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T Bone Burnett, Robert Redford, and our very own Jack White present American Epic, a three-part historical documentary and The American Epic Sessions feature length recording studio film airing on PBS and BBC Arena this Fall. Directed by Bernard MacMahon, American Epic takes us on a journey across time to the birth of modern music, when the musical strands of a diverse nation first combined, sparking a cultural renaissance that forever transformed the future of music and the world. The three-part historical documentary follows the trail of record company talent scouts from the late 1920s as they toured America with a recording machine to capture the raw expression of an emerging culture whose recordings would lead to the development of the Blues, Country, Gospel, Hawaiian, Cajun, and Folk music.
In addition to the historical documentary and sessions broadcasts, American Epic will include companion music releases of archival recordings featuring groundbreaking audio restoration of original 1920s and 1930s recordings, The American Epic Sessions contemporary performance recordings, and a deluxe vinyl box set, produced, designed and released by yours truly.
For The American Epic Sessions, the filmmakers have re-assembled the recording machine that allowed America to first hear itself. They have replicated the atmosphere of America’s seminal 1920s field recordings down to the smallest detail, with top American artists recording straight to wax, using all the original microphones, amplifiers, and other equipment from that era. This is the first time that any performer has been able to use this machinery for over 80 years. Led by producers Jack White and T Bone Burnett, today's legends are given a once-in-a-lifetime chance to relive the experience of the founding mothers and fathers, their idols, and remake the music that changed America and changed the world. The sessions feature performances by Alabama Shakes, The Americans, The Avett Brothers, Beck, Frank Fairfield, Ana Gabriel, Rhiannon Giddens, Merle Haggard, Bobby Ingano, Elton John, Auntie Geri Kuhia, Pokey LaFarge, Bettye LaVette, Los Lobos, Lost Bayou Ramblers, Taj Mahal, Steve Martin & Edie Brickell, Fred Martin and The Levite Camp, Ashley Monroe, Nas, Willie Nelson, Charlie Kaleo Oyama, Blind Boy Paxton, Raphael Saadiq, and Jack White.
Third Man will be at the AWP (Association of Writers & Writing Programs) Festival from April 8-11. In addition to participating in the conference and book fair, Third Man will be hosting parties at two FREE offsite events featuring Merge and TMR recording artist William Tyler, Third Man Books authors Janaka Stucky and Sampson Starkweather, plus DJ sets by TMR's own Ben Swank. Essentially the AWP Festival is the book lover's equivalent to Austin's SXSW music festival. Instead of bands, there are authors. Instead of record labels, there are publishers. It is estimated that 15,000 people will be coming to Minneapolis this week to enjoy the music of language. From April 8-11th, every bar, venue, coffee shop, hotel, nook and cranny will be full of book lovers. And Third Man Books will be adding three new titles to their conversations... The Truth Is We Are Perfect by Janaka Stucky, Hidden Water: From the Frank Stanford Archives by Frank Stanford, and PAIN: The Board Game by Sampson Starkweather.
Third Man Books will host the following AWP offsite events:
Pizza, Poetry, PBR, Punk Rock
Lee's Liquor Lounge
Friday, April 10. 5pm. FREE
Featuring Janaka Stucky, Sampson Starkweather, William Tyler, Frankie Teardrop, Ben Swank and more
w/ Free Pizza, PBR Drink Specials & THE ROLLING RECORD STORE
Freedom, Revolt, and Love: A Frank Stanford Celebration
Saturday, April 11. 8pm. FREE
Featuring Janaka Stucky, William Tyler, Ben Swank and more
w/ Jameson Drink Specials
After each completion of a successful Record Store Day in the past, we've said to ourselves, "We'll take it easy next year." But, like clockwork, each year around March, we throw caution to the wind and set out on a mission to make our favorite annual holiday the biggest and best one to date. Record Store Day 2015, taking place on April 18th, will be a glorious time of celebration at Third Man Records. We know not how to "take it easy," and we wouldn't have it any other way.
First off, as you may already know, we're finally releasing the vinyl version of The White Stripes' Get Behind Me Satan and we've gussied it up with 3D lenticular images, colored vinyl, a new mastering job direct from the analog tapes, and heck, a download code too. For any regular folks, this would be makings enough for a humdinger of a Record Store Day. But Third Man ain't regular folks.
We will also be doing the first-ever standalone vinyl re-release of the earliest recordings by Elvis Presley. The 10" 78rpm facsimile record of "My Happiness" and "That's When Your Heartaches Begin" has elicited what's quite-possibly the most interest and excitement of any of our Record Store Day releases ever. We'd expect nothing less for the King.
If THAT weren't enough, we'll also be publicly displaying, for the first time ever, the original 10" disc containing Elvis' above-mentioned recordings. Purchased for $300,000 by Jack White from a Graceland Auction in January, this record will take your breath away. Safe behind bulletproof glass and augmented by an armed guard on duty, folks will get to see, in person, the record that is arguably the most important piece of rock and roll memorabilia in the world. For more on the acquisition of this "holy grail of rock n roll" check out Billboard's March cover story.
Ok. That's enough.
NO, IT'S NOT!
