Maxwell Street Blues

Film

Time Out says

Blind ageing blacks playing the streets for a living and recounting hobo days seems like the stuff of Uncle Tom cliché; but it's a very real life for the musicians on Chicago's Maxwell Street, a poor Jewish market and blues buskers' venue since the beginning of the century. Williams and Zaritsky capture the blues as it was and still is played on the sidewalks which once hosted Big Bill Broonzy, Muddy Waters, Sleepy John Estes, Homesick James and others. Acoustic or electric, religious or rude, Maxwell Street is the untouched roots of the blues (although the absence of any youth on the street would seem to have set its expiry date). A heartening film, and a chastening experience for any rock fans who think their rock heroes thought up those licks themselves.

Details

Release details

Duration:
56 mins

Cast and crew

Director:
Linda Williams, Raul Zaritsky
Cast:
Jim Brewer
Blind Arvella Gray
Coot 'Playboy' Venson
John Henry Davis
Pat Rushing