Old Crow Medicine Show, Mumford & Sons and Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros are the subjects of Big Easy Express, a tour documentary that followed the eclectic bands on the first-ever Railroad Revival tour from Oakland, Calif., to New Orleans.
Closing the Nashville Film Festival on Thursday night (April 26), Big Easy Express showed the folk-influenced groups traveling between concerts on vintage railcars while living and making music together on the train.
"It was downright heavenly to tour by train," said Ketch Secor, singer and fiddler for Old Crow Medicine Show. "It puts you in touch with a mode of transportation that used to be such an important part of the way America works. Everybody traveled by train."
During a week and a-half excursion in 2011, the tour stopped in six cities along the nearly 3,000-mile route for live performances in unique locations beside the train tracks.
"My favorite part of the trip was Easter Sunday rolling into Marfa, Texas," said Secor. "All these little children were lining the tracks, everybody speaking Spanish, welcoming us to their town with all of us playing out the window of the train. People of all walks of life were drawn to that train."
Directed by Emmett Malloy, the film premiered at the South by Southwest festival in March.
A second Railroad Revival tour has been planned for the fall of 2012, but the artist lineup and specific dates have not been announced.
The Nashville Film Festival was established in 1969.