Why Old Time? (2009)
This film started with a simple question. Why do people admire, preserve and even build their lives around Appalachian string band music, called "Old Time," a musical form that goes back hundreds of years, mixing Celtic, continental and African influences in the crucible of the world's oldest mountains?
Pursuing the answer took two years of travel through five states. During the journey, we talked to people from around the globe of all ages and found that Old Time music just isn't a sound. It's a lifestyle. It's living history. It's authentic, communal, hypnotic. And it's the musicians drive it ever forward while preserving an untarnished musical tradition.
The Henry Reed Legacy (2009)
Before Why Old Time . . . in fact, technically before any other Horse Archer film was begun, our first film was a look at Giles County, VA native Henry Reed, a man who left and unlikely musical legacy now honored in the Library of Congress as a national treasure.
Henry Reed very rarely left his rural home during his life, but he is considered one of the most influential fiddlers in Old Time music. Before his death in 1968, archivist and researcher Alan Jabbour discovered Reed and preserved his music and style through recordings. It has lead to "Henry Reed tunes" being played across the globe and the founding of a festival in his honor. He had his own style and could play just about anything, but he also held a musical legacy in his fingers stretching back through the centuries.