An ongoing music buzz is assuredly nothing new among the Music Row set whose movers ‘n’ shakers keep the country industry humming along nicely for us all, thank you very much.
However, during the past few days, a different sort of buzz has bubbled up a bit, thanks to filmmaker Chris McDaniel, a producer with Semi-Rebellious Films,who’s been roaming the streets, studios, stages, haunts and hideaways of Music City lately in the name of his forthcoming documentary titled Music City U.S.A.
Based in Arizona, McDaniel has made a few trips to Nashville to interview and shoot footage for the aforementioned documentary. Moreover, what began as a documentary that focused on 2010′s catastrophic flooding and the ways in which the music community jumped in to aid the recovery has now grown into something more, says the filmmaker, who has been somewhat awed by Music City’s welcome mat for creative artisty that extends far beyond the musical genre it’s best known for.
To date, McDaniel has captured interviews with country music’s Charlie Daniels, Larry Gatlin, Brady Seals and Ricky Lynn Greg, to name just four, and he reports he’s slated to chat on camera later this spring with Lorrie Morgan, The Oak Ridge Boys, LeAnn Rimes and Pam Tillis, among others.
As a result of expanding his documentary’s subject matter and scope, McDaniel said he “even interviewed reggae royalty The Wailers, because of their work with Kenny Chesney’s No. 1 hit, ‘Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven.’”
This week in particular, McDaniel met with WSM-AM’s resident Country Music Hall of Fame DJ, Bill Cody, and his sidekick/producer/sports guy Charlie Mattos during the Monday edition of the “Coffee, Country & Cody” broadcast. (As locals may know, the WSM studios at Opryland Hotel were among some of the hardest-hit areas following the spring 2010 flood.)
Over the weekend, McDaniel also interviewed country artist Sean Patrick McGraw for the documentary, and has plans to chat with Scott Southworth and Heino Moeller, co-hosts of WLAC’s weekly Music Row Show.
After this week’s filming, McDaniel said he will return to Nashville in late February for one more session of interviews for his forthcoming documentary, in addition to taking a trip to Oklahoma to interview with Wanda Jackson, among other artists in that area. And of course, no documentary about the music biz of Nashville would be complete without at least a bit of footage from the annual CMA Music Fest, he added, and he’ll work to film there, too, he noted.
Although it’s far too early to name a venue, the Kentucky-born producer said he plans to have the documentary’s premiere in Nashville, and rightfully so, per this scribe. After that, Music City U.S.A. reportedly will be available via pay-TV outlets, reports McDaniel, who notes that this project marks his third music documentary to date.
Before Music City U.S.A. makes its debut, however, those interested in spying some of the filmmaker’s handiwork are advised to watch for his upcoming feature film, Queens of Country starring Lizzy Caplan and Ron Livingston, which is set to surface in wider release later this year.