Aight… good news and bad news…

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first…

That show that I talked about in my last post, the one schedule for this Friday with Towering Above, The Cancellations, and Abusements… it’s canceled. Yep… a bunch of people have tested positive for COVID – the ‘Rona strikes again. Hopefully everyone involved has a speedy recovery.

So with that sadness out of the way, let’s turn to some good news!

This coming Tuesday, June 21 will mark the 101st installment of the Joe Thomas Jr. Guitar Pull at the Cloverdale Playhouse.

The Montgomery Advertiser ran an article about it – click here to read it – and in that article, they talk about the origins of the event and about the documentary film Commit to the Song: The Joe Thomas Jr. Guitar Pull (available on Amazon and Tubi.)

So, if you haven’t seen the movie yet, go check that out, and be sure to come to the Cloverdale Playhouse on Tuesday to see Megan Kuehner, Sonia Tetlow, and Senorita Awesome (all pictured below.)

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‘What would life be without art?’

Behind-the-scenes shot of our interview setup, featuring my shooter, C. DeWayne Cunningham of Carolyn Jean’s Son Visions.

“What would life be without art?” That question begins the short documentary Art & Second Chances that talks about three organizations – the Alabama Arts Alliance, Leadership Montgomery, and Renascence Inc. – coming together for a good cause.

I directed the short, produced by Terrible Master Films in association with Carolyn Jean’s Son Visions and Early Riser Films.

This short is part of a larger, ongoing project that is still in production, but I wanted to share this short in the meantime because the 2022 Alabama Arts Summit started today in Birmingham, AL.

I hope you enjoy it. Thanks for watching, reading, listening, supporting. Much love.

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Columbia Research discusses ‘Remembering Anarcha’

Columbia Research, part of Columbia University in New York, held a discussion of Remembering Anarcha today via Zoom. The discussion included Michelle Browder and J.C. Hallman, who appear in the film, as well as Harriet Washington, author of the book Medical Apartheid.

I was able to tune in and listen to the topics being discussed, which included subjects like informed consent, judging history by modern morality, the power of art, and more. It was a great and informative discussion, and I appreciate Columbia Research for holding this event.

In the art section Michelle talked about her monument to the “Mothers of Gynecology” – Anarcha, Lucy, and Betsey – which stands at her More Up Campus in Montgomery, AL. The pictures of the monument are great, but I highly encourage you to see them in person. It’s a powerful monument, and she did a wonderful job on both the art and raising awareness about this part of history. (She’s the one who brought this subject to my attention, which made me want to pursue the film.) Check out AnarchaLucyBetsey.org for more information on the monument and the upcoming Day of Reckoning conference.

If you haven’t yet seen the film, it’s on VOD almost everywhere. There are links on the Terrible Master Films website. There are some free (with ads) options available, but renting or purchasing helps us out more. Either way – free or paid – we hope you’ll check out the film and leave a review (Rotten Tomatoes, IMDb, Amazon, etc.)

Thanks for reading, watching, and supporting. More stuff coming soon!

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‘Clover/Capri’ score is out!

The short documentary Clover/Capri will make its debut on Nov. 13 at the Montgomery Film Festival in the very theatre that is the subject of the film – the Capri.

There are two songs that were composed for the film. I got to team up with my friend Alex (Tequila Nylon) to create the music for this, which is now available on the Glorious 70mm Bandcamp page.

This is the second TN+G70mm collaboration, the first being the “Transmissions” EP we released in 2015.

Be sure to like Tequila Nylon and Glorious 70mm on Facebook. We hope you enjoy the music! Thanks for listening!

Also, be sure to check out the film’s trailer:

Clover/Capri

‘Sweat’ tickets, ‘Remembering Anarcha’ and more

First things first – you should see “Sweat” at the Cloverdale Playhouse (it opens tonight!), and you should get your tickets soon. Tonight’s show is sold out. According to this Montgomery Advertiser article, “Early performances have sold out for this thought provoking American worker tale that runs Thursday through May 9, but you can still get in to see it”

“Set in Reading, Pennsylvania between 2000 and 2008, “Sweat” is a thought provoking look at the lives we build around ourselves. In this case, it deals with a group of unionized steel mill workers whose company is suddenly making changes. Between layoffs and picket lines, ordinary lives are suddenly caught in a war between community and capitalism.”

There’s strong language, by the way, so… you know… get a babysitter or something.

Remembering Anarcha pre-orders are still up on iTunes and Apple TV ahead of the May 4 wide release. And many thanks to Shannon and Lynn Heupel and the Montgomery advertiser for the multimedia piece they ran on the film, the play, Towering Above, and my solo stuff. If you haven’t seen it, there’s a live performance of my song “Liquid Heart” and some photos.

It’s been shared a lot on social media, so many thanks to everyone who’s shared it, pre-ordered the film, bought tickets to the play, and continue to support the art I’m involved with. It means a lot, and I am very appreciative of it.

Thanks for reading. Much love.

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‘Remembering Anarcha’ is up for pre-order!

