April 13, 2020

You Gave Me a Song: The Life and Music of Alice Gerrard

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You Gave Me a Song offers an intimate portrait of old-time music pioneer Alice Gerrard and her remarkable, unpredictable journey creating and preserving traditional music. The film follows eighty-four year-old Gerrard over several years, weaving together verité footage of living room rehearsals, recording sessions, songwriting, book project work, and performances with archival photos, rare field recordings, and animation. Much of the film is told in Alice’s voice and via interviews with musical collaborators and family members who share the story of Alice and others chasing that high lonesome sound. This is one woman’s story of being traditional, never conventional. This is a film about getting older, but never giving up.

Filmmaker Biography

Kenny Dalsheimer is an award-winning filmmaker, producer, and media educator based in Durham, North Caroline. He founded The Groove Productions in 1996 when he began producing documentaries and community video. His films, Go Fast, Turn Left: Voices from Orange County Speedway (1997), and Shine On: Richard Trice and the Bull City Blues (2000), screened across North Carolina as part of the NC Humanities Council’s Road Scholars program. He co-directed and shot Bending Space: Georges Rousse and the Durham Project (2007) which screened at festivals around the world and aired across the southeast on PBS. His disability rights film, A New Kind of Listening (2009), received national recognition in 2010 from TASH as recipient of the Positive Images in Media Award. A Weaverly Path: The Tapestry Life of Silvia Heyden (2011) and Bending Sticks: The Sculpture of Patrick Dougherty (2012), offer immersive portraits of internationally recognized NC artists. His most recent film, Peace in Our Pockets (2016) celebrates the peacebuilding work of Kenyan activists in the lead up to Kenya’s 2013 elections. Kenny received his M.A. in Anthropology from Duke University in 1985 and taught at Carolina Friends School between 1986-1996.


Due to COVID-19, a virtual screening and Q&A was presented on April 13, 2020 with guests Director/Producer Kenny Dalsheimer, Producer Ashley Metzler, and film subject Alice Gerrard.