The Winding Stream at Real Art Ways

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The Winding Stream

There is a stream that courses through American roots music. Its source is in the Appalachian foothills in a place called Maces Springs, Virginia. It was there that the Original Carter Family (A.P. Carter, his wife Sara and his sister-in-law Maybelle) began their careers as three of the earliest stars of country music.

These three didn’t just play the music emerging from their hill country upbringing. They helped invent it. A.P. was both song collector and composer, crafting and arranging snippets of ancient, musty melodies into commercial American popular music. Maybelle took the then-underplayed guitar and made it into the cornerstone of country instrumentation that we know today. And Sara became the first well-known woman’s voice in country music, stamping it with the eerie Gothic quality we find in so much of the country canon.

THE WINDING STREAM tells the story of the Carter Family and its legacy. The film blends studio and live performances by country music royalty like George Jones, Rosanne Cash, and Sheryl Crow, and also features priceless, late-life scenes and interviews with June and Johnny Cash.

*Stay after Friday, December 18 screening for a Q&A with Director Beth Harrington.

**Stay after Saturday, December 19 screening for an informal, open, acoustic, bluegrass jam in the Real Art Ways’ lounge!

"CRITICS PICK. Thoughtfully assembled to showcase the music and temperaments behind it...The Winding Stream exudes a quirky warmth"

NY Times

"an earnest, engaging doc history of the Carter family...The film stands as a reminder of how much it can mean just to listen."

Village Voice

"Informative and provocative."


"Packs enough drama, music and history to fuel a miniseries."

Hollywood Reporter

"A SXSW Best of Fest Music Film.. Digs deep into both the family's legacy and the first-couple-of-country union of June Carter and Johnny Cash."

Rolling Stone

"A real crow-pleaser. Superb historical footage and rare music clips."

Boston Globe

"Impressively researched and deftly crafted. Genuinely uplifting."