From the makers of the new movie “Union Bound,” here comes “Union Bound: The Tour.” The 14-city tour, which kicks off May 11 in Franklin, Tennessee, amplifies the film experience by adding music, memorabilia and merchandise.
Each event will feature a screening of the “Union Bound” film as well as live performances by country music icon Collin Raye, Highway 101 lead singer Nikki Nelson and percussion band Street Drum Corps. Some shows will also feature Cactus Moser, who contributed to the film’s soundtrack, and his wife Wynonna Judd.
In addition, there will be Civil War artifacts on display, including costumes and props used in the movie. The actual diary of Joseph Hoover, upon which the movie is based, will be part of the display.
Tank Jones, who starred in the film as the slave Jim Young, will serve as host and master of ceremonies.
Michael Davis, the film’s producer, said this tour will be unlike anything audiences have ever experienced.
“It’s more than just a movie, it’s more than just music – it’s become this experience of understanding the Underground Railroad and having a chance to kind of touch and feel life during the Civil War, during that time, and just being immersed into that moment, and hopefully that’s what people will take away,” Davis told WND. “Plus we’ve got some really amazing acts that are traveling with us.”
Davis said the idea for the tour came from his co-producer Kara Williamson, who has worked on lots of large concerts and musical events in the past. One of Williamson’s friends had worked on a tour following the release of the 2000 film “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” in which musicians traveled the country playing music from the movie.
“They didn’t really do what we’re doing as far as this whole experience, so it was a little bit different,” Davis said.
Nevertheless, that gave Williamson and Davis the idea to take “Union Bound” on the road as a traveling show featuring live music from the movie and music inspired by the movie. Then they added Civil War memorabilia to give audiences a complete experience.
“The audience gets the ability to interact with these amazing acts and amazing talent musically, but they also get to be immersed in more than just music,” Davis explained. “They get to see the movie; they get to interact with all these artifacts. We’ve got memorabilia from the film, such as the wardrobe of some of the actors will be on display, and they’ll be able to touch and feel some of that stuff. So it becomes a little bit different than just going to a concert. So I think that’s what makes it unique.”
Tour attendees will also have the opportunity to purchase “Union Bound” merchandise, including the soundtrack and the companion book. Davis, who co-authored the book, will be on hand to sign copies.
“Union Bound” is the true story of Joseph Hoover, a captive Union soldier who escaped from a Confederate prison camp along with a fellow soldier. Slaves guided the two white men along the Underground Railroad back toward Union-held territory.
Although the protagonist is a northerner, Davis assured WND his film is not an attempt to vilify the South or the Confederacy.
“We are simply telling what took place,” he said. “We aren’t really taking sides. We acknowledge that we’re in the Civil War, but the Civil War is the backdrop. Really the focus of the film is this journey that these guys are on.”
Davis said as a filmmaker he’s willing to take criticism of the film, but only from people who have actually watched it.
“If someone’s watched it and they don’t like it, please tell me,” he said. “I don’t have a problem with that. You can point out all the faults you want. Rip it apart. But if you went and saw it, then you now have earned the right to comment on the film.”
More information about “Union Bound: The Tour,” including dates, locations and ticket information, can be found on the official tour website.