featuring Bukka White, Big Joe Williams, Son House, Houston Stackhouse, Rev. Gary Davis, Lead Belly & Sam Chatmon
The blues "rediscovery" era of the 1960s brought to concert and sound stages many veteran artists who had participated in the "Golden Age" of country blues recording prior to World War II. The best of them retained much of their youthful power and brought with them the authority of experience. While these artists have since passed on, their recorded legacy is enhanced by these extraordinary performance clips.
The first generation of recorded Delta bluesmen - Charley Patton, Tommy Johnson, the Mississippi Sheiks - is echoed in the stark and powerful performances of Bukka White, Sam Chatmon, Big Joe Williams, Houston Stackhouse and Son House. The East Coast ragtime style is exemplified by its supreme exponent, Reverend Gary Davis, seen here in some recently discovered informal footage. Huddie Ledbetter was a tradition unto himself with his repertoire of work and "play party" songs reflecting pre-blues African-American music idioms. The extraordinary color footage of Lead Belly singing three songs, and the informal footage of him singing Goodnight Irene to his wife Martha, are a treasure for fans of this American folk giant.
Collectively the performers presented here are an extraordinary group, keepers of bygone traditions whose legacies still resonate.
Titles include: BUKKA WHITE Aberdeen Mississippi Blues, Poor Boy SAM CHATMON Big Road Blues, That's All Right, Sam's Rag BIG JOE WILLIAMS Sloppy Drunk Blues, Highway 49, Providence Help The Poor People HOUSTON STACKHOUSE Cool Drink Of Water SON HOUSE Yonder Comes The Blues REV. GARY DAVIS Buck Dance, Hard Walking Blues, Make Believe Stunt, Keep Your Lamp Trimmed And Burning LEAD BELLY Goodnight Irene (take 1), The Grey Goose, Pick A Bale Of Cotton, Take This Hammer, Goodnight Irene (take 2).
Running Time: 58 minutes