American Epic represents a 10-year odyssey undertaken by director Bernard MacMahon and producers Allison McGourty and Duke Erikson, and audio engineer Nicholas Bergh that involved tracking down countless long forgotten musicians, restoring the music that they recorded and reassembling the technology that created it. Along the way they brought some of the most important figures in contemporary culture to help them on their quest. Executive Producers Jack White, T Bone Burnett and Robert Redford have lent their support to what Redford calls "America's greatest untold story."
In addition to American Epic: The Sessions soundtrack, Third Man Records is slated to release 180 gram 12" audiophile vinyl versions of American Epic: The Carter Family, American Epic: Memphis Jug Band, American Epic: Mississippi John Hurt, American Epic: Blind Willie Johnson and American Epic: Lead Belly plus thematic collections including American Epic: Blues and American Epic: Country.
Louisiana delta native Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter is the master of 12-string blues guitar. His story is one of high-highs and low-lows, from serving stints in prison after killing a man in a fight for a woman's heart, but then eventually earning early release by entertaining his fellow prison-mates and penning a song for the governor, thus cementing his reputation of singing his way out of prison. Folklorists John and Alan Lomax were early supporters that brought Lead Belly to the attention of Ivy Leaguers as well as a European audience. His songs have been widely covered by artists such as Elvis, Nirvana, Johnny Cash, and the Grateful Dead. Single LP with single pocket tip-on jacket with soft touch finish.