By the Editor@EltonJohn.com
“American Epic” is more than a music documentary…this is history. – Elton John
Elton will debut a new song called 2 Fingers Of Whiskey on The American Epic Sessions – a feature-length performance film airing on PBS in the US on Tuesday, June 6 (check local listings for times – it will be available on PBS’ streaming service starting July 7) and on BBC Four on Friday, June 9 at 11 pm.
The American Epic Sessions is the final component of a four-part documentary series that has been broadcast on American and British television for the past month. Directed by Bernard MacMahon, produced by Allison McGourty and Duke Erikson, and Executive Produced by T Bone Burnett, Robert Redford and Jack White, American Epic has explored the pivotal recording journeys at the height of the Roaring Twenties, when music scouts armed with cutting-edge recording technology captured the breadth of American music and discovered the artists that would shape our world.
We first met Elton with T Bone Burnett. They were the very first artists we presented the idea for the American Epic historical films to. Elton’s endorsement and encouragement at that very early stage was so important to us as filmmakers. It was Elton who suggested that T Bone become an executive producer, for which we’re so grateful. – Producer Allison McGourty
Elton’s sequence, nestled amongst others by artists as diverse as Willie Nelson and Nas, shows him composing the music to a newly delivered lyric from Bernie Taupin and then recording the song in one go, via a single antique microphone on to a reassembled electrical sound recording system from the 1920s (“I thought it was an espresso machine!” laughed Bernie upon seeing the device for the first time), straight to disc.
Elton’s fans have never before seen his creative process in this much detail, nor watched him record a full song live from start to finish…let alone in mono.
2 Fingers Of Whiskey will be released on vinyl, CD and download on the album Music from The American Epic Sessions on June 9 and the DVD/Blu ray of the entire American Epic series will be available on June 13.
You can watch part of Elton’s sequence in the American Epic Sessions excerpt below.