“Last of the Mississippi Jukes,” filmmaker Robert Mugge’s documentary tribute to the Magnolia State’s blues and juke joints, will be released on DVD next month via Sanctuary. Concurrent with the March 18 release, the label will also issue a 14-track soundtrack with music featured in the film, including songs by the likes of Alvin Youngblood Hart, Bobby Rush, and Chris Thomas King.
Premiered earlier this month on the Black Starz! cable network, “Last of the Mississippi Jukes” is a musical history of rural lounge rooms that fostered the maturation of the blues. Among the Mississippi sites profiled is actor Morgan Freeman’s recreation of the Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale, and Jackson’s first black-owned hotel, which houses the still-thriving Subway Lounge.
In its heyday, the Subway featured such legendary musicians as Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Lionel Hampton, James Brown, and Aretha Franklin. Both Freeman and Subway founder Jimmy King appear in the film, as do blues historians Dick Waterman and Steve Cheseborough.
Also featured is King, who is best known for his role in and music from the film “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” That film’s “John Law Burned Down the Liquor Sto'” is also included in “Juke Joints” and on the soundtrack. Other notable cuts are Rush’s “Garbage Man,” Hart’s “Joe Friday,” featuring Sam Carr and Anthony Sherrod, and Dennis Fountain and Pat Brown’s “The Blues Is Alright” with Jesse Robinson.
The DVD will feature 5.1 SurroundSound and 5.1 DTS, as well performances by the Deep Cuts, Abdul Rasheed and the House Rockers, and Levon Lindsay with the King Edward Blues Band that are not in included in the film. Other DVD bonus features include additional interview segments with Freeman, King, and Waterman, a photo gallery, and a lascivious blues harp demonstration from Rush.
Here is the “Last of the Mississippi Juke Joints” CD track list:
“Joe Friday,” Alvin Youngblood Hart with Sam Carr and Anthony Sherrod
“Every Goodbye Don’t Mean I’m Gone,” the Deep Cuts
“Garbage Man,” Bobby Rush
“Subway Swing,” “Fingers” Taylor with Casey Phillips and the Hounds
“Stormy Monday,” Patrice Moncell with the House Rockers
“You Know I’ve Tried,” Levon Lindsey and J.T. Watkins with the King Edward Blues Band
“Casino in the Cottonfield,” Vasti Jackson with the King Edward Blues Band
“John Law Burned Down the Liquor Sto’,” Chris Thomas King
“The Blues Is Alright,” Dennis Fountain and Pat Brown with Jesse Robinson
“What Goes Around, Comes Around,” Lucille with Greg “Fingers” Taylor
“Hole in the Wall,” King Edward Blues Band
“Strokin’,” Patrice Moncell and Vasti Jackson with the House Rockers
“Members Only,” Abdul Rasheed with the House Rockers
“Juke Joint Jam” (featuring “Last of the Mississippi Jukes” and “Next Time You See Me”), David Hughes and Jimmy King with Virgil Brawley