A new trailer has been released for Jack White’s documentary series American Epic, which will tell the story of the artists and talent scouts who began recording blues music across the U.S. in the 1920s.

Billed as a “four-part television event,” the show is a co-production between White, actor Robert Redford and T Bone Burnett. It was originally expected last year, but broadcasting didn’t take place as planned. In the meantime, the series collected 21 film festival official selection honors around the world.

In the new clip White says: “A lot of these songs changed the world. They changed popular music and popular culture around the world for the last 100 years.” His views are echoed in quotes from Redford – who narrates the series – and from Elton John, who calls it “an important cultural document.”

American Epic will premiere on PBS in the U.S. on May 16, and on the BBC in the U.K. around the same time. The three-part documentary is accompanied by The American Epic Sessions, a film that features new performances by contemporary musicians, made using century-old equipment. Guests include White, John, Beck, Willie Nelson, the late Merle Haggard, Taj Mahal, and the Alabama Shakes – who described their appearance as “one of the coolest things we’ve ever done.”

A 100-song box set consisting of archive recordings and some from the new sessions will be released on May 12, in collaboration between Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings and White’s Third Man Records. An accompanying book, American Epic: The First Time America Heard Itself, is published by Touchstone on May 2.

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