Milwaukee Record is proud to present Public Domain. The video series features Milwaukee musicians setting up at Colectivo’s new Back Room performance space at its Prospect Avenue cafe to adapt some of the world’s best-known songs in ways they’ve never been heard before.

This installment features Painted Caves performing “Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen,” a spiritual that dates back to the days of slavery in America. Though the song’s composer and year of origin are unknown, it was published back in 1867. Since then, the sorrowful song has been covered by Louis Armstrong, Sam Cooke, Patti LaBelle, and The Blind Boys Of Alabama.

Painted Caves singer Ali Lubbad selected the song because he says pain is a universal condition, and he cites the ongoing plight of Syrian refugees in some altered lyrics. “Songs like this are truly public domain because they’re transcendent songs,” Lubbad says. “In that sense, they’re no one’s property because it frees you from suffering. You can’t patent that or sell it.”

The video was shot, recorded, and edited by Cheston Van Huss of Effigy Media. Grant Steskal engineered lighting. Travis Whitty produced the opening sequence. Public Domain is sponsored by Colectivo Coffee Roasters.