Soulsville to Bluestown

«This is like the holy grail – let´s stop talking and just record something» says Steven Van Zandt after discovering the amazing history of the old soundboard at Juke Joint Studio in Notodden, Norway.

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The story is seen through the “eyes” of the soundboard, Auditronics 501, a witness to some of the greatest music recordings ever. The soundboard is “the character” that we follow through thick and thin. In awe and excitement we join in on this amazing musical journey.

The soundboard was once part of a musical history born in the Stax studio in Memphis in the 1960´s and 70´s. Surrounded by legends of soul, it was recording the very music that inspired Van Zandt and helped create his musical landscape. After an amazing journey, the soundboard ends up across the Atlantic ocean, deep in the woods and mountains of Norway, as the musical heart of the Juke Joint Studio. Our story ends as Van Zandt and friends once again makes the old soundboard shine on the musical sky it once was a part of.

Steven Van Zandt “discovered” the Juke Joint Studio and the Auditronics 501 when visiting Notodden in the Summer of 2015, taking him right back to his musical roots. We did pitch the story about the soundboard’s amazing journey to Van Zandt and he immediately saw a story that had to be told. We then got to do a pilot interview and some test scenes in the studio with Steven during his stay in Notodden, during the town´s famous Blues Festival.

This English-language documentary connects the rise and fall of Stax Studio in Memphis with the emergence of Notodden in the south central region of Norway, the epicentre of the European Blues experience today. The film will be both a historical journey and a physical journey seen through the eyes of the old soundboard that we now find at Notodden. We plan an official launch at the 2017 Notodden Blues Festival.

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