The Melting Pot

Over the past week we have seen the fabled American melting pot in its purest form, experiencing it has been fascinating to say the least. It's been a huge learning experience getting out of our little bubbles that we tend to stay in. 

When we recorded with Stephanie in the basement of a bar in Memphis we were welcomed with open arms and southern hospitality from her entire crew. After wrapping up the shoot we were headed out to Fannie with all of our gear and as we passed boarded up buildings with bullet holes in them, Stephanie's boyfriend Marcus walked us down the street to make sure we would be okay. At first I thought he was just walking with us for conversation and to see the bus but it dawned on me that he just wanted to make sure we were safe walking the two blocks with our gear. It was something I had never experienced before and it was quit humbling. 

Our next stop was coal mining country in Boon County, West Virginia where we were shooting with country singer Justin Payne, after that we eventually headed to Huntington for his show with Colter Wall. The show was packed with miners, bikers, and real West Virginian folks that hadn't been more than 50 miles from their homes their entire lives. After the show they took us to the smoked filled local bar where we stayed up singing country karaoke and drinking whiskey until last call at 3:30. 

After leaving West Virginia we headed east towards Annapolis, Maryland where we were filming Kit & the Chardonnay Boys at a local sushi spot. We found out that our friend Megan was in town for Father's Day and throwing a little concert party for her dad and his local sailing friends. Her Father Doug is an incredibly generous man and let us stay in his gorgeous sprawling dockside house where they put on a mini concert for all of the attendees. Doug owns a beautiful 1977 50 foot Hinckley Sou'Wester that he took us for a pre storm sail on this morning. The wind was howling and the salty sea was rough but we made it out alive. I got to take the helm for a bit and it was quite exhilarating. 

From Memphis to West Virginia to Annapolis it was quite the wild ride. This country is so huge and diverse and getting a glimpse into all of these different people's lives is something that I will never forget. At the end of the day all of these Americans have little in common with each other but they did share love, compassion, and hospitality with us that is incredibly inspiring. They also share a love for music, the universal language. 

Michael Jaeger