I Am the Blues

  • Daniel Cross
  • Canada
  • 2015
  • 96 min
  • World Premiere
  • Music Documentary
“The older guys are slowly passing away,” explains harmonica player Bud Spires. Later on in this film titled after the eponymous book by Willie Dixon, we watch as Spires himself is buried. In Mississippi, Daniel Cross filmed lots of other elderly men – and one woman, the left-handed guitarist Barbara Lynn – who despite their venerable age are still working on the blues. One of these last remaining “blues devils” is Bobby Rush, who was born in 1933. He explains that in the 1950s, he toured the “chitlin’ circuit” of special bars where blacks weren’t troubled by the segregation laws, getting paid in hamburgers or, at the most, a few dollars. One of these bars even features in the film, because Jimmy “Duck” Holmes has managed to keep the Blue Front Cafe going and it’s now part of the official Mississippi Blues Trail. The blues men share their memories, play jam sessions (including a thrilling slice of boogie-woogie piano by 90-year-old Henry Gray) and go about their daily lives, fishing for lobster, barbecuing, playing on the veranda and visiting old friends from the music scene – before it’s too late.

Credits

  • 96 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: English
Director
Daniel Cross
Production
Bob Moore for EyeSteelFilm, Daniel Cross for EyeSteelFilm
Executive producer
Mila Aung-Thwin for EyeSteelFilm
Cinematography
John Price
Editing
Ryan Mullins

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