C4 picks up “Black Cab Sessions USA”

The American edition of the musical travelogue show features exclusive performances by artists such as Wanda Jackson and Jack White (pictured) in the back of a black London taxicab.
February 14, 2012

British pubcaster Channel 4 has acquired The Black Cab Sessions USA, a 6 x 30-minute series that takes viewers on a musical heritage tour of six American cities and features performances by the likes of Jack White and Wanda Jackson (pictured), John Legend and The Roots.

The Black Cab Sessions format was created by content agency Just So in 2007 to air online and has since earned a reputation for supporting new musical talent, such as Mumford & Sons, Fleet Foxes and Lianne La Havas.

The American edition was coproduced by cross-platform content provider LoveLive and Just So, and takes viewers on tours of Philadelphia, Athens, New Orleans, Memphis, Nashville and New York with a black cab from London doubling as transport and music studio. Each episode features exclusive performances in the back of the cab.

The Black Cab Sessions USA is a brilliantly simple concept,” said Richard Cohen, LoveLive’s CEO. “Legendary artists, stripped-back performances and exploration of the most inspiring music hotbeds that America has to offer. We’re delighted we’ve been able to draw on our extensive knowledge and expertise adapting online formats for television to help realize this project.”

Black Cab Sessions has always been about disrupting traditional music programming,” added Just So’s Jonny Madderson. “Since the early days, it’s been our intention to develop the concept from a series of short sessions to a series of long-form episodes resembling musical postcards from around the world. We are really excited that BCS USA is the first realization of this format and hope that audiences will find it as enjoyable to watch as it was to make.”

The Black Cab Sessions USA was acquired for Channel 4 by Neil McCallum, head of T4 and Music; and Catherine Lovesey, music editor. It was directed by Jono Stevens and Jonny Madderson, produced by Gen Stevens and Chris Pattinson for Just So, and executive produced by Toby L and Tim Dellow for LoveLive. BBC Worldwide is LoveLive’s global distribution partner for the series.

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Jonathan Paul is a Toronto-based writer into creativity, content, advertising, tech, comics, video games, film, TV, time and space travel.