“Searching for Heroes” – Sam Charters blues documentary

Samuel Charters recording Sleepy John Estes, Summer 1962

Searching for Heroes contains late blues and roots music author and producer Sam Charters’ gathered footage and stories in the rural south in the 1960’s and 1970’s. His widow Ann Charters has mounted a documentary from the archives including a long-lost 25 minute film called “The Blues.” This footage is the only documentary he ever made – shot with a wind up camera in impoverished rural Tennessee and South Carolina.

Searching for Heroes adds interviews of the Charters telling of makingThe Blues’ – also the first film to be made on location in the homes of legendary figures from the Halcion days of “pre-war” blues recordings; Furry LewisJD ShortGus Cannon, and Pink Anderson, in addition Sleepy John Estes is filmed only days after his re-discovery. Following a tip off from Pink Anderson, Baby Tate is recorded for the first time. None of these musicians had been filmed before and for some, this was to be their only filmed legacy.

For decades Sam Charters was a leading blues historian who produced records by Buddy Guy, Country Joe and the Fish, Bill Haley and the Comets and others. He was blues long before the mass audience caught on. As Allen Ginsberg put it:

“Allen Ginsberg once looked at me and said, I know the work you and Sam are doing; you’re looking for America’s secret heroes and that was Kerouac and himself,” she says in the film. “And definitely the people like John Estes and Furry Lewis.”

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Buddy Guy wins Grammy recalls T-Bone, Muddy and Crudup

Buddy Guy won this year’s Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album for 2018’s The Blues Is Alive And Well, featuring the Muscle Shoals Horns, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger and James Bay. Buddy Guy has won 7 Grammy awards in his illustrious career.

In the speech Guy mentions the importance of recognizing blues heroes.  “Every time I accept an award like this, I do it for some of my friends who maybe didn’t get ’em years ago, especially black people…the late Muddy Waters, T-Bone Walker, Arthur Crudup…they’re still in my heart, and every time I look up, it’s like they’re looking down on me.”

Since not forgetting the greats is the name of the game at the Blues Center enjoy a #bcvaults T-Bone Walker story coming up next…

The Blues Continues – Octogenarians Mayall, Rush and Guy Steal the Show

The 2018 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is now in the books. This time around the blues tent was the place to be! Grammy winner Bobby Rush also stood out in the interview stage jamming with his producer Scott Billington on blues harp). John Mayall, the dean of British blues, regained his dueling lead guitar format with Carolyn Wonderland. And not to be left out Buddy Guy sizzled on guitar, as he took his case directly to the audience (see photo).

Buddy Guy – Louisiana Blues

Lettsworth, LA native Buddy Guy with Mississippian Muddy Waters’ classic Louisiana Blues:
I’m goin’ down in Louisiana
Baby, behind the sun
I’m goin’ down in Louisiana
Honey, behind the sun
Well, you know I just found out
My trouble just begun
I’m goin’ down in New Orleans, hmm
Get me a mojo hand
I’m goin’ down in New Orleans
Get me a mojo hand (oh take me with you, man, when you go)
I’m gon’ show all you good-lookin’ women
Jes’ how to treat your love
Let’s go back to New Orleans, boys