Seven Signs & The Southern Culture

The long suffering, soulful, beautiful South:

You might have noticed that I have avoided all this political stuff like a pop country compilation on the record store shelf. There a few reasons for this, mainly that I got all kinds of people who read here and I don’t want to offend anybody: Rebels, Yanks, Hippies, Heinz 57 Varieties, whatever. I’m also one of those freaks who just hates the two party system and finds difficulty in affiliating with either side of the aisle.

But in the last few elections, the South has suffered, in victory and defeat. I contend that the South is the most misunderstood and shit upon region of our country. It also has the most rich and beautiful culture our country, and maybe even the world, has to offer. I might even go as far as to say that the Southern Culture is the foundation for ALL American culture: Country, folk, the blues, rock n’ roll.

As a dude who grew up in Texas and at the moment is living here on the left coast, it makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck when I hear people stereotype the South, point to that blob of red states on the election map, and let the curse words fly.

Yet those same people will borrow from the culture of that same region for their entertainment. It is similar how slick record label executives from New York and LA fly into Nashville everyday to see what redneck they can pull out of the sticks to make the next pop country superstar.

The overall theme behind Free Hank III and Reinstate Hank and Saving Country Music is simple: returning the music back to the people; taking back our culture and our institutions.

The Southern Culture is so rich it tears the eye. In a great new film just released on DVD , Blake Judd of Judd Films (one of the big boys in the Reinstate Movement) and and JD Wilkes explore the music and culture of the The South.

It is called Seven Signs:

Poster by Keith Neltner

“Described as both “dignified and disarming” by author Bill Friskics-Warren, the new film “SEVEN SIGNS” focuses on the music, mythology and faith that persist, despite heavy modernization, in the American South. The documentary also marks the directorial debut for J.D. Wilkes, the artist/musician lauded by ALARM magazine as “the closest thing there is to the Ambassador of Genuine, Traditional Southern Culture.” Wilkes also contributes to the chilling “SEVEN SIGNS'” soundtrack… alongside the rawest talent The Delta and Appalachia have to offer. With these strong southern roots, the filmmaker has made a profound, empathetic statement that celebrates the eccentricities and traditions of an increasingly marginalized area of America. Yet it is an area whose cultural identity stubbornly continues to thrive in the underground today. Fresh from a sold out premiere in Nashville, TN, “SEVEN SIGNS” is currently setting up new screenings across the country and is even being solicited to appear throughout the film festival circuit. Soliciting events include: The Raindance Film Festival (the UK’s largest film festival), The FantastiaFest in Montreal, The Deep Blues Music/Film Fest in Wisconsin, and The Backseat Film Fest in Pennsylvania. “

I just ordered my copy, and hope to have a full review for everyone shortly.

In other Reinstate Hank/Judd Films news, Blake is going to interview the great Charlie Louvin for the Reinstate Hank documentary. There is also a great new interview with Hank III about the movement from Rolling Stone.