The Promised Land: A Swamp Pop Journey (2009) 1h 17min · Documentary · 1 January 2009
The Promised Land is a film that takes you to the heart of South Louisiana's musical phenomenon - Swamp Pop. "8 members, 25 egos, 6 livers" A phrase thrown around by the members of the Lil' Band O' Gold; filmed in South-west Louisiana we meet this super group of cult and underground heroes and observe their lives, their music, their culture. Tracing founder member CC Adcock's search through the swamps and flatlands of South Louisiana we are pulled into a world of beauty. Lafayette and its surrounding parishes are a timeless, almost dreamlike place, where the colors, language, food and most definitely the music appear larger and more vivid than anywhere else in the great country, the USA. This backdrop is the canvas for the introduction of the band. Every member is a master of a different musical style: seventy year old Warren Storm, a veteran blues drummer and Swamp Pop singer; 68 year old Dickie Landry a careering avant-garde art jazzman on saxophone and Steve Riley, arguably the greatest traditional Cajun accordionist alive today. These are just some of the players in the family they call the Lil' Band O' Gold. In this relatively small area of Louisiana, Acadiana, we see these diverse cultures blend and twist together in the collaboration of this extraordinary group. Watch as the band and their producers see if it possible to take this soulful train of culture to the next level. In today's world of upward trends and corporate business is there a place for the simple things in life? Can the Lil' Band O' Gold overcome natural disasters and personal problems to carry their message beyond just another Saturday night? Or maybe Saturday night is all these virtuosos need to fulfil their desires? Through music and laughter and the struggles and pleasures of everyday life, the Lil' Band o' Gold radiate as a fine example of the melting pot that is the United States as we journey with them through their Promised Land. Filmed by London based film-maker Matthew Wilkinson with an impressionistic, freewheeling affection for its subject and unfettered access over two and a half years, The Promised Land shows us a part of America where there is still a local, non-corporate culture, based around music and food, that thrives precisely because of its neglect by the rest of the Union. It is a culture that operates by word of mouth and local knowledge and one that never forgets to make 'em dance. Wilkinson captures the beauty and language, laughter and sadness of this place. The Promised Land is a bittersweet film about people from America's neglected South with one thing left to keep their hope alive - Music. - Written by Several People
Director(s): Matthew Wilkinson
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