Maxwell Street Blues
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- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 56 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: October 25, 2011
- Originally Released: 1987
- Label: Facets
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Note: Interview with Justin O'Brien
- Facets cine-notes booklet
- Photo gallery with photos by Paul Procaccio
- Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
Performers, Cast and Crew:
|Directed by||Raul Zaritsky, Linda Williams & Linda Williamson|
Description by OLDIES.com:
Chicago's legendary Maxwell Street was home to an open-air market that thrived for decades. It was there that the Chicago blues was born as African-American street musicians, who had fled the rural South for the city, played regularly on the dirty corners, empty lots, and broken sidewalks. Together, they hammered out a hard-driving, electrified sound that influenced the world. This documentary captures the tail end of the last great era of blues music on Maxwell Street. Artists like Arvella Gray, Jim Brewer, John Henry David, Coot Venson, Floyd Jones, and Carrie Robinson may look a little worse for the wear as they play among the rubble of Maxwell Street on their beat-up instruments, but their raw, hard-hitting, and gritty music defines the essence of the Windy City. New York gave birth to the smooth sounds of Tin Pan Alley, New Orleans struts its up-tempo jazz, and Nashville relaxes to the twang of country, but the Chicago blues will hit you where you live.
The Maxwell Street open-air market is one of the oldest and most important traditions in Chicago blues and gospel music. An unlikely partnership between the Jewish businessmen and black musicians, the street has bred some of Chicago's most unique blues acts. This film sketches the historical background of the market and then highlights the street performers.
- Blind Arvella Gray performs "John Henry" and "There's More Pretty Girls Than One."
- Copyright 1987 Linda Williams and Raul Zaritsky.
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