Continuing his mission to chronicle the history of early American popular music, Detroit rocker Jack White has teamed up with legendary singer-songwriter T-Bone Burnett and Hollywood icon Robert Redford as executive producers of American Epic, a three-part documentary series, feature film, and series of recordings. According to a press release, the Bernard MacMahon-directed series, which airs this fall on PBS and BBC Arena, “follows the trail of record company talent scouts from the late 1920s” as they recorded artists playing early versions of blues, country, folk, gospel, and other musical styles.
The televised series will be accompanied by The American Epic Sessions, a feature length film showcasing contemporary artists recording music with equipment from the documentary. Performances include Jack White himself, Beck, Elton John, Willie Nelson, Nas, Los Lobos, Merle Haggard, Alabama Shakes, The Avett Brothers, Taj Mahal, Raphael Saadiq, Bettye LaVette, Steve Martin & Edie Brickell, and many more. In addition, music from both movies will be released separately, with Third Man Records issuing a vinyl box set.
Watch a trailer for American Epic below: