Articles: Birth Of The Blues On Black Starz
   
 



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by
Jeff Usry


Just in time for Black History month and when mood of the country has turned towards all-American, Black Starz original documentary, "Last Of The Mississippi Jukes" premiers 8 p.m. est Feb. 16, celebrating American’s contribution to contemporary music — the blues.

Music filmmaker Robert Mugge takes the audience on an enlighten and gritty musical trip through Mississippi’s rural lounges where the blues was born more than 100 years ago. The film highlights the single-room juke joints (some were formerly plantation shacks) in the Mississippi Delta where blues legends Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson hone their skills and became immortal.

Narrated by Oscar-nominee Morgan Freeman, Mugge captures the images, intimacy and essence of the juke joint heritage. And although Mississippi has some of the finest lounges and casinos where music lovers can hear the blues, Mugge underlines the fact that it’s hard-core blues enthusiasts who frequent the smoky juke joints such as the historic Subway Lounge in the basement of the Summers Hotel in Jackson, Miss. and other such places who hear the real blues.

Mugge begins his film in Clarksdale, Miss., considered the birthplace of the blues, then highlights the Ground Zero Blues Club – a modern-day juke joint, established by actor Morgan Freeman and his business partner Bill Luckett and ends in Subway Lounge.

The film is punctuated by live performances blues masters Vasti Johnson, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Eddie Cotton, Pat Brown, J.T. Watkins and others.

"Last Of The Mississippi Jukes" is a musical triumph for blues fans and music lovers. It’s a testimony of a fading institution which is rapidly becoming extinct.


SET YOUR VCR
What: "Last Of The Mississippi Jukes"
When: 8 p.m. est Feb. 16
Where: Black Starz

Encore dates:
Feb. 17, 2003 - 4:30 AM
Feb. 20, 2003 - 1:45 PM
Feb. 20, 2003 - 8 PM
Feb. 21, 2003 - 6 AM
Feb. 24, 2003 - 12:20 PM
Feb. 24, 2003 - 6:20 PM
Feb. 28, 2003 - 11:45 PM
March 8, 2003 - 6 AM
March 8, 2003 - 6:20 PM
March 12, 2003 - 6:20 AM
March 12, 2003 - 1 PM
March 12, 2003 - 9:40 PM

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