The film “We Juke Up in Here: Mississippi’s Juke Joint Culture At The Crossroads” has been nominated for a Blues Music Award (BMA) in the category of Blues DVD. This film, which looks at rhe current state of juke joints in Mississippi, and features music by Terry “Harmonica” Bean, Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, Big George Brock, Anthony “Big A” Sherrod, Louis “Gearshifter” Youngblood, Elmo Williams, Hezekiah Early, and Robert Lee “Lil’ Poochie” Watson, was screened in Philadelphia in October as part of The Mississippi Blues Project. Voting for the Blues Music Awards is now under way.
“We Juke Up In Here” follows producers Roger Stolle and Jeff Konkel as they visit Mississippi juke joints and sites where juke joints used to be. The desire to preserve the rich tradition that the juke joints offered is personified by Red Paden, owner of Red’s Lounge, in Clarksdale MS, who is seen throughout the film. Konkel and Stolle, along with their producer-partners Damien Blaylock and Lou Bopp, also travel to Merigold, Shelby, and Bentonia, Mississippi, to visit juke joints. The film is a sequel to their award-winning 2008 film “M For Mississippi: A Road Trip Through The Birthplace Of The Blues.”
“The juke joint is part of a Delta culture that used to be commonplace,” says Konkel. “Today, it is rare and getting rarer. We hope films like ‘We Juke’ can help to shine a light on these traditional blues venues and help to keep them going just a little bit longer.” “We aren’t saying these are the only juke joints left, but such an assumption wouldn’t be far off,” adds Stolle. “This far into the 21st Century, it’s frankly pretty ridiculous that we have any of these archaic, quasi-legal blues venues left at all. But thankfully, we still do.”
And, thankfully, we have the film “We Juke Up In Here” which is presently available, sale-priced for the holidays.