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Series: Sonic Highways

 

Chicago

   2014    Art
Foo Fighters commemorate their 20th anniversary by documenting the eight-city recording odyssey that produced their latest, and eighth, studio album. Foo Fighters founder Dave Grohl directs the series, which taps into the musical heritage and cultural fabric of eight cities: Chicago, Austin, Nashville, Los Angeles, Seattle, New Orleans, Washington D.C. and New York. The band based themselves at a legendary recording studio integral to the unique history and character of each location. One song was recorded in each city, and every track features local legends. Even the lyrics were developed in an experimental, unprecedented way: Grohl held off on writing them until the last day of each session, letting himself be inspired by the experiences, interviews and personalities that became part of the process. Foo Fighters Sonic Highways is, in Grohl’s words, “a love letter to the history of American music.” Each episode delves into the identity of each city -- showing how each region shaped these musicians in their formative years and, in turn, how they impacted the cultural fabric of their hometowns. Every artist who appears in the show, regardless of genre or locale, started as an average kid with universal dreams of making music and making it big. Grohl made his feature film directorial debut in 2013 with the universally acclaimed Grammy-winning Sound City, a celebration of the human element in the creation and recording of music. Foo Fighters have won 11 Grammy Awards, including four for Best Rock Album, more than any other band. Premiering on the eve of Foo Fighters’ 20th anniversary, Foo Fighters Sonic Highways aims to “give back” to the next generation of young musicians. As guitarist and singer Buddy Guy, an interviewee from the Chicago blues scene, explains, “Everything comes from what’s come before.”
In the first episode, Dave Grohl and friends discuss the rise of the famous Chicago music scene from the roots blues of Muddy Waters and Buddy Guy to the Rock and roll of Cheap Trick.

Washington

   2014    Art
Washington, D.C. is in many ways a city of extremes. Starland Vocal Band, Marvin Gaye, Duke Ellington, Nils Lofgren, Chuck Brown, Henry Rollins, Fugazi and Trouble Funk all hail from D.C. In the early '70s, the music style go-go originated here, and has remained a local craze ever since. Dave Grohl sits down with Trouble Funk's Big Tony Fisher to talk about go-go, and explores its origins with Chuck Brown, the genre's undisputed godfather.
He also chats with Don Zientara, owner of Inner Ear Studios, which the Virginia-raised Grohl says 'produced the entire soundtrack of my youth,' as well as with members of the harDCore band Bad Brains and Ian MacKaye of Teen Idles, Minor Threat and Fugazi, who all recorded at Inner Ear over the decades. The song 'The Feast and the Famine' is recorded during this episode.

Nashville

   2014    Art
The band heads to Nashville, Tenn. Dave sits down with Dolly Parton, Tony Joe White, Steve Earle, Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris and producer Tony Brown to discuss Nashville's musical influences and the Nashville sound. Foo Fighters prepare to record at Southern Ground studio, owned by country musician Zac Brown, who also guests on the song 'Congregation'.

Austin

   2014    Art
Foo Fighters prepare to record at the Austin City Limits Studio, with blues guitarist Gary Clark, Jr. In this episode is examined the roots of Austin's music scene, with interviews featuring Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top, and Roky Erickson from 13th Floor Elevators, who is considered one of the American fathers of psychedelic rock. Dave also chats with Terry Lickona, the executive producer of Austin City Limits. The song 'What Did I Do? / God As My Witness' is recorded during this chapter.

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