Bluebird Image


By Michael Talbot-Haynes | September 14, 2022

The songs that follow are not as well known, but informative subtitles let us know which huge star sang it versus who wrote it and are now seeing sing it. If you are lucky, you will get to see both, as was the case with Garth Brooks and the writer of The Dance, Tony Arata. Loschiavo’s helpful subtitles inform the viewer that nearly everyone who speaks about going to the Bluebird onscreen is either a Grammy-nominated or a Grammy-winning songwriter. The documentary recreates the feeling one songwriter, Pam Tillis, attributes to the club as making you feel like an insider of the Nashville music scene. 

You do not need to be a country music fan to be swept away

Of course, if you are a country music fan, Bluebird is going to make you lose your s**t as hard as the audience members captured on film. The filmmaker does a great job of intermingling audience reactions in a rhythm that matches the club’s atmosphere. He captures the Bluebird’s specific draw of superstars rubbing elbows with unknowns. Same with the interviews. You can be speaking with Vince Gill or Steve Earle, then turn around and speak with some young dreamers still in line to audition. It is fun to see the contrast of the modest surroundings and décor compared to the legendary status and renown of the place.

It is even more fun to see how this modesty was painstakingly recreated on the Bluebird Café studio set used for the hit TV show Nashville. The excellent structuring of Bluebird keeps things lively, as it crescendos very nicely in its third act. An outsider to the country genre may raise an eyebrow over the lyrical reliance on faded jeans, dirty boots, and beat-up old guitars, but so be it. The core of the appeal is the engine of dreams this place became for so many creative artists. It is also a fitting tribute to the neglected backbone of the country music capital: the songwriters. The movie’s brilliance impacts you with the intensity of a pickup truck crashing into the sun.

For screening information, visit the Bluebird official website.

Bluebird (2019)

Directed and Written: Brian A. Loschiavo

Starring: Amy Kurland, Garth Brooks, Shania Twain, Taylor Swift, Tony Arata, Don Schlitz, Pam Tillis, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

Bluebird Image

"…a fitting tribute to the neglected backbone of the country music capital..."

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