Survivors, The Blues Today

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A 'celebration' of contemporary American blues of various hues shot at a weekend festival in St Paul, Minnesota. Live performances are interspersed with chats with some of the dozen or so featured artists. Sadly, those one would expect to excel in this context - notably Dr John and John Lee Hooker - merely go through the motions. The film leans heavily on white boys playing de blooz, such as the Nick Gravenites/John Cipollina Band, who approach their music with the subtlety of Status Quo. Others of the bar band ilk - Willie Murphy & the Bees, the Minnesota Barking Ducks - are defter, while Lady Bianca, a merry black woman, injects the ribaldry which is the life blood of fifty percent of blues. As to the interviews, several of the performers are less than responsive (some of them clearly not on this planet at the time). The most effusive speaker, Gravenites, tells how a few young men (he in particular, one infers) 're-invented' blues in Chicago at the end of the '60s. His claim to be a saviour is not reflected in the cumbersome playing of his plodding bar band.

By: GBr

Release details

Duration: 87 mins

Cast and crew

Cast: Dr John
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