Friday, May 12, 2017

Nas and Jack White Cover Memphis Jug Band

None of these things sound like they belong together, but just trust me on this one. Starting on May 16, PBS and BBC will start airing a documentary series called American Epic, which is put together by Jack White, T Bone Burnett, and Robert Redford. It looks back at the 1920s, when record companies would send representatives travelling across the country to record new musicians. The series ends with a film on June 6 called The American Epic Sessions which will feature Willie Nelson, Beck, Alabama Shakes, and more recording on the same equipment from the 1920s. 

Right now you can watch a preview of the series featuring Nas and Jack White reworking Memphis Jug Band's 1928 classic "On the Road Again" as a blues/hip hop hybrid. In the video, Nas explains that he considers this song to be the birth of hip hop, based on the vocal stylings of the original. One of the highlights of the new version might be a musician using a jug to almost beat box. 

American Epic will start airing every Tuesday on PBS and BBC starting on May 16. Today, there are two companion albums being released. Legacy Recordings has a 100 song box set (as well as a shorter soundtrack album), while Columbia will be releasing the American Epic Sessions performances.You can get more information about the series via PBS.

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