April 18, 2008

Nashville featured in a different light!

Strong first impression creates a 'Nashville State of Mind'
The Tennesseean

It would be an understatement to say Samantha Gibb was pleasantly surprised when she got her first peek at Nashville's rock and pop scene during a 2006 visit.
"I was blown away. I couldn't get over it," says Gibb, former Miami resident and the daughter of the late Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees. "These people look like they should be on MTV. They look like they've been playing for years when you see them on the stage. I know that if they were ever on TV, people would just be floored."
It was Gibb's desire to see Nashville's rock and pop performers on a larger stage that spurred the making of A Nashville State of Mind, which premieres Sunday at the Nashville Film Festival. The film, financed and produced by Gibb, takes intimate performances and interviews with dozens of local artists, including Aaron Winters, Brooke Waggoner and Jeremy Lister, and blows them up to the big screen. The results are surprisingly vivid and engaging.
The film is told partially through the eyes of Gibb's band, M.E.G., which relocated to Nashville from Miami immediately after that 2006 visit.
"The plan was just to check it out, play for a couple nights and see how it was," Gibb says. "And we just didn't want to leave. We went home for Christmas, packed up and came back."
Filming, helmed by Gibb's friends from Miami, began in April 2007, a few months into M.E.G.'s stay, and wrapped in November. Many of the interviews take place in familiar locales: studios, clubs, living rooms and (you guessed it) train tracks. Other settings, however, bring out less-expected moments: artists talking songwriter shop while at their construction day jobs, or goofily jamming on Beatles covers at a backyard bonfire.
Sprinkled among the footage is thoughtful — if a tad redundant — analysis of Nashville's music scene from a crop of local music and music biz figures, Hank III, Doc McGhee, Mike Grimes and Ethan Opelt among them.
'Nashville is like a school'
Gibb stresses that the film isn't meant to encapsulate Nashville's non-country scene as whole. Instead, it's a "small, small piece" of what her band witnessed as newcomers.
"I like it when Aaron (Winters) says Nashville is like a school, and everyone's going to class, saying 'Hey, what's going on? You do music, too? Cool,' and everyone's kind of cautious, but they're so intrigued by each other."
The tricky part was figuring out how M.E.G. was going to fit among this crowd onscreen. Gibb says other people had to convince her to include her own band in the film.
"I had a very hard time. I was like, 'I don't want us to do an interview, I don't want to do this,' but other people liked our stuff, too. I didn't want anyone that was a part of the movie to think that we were trying to ride on the coattails of their art and how great they are. That was the last thing I wanted anyone to feel, considering I financed the film. But I think it was really well-placed. It wasn't highlighting us, it just shows us introducing the film as, 'This is what we saw.' "
Another subject the film tiptoes around is Gibb's famous lineage. While he's never mentioned onscreen, Gibb says the film is dedicated to her father.
"It's definitely not something that we're steering away from," she says. "I'm proud to be his daughter."

No comments: