Documentary Review: BLUEBIRD – The haven of Country music.
BLUEBIRD is a beautiful documentary film about the origin of small musical bar The Bluebird Café in the heart of Nashville that became the home and haven for several song writers and singers who dared to dream of touching the world with their lyrics.
The place used to be called Green House Game Room till Amy Kurland bought it and they built a bar in 1982. It became just a place for women would come over to eat and chat after they had their hair done next door. Until someone suggested they have live music there.
Overtime it become the hotspot for budding talent in the country music to hone and perfect their singing and song writing skills.
For anyone that is fan of country music, BLUEBIRD is a certainly a must see. You get a better appreciation of the creatives behind all your favorite songs and their individual journeys. Even if they are part of this documentary, you are led on to be believe that they too might have an interesting story just like many that are shared in this film.
The film features many people who have one way of the other experienced the effect that a place as small as that has had on that genre of music. Many of whom have gone on to get nominations and or win a Grammy or become top charting artiste or song writers.
Clearly, everyone involved with The Bluebird Café is passionate about music. After all it is a small business and hasn’t been making so much money over the years. It is a small venue and can’t admit more than a 100 people at a time. Over the years it has seen very minimal change and renovations but it has severed as a go to place for many performers and songwriters looking for an opportunity to break through.
Many of the interviewees in the film describe the cafe as a place that is even hard to notice or find for first timers. You could easily drive past it without noticing if not for the sometimes-long queue of people trying to get in.
What makes this documentary film even more pleasing to watch is the music. Throughout the film you are serenaded by beautiful performances from the likes of Faith Hill, Garth Brooks, Sam Hunt, Steve Earle and others. You also get to see some up comers as the audition to be able to play at the cafe.
You don’t even have to be a lover of country music to appreciate these performances. Good enough attention is given to the sound design for this film and that just can’t be ignored.
There are several moments in the film that you see audience members so into the performances at the cafe and it is just so moving. The moments feel very genuine and authentic to the power of music and strength that songwriters have to control emotions.
The cafe had essentially become a great place for songwriters to basically test their songs or see how the audience would respond to them. Songwriter Jason Isbell shares a story about how he was so nervous during his first public performance of ‘Streetlights’ at the cafe. He reckons he fumbled and mixed up some of the lyrics. He surprisingly received so many compliments for the line that he mixed up that he decided to keep the fumbled lyric for the finished song.
There are also several stories of singers or songwriters getting their first big break whilst performing at the cafe. One such story being that of Taylor Swift who go seen and signed by Scott Borchetta after she performed at the BLUEBIRD at just 14 years old.
The film has also enough old footages of the places and performances to make sure that the viewer is taken on a trip through time to appreciate how impactful the place has been over the years. You also are shown how the cafe got to be more known through the television show Nashville which has also contributed to people being more curious about the venue.
BLUEBIRD would certainly one of the films that is essentially part of the history of country music and its predominant rise in Nashville. I would score this 4 out of 5 stars. It is apt, well made and