In the spirit of Elvis' first recordings, Third Man Records will open up the Blue Room to lucky fans and give them the opportunity to record themselves in the exact same way Elvis did in his first session at Sun Records in Memphis back in June of 1953. Behold the Third Man Recording Service. One mic, one song, cut directly to a 10" lacquer disc. Cut at 45rpm to be accommodating. George Ingram and Wes Garland (the crack engineers at Nashville Record Productions who cut all of the TMR titles to vinyl) will be manning the 1955 Scully lathe (from King Records in Cincinnati) making sure folks get only the best of quality. This may be your only chance ever to make your own recording on the same stage that's hosted such wonders as the World's Fastest Record, Jerry Lee Lewis, Conan O'Brien, the Raconteurs, Aziz Ansari, Wanda Jackson and countless others.
Recordings will be by appointment only. Space is limited, some restrictions apply, and all that usual stuff. We will begin taking appointments Friday at 10am. The sign-up link will be posted here on the Third Man News page (and as an update to this announcement), and slots are limited, so put it in your calendar and don't snooze!
Those who sign up should be aware that the single mic can only accommodate about 1-3 people and certainly not a full band. 1 single acoustic instrument (+ vocals) is the preferred configuration (we will have an acoustic guitar on hand), though we will have an amp on hand for those who need to plug in. Any other instruments should be brought by the performer. Performers will have the option of having their recordings posted on our website.
Stay tuned for our PART II of III RSD announcement to follow in the next week! We can't wait to share with you the rest of our plans!!!
UPDATE: Read PART II HERE!
April is National Poetry Month, and Third Man Books is excited to offer our first ever single-author book for pre-sale, a book of poetry! The Truth Is We Are Perfect by Janaka Stucky is the music of language at its best. To celebrate National Poetry Month and the release of our newest recording reading artist, Janaka’s book will be offered at a special price of only $11! Pre-order your copy now, and don't miss Janaka on tour, heading to St. Louis, Iowa City, Chicago, Minneapolis, Detroit and Boston with some seriously stellar literary company in the next 3 weeks. More details available here.
Tuesday night was a dream come true for us here at Third Man. We are so lucky to have incredible bands like Sqürl pass through our beloved Blue Room, and we are equally lucky to have music lovers like you around, always willing to pack the house and share a one-of-a-kind experience with us. If you missed it, visit our Past Events page to view photos, and check out a little sneak peak of the shots (captured by Jamie Goodsell) below. We can't wait to bring this one to you on vinyl.
Subscribe to Vault Package #24 HERE.
The album Van Lear Rose by Loretta Lynn is near and dear to us at Third Man Records. Not only did the album garner some of the best reviews of her fifty-plus years in the music business, but also her first-ever solo Grammy for Best Country Album in 2005. With Lynn having writing credit on all thirteen of the album’s songs, it stands as a high-water mark in her ability to crossover beyond “country” audiences and appeal to music fans of all ages and persuasions. Produced by Jack White, this landmark album is being given the deluxe treatment it so deserves as package #24 in our Vault subscription service.
Featuring songs like “Portland, Oregon” and “God Makes No Mistakes,” Van Lear Rose is a testament to Lynn’s enduring strength as one of the strongest songwriting voices of the past hundred years. The LP, produced exclusively for part of the Vault, is mastered directly from the original analog tapes and includes a previously unreleased song from the sessions titled “Just to Have You Back.” Housed in a sleeve that reinterprets the original artwork with embellishments of gold foil embossing, soft touch coating, spot UV varnish and pressed on “golden” vinyl, the fanciful re-imagination of the artwork is wholly vibrant and compelling.
The accompanying 7” single is the White Stripes covering two of Lynn’s classic songs. Recorded in Detroit in 2000, Jack and Meg White’s interpretation of “Rated X” is a studio recording originally intended as the flipside to the Stripes’ cover of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene.” Buried in the Vault since then, the electric version, complete with steel guitar accompaniment, is tantalizing and the kind of material that the Vault was specifically created to release. On the b-side is a live rendition of Lynn’s “Whispering Sea” recorded live at the Gorge Amphitheater in George, WA on August 6, 2005… just up the road from where Lynn wrote the song back in the early 1960s. Pressed on white vinyl and housed in the inimitable Third Man Vault sleeve, these White Stripes renditions are the prefect pairing to Lynn’s landmark album.
To top it all off and of supreme excitement is a new, exclusive DVD filmed in 2015 of both Lynn and White revisiting the time of Van Lear Rose to tell stories of its creation, its release and all the other subsequent hubbub and adoration. Shot by Third Man’s in-house video maestro Brad Holland, the entirety of the film is being created solely for Vault inclusion and enjoyment. Maybe Loretta and Jack will even grace us with a few stripped-down, acoustic versions of some of their favorite songs on the album. And don’t let our lawyer see this, but we’ll also be hiding some deep archival footage that we are actually legally prohibited from telling you about. Things you can’t even find on YouTube. The DVD will be jam-packed with goodness and good times.
And because we’re just crazy enough to load you down with tasty extras, we’re including a custom 5 x 7” foil-stamped and embossed postcard playing on the album lettering. This thing is suitable for framing. Also suitable for framing… stunning unused photos from the original album art session. On top of that is an exquisitely-designed enamel rose pin done up in the deep apricot color of the floribunda rose named “Loretta Lynn Van Lear” in 2011 in honor of Lynn’s 50th anniversary in the music business.
The total, unified package is something Third Man Records is quite humbled to be able to offer to the world. Subscriptions are available now, with the April 30th deadline to get in on this package swiftly approaching.
For more info about the Loretta Lynn Van Lear (including mail order options!) check out http://www.chambleeroses.com/order.php?id=468
Subscribe to Vault Package #24 HERE.