We’ve just gotten word that 1913 Massacre has been awarded a grant from The Puffin Foundation. The Puffin Foundation is dedicated to “continuing the dialogue between art and the lives of ordinary people.” The Foundation’s generous support will help us explore and document, online and in our film, the music of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, circa 1913. (And if you’re interested in learning more about the history of the UP, make sure to check out a new site for books on that subject: Superior Reading ).
The film is a musical journey — taking us to Calumet, and to some unexpected places in the American imagination.
Just before the holidays, we traveled to Anthracite coal country in Pennsylvania to interview playwright and musician Tom Flannery , who has written a play called God and the Ghost of Woody Guthrie and a sequel to Woody’s song:
The most recent stop on our musical journey was Brooklyn, where we interviewed musician Dan Zanes.
Dan shared some great stories, talked with us about connecting music with community and family life, and sang all kinds of songs from his songbag: sea tunes, children’s tunes, Woody songs, old songs about the Erie Canal. Dan has the ability to infuse even the simplest song with raw emotion — joy, sadness, laughter, pain —and turn traditional tunes into musical evocations of a rich, living past. We owe many thanks to Dan for all his energy — and for the incredible music!
Bill Gorrell, a radio producer from Illinois and host of the Illinois Labor Hour on community radio station WEFT, interviewed us about our project on February 1st. You can listen to mp3 recordings of