Deep Blues

Director: Robert Mugge
Screenwriters: Robert Palmer

Institute History


The Mississippi Delta, that fertile central plain in America’s Deep South, is believed to be the cradle of the blues. Deep Blues, a tribute to the Delta blues, vividly records the journey that the Eurythmics’s Dave Stewart took with writer, musician and blues authority Robert Palmer to pay tribute to the music that has inspired so many rock musicians to take up the guitar. From Memphis’s Beale Street (now sadly reconstructed as a kind of blues-themed shopping mall), to small Mississippi towns such as Holly Springs, Greenville, Clarksdale and Bentonia, Stewart and Palmer have lovingly captured traditional blues musicians playing on front porches and in living rooms, as well as amplified bands performing in both rural and urban juke joints. Many of these musicians have never been recorded, and one of the primary virtues of this documentary is that each number is allowed to play to its conclusion and each song and musician are identified. Steeped in the rich atmosphere of its evocative locales, with Palmer offering bits of insights into blues history and mythology along the way, Deep Blues never loses sight of the remarkable people it is celebrating. They include Roosevelt (Booba) Barnes (with the Playboys), R.L. Burnside, Jessie Mae Hemphill (and her Fife and Drum Band), Big Jack Jackson, Junior Kimbrough, Booker T. Laury, Jack Owens, Lonnie Pitchford and Bud Spires.

— Robert Hawk

Screening Details


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