October 22, 2021
Film Movement will release the classic blues documentary Deep Blues on DVD and Blu-ray Disc Nov. 23 with a new 4K restoration.
In 1990, commissioned by award-winning musician, songwriter, producer, innovator and Eurythmics co-founder Dave Stewart, veteran music film director Robert Mugge and renowned music scholar Robert Palmer ventured deep into the heart of the North Mississippi Hill Country and Mississippi Delta to seek out the best rural blues acts currently working. Starting on Beale Street in Memphis, they headed south to the juke joints, lounges, front porches, and parlors of Holly Springs, Greenville, Clarksdale, Bentonia and Lexington. Along the way, they visited celebrated landmarks and documented talented artists cut off from the mainstream of the recording industry. The resulting film expresses reverence for the rich musical history of the region, spotlighting local performers, soon to be world-renowned, thanks in large part to the film, and demonstrating how the blues continues to thrive in new generations of gifted musicians.
“Ever since hearing my first blues albums at 14 years old I was transfixed, hypnotized by the sound and pure honesty coming off that old recording and I stared at the vinyl slowly turning, dreaming I could be there in that room witnessing the pure magic coming from these Blues artists,” Stewart said in a statement. “Well, sometimes dreams do come true and I was lucky enough to be in that room with Jessie Mae Hemphill, Junior Kimbrough and sit on the front porch being taught ‘jumper on the line’ by R.L. Burnside deep in the Mississippi Delta.”The film features performances by Booker T. Laury, R.L. Burnside, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Junior Kimbrough, Roosevelt “Booba” Barnes and the Playboys, Big Jack Johnson, Jack Owens with Bud Spires, and Lonnie Pitchford.Bonus features include new commentary by Mugge and rarely-seen behind-the-scenes footage.