With a penchant for artistry and authenticity, the Avett Brothers and director Samuel Bayer present a compelling portrait of patriotism in the beautiful new music video for the folk classic, “This Land Is Your Land.”
Written by Woody Guthrie in 1940, the song’s familiar themes resonate today, particularly when accompanied by Bayer’s beautiful and cinematic footage, which he captured in Los Angeles, New York, New Orleans and the Navajo Nation, before he arrived in North Carolina to film the brothers.
View the Avett Brothers’ “This Land Is Your Land,” then read our interview with Seth Avett below the player.
What do you remember most about the shoot for this video?
It was raining, windy, and overcast most of the day, I remember wondering if the grey sky would inform the mood of the video at all, and if so, how that might feel matched with such a variety of footage representing the country.
I remember the instant camaraderie among everyone involved; it was about as small as it could have been, personnel-wise, and everyone got along so naturally well … lots of laughter, an easily shared vision of what to shoot and how.
I bet what I’ll remember most, years from now, is the fun our kids had while Sam shot footage of our family … our children getting in the pond and running wild through the woods and around the water.
How does the video bring your song to life?
The imagery of this video seems to be a perfect representation of the timeless meaning of this song. Guthrie wrote this during a different chapter in our history, but all the themes are relevant now and will continue to be as long as the U.S. continues to change and move forward. We are a country of families. And family members of different ages, shapes, sizes, and colors are represented here, which I believe to be an accurate summation of what this country is.
What message do you hope your fans take away from the video?
I hope the overarching takeaway from this video is a lovely reminder that there are millions of different ways for humans to look, and that all are equally deserving of one’s care, sympathy, opportunity, and love … that no single life is any lesser than any other.
How did it feel to see the finished product for the first time?
I was deeply touched upon viewing the video for the first time. I watched it three times in a row. Later in the afternoon when my wife and son were home, I showed it to them. I am proud to have been a part of the project, and I’m grateful to Sam for directing it, Guthrie for writing it, and to our incredibly unique and beautiful country for inspiring it.
Songwriter: Woody Guthrie; Director: Samuel Bayer