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The Byrds’ classic tune recut for ‘The Song’ movie soundtrack Print Email
Written by Christine D. Johnson   
Monday, 18 August 2014 02:12 PM America/New_York

TheSongAlbum-webThe biblical text that inspired The Byrds’ No. 1 hit “Turn! Turn! Turn!” provides a cinematic backdrop for The Song, a new film releasing to theaters Sept. 26 from Samuel Goldwyn Films and City On a Hill Studio. In honor of the film, The Byrds’ Roger McGuinn has rearranged the classic tune for The Song Album, releasing Sept. 16 from Capitol Records (Christian Music Group/Capitol Christian Distribution).

The 15-track project features recording artists Ricky Skaggs, Americana Vocalist of the Year Emmylou Harris, McGuinn and the stars of the film, Alan Powell of Anthem Lights and Caitlin Nicol-Thomas.

“ ‘Turn! Turn! Turn!’, based on the book of Ecclesiastes, is my favorite song,” said rock legend Roger McGuinn. “It was a pleasure to work with Ricky, Emmylou and friends to re-record this version for the movie and soundtrack.”

Recorded in Nashville, the new version of “Turn! Turn! Turn!” features collaboration by McGuinn, Skaggs and Harris who put their own spin on the song’s iconic lyrics. The release also features 11 original American roots songs, also inspired by the life and writings of Solomon, as well as four classic hits with new arrangements. Harris’ involvement with the project benefits her charity, Bonaparte’s Retreat, a dog-rescue organization.

Kentucky native Skaggs brings bluegrass groove to an original track, “Kentucky Voice,” written and produced by Michael Curtis and inspired by the movie’s filming location in Louisville. American roots artists Marco Giovino, Byron House, Andy Leftwich and Colby Kilby collaborated in performing the original songs, and Powell and Nicol-Thomas provide vocals and additional instrumental accompaniment. Rock band Needtobreathe contributed a song to the project as well.

“I wanted to bring in the best of the best, but more than anything, I wanted this music to be authentic and believable,” said Vincent Emmett, executive music producer for The Song. “I took every chance I could to bring in award-winning roots songwriters who could capture the story of The Song and translate it into passionate lyrics and memorable melodies. I searched for artists who could not only perform the music at its best but who also understand the love, passion and pain in the words. Of course, Richard Ramsey (writer and director) and I had a dream list of history makers in Americana music, and yes, Emmylou Harris was at the tip-top of the list. With Roger McGuinn, Ricky Skaggs and Jerry Douglas on board, it became bigger than any dream team I could have ever imagined to round out this project and take it to an incredible place.”

Powell is drawing attention in his breakout role as singer-songwriter Jed King. Though The Song is his first feature film, he is no stranger to the entertainment world. His band, Anthem Lights, is a pop group that has nearly 40 million hits on its YouTube channel.

“Musically, performing as Jed was definitely a shift from my background as a pop singer,” Powell said. “But I was completely drawn to the grit and honesty of the character—and it challenged me to push myself artistically, which is always positive. I think fans will resonate with the music as much as the story in The Song.”

Reprising their roles, Powell and Nicol-Thomas have been touring the summer-festival circuit performing music from the film and will open for Needtobreathe on dates leading up to the launch of The Song