Shout! Studios Acquires Global Rights to “Linda and the Mockingbirds” Documentary About Linda Ronstadt’s Impactful Journey to Mexico

Linda Ronstadt’s special cultural journey is going global…

Linda and the Mockingbirds, a documentary about the 74-year-old Grammy-winning singer and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member’s journey to Mexico to explore her family history and musical roots south of the border, has been picked up for worldwide rights by Shout! Studios, the distribution and production division of the Shout! Factory home video company.

Linda Ronstadt

The film was originally scheduled to premiere at the Telluride Film Festival over Labor Day weekend.

Shout! Plans to release the documentary later this year via various distribution platforms.

In a follow-up to last year’s highly acclaimed Ronstadt documentary The Sound of My Voice, Linda and the Mockingbirds narrows in on a road trip taken by Ronstadt, Jackson Browne and a group of younger musicians to the Mexican town of Banámichi in the state of Sonora, the birthplace of Ronstadt’s beloved grandfather.

The film is said to deal with border politics, racism and other personal or hot-button topics affecting Ronstadt’s and Browne’s companions on the trip: the instructors and students of Los Cenzontles, a school and studio based in San Pablo, California dedicated to the promotion of Mexican roots music.

Linda and The Mockingbirds

The documentary was directed and produced by actor-turned-filmmaker James Keach, who also produced Sound of My Voice.

“It has been an honor to create a second documentary with Linda Ronstadt, whom I love and admire,” Keach said in a statement. “Crossing the border on this musical journey to Mexico with Linda, Jackson Browne and the young musicians of Los Cenzontles opened the minds and hearts of all of us working on the film. I hope it will open the minds and hearts of everyone who sees it.”

It was Ronstadt’s request that Keach embark on making a second film that would focus on her relationship with the Los Cenzontles Cultural Arts Academy.

Ronstadt has been known for her associations with Mexican music ever since she interrupted her pop career in 1987 to release Canciones De Mi Padre, a labor of love that unexpectedly became a commercial success and was certified double-platinum.

“The film beautifully blends multiple stories, focusing on Linda Ronstadt’s Mexican-American roots, celebrating the music and culture of Mexico and offering a passionate and personal story about immigration,” said Shout!’s Jeffrey Peisch.

Sheila E to Take Part in Ringo Starr’s 80th Virtual Charity Concert, “Ringo’s Big Birthday Show”

Sheila E is celebrating a music legend…

Ringo Starr is throwing a virtual charity concert to celebrate his 80thbirthday on Tuesday, July 7, with the 62-year-old half-Mexican American percussionist, singer, author and actress set to take part.

Sheila E

Ringo’s Big Birthday Show” will hit YouTube at 8:00 pm EST that night. 

The show will include a mix of at-home performances and unearthed concert footage from Paul McCartneySheryl Crow, Gary Clark, Jr., Sheila E, Ben Harper, and others. 

“I love birthdays,” says Starr.  “This year is going to be a little different. There’s no big get-together, there’s no brunch for 100. But we’re putting this show together – an hour of music and chat. It’s quite a big birthday.”

The show will also include the debut of a new, guest-laden version of Starr’s 2017 song “Give More Love,” with Jackson Browne,Jeff BridgesElvis CostelloWillie Nelson and others. 

Starr will also debut a series of tribute performances on his YouTube channel, from artists including Steve EarlePeter Frampton and Judy Collins

In addition, Starr is asking fans to “say, think, or post #peaceandlove at noon their local time on July 7th.”

The YouTube broadcast will benefit four charities: Black Lives Matter Global NetworkThe David Lynch Foundation, MusiCares and WaterAid.

Sheila E’s last album, Iconic: Message 4 America, was released in August 2017. She released the single “No Line,” featuring Snoop Dog, last year.

Lila Downs Joins Lineup of The Lantern Tour: Concerts for Migrant and Refugee Families

Lila Downs is shining a lantern on migrant and refugee rights…

The 49-year-old Mexican singer has been added to the list of artists who will take part in The Lantern Tour: Concerts for Migrant and Refugee Families.

