In November, 2008 Kentucky filmmakers Blake Judd and Keith Neltner stopped by Charlie Louvin’s home for an interview. That afternoon, spent in an unassuming living room in a comfortable Nashville home, changed the filmmakers’ lives. A couple years later, Charlie was diagnosed with cancer. It was July, 2010. Later, in December, a show was announced to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Louvin Brothers’ landmark album Satan is Real. Blake heard the news about the event and knew it was something that needed to be documented.
December 3, 2010 at the FooBar in Nashville, TN was a unique night. A mixed crowd of kids, elders, hippies and rockers crammed into the small venue to watch something Charlie had done for more than 60 years: Grace the stage and hit those notes. That evening, Charlie was weak off stage, but his presence was felt, and his fans chanted “Charlie, Charlie…” leaving chills on the arms of those who knew him well. The crew sat down with Charlie the next day and he shared many stories, some new, some old, but he talked with a clarity you wouldn’t expect from a man battling cancer at 83.
In supporting Charlie’s family, we all have a chance to pay homage to a good man, and to rattle the devil’s cage. Which feels pretty damn good.