The new counterculture lives in the middle.

The River — A Cinematic Journey through the American South

Coyote Motel photo by Bonnie Aldcroft

The River: A Songwriter’s Stories of the South provides a unique cinematic experience. This captivating film, featuring Nashville’s own cosmic roots band Coyote Motel, transcends genres as it intertwines music, cultural history, and personal narratives into a mesmerizing psychedelic experience. In songs and stories, The River explores the lives, lore, and locales along three great rivers of the American South: the Mississippi, the Cumberland, and the Tallahatchie.

Premiering at the Belcourt Theatre on March 19, The River has already garnered acclaim, winning prestigious awards for Best Original Soundtrack and Best Experimental Feature (Cincinnati’s Queen City Film Festival) and Best International Feature (Polish International Film Festival). Crafted by Coyote Motel frontman Ted Drozdowski and directed by Richie Owens of Parlor Films, the film showcases their talent and celebrates the collaborative spirit of Nashville’s independent artist community. More than 20 Nashville artists cooperated in the crowdfunded project, including the Coyote Motel members, the Darling Lucifer light show founders, local aerialist company Suspended Gravity Circus members, and Owens’ film crew.

“My entire life has been a rehearsal for The River,” says Drozdowski, a guitarist and songwriter who also serves as the editorial director of Premier Guitar magazine. “I’ve spent decades exploring the obscure corners where great American music heralds from, and I’ve always embraced the connections between the bedrock of Son House and Muddy Waters, the ether of Pink Floyd, the freedom of Sonny Sharrock and John Coltrane, and the mythical sense of time and place in the songs of the Band and Creedence Clearwater Revival.”

More than just a visual experience, The River immerses viewers in a kaleidoscopic palette of music, visuals, and aerial dance, elevating its emotional landscape to new heights. Join the voyage and let the currents of The River carry you through the heart and soul of the American South.

The River: A Songwriter’s Stories of the South
Premieres Tuesday, March 19 at 7 p.m. (doors at 6:30)
General admission tickets ($11 + Belcourt Preservation Fee) at the Belcourt online box office
Presented by Dolly Sez Woof Recordings and Coyote Motel

Catch Coyote Motel live at East Side Bowl’s Low Volume Lounge Series on March 5 at 7 p.m. (no cover)

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