Mumford & Sons feature in new Bluegrass movie documentary The Porchlight Sessions, sponsored by UK banjo retailer Banjos Direct

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UK-based banjo shop Banjos Direct has announced its sponsorship of 'The Porchlight Sessions' the feature-length film documentary about Bluegrass music which will be released in the UK later this year. The film features Bluegrass stars of every generation, from Dr Ralph Stanley and Del McCoury through to British new-folk stars Mumford & Sons who have become widely accepted by the Bluegrass scene. Founder and CEO of Banjos Direct, Simon Middleton, has become an Associate Producer of the The Porchlight Sessions and is championing the movie in the UK.

The Porchlght Sessions film poster

The Porchlght Sessions film poster

The Porchlight Sessions makes an utterly convincing case for the continued relevance and soulful appeal of this great musical tradition: and for its vitality and new energy in the hands of young artists.

The Porchlight Sessions features some of the greats of Bluegrass and related music from the 1940s right up to the present day, including artists as diverse as the much venerated Dr. Ralph Stanley and new-folk stars Mumford & Sons. Along the way it spotlights the key Bluegrass instruments: banjo, mandolin, upright bass, guitar and fiddle.

The ‘cast’ list is a real Who’s Who? of the Bluegrass scene across 70 years. The movie features performances by and interviews with Bluegrass heroes and heroines including: Jerry Douglas, Peter Rowan, Del MCoury, Pete Wernick, Bela Fleck, Doc Watson, Abigail Washburn and Alison Brown and numerous others.

The Porchlight Sessions is right up to date and takes a very forward-looking stance, and features new-generation artists as varied as Mumford & Sons, Josh Ritter, Trampled By Turtles, and Crooked Still.

The film traces the evolution of the hillbilly sound following the legacy of the Bluegrass patriarch, Bill Monroe. As a cinematic portrait of the community voice, the film illustrates stories of the originators of the style, while also addressing issues for musicians creating an original statement within the contemporary genre.

The Appalachian Mountains were a cultural crossroads where the influences of Jazz and Blues merged with the folk-songs of Scots-Irish immigrants to create the broad musical tradition of Bluegrass. An exciting journey across Appalachia's musical legacy, The Porchlight Sessions features performances of great pickers by following the folk tradition either in the depths of the mountains, the big cities, on the road, or while sitting in a rocking chair under porchlight.

Founder and CEO of Banjos Direct, Simon Middleton has become an Associate Producer of the film. He explained: "The Porchlight Sessions makes an utterly convincing case for the continued relevance and soulful appeal of this great musical tradition: and for its vitality and new energy in the hands of young artists."

"It’s a wonderful movie made by a dedicated small team who have done an incredible job on an even more incredibly limited budget. We are very proud to be involved,"

"There is still a great opportunity for other organisations and individuals to support the film, which is now in post-production," said Middleton.

People wishing to support can find out how to do so at the pledge-funding website Kickstarter.

Film-maker Anna Shwaber, who grew up in Nashville, Tennessee, is the Director/Producer of The Porchlight Sessions and has been working on the film for several years. Schwaber and her team have filmed at dozens of musical events and festivals across many states of the USA, and have worked with hundreds of active musicians as well as researching archive footage, much of which has never been publicly aired.

The Porchlight Sessions will premier in the USA this summer and in the UK later this year.

Company information:

Banjos Direct is the UK's fastest-growing specialist banjo retailer, leading the renaissance of interest in the banjo amongst players of every age and background. The Norwich-based company is the UK's leading stockist of USA banjo brands GoldTone and Nechville, and also stocks instruments by Barnes & Mullins, Pilgrim and Tanglewood.

The company has recently launched a campaign to support the resurgence of interest in the banjo called "Welcome to the new era of the banjo".

Founder and CEO of Banjos Direct, Simon Middleton, is frontman of English-Americana band The Proposition, whose debut album King Snake Devil Shake was released in March this year. Middleton, who was a brand strategy consultant before turning to musical instrument retail, is also the author of several books including 'Build A Brand In 30 Days' and the new guide to personal reinvention 'Brand New You', published by HayHouse in May 2012.

Find Banjos Direct at http://www.banjosdirect.co.uk.
Email: info(at)banjosdirect(dot)co(dot)uk
Phone: +44 (0) 1603 305800

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