The state of the art for emerging Black performers in country music will be the subject of a feature-length documentary that has been produced by Amazon Music, titled “For Love & Country,” which was announced Tuesday morning as having a premiere date set for the music streaming service and Prime Video on April 7.
The arrival of the film will be preceded by Amazon Original recordings by some of the documentary’s featured artists, starting with a new acoustic rendering by Amythyst Kiah of her signature song, “Black Myself,” that’s out today.
Although the announcement of the doc does not include “Americana,” the lineup of artists featured in interviews and performances in the film includes about equal measures of singer-songwriters who are up-and-coming in mainstream country and those are are generally considered part of the alternative-roots or Americana realm.
Mickey Guyton, who recently performed the National Anthem at the Super Bowl, is featured, as is Jimmie Allen, who has become one of the leading men of country with three of his singles becoming No. 1 country airplay hits over the last few years. Other mainstream artists in the film include Breland, Blanco Brown, Shy Carter and Reyna Roberts. The Americana side is represented by a pair of artists who are currently up for Grammys in the roots categories, Allison Russell and Valerie June, along with Kiah. The list of artists in the film also includes Brittney Spencer (just seen performing on the Prime Video-hosted ACM Awards with Brothers Osborne) and Frankie Staton and Willie Jones.
“This film is our collective story, in our own words,” said featured artist Spencer in a statement. “We’re all carving our own unique paths. We’ve all got our own dreams and challenges, and our own ways of navigating them. I hope when people see this film, they better understand the conversation of race in country music. I hope it humanizes the discussed issues and puts a crowd of Black, beautiful faces to a topic the public has heavily engaged and debated, particularly over the last two years. I’m happy to be a part and share my story.”
DPM Projects and Pizza Night produced the project. Butter Music and Sound composer Nat Jenkins did the film’s score.
Said Raymond Roker, global head of editorial for Amazon Music, “In telling this story, it was imperative for us to amplify the personal narratives of these wonderfully diverse country artists, because in them lie the stories of Black contributions to the genre. … The title of the film is also a reminder that these artists have all come from a place of love, adoration and even reverence for country music’s past, its heroes, and contributors across the spectrum.”