Priceless archival imagery and performance footage capture the essence of the music, the men, and the places that shaped the blues. From slavery and rural uprooting to urban dislocation, discrimination and poverty, black musicians found in blues an outlet for their pain and frustrated dreams.
Homemade instruments--like the jug ( for the double bass), the kazoo (quasi voice/instruments), and washboard played with thimbles (for the drum)--substituted for real instruments, which were beyond the means of early blues musicians. This film traces the traditions and contribution of blues to the development of jazz, rock, and country western music.
Hear Blind Lemon Jefferson, B.B. King, Robert Johnson, Jelly Roll Morton, King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington and many more.
120 min. Rated. PG