The project that started it all, Bayou Country was to be a documentary following the divergent and fateful paths of Duke Bardwell and the titular song he co-wrote in 1969 and how the reunion of songwriter and song inadvertently led to the creation of the band Dread Clampitt.
However, as we got deeper into the project, we realized that it was more story than could be told well in a single film. The film that became Back From the Dread was largely rescued from the cutting room floor of the original incarnation of Bayou Country.
Likewise, latter incarnations of the film revealed that the story was still too complex. We finally chose to make some big cuts and focus primarily on Duke’s musical career, with a special emphasis on his time with Elvis. In removing the story of the song from the film, a change in name was necessary. Thus Bayou Country became Duke & The King.
The story of “Bayou Country” (the song) is still a compelling one … one that we intend to tell sometime in the future. Whether it retains that title or picks up another, the story is a sojourn deep into the swampy backwaters of music archaeology. It is an extraordinary journey of a man and his song, and the lives forever changed and united in the wake of that song’s passage through time.
It explores themes that require an audience to contemplate the nature of how our actions today can set in motion forces that ripple down through time into the lives of generations to come, and in ways we might never imagine.
Whenever the story does resurface, it will be a vastly different film from the one we set out to make, hopefully one as poetic and magical as the song itself.
To learn more about the Bayou Country that was, check out the film’s old website.