In 1963 German filmmaker Dietrich Wawzyn set out to shoot a series of films for German television that took him through the southern US in search of American jazz and roots music. He contacted Arhoolie Records founder Chris Strachwitz, who jumped at the chance to join him and share his enthusiasm for regional musical traditions. Wawzyn made three films, dealing with blues, gospel, and hillbilly music. The negatives to those films were lost. This film re-creates the journey from the best elements still available and includes much previously unreleased footage.
There is an optional audio track featuring off-the-cuff commentary by Chris Strachwitz.
Edited by Maureen Gosling. Black and White. 75 minutes. NTSC, all regions.
A few scenes from the DVD:
Jesse Fuller Lightnin’ Hopkins Lowell Fulson Red Sovine King Louis H. Narcisse Mance Lipscomb George Lewis Quartet Chief White Cloud Black Ace Rev. Louis Overstreet Sweet Emma Barrett Barbara Dane Blind James Campbell Whistlin’ Alex Moore Lewis Family Willie Thomas Goodtime Washboard 3 Shorty LeBlanc “Spider” Kilpatrick Eureka Brass Band Hop Wilson Ed Lee Natay Hodges Brothers Eddie Schaible J.E. Mainer Tohono O’Odham Conjunto Willis Brothers Brother Davis
"...Just typing the names makes me salivate. Watching the film, nugget after nugget, sets the pulse racing! Some segments are just fragments of a performance but it's still enough to ignite a frisson of delight. The DVD comes with alternative commentaries. The first has comments from Dietrich Wawzyn with some of his views on the trip, the second has an off-the-cuff, informative (often amusing) running commentary by Chris Strachwitz. For me this is, without doubt, the finest music DVD of the last year. 75 minutes of pure gold!" - Dave Peabody, FRoots Magazine