Tom Waits is one of the most original musicians of the last five decades. Renowned for his gravelly voice and dazzling mix of musical styles, he’s also one of modern music’s most enigmatic and influential artists.
His songs have been covered by Bruce Springsteen, Rod Stewart and Norah Jones, among many others. But Waits has always pursued his own creative vision, with little concern for musical fashion.
In a long career of restless reinvention, from the barfly poet of his early albums to the junkyard ringmaster of Swordfishtrombones, his songs chronicle lives from the margins of American society – drifters, dreamers, hobos and hoodlums – and his music draws on a rich mix of influences, including the blues, jazz, Weimar cabaret and film noir.
Using rare archive, audio recordings and interviews, this film is a bewitching after-hours trip through the surreal, moonlit world of Waits’ music – a portrait of a pioneering musician and his unique, alternative American songbook.
Executive Producer Richard Bright
Director James Maycock
Production Manager Fiona Crawford
Production Coordinator Fiona Dorman
Editor Bradley Richards
Camera Operator Luke Finn
Interviewed Guest: Terry Gilliam, Lucinda Williams, Ian Rankin, Ed Harcourt, Ralph Carney, Bones Howe, Ute Lemper, Nitin Sawhney, Guy Garvey and Jim Sclavunos
A 54-minute documentary film about the life, times, and music of blues legend Blind Willie McTell.
With music masters Taj Mahal Stefan Grossman,historian Daphne Duval Harrison,and Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun.
Written and produced by David Fulmer
“Nothing less than the economic, social, and
historical evolution of America’s indigenous music.”
— Video Librarian
I have a lot(!) of Neil Young documentaries/films/concert footage lying around, and this is the best of them all (…no, it was not me who uploaded it on YouTube, thanks to the original uploader). Neil Young really opens up and the live footage is spectacular. Young is very much aware of his “difficult” personality, his quest for great art is his most important task in life. The film explores how Young’s unflinching dedication to the muse has created an impressive body of work and bruised a lot of people along the way. But he is also a warm and funny person. This docu was also shown in the American Masters series on PBS in the US.
The film ends with Neil Young playing an anti-Bush anthem to a Republican audience in the South, still refusing to be denied.
“Prine’s stuff is pure Proustian existentialism. Midwestern mind trips to the nth degree. And he writes beautiful songs. I remember when Kris Kristofferson first brought him on the scene. All that stuff about Sam Stone the soldier junkie daddy and Donald and Lydia, where people make love from 10 miles away. Nobody but Prine could write like that. If I had to pick one song of his, it might be ‘Lake Marie.’ I don’t remember what album that’s on.”
– Bob Dylan
“Prine has always appealed to me,I can remember first hearing him, playing his records late at night and thinking that he was writing about everyday life, people like us.” – Mike Leonard (director)
Deep Blues: A Musical Pilgrimage to the Crossroads is a British documentary film, released in 1991, and made by music critic and author Robert Palmer and documentary film maker Robert Mugge, in collaboration with David A. Stewart and his brother John J. Stewart. The film provided insight into the location, cast and characteristics of Delta blues and North Mississippi hill country blues. Filming took place in 1990 in Memphis, Tennessee, and various North Mississippi counties. Theatrical release was in 1991 and home video release in the United Kingdom, the next year, as was a soundtrack album. A United States consumer edition came in 2000.
Stewart initiated and financed the project, inspired by Palmer’s 1981 book of the same name. Palmer provided many of the insights into the background and history of the blues, as a guide to Stewart and the film narrator.
Documentary: Deep Blues – A Musical Pilgrimage to the Crossroads:
Musicians appearing in the film are: Roosevelt Barnes, R. L. Burnside, Jessie Mae Hemphill (with Napoleon Strickland amd Abe Young), Big Jack Johnson, Junior Kimbrough (with Little Joe Ayers and Calvin Jackson), Booker T. Laury, Jack Owens, Lonnie Pitchford, Bud Spires and Wade Walton, The film revitalized the recording career of some of the musicians.
In the 1960s, Beach Boys leader Brian Wilson struggles with emerging psychosis as he attempts to craft his avant-garde pop masterpiece. In the 1980s, he is a broken, confused man under the 24-hour watch of shady therapist Dr. Eugene Landy.
And, yes, it feels like we’re in the studio with Brian Wilson!