The Porchlight Sessions is a first-ever documentary on the bluegrass movement, as recollected by historical patriarchs of the movement including Dr. Ralph Stanley and Doc Watson, then follows through to modern day musicians including Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Béla Fleck, Steve Martin, Del McCoury, Bobby Osborne, Trampled By Turtles, Mumford & Sons, The Infamous Stringdusters and many more. Bluegrass music emerged from the crossroads of the Appalachian Mountains, where Jazz and Blues merged with Scots-Irish folk music. The movement as it began with Bill Monroe was inspired and sustained by a diversity of voices, attitudes, and approaches contributing to the progression of modern-day bluegrass.
Filmed across the USA in lush mountain settings, festivals, and even personal homes, this documentary marks the first time the community has come together to characterize the energy and demonstrate the appeal of this influential and uniquely American musical form. “The enduring appeal of the Bluegrass movement may originate from a longing in modern society to return to a simple way of life,” observes Anna Schwaber, director of the film. The documentary artfully reveals the excitement in the movement—from the passionate insights of the founding musicians, through to the present-day creativity of mainstream acts, and even the clever aspirations of campground pickers. As a film, The Porchlight Sessions appeals to both new-to-bluegrass audiences and ardent fans by documenting the inventiveness of the human spirit, the passionate bluegrass culture, and the endless appeal of its authentic, soulful music.