You can now pre-order Remembering Anarcha on iTunes – click here. The film release date is May 4. Here’s a short video I made talking about the pre-orders, production, and the history:

The film has been acquired by Gravitas Ventures, a Red Arrow Studios company, for North American distribution. Read the news release announcement here.

The film will be available on-demand from multiple outlets across the U.S. and Canada, but pre-ordering on iTunes helps garner attention and get the film in front of more people. So if you use iTunes or Apple TV, this will help raise awareness of the film and the important subject matter the film addresses.

And while you’re clicking on links, be sure to check out Michelle Browder’s ‘Mothers of Gynecology’ project (click here.) Michelle appears in the film, and her art is what first caught my attention for this story. She’s gone across the country doing big things to raise awareness on this issue (and the shirt I’m wearing in the above video is from her project.)

As always, thanks for reading and thanks for your continued love and support. Much love to you.

Official trailer for “Remembering Anarcha”

The Remembering Anarcha production team will be making some announcements in the coming days, but in the meantime, we have officially launched the film’s official trailer on the Terrible Master Films YouTube channel.

Follow the film on social media for more updates: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

A statue of Dr. James Marion Sims stands on the grounds of the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery. The South Carolinian spent almost two decades in Montgomery, pre-Civil War, practicing medicine. Sims is known as “the father of modern gynecology,” but his detractors call him “Father Butcher” for his experiments on enslaved women – without anesthesia or what is now “informed consent.” His legacy – and the statues dedicated to him in Montgomery, Columbia, SC, and until its removal in early 2018, New York City’s Central Park – only tell part of the story. Remembering Anarcha explores this history and issues of ethics, race, and the lingering effects on modern society and medicine.

From Terrible Master Films in association with 803 Films and Carolyn Jean’s Son Visions. Produced by Josh Carples, C. DeWayne Cunningham, and Royce Williams. Directed by Josh Carples.

I haven’t blogged in a full month…

Photo by C. DeWayne Cunningham of Carolyn Jean’s Son Visions.

Hey! It’s been a while! Welcome back to my digital home. As the title says, it’s been a full month since my last blog post, so I figured I’d throw out a quick update.

It’s been the usual busy behind the scenes. I’ve been doing some video editing on a documentary project; I recently shot a music video that’s in the early editing stages… more info on those coming soon-ish. The Remembering Anarcha producers and I have been working on trying to get the film publicly available; I hope to be able to share some news on that front soon.

Towering Above is continuing to write songs while live shows are still a rarity due to the pandemic and all; we’ve got some new stuff I’m pretty excited about.

Back in November, I posted a cover version of “Souvenir” by Boygenius. I did another cover that’s on my YouTube channel (be sure to subscribe!), but I apparently never posted it to the blog, so here it is:

Let’s see… what else… oh, here’s something else that didn’t make the blog – a hot sauce video taken by my shooter, C. DeWayne Cunningham of Carolyn Jean’s Son Visions:

And I got to do a fun photo shoot with my friend Thomas Tingle of Koi Photograph. Be sure to check out his page and his Instagram; he’s doing some really cool stuff.

Aight, that’s all I can think of at the moment. Thanks for reading. Connect with me on social media. Keep in touch. Subscribe to this blog below. Check on your friends. Be good to each other. Much love.

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‘382: Organizing for the Future’

In November, I had the opportunity to be part of a film crew working on a documentary celebrating the 65th anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The film debuted Saturday evening at a drive-in event at Montgomery’s Paterson Field, and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris sent in a video introduction for the film.

Many thanks to Khari Creative and WK Media for allowing me to part of such a great project!

The film, titled 382: Organizing for the Future, is available on the city of Montgomery’s YouTube channel. Enjoy!

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‘Remembering Anarcha’ wins Best Long Documentary at IBFF!

Many thanks to the International Black Film Festival for awarding the “Best Long Documentary” award to Remembering Anarcha! The production team – C. DeWayne Cunningham, Royce Williams, and myself – celebrated with some Bowman Brothers bourbon, and yes, there’s a story behind that.

Part of the film was shot in Virginia. DeWayne had a previous engagement, but Royce and I took a road trip up to Fredericksburg in December 2018. While there, we decided to look for a place to grab a drink.

We Googled what was around us, and we found a distillery – the A. Smith Bowman distillery. According to Google, they were open, so we made our way over there.

We get out of the car and start walking toward the building. There were some other people heading inside as well, and we noticed that all of the people were dressed up. We, however, were not.

We walk in and look around… looks like a private event. It was. Apparently, we just crashed a corporate Christmas party.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Also, the distillery isn’t even open that late, so the info we got was wrong. But… while we couldn’t really stay, the friendly staff let us sample some stuff since we drove all the way up from Alabama. And I bought a bottle of bourbon.

I decided that it would be opened when all three of us could get together to celebrate getting into a film festival. But with COVID and life stuff and schedules, it took a little longer.

This past Sunday, however, we finally were able to get together, so we unsealed the bottle to celebrate our ‘Best Long Documentary’ win.

Thanks to everyone who has encouraged and supported us in this endeavor. We’ll let you know as soon as the film is available publicly for viewing. In the meantime, make sure to follow Remembering Anarcha on social media for updates:

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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