By Sheena Barnett
TUPELO – Birthplace Sessions is bringing music back to where it all started in Tupelo.
The Elvis Presley Birthplace launched a new music video series, “Birthplace Sessions,” on Wednesday. The video project, headed up by Meredith Martin and Rob Brandon, features bands and artists on the front porch of the birthplace, talking about Elvis’ influence on their music and then performing a song.
Brandon had the idea for the series when officials at the birthplace talked about how famous musicians like Robert Plant and Tom Petty had taken a minute to sing a song on the front porch when they’d visited.
“I asked if I could see the video (of the performances), and they said, ‘What video?’ That broke my heart, with the history involved,” Brandon said at the series’ launch.
Starting late last fall, Brandon, Martin and Tupelo filmmaker Ken Calloway began filming bands as they stopped to perform in Tupelo.
The first eight videos premiered at the theater in the birthplace and are now online to view for free at birthplacesessions.com.
Artists featured in the Birthplace Sessions so far include George Porter Jr., a member of the New Orleans funk band The Meters; Mississippi singer-songwriter Cary Hudson; Americana band Lucero; blues guitarist Cary Morin; and Mooreville country singer-songwriters Aaron Vance.
“We’re very excited to get young blood out to visit the birthplace,” Brandon said. “It allows people to see the birthplace in a different light, and it gets these bands exposure.”
Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Neal McCoy said the sessions will keep Elvis’ spirit alive.
“It continues our message to come to Tupelo and get inspired by what inspired Elvis,” he said.
The announcement of the Birthplace Sessions is a part of Art Rocks Tupelo, a week-long celebration of the arts in Tupelo.
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