Lila Downs

Downs, a Grammy-winning singer, joins a roster that includes Emmylou Harris, Jackson Browne, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Steve Earle.

Proceeds will go to the Women’s Refugee Commission in support of families seeking safety at the United States-Mexico border.

The five-date tour begins at Nashville’s City Winery on October 23 and concludes at New York’s Town Hall on October 28.

Other dates include the Warner Theater in Washington, D.C. on October 25; the Scottish Rite Auditorium in Collingswood, New Jersey, on October 26; and Boston’s Orpheum Theater on October 27.

“The Women’s Refugee Commission has been on the front lines in advocating for the safety of women and children,” said Harris in a statement. “Their work is as remarkable as it is critical, especially right now. It is my honor to partner with this incredible organization and to bring my friends along for what I know will be a powerful tour.”

Founded in 1989, the WRC advocates for the rights of women, children and youth displaced by conflict and crisis. The organization has been on the forefront fighting President Donald Trump’s Zero Tolerance policy on the Mexican/U.S. border that has resulted in children being separated from their parents coming over the border.

Funds toward the concerts will go toward ending family separation and detention.

For tickets and more information, go to thelanterntour.org.

Max Gomez Releases Music Video for His Latest Single “Joe”

Max Gomez is more than your average Joe…

The Latino singer-songwriter has released the official music video for his new single “Joe,” which encompasses everything about the young artist that his fans have come to love: his distinctive “old soul” voice, his love of his city of Nashville and his lyrics that call to mind the likes of Jackson Browne and John Prine.

Max Gomez

“Joe,” a track from his recently-released EP Me & Joetells the story of someone who struggles with things like “running from the past” and being able to hold his head high.

Throughout the EP, the mysterious character is mentioned as Gomez’s counterpart. The song titled after him is an exercise, then, in learning from the lives of people around you — real or imagined.

When it comes to who “Joe” is, Gomez in his classic style reveals that Joe is an allegory: “To me, Joe is someone who wants to do good but can’t. I think a lot of people go through his same struggle in different ways. Joe tells you who he is throughout the song, and he isn’t shy.”

The video was created with “Gems on VHS” and matches the mood of the song: Gomez pensively sings (live, it’s worth noting) in an abandoned industrial building in Nashville at sunset. As to the video’s conception and Gomez’s satisfaction with how it all came together and turned out: “I sing ‘Joe’ for Jed Zimmerman; he’s the author of the song and one of my dearest friends… This performance was recorded live in Nashville with Anthony Simpkins. I knew Anthony was great at what he did just from meeting him. As we filmed, we caught the tail end of daylight as the sun set over Nashville.”

Verela Receives Special Tribute at This Year’s Woodstock Film Festival

Carlos Verela receives an all-star welcome to New York…

The 52-year-old Cuban singer-songwriter of nueva trova was honored at the opening of this year’s Woodstock Film Festival.

Carlos Verela & Jackson Browne

The “fiercely independent” festival, featuring a challenging collection of screenings, panels, special events and parties in the New York towns of Woodstock, Rhinebeck, Saugerties, Rosendale and Kingston kicked off this week with the documentary Poet Of Havana held at the Ulster Performing Arts Center in Kingston.

There, following a Q&A with director Ron Chapman and his subject, Verela, special guest Jackson Browne performed a tribute to a heroic artist who speaks for a generation of Cubans, including those affected by the longstanding U.S. embargo that has only recently begun to soften.

To wit: Valero and his band only learned the day before the screening that they would actually be allowed to leave Cuba for the event.

Unknown in America and fighting decades of censorship in Cuba, Verela is greatly admired by the likes of Browne, actor Benicio Del Toro and many international musicians.

Speaking at the Q&A, Browne said, “To see Carlos in Cuba playing for Cubans was a very emotional thing, and to see him play in the United States for Cubans is also very emotional. He expresses something about their common story that is not presented anywhere else.”

Browne accompanied his comrade on Verela’s song “Walls and Doors,” which Browne also released on his 2014 album, Standing In The Breach.