and the art of Listening to America
Whether affixed to the front of a country cabin or attached to an urban tenement, porches have witnessed -- and fostered -- the birth of a lot of great American music, and a lot of great American talents.
Tapping into that proud tradition, and preserving it, I'm celebrating The Porch in both a filmed docu-series and staged theater performances. Recently, I did a cycle of four different live shows in Richmond VA, which sold out before opening night. I brought roots musicians, bards, and storytellers to a transplanted Appalachian porch in a downtown theater, where we explored the music and lore that's been created and kept alive on American porches.
Next up are the explorations of porches in North Carolina, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky.
Join me on an odyssey to explore this most mystical of musical incubators -- the American porch. It's where American music was born, and where it lives again.
The above video is a sizzle reel for the TV docu-series. The below video is a sample storyline for an episode (it has not been broadcast). This page is for professional review.
Highlights from the sold-out live stage shows in Virginia
During journeys into Southwest Virginia, D’Andrea began landing on porches with interesting homegrown musicians, eventually leading him to embark into a documentary about porches as a cultural touchstone and incubator of music and lore.
One reason D’Andrea has enjoyed chasing the story of porches and the music produced there is that they serve as a metaphor for what brings us together: a place for all ages to pass the time, for people to court and marry, for simply getting to know and enjoy one another’s company. It is a refreshing change of pace in a world that increasingly seems to focus more on what divides and drives us apart.
Home page photo by Carol Highsmith and Lomax photos in the video are courtesy of the LOC