteps, visiting Angola and other Louisiana penitentiaries to document the state of prison music today. Ben and I discussed his new film Follow Me Down: Portraits of Louisiana Prison Musicians, which screens in Santa Cruz this week (more details here). As we listened to performances from the film, Ben talked about the place of music in inmates’ lives and the ethics and challenges of shooting a doc in the joint. Also featured: Tony Seeger, musicologist (and nephew of Pete, Mike and Peggy Seeger), who advised Ben on the film.

You can download the MP3 here (if using a Mac, control-click the link and choose “Save Link As…” If using a PC, right-click and choose Save Target As…”)