Austin to Boston
5 old VW's. 4 bands. 3 thousand miles. 2 weeks. 1 gloriously backwards tour. Featuring Ben Howard, The Staves, Nathaniel Rateliff and Bear's Den.
The adventure starts after a fire-fuelled final night at Austin's SXSW Music Festival, where the bands pile into their rides and head northeast. They play everywhere from bars to barns, rooms to rooftops, packing out tiny venues and wowing crowds with their unique sounds. But heavy rainstorms, multiple breakdowns and cramped conditions remind them that to push through sometimes you need to pull together.
Along the way the tour takes them from Austin to Oklahoma City, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Evanston, St Louis, Nashville, Philadelphia, New York, Woodstock and culminating in Boston.
Featuring Mumford & Sons' Ben Lovett, and poetically narrated by Gill Landry (Old Crow Medicine Show), this documentary is about a modern tour done the old fashioned way.
As executive producer, Lovett recalls the long lasting memory and complete disregard for convention.
“It feels like a dream now, honestly... And actually a bit crazy! The whole setup for the tour as well as the tour itself was all about putting one foot in front of the other and trusting that we will find a way to get it done. If we had planned too much, I fear the plan would've told us just how bad an idea it was and we would never have gotten into the those vans in the first place! But what an adventure it was... And what a life experience that no-one will ever be able to replicate nor take away from us. Friendships were born whilst others were galvanised. I'm proud to have this film as a lifetime achievement and believe everyone else involved feels the same way.”
Director James Marcus Haney (No Cameras Allowed) echoed these thoughts abandoning logical structure.
“Any prepped plans we had for filming this documentary were thrown right out the window once we hit the road and realized that we'd be lucky to make it to each gig on time, let alone make a movie. So we slish-sloshed across the country with our cameras rolling and were truly forced to capture things as they came. Luckily, the folks in front of the camera were magically talented people. As soon as anything got boring on the road, we threw instruments in their hands and all was not boring anymore.”
It clearly affected all involved, perhaps no more than Producer/Editor Ty Johnson who took charge of the resulting 100 hours of digital and 16mm footage crafting it through his production company Sideshow Alley.
“This is the kind of experience you live for as a music inspired filmmaker and it absolutely had to be realised! Relentlessly trawling through hours upon hours of footage until the cut is just right doesn’t sound too appealing. But in this case it was like having some of the finest musicians on repeat. It's easy to sustain a labour of love when you get to relive great memories with great friends everyday. What a pleasure it is to share this genuine talent with the world!”
That talent has long since passed their humble beginnings.
‘Whether it’s the beautiful music or the infectious sense of fun, Austin to Boston will no doubt charm audiences’ LONDON FILM FESTIVAL
‘A boundless, beautiful, and thoroughly joyous telling of a great musical adventure.’ LAURA BARTON, THE GUARDIAN
‘A stunningly-shot road trip with a twist - the people piled into this convoy of vintage camper vans just so happen to be some of the world's most talented young folk musicians. Spellbinding.’ LEONIE COOPER, NME
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