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Lowdown Tracks

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School Bd/College/University DVD: $295
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DVD + 3 yr streaming: $450


Grade Level: SrH-Adult
Producer: Bishari Films
Closed Captioned: Yes
Running Time: 86 mins
Country of Origin: Canada
Study Guide: No

Copyright Date: 2015
Available in French: No

Music is an expression of the spirit for everyone. But for some who survive on the periphery of society, it can also be a life-saving coping mechanism and the last stand of their dignity.
Emmy-winning Director Shelley Saywell’s moving and inspiring documentary Lowdown Tracks was created with Singer/Activist Lorraine Segato. Filmed over 18 months, it captures the music and stories of five musicians who are homeless or on society’s margin.   Inspired in part by the famous Depression Era recordings of Allan and John Lomax, the film is a look at our society from way-down low, the place where people who have been forced or opted out of the mainstream find themselves.
Recorded in the streets, under bridges, in shelter rooms, or in places that have special meaning to their lives, the songs combine passion, talent, misfortune and despair.  The view from the ground is a troubling one, “because you have to know pain and heartache to be out there,” says Katt Budd, one of the musicians in the film who became a runaway street kid at age thirteen.  
The film features a soundtrack of music never heard or recorded before, from people who should be listened to. From folk, punk hobo, Americana, and blues, their music resonates with hard times, eerily resembles past times, and throws a new perspective on our times.
“The songs they’ve written come directly from their experiences – the hell of their lives,” says Segato, who was first exposed to the caliber of street music at a benefit concert for homeless relief.
As our homeless crisis grows, life on the margins threatens more and more people. The causes, from abuse to mental health to simple bad luck, are all touched on in their stories in the film, but at its heart Lowdown Tracks is about bringing into focus the heartache and the beautiful potential we should see when we walk by someone on the street. In the end, it is a celebration of the power of music and survival.

See the link below if you would like to purchase a cd of the music from the film.


Official Selection at Hot Docs 2015
Second Place in the Top 10 Audience Favourite Films at Hot Docs 2015




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