Name a duet you’ve been waiting for longer: Elton John and Jack White appear in a new clip from the PBS documentary American Epic, playing piano and guitar, respectively, and rescuing us from this dreary Thursday.
American Epic, which is executive produced by White, is a three-part historical documentary that will examine how record executives left their label’s offices in the 1920s and scoured the rural parts of the nation in search of new audiences and artists.
“In American Epic we can examine how important the fact is that when phonograph records were invented, for the first time ever, women, minorities, poor rural men and even children were given the opportunity to say whatever they wanted in song, for the whole world to hear, shockingly without much censorship,” said White. “What they were allowed to say on phonograph recordings, they were not allowed to speak in public or in person. That is an astounding thought.”
The doc series was filmed over the course of a decade, in which director Bernard MacMahon tracked down long-forgotten musicians all over the nation to interview and recreate the equipment they used to record. An album of recordings using this early equipment, titled the American Epic Sessions, has been created in addition to the documentary, and that’s where this clip of Elton John and White comes from. Some of the other artists included on the Sessions are Alabama Shakes, Beck, and The Avett Brothers.
Take a listen to John and White’s “Two Fingers of Whiskey” below. American Epic is out now, and the Sessions will air on PBS June 6.