Thursday, April 7, 2022
– Amazon Music released "For Love & Country," a documentary about Black musicians in country music.
The movie examines country music's complicated past and how the music industry itself helped to enshrine a skewed version of the genre, its artists and fans. Directed by Joshua Kissi, "For Love & Country" looks at country through artists including Jimmie Allen, BRELAND, Mickey Guyton, Brittney Spencer, Reyna Roberts, Blanco Brown, Amythyst Kiah, Willie Jones, Frankie Staton, Shy Carter, Mike Floss and Allison Russell.
"My hope is for people to watch this beautiful piece of film while having a different appreciation for the genre of country music and the artists who so boldly choose to stand in the light," said Kissi.
"Country music has always been the premier genre for telling stories, but so many of them have been silenced, erased, and rewritten," said BRELAND. "What's so powerful about this unique time in country music's history is that we are finally creating space for uncovering those lost stories and reshaping our understanding of what the genre looks like. Being a part of this film was an incredible opportunity in and of itself, made sweeter by the brilliant direction of Joshua Kissi and the relationships I've been able to form with the other amazing artists in the film. This is a must-watch. Trust me."
"This documentary is so awesome and special to me," said Carter. "I'm so grateful for everyone who put it together. They have really created something that showcases the talent in country music that may have a harder time getting recognized. It documents the journey of finding a new path and what it's like for an artist who is doing something that might be considered unorthodox, but is true to them. It's a beautiful story of pushing through the opposition and becoming everything you believe you can be."
New Amazon Original songs are available on the "For Love & Country" official playlist including "All Tractors Ain't Green" by Allen, "Hard" by Carter," "Bein' Green" by Jones, "Black Myself" by Kiah, "Another Round" by Roberts, "Quasheba, Quasheba" by Russell and "Independence Day" by Brittney Spencer.
Russell said she was "excited to be included," said Allison Russell. "The driving message of this film is that country music has always been Black music, and it is important to share this with a global audience. Black musicians are a critical part of country music's history and continued growth, though we may not always be given the proper credit. 'For Love & Country' helps amplify our story."
In addition to artist perspectives, the film features interviews with several local Nashville residents sharing their stories, including journalist and New York Times best-selling author Andrea Williams, Davidson County criminal court clerk and former vice mayor Howard Gentry, academic and author Amanda Marie Martinez and former artist manager and local business owner Camille Alston.
"I needed to participate in this film," said Blanco Brown. "My purpose is to continue narrating the story and shedding light on sound. No one owns it, music is bigger than all of us."
"In telling this story, it was imperative for us to amplify the personal narratives of these wonderfully diverse country artists, because in them lie the stories of Black contributions to the genre," said Raymond Roker, global head of editorial for Amazon Music. "These are also very universal stories of acceptance, being welcomed into spaces we choose to occupy despite how open the door is to us and how stories and history can become marginalized over time. The title of the film is also a reminder that these artists have all come from a place of love, adoration and even reverence for country music's past, its heroes, and contributors across the spectrum."