Last of the Mississippi Jukes is a documentary about blues and juke joints directed by Robert Mugge. Featuring music by Alvin Youngblood Hart, Bobby Rush, and Chris Thomas King, it includes interviews and on-location footage telling the journey of the last few blues bars throughout the state of Mississippi. In Clarksdale, actor Morgan Freeman has established the Ground Zero Blues Club in the style of a traditional juke joint. In Jackson, the Subway Lounge struggles to survive in the Summers Hotel, which is ...
Last of the Mississippi Jukes is a documentary about blues and juke joints directed by Robert Mugge. Featuring music by Alvin Youngblood Hart, Bobby Rush, and Chris Thomas King, it includes interviews and on-location footage telling the journey of the last few blues bars throughout the state of Mississippi. In Clarksdale, actor Morgan Freeman has established the Ground Zero Blues Club in the style of a traditional juke joint. In Jackson, the Subway Lounge struggles to survive in the Summers Hotel, which is scheduled for demolition. A companion soundtrack album was released on Sanctuary Records.
The Last of the Mississippi Jukes -- documentary maker Robert Mugge's follow-up to Hellhounds on My Trail: The Afterlife of Robert Johnson -- is a closer, more contemporary look at the blues. Those ramshackle party rooms where plantation workers went for R&R on the weekends used to be everywhere in the South. Now, however, the juke joints have all but disappeared. Mugge centers his film around two Mississippi establishments: Clarksdale's Ground Zero and Jackson's The Subway. Established by actor Morgan Freeman a Mississippi native, Ground Zero boasts all the fried catfish, beer signs, and Christmas lights required for authenticity, but not much soul. As Alvin Youngblood Hart sings a version of Charley Patton’s classic "Pony Blues," audience members gawk as if they're in Disney World. It isn’t that Freeman and his co-owners don’t care about the blues: The actor talks about how his mother didn't allow him into juke joints, calling them "buckets of blood," but says he snuck in anyway. No matter how well meaning Freeman may be, however, re-creating a bygone era is a monumental task. Unlike the down-home feel of Ground Zero, The Subway is a hopping urban juke joint. We catch actor/singer Patrice Moncell giving her all to "Stormy Monday," Bobby Rush singing an acoustic version of "Garbage Man," and Steve Cheseborough growling the sexually suggestive "Cigarette Blues." But once we’ve been drawn into this juke joint family, we learn that the place is about to be demolished. As the film ends, city officials, musicians, and patrons of The Subway are working feverishly to raise money to save the club. And Mugge has illuminated a sorrowful sociological phenomenon: Americana is often despised until it’s almost gone. And once it has died out, its essence can't easily be resurrected. Roberta Penn
Side #1 --
1. Pony Blues - Alvin Youngblood Hart
2. Joe Friday - Alvin Youngblood Hart With Sam Carr & Anthony Sherrod
3. Subway Swing - Greg "Fingers" Taylor
4. Blues Is Alright - Dennis Fountain & Pat Brown
5. Stormy Monday - Patrice Moncell With the House Rockers
6. All Night Long - Eddie Cotton With Jimmy King
7. Casino in the Cottonfield - Vasti Jackson With the House Rockers
8. Strokin' - Vasti Jackson & Patrice Moncell With the House Rockers
9. You Know I've Tried - J.T. Watkins & Levon Lindsey With the King Edward Blues Band
10. Garbage Man - Bobby Rush
11. Hole in the Wall - The King Edward Blues Band
12. Last of the Mississippi Jukes - David Hughes With Virgil Brawley
13. Still Called the Blues - George Jackson & Vasti Jackson With the King Edward Blues Band
14. End of the Rainbow - J.T. Watkins & Levon Lindsey With the King Edward Blues Band
15. John Law Burned Down the Liquor Sto - Chris Thomas King
16. What Goes Around, Comes Around - Lucille With Greg "Fingers" Taylor
17. Cigarette Blues - Steve Cheseborough
18. Members Only - Abdul Rasheed
19. Subway Swing (Credits) - Greg "Fingers" Taylor
Side #1 --
Bonus Footage - Dick Waterman Shows Photos of Mississippi Blues Musicians.
Bonus Footage - Levon Lindsey & the King Edward Blues Band: "Down Home Blues."
Bonus Footage - Chris Thomas King Talks to Jimmy King.
Bonus Footage - Morgan Freeman: Early Years Living in Mississippi.
Bonus Footage - Morgan Freeman & Bill Luckett: Mississippi Blues Musicians.
Bonus Footage - Bobby Rush Demos His Blues Harps.
Bonus Footage - Dick Waterman Shares Stories of Son House & Robert Johnson.
Bonus Footage - Abdul Rasheed & the House Rockers: "Down Home Blues."
5.1 Dolby Digital
2.0 Dolby Digital