Filming Concludes for M FOR MISSISSIPPI.
Mon Apr 28 14:16:42 EDT 2008
PRINCIPAL FILMING CONCLUDES FOR "M FOR MISSISSIPPI: A ROAD TRIP THROUGH
THE BIRTHPLACE OF THE BLUES"
Documentary aims to shine spotlight on raw, wild blues scene of the Delta
(CLARKSDALE, MS) In the century since the cotton fields of the Mississippi
Delta gave birth to the blues, the music has spread across the globe and
undergone countless permutations. But in the land of its birth, blues
continues to thrive in its wildest and rawest form. An upcoming
documentary "M for Mississippi: A Road Trip Through The Birthplace Of The
Blues" aims to shine a spotlight on the states ongoing blues tradition.
The film follows two self-proclaimed blue fanatics Roger Stolle and Jeff
Konkel on an eight-day road trip across Mississippi as they visit some
of the states most powerful blues artists in the intimate settings
ranging from rural house parties and juke joints to cotton fields and a
living rooms. Principal filming for the documentary concluded in early
April. The film and its accompanying soundtrack will be released on DVD
and CD this fall. The project is a joint production of Broke & Hungry
Records, Cat Head Presents and Mudpuppy Recordings.
The film will feature performances and interviews from such diverse blues
figures at Robert Bilbo Walker, T-Model Ford, Jimmy Duck Holmes, L.C.
Ulmer, Pat Thomas, Terry Harmonica Bean and Wesley Jefferson. In total,
more than a dozen key figures from the states blues community will be
"Most music documentaries today rely heavily on overused file footage or
new shots from big clubs and festivals. Our film isn't about all that,
Stolle said. It's about capturing a disappearing music and culture as it
really is in the juke joints, cotton fields and house parties of
Mississippi. Our project isn't about the big names. It's about the names
you need to know whether it's an 80-year-old guitarist you've never
heard of or a juke owner who just doesn't give a damn."
The filmmakers admitted to a sense of urgency in getting the film
made. The sad fact of the matter is that you couldnt make this film a
decade from now, Konkel said. When you talk about young Delta blues
artists, youre talking about guys in their fifties. Many of the artists
in this film are well past 80. Theyre the last living link to a rapidly
vanishing blues tradition. Well always have blues, but it wont be like
this. This film aims to celebrate this music and the musicians while
theyre still here and can benefit from the exposure.
In addition to their roles in front of the camera, Stolle and Konkel are
among the films producers.
This is Stolles second film project, falling on the heels of his
acclaimed documentary "Hard Times," which documented the life and music of
bluesman Big George Brock. Stolles label Cat Head Presents also has
released three acclaimed CDs on Brock, including most recently "Live at
Seventy Five," which is nominated for a 2008 Blues Music Award in
the Traditional Album of the Year category. Stolle also is owner of the
celebrated Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art store in Clarksdale,
Mississippi. Earlier this year he received a prestigious Keeping the
Blues Alive award from the Blues Foundation.
Konkel is the owner of Broke & Hungry Records, a label dedicated to
promoting and recording raw blues from Mississippi. His work netted him
Producer of the Year recognition in the 2007 Living Blues Awards. To date,
his label has issued four acclaimed records, including two on Bentonia,
Mississippi blues guitarist Jimmy Duck Holmes. Holmes most recent
CD, "Done Got Tired of Tryin" is nominated for Acoustic Album of the Year
for the 2008 Blues Music Awards. This spring Broke & Hungry released The
World Must Never Know, the debut-recordings of a mysterious 78-year-old
blues guitarist from the Delta.
M for Mississippi also benefits from the contributions of co-producer Kari
Jones whose Mudpuppy Recordings will recently launched with a bang with
the release of "jack daniel time," a new record by legendary Delta
bluesman James T-Model Ford.
Behind the camera and editing desk is filmmaker Damien Blaylock, whose
past projects include the Big George Brock documentary "Hard Times."
Blaylocks forthcoming projects involve actor/musician Steven Seagal and
also include "Super Chikan: Child of the Delta" and "Blind Faith," a
documentary on blues sculptor Sharon McConnell.
Mississippi blues guitarist Bill Abel was brought on as the projects
sound engineer. Abels past engineering efforts include critically
acclaimed offerings by T-Model Ford, Jimmy Duck Holmes, Odell Harris,
Terry Big T Williams, Wesley Junebug Jefferson and several of Abels
Several key sponsors have signed on to support the production of "M for
Mississippi." Major sponsors now include the Rootsway Roots & Blues
Association and LiveBluesWorld.
The Rootsway Roots & Blues Association (www.rootsandblues.org) is a
nonprofit organization from Parma, Italy. Founded in 2004, the group is
dedicated to promoting rural and indigenous American and Afro-American
musical art forms throughout northern Italy. Roots & Blues has brought
several Mississippi blues performers to Italy in recent years.
Live Blues World (www.livebluesworld.com) has also joined the effort as a
major sponsor. The web community is billed as the online home of the
blues and blues infected music, connecting artists and fans in the fastest
growing social network dedicated to the blues.
Additional sponsors include the Clarksdales Juke Joint Festival and
British blues artist Bob Long.
Individuals and organizations who are interested in learning more about
sponsorship opportunities can contact Jeff Konkel at
email@example.com or Roger Stolle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To view a promotional trailer for the film or to pre-order the DVD and CD,
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