The trailer for “The Center Of Nowhere” was a fairly emotional watch for me so I had some trepidation about the full length documentary. This excellent film about the “buckle on the Bible Belt” that is Springfield , Missouri is a triumph for all concerned being that it celebrates its subject without being an infomercial that looks like it should be on VH1. It’s a rich delving into this little known melting pot that enjoys a real deep and wide talent pool. I don’t want to ruin it for anybody and the real focus of all this is Lou Whitney and what his presence brought to the town.
It’s unlikely that anyone that visits this parish is not aware of his importance. If you are then it’s even more important that you watch this. Lou not only gets his justified due. This also gave me a chance to spend some (remote) time with some very dear friends. Dave Hoekstra has made what plays out as a love letter to this wonderful location. The story about Lou that Mike “Supe” Granda tells of the last show he played reduced me to rubble. That’s not to say that I didn’t get something in my eye at several other junctures. Bobby Lloyd Hicks is here too and if you were ever lucky enough to spend time in his company then you’ll know what I’m talking about.
We’re talking about guys that made a difference. There are plenty that are still around in there too to provide examples of why everybody should be aware of the pride of the “Show Me” state. And yes, I’ve been there, so I have first-hand experience. Joe Terry rightly suggests that he and his fellow Skeletons was a crew of Wrecking Crew/Muscle Shoals proportions in the film. The man is not wrong.
Andy Shernoff, Scott Kempner, Eric Ambel, Donnie (D. Clinton) Thompson and Jonathan Richman are just some of the folks that pitch in.