Austin to Boston is a film that follows some of the bands from Communion Music and their crews on a 14 day, 10 venue tour of the US in 2012 using aged and temperamental VW camper vans for transport. I covered the film in a pre-festival spotlight piece here (https://www.heyuguys.com/must-see-films-playing-london-film-festival-year/) and rather than being a conventional tour with posh buses and plush hotel accommodation they hit the road sleeping in out of town camping grounds and sometimes in the backs of their vans on the streets whilst playing a variety of small venues across the country, free from the trappings of corporate endorsements and mass marketing.

The film itself is a journal of the kind of journey that people can find themselves on when they put their passion for music in front of their personal comfort and, quite possibly in some cases, sound decision making. It’s not all touring and gigging though and the film does sensitively touch on the bereavement and loss felt by one of the artists as he visits his childhood hometown and while this isn’t meant to be a review I can’t help but mention the gorgeous narrative tones of Old Crow Medicine Show’s Gill Landry and an incredible rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s Songbird by India Bourne from Ben Howard’s band accompanied by The Staves.

 

The film is beautifully shot and evocative invitation to immerse yourself in the experience of being on that tour so if you’re a fan of handmade music then I’d strongly suggest that you check it out and you may find that you’re inspired to dust off your guitar or lyric sheet and give it another go, or you can simply marvel in the beautiful music that has been captured.

 

On Saturday evening the film premiered to a packed BFI cinema on London’s Southbank and the screening was followed by a special performance by Bears Den and The Staves accompanied by Gill Landry and India Bourne, all of whom feature in the film. Afterwards I interviewed director Ty Johnson about the film and the challenges of bringing it to the screen and his love of music which you can watch here:

 

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I'm a music-lover, frequent photographer and occasional musician as well as being a fan of all kinds of films, including many with subtitles and some of the more 'cult' movies (Dark Star anyone?). Since joining HeyUGuys I've met lots of wonderful and fascinating people who work in front and behind the cameras and having moved on from writing and reviewing I've spent the last five years crewing the camera on the red carpet for premieres and such.