Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Hey, everybody...some of you have known that for years I’ve been working on a "secret project"...and finally here it is...Introducing... MUSIC FROM THE BIG HOUSE

I decided I wanted to put on a concert there, so I called on my buddy director, Bruce McDonald, and he accompanied me on this journey to Louisiana State Penitentiary, also known as Angola, and with Cache Film and Television producing, the documentary was made.

This is my trip to the prison where Leadbelly, Pete Williams and many others were incarcerated. As a former plantation, it has a captivating musical history. But instead of just putting on a concert for the inmates, I thought I should perform with the musical inmates. The officials say that this could be the first time ever in a U.S. prison that an outsider (that would be me) has performed with inmates.

It’s a story about music, love and forgiveness.

I’m proud to say that the Int'l Documentary Association - - has selected this film out of hundreds they receive worldwide to show simultaneously in New York at the IFC Center - - and in Los Angeles at the ArcLight Hollywood. Check out the press release below.

The film will be shown between August 13-19th.

Please spread the word to anyone who may be interested or who lives in those cities. A kickass soundtrack will be released early next year.

I’m on my way to NY, so stay tuned. You can follow me on Twitter and Facebook (links are on my website).

Until soon...Rita


Music from the Big House
Director: Bruce McDonald
Producers: Erin Faith Young, Jennifer St. John
Writers: Tony Burgess, Erin Faith Young
Cache Film and Television Productions
86 minutes, Canada

Rita Chiarelli, an award-winning recording artist, takes a pilgrimage to the birthplace of the blues: Louisiana State Maximum Security Penitentiary, a.k.a Angola Prison. She never imagined that her love for the blues would lead her to raise the roof in a collaborative jailhouse performance with inmates serving life sentences for murder, rape and armed robbery. Music has given these inmates something to live for in what was once the bloodiest prison in America.

Steeped with hope, these remarkable voices guide us on a journey of men on a quest for forgiveness. One woman, four bands, and two hours of the blues: It's time to make a new soundtrack.


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