On Tour: Germantown, MD

11 Feb

February 6, 2016 | Winding Stream | Germantown, MD

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The Winding Stream played at BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown, Maryland this afternoon. Once again, another beautiful venue, terrific staff and receptive audience on the On Screen/In Person tour.

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I was greeted by Executive Director Krista Bradley who seemed as excited as I was at the nice turnout for the film. She had arranged for Erica Ginsberg, the Executive Director of Docs in Progress and filmmaker in her own right to interview me and field questions for the Q & A portion of the event. We had an extensive and lively discussion.

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Among the folks attending the event were long-standing friends from the area as well as some filmmakers and music scholars. I was especially happy to see one of our film’s advisors, Kip Lornell of George Washington University in the audience. Kip provided me with a great deal of background on the history of Lesley Riddle, the African-American musician who helped A.P. Carter collect songs for the Carter Family to record. Lesley was a Piedmont blues guitarist who is also credited with teaching Maybelle Carter many different styles of playing. I like to say that just as many people thought producer George Martin was “the fifth Beatle,” Lesley Riddle is the unsung “fourth Carter.”  As a very young man, Kip had sought our Mr. Riddle in Rochester, NY and interviewed him about his work with the Carters at a time when very few people thought to reach out for this man’s crucial perspective. This research helped me form a better picture of this Lesley Riddle and his pivotal role in the Carter story.  I think it’s interesting to think about how if not for the presence of mind of folks like Kip, voices like Lesley Riddle’s can be lost to history.  I also think it’s fascinating to think about how the work of so many people over decades can inform a film. Work Kip did over 40 years ago surfaces in our film today. I’m really grateful for the scholarship of people like Kip, the late Charles Wolfe, Ted Olson, Peggy Bulger and Bill Hartley. Their scholarship means the world to people like me.

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Post by On Screen/In Person touring filmmaker Beth Harrington.

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