Wednesday, April 14, 2010

William Ferris

Bill Ferris shot the wonderful documentary film Give My Poor Heart Ease: Mississippi Delta Bluesmen (1975) mostly on location, with the exception of lovely conversation and performance footage of B.B. King in New Haven, Connecticut at Yale University (top two stills). A men's barbershop in Clarksdale was the setting for impromptu music making with guitar and razor-and-leather-strop (Wade Walton: third and fourth stills). Thoughtful single-camera technique reveals Cleveland "Broom Man" Jones (bottom still) as the source of a low percussive sound during a performance by James "Son Ford" Thomas in Leland. Interviews and music from Parchman Penitentiary in Lambert provide additional historical context to this canonical blues document.
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Documentary Starts Here by Nancy Kalow is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.