For The Sake of the Song: The Story of Anderson Fair
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(Sep 16, 2011)
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For over forty years, Anderson Fair Retail Restaurant has quietly cultivated some of the most notable songwriters and performers in America, including Grammy Award-winning artists Nanci Griffith, Lyle Lovett and Lucinda Williams. What began as a little neighborhood restaurant in Houston where freethinkers gathered "to talk about things that might get them arrested somewhere else" slowly evolved into a songwriting sanctuary. "Without Anderson Fair, I wouldn't have been driven to try to write songs the way I was," reveals Lovett.
For The Sake Of The Song paints a lively portrait of this legendary establishment that weaves together a musical and visual tapestry of five generations of artists, volunteers, and patrons who have fashioned this improbable tale.
Funny and deeply in love with the troubadour tradition, the film features intimate and entertaining interviews with a who's who of Texas and Americana music and presents new and rare archival footage of performances by Vince Bell, Guy Clark, Slaid Cleaves, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Steven Fromholz, Nanci Griffith, Carolyn Hester, Robert Earl Keen, Lyle Lovett, Shake Russell, Eric Taylor, Dave Van Ronk, Townes Van Zandt, Lucinda Williams and more.
Ultimately, For The Sake of the Song celebrates the spirit of community and reminds us of the impact a small group of dedicated people can make when they work together for something they love.
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Perhaps the most remarkable thing about AF is its sheer longevity, and the fact that it is still going strong in 2014, having been started in 1970 by partners Marvin Anderson and Gray Fair. Classic Austin venues such as the Vulcan Gas Company and Armadillo World Headquarters are now sadly long gone.
The interviews are a joy to watch, as they not only include a large number of performers, but also many of the Fair's staff and volunteers over the years, including that "tall blonde dictator" (Nanci Griffith) Tim Leatherwood.
The only thing I could have asked for in addition would have been a few complete performances from some of the greats, but I guess the focus was on the place itself and how everything evolved. There was a tantalizing piece of footage of Nanci doing 'Red Brick Floor', but alas it then cut to an interview. For Nanci fans, I highly recommend the DVD version of the stunning 'One Fair Summer Evening', which was recorded/filmed at Anderson Fair.
The Pagen Church was just around the corner...if you know that place, give this review a thumbs up. LOL.
If you don't know what it's like to be a starving artist this movie will show you what it's like to love something so much it hurts.
This is must for any music lover !!