Saturday, November 14, 2009

Nashville Artist's Music Mines Region's History

The song's story may be fictional in terms of the disaster at the Muddy mine, but the sentiment certainly is real for the coal mines of that era. Also, the photographs in the video come from the Saline County Historical Society in Harrisburg.

The singer-songwriter behind this is Rocky Alvey, a Saline County native who's now the assistant director at Vanderbilt's Dyer Observatory just outside Nashville, Tennessee.

He's got more of these Southern Illinois songs, including Hardin County Line, Shawneetown and Grand Pier Creek, just to name a view. All are on his latest album, Blackberry Jam. Listen to some of the songs on his MySpace page.

If Blackberry Jam focuses on Southern Illinois places, his next project mines the history of the region's bloody 1920s history. Although the title song hasn't been released publicly, it's really good I can tell you. He's also getting good reviews on it from others in the Nashville music industry.

In the video below he talks about the Muddy song.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

French Colonial Era Movie Set to Premiere

The Marion Cultural and Civic Center will host the Marion premiere of Under These Same Stars: The Celedon Affair later this month on Tuesday, Nov. 24, at 7 p.m.

The film, set in 1773 during the French settlement of Illinois and Missouri, was filmed on location in Southern Illinois and the Ste. Genevieve, Mo., area.
Under These Same Stars - the Celadon Affair is a brand new, feature length, independent film from Céladon Films LLC of Webster Groves, Missouri and Alto Pass, Illinois.

Based on a true story from 1773 and shot in the historic homes of Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, in Cahokia, Illinois, and at rural locations across Southern Illinois, Under These Same Stars tells a tale of Céladon, a mixed race hunter and his struggles with love, loss, and his dual life in town and in the Ozark wilderness. This is set in a time of Native and Black slavery and French, Spanish and English colonial rule along the central Mississippi Valley.

The Southern Illinoisan has covered the project during filming as well as last month when announcing the premieres. Their first story ran in May 2008, and the second story ran last month.

Tickets are available at the civic center box office at $7 for adults and $5 for students. As a history junkie and someone interested in films from Southern Illinois, I plan to be there. Hope you will be to.