How healthy is the juke joint blues scene in the Mississippi Delta?
We Juke Up In Here: Mississippi’s Juke Joint Culture at the Crossroads is a new film and music project from the makers of the award-winning blues movie M For Mississippi: A Road Trip Through the Birthplace of the Blues. It seeks to answer the question above.
Slated for an April 2012 release (but available now for pre-order), We Juke Up In Here follows producers Roger Stolle and Jeff Konkel as they explore what remains of Mississippi’s once-thriving juke joint culture. The film is told largely from the vantage point of Red Paden, proprietor of the legendary Red’s Lounge in historic Clarksdale, Mississippi. Paden, a true Delta character and jack-of-all-trades, has been running his blues and beer joint for more than 30 years – providing one of the region’s most reliable live blues venues and an authentic stage for a cavalcade of veteran blues performers, both legendary and obscure.
Told through live music performances, character-driven interviews and rare on-camera blues experiences, viewers are taken below the surface of the quasi-legal world of real Delta jukes – while it’s still living and breathing. Mississippi’s juke joint culture may be at a crossroads, but as Red likes to say, “The Game’s for life . . . and that’s for damn sure!”
We Juke Up In Here is a joint production of Broke & Hungry Records and Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art. Musical performers in the film include Anthony “Big A” Sherrod, Louis “Gearshifter” Youngblood, Elmo Williams, Hezekiah Early, Lil’ Poochie, Big George Brock, Frank Vick, Terry “Harmonica” Bean and Jimmy “Duck” Holmes. The film’s talented production team includes music and film veterans Damien Blaylock, Lou Bopp and Bill Abel.
Pre-orders are scheduled to ship in early April 2012. The theatrical world-premiere is Friday, April 13, 2012, at Delta Cinema in Clarksdale, Mississippi, as a kick-off to Juke Joint Festival weekend.