Neil Rosenbaum

Neil Rosenbaum


SING MY TROUBLES BY: USA 2010, Digital, Color, English, NR, 92 min


SHOWTIMES: 5:00p | 7:30p - MONDAY 12/6



Cine presents a special screening of the new film SING MY TROUBLES BY: VISITS WITH GEORGIA WOMEN CARRYING THEIR MUSICAL TRADITIONS INTO THE 21st CENTURY. This feature-length documentary, directed by Neil Rosenbaum and co-produced by Art Rosenbaum and Lance Ledbetter, honors living older Georgia women who treasure and continue to perform the gospel, blues, mountain music and ballad traditions they grew up with. Folklorist and artist Art Rosenbaum visits the artists in the homes and churches where their music lives on—more than in studios and concert venues—and these visits reveal not only the music, but also the memories and life experiences of these grass-roots singers and musicians.

The evening will also include a Q&A session with Neil and Art Rosenbaum, and live performances by some of traditional musicians featured in the film, including The Myers Family and Friends, a family string band; mountain ballad singers sisters Mary Lomax and Bonnie Loggins; gospel singer Rev. Willie Mae Eberhart. In addition there will be string band music by Hawkproof Rooster (Charlie and Nancy Hartness) along with senior fiddler Earl Murphy, well-known old-time musician Beverly Smith, and Art and Margo Rosenbaum.

In the film’s four main segments the viewer meets Precious Bryant, a South Georgia country blues singer and guitarist whose old and original songs speak to a hard life and enduring spirit; and the Myers Family and Friends, a Blue Ridge Mountain group that has continued a tradition of family and neighborhood music-making; and they tell funny and sad stories of younger year, including inter-racial musical friendships. 97-year old blind gospel singer Fleeta Mitchell still sings old spirituals and gospel songs and plays piano vigorously; and she recounts vivid memories of her late husband, whom she met at the Georgia School for the Blind, and another classmate, the famous bluesman, Blind Willie McTell. In home and at church Mother Mitchell is joined other singers including her close friend, Rev. Willie Mae Eberhart of Athens, a powerful singer and eloquent speaker on faith, and on the overcoming of oppression.

Mary Lomax, an octogenarian of Habersham County, is arguably the finest traditional unaccompanied American ballad singer to emerge in the 21st century, having learned her songs and ballads, some 300 years old, from her father as a child; her sister, Bonnie Loggins, is not only a singer but a maker of songs and poems, and a fine and idiosyncratic self-taught painter. The film also includes archival footage of Mabel Cawthorn, a banjo picker who served hard time in her 80s for selling marijuana; a visit to the Blue Ridge Mountain farm of the musical Eller family; and footage of Mother Mitchell singing with her late husband, Reverend Nathaniel Mitchell, and Lucy Barnes of Athens. Art Rosenbaum’s drawings and paintings and Margo Newmark Rosenbaum’s still photographs add another visual dimension to the film.

Dr. William Ferris, Former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities and Senior Associate Director of the Center for the Study of the American South at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill wrote: “’Sing My Troubles By’ is a beautifully filmed tribute to both the filmmaker’s parents…and to the artists whom they recorded, filmed, and photographed. The Juxtaposition of Art Rosenbaum’s drawings of the artists featured in the film is especially powerful.” And on seeing the film--in which he appears--traditional north Georgia banjo picker Ed Teague said, “Some people like to ‘jelly it up’, this [film] is more natural, this is what it out to be…it’s telling the story… If there was something that was wrong, I’d tell you right straight out.”

Alice Gerrard, musician and founding editor of “The Old Time Herald” wrote:

“I showed an early version of Neil Rosenbaum's film to my class and to others at Duke's Center for Documentary Studies when I was a Lehman-Brady Fellow there in 2009. Being a friend and admirer of Art and Margo Rosenbaum for many years, and having met many of the people featured in the film, it was especially gratifying to see them represented in this very personal and loving way. The presentation of Art's paintings and Margo's photographs help greatly to underscore the intrinsic value of the artists and the lives they live. The musical/artistic world has been so enriched by the work that they have all done throughout their lives, and to see it represented so well by this film is satisfying and powerful.” — Alice Gerrard