“The Star-Spangled Banner”, written in 1814 using the melody of an old British tune, is a song that evokes a range of emotions from patriotic pride to cynicism and terror. But what would the national anthem sound like if it was based on American music? Anthem follows composer and pianist Kris Bowers and producer Dahi as they journey across the country to find out.
The duo’s road trip takes them to Detroit, home of the Motown sound and civil unrest; Clarksdale, the birthplace of the blues; Nashville, the country music capital of the world; New Orleans, where jazz bands preserve a unique musical legacy; Tulsa, where Native American musicians share their story through dance; and San Francisco, where Latin American culture and activism thrive. Conversations with the musicians in each of these cities naturally lead Bowers and Dahi to deeper discussions about race, history, and national identity, culminating with recording a new anthem that reflects the America we know and love today.