American Epic

Watch American Epic

  • TV-14
  • 2017
  • 1 Season
  • 8.0  (219)

American Epic is a unique and compelling documentary series that explores the roots of American music and its impact on the world. The series is a collaboration between musicians Taj Mahal and Jack White, and filmmaker Bernard MacMahon. It is narrated by Oscar-winning actor and environmental activist Robert Redford.

The series is divided into three parts, each focusing on a different aspect of American music history. The first episode, "The Big Bang," tells the story of how music was first recorded in America. It covers the period from the late 19th century to the early 1920s, a time when the recording industry was just starting out. It was during this time that iconic artists like the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, and Bessie Smith got their start.

The second episode, "Blood and Soil," explores the role that music played in the lives of ordinary Americans during the Great Depression. This episode features performances by artists like Willie Nelson, Elton John, and the Alabama Shakes. One of the highlights of this episode is a duet between Taj Mahal and the Carolina Chocolate Drops, in which they perform the traditional song "Sitting on Top of the World."

The third and final episode, "Out of the Many, the One," focuses on the influence of Latin music on American music. This episode features performances by a wide range of artists, including Los Lobos, Gloria Estefan, and the Mavericks.

Throughout the series, viewers are treated to rare archival footage and interviews with experts in music history. The series also includes newly recorded performances of classic songs by contemporary artists. One of the most fascinating aspects of the show is its emphasis on the technological developments that made it possible to record music in the early 20th century. Viewers see how early recording technology worked, and how it evolved over time.

American Epic is a beautifully produced series that is sure to captivate anyone who has ever been moved by American music. Its combination of historical footage, expert commentary, and contemporary performances makes for a rich and engaging viewing experience. The series is a testament to the resilience and creativity of American musicians in the face of economic hardship, technological change, and cultural shifts. It is a must-watch for anyone who loves music and wants to understand its place in American history.

American Epic is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (4 episodes). The series first aired on May 16, 2017.

American Epic
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Seasons
The American Epic Sessions
4. The American Epic Sessions
June 6, 2017
The American Epic team has reassembled the very first electrical sound recording system from the 1920s, and invited Jack White and T Bone Burnett to produce an album of recordings by twenty of today's greatest artists. In this beautifully filmed musical feature, these artists are given the chance to pass through the portal that brought the world into the modern era.
Out of the Many, the One
3. Out of the Many, the One
May 30, 2017
America's diverse cultures -- including the Hopi tribe, Hawaii's Joseph Kekuku, Mexican-American Lydia Mendoza and the Cajun Breaux Family -- contribute to its musical styles; Mississippi John Hurt's blues inspires musicians.
Blood and Soil
2. Blood and Soil
May 23, 2017
Charley Patton, Elder Burch and others record early Delta blues, gospel music and protest songs in the rural South.
The Big Bang
1. The Big Bang
May 16, 2017
The Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers and the Memphis Jug Band make their first records on a portable electronic recording system, creating the first R&B songs and modern country music.
Description
Where to Watch American Epic
American Epic is available for streaming on the PBS website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch American Epic on demand at Vudu, Google Play and Apple TV.
  • Premiere Date
    May 16, 2017
  • IMDB Rating
    8.0  (219)