We Juke Up In Here

Rory Block photo by Sergio Kurhajec

Rory Block photo by Sergio Kurhajec

The 2nd annual WXPN Music Film Festival is happening April 11th-14th. On Saturday, April 13th there will be a free screening of We Juke Up In Here, the documentary by filmmakers Jeff Konkel and Roger Stolle about the juke joints of Mississippi. In addition to the film screening there will be a performance from blues musician Rory Block and an interview with Block and WXPN’s Jonny Meister, host of The Blues Show on WXPN on Saturday nights at 7PM. Block has long been inspired by the Mississippi blues and artists like Mississippi John Hurt, Reverend Gary Davis, and Son House. Her work is infused with the spirit of the Mississippi blues and this will be a program that you will not want to miss. The event is free, however RSVP’s are required here. Below, watch Block perform “Crossroad Blues.” She also will be performing at the Steel City Coffeehouse in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania on April

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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.

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Each Saturday night at 7PM on WXPN, Jonny Meister hosts The Blues Show and the Blues & Beyond. Recently, Jonny put the spotlight on the fantastic new documentary We Juke Up Here! You can read about the documentary here. Below, listen to the Blues & Beyond with Jonny Meister about the We Juke Up In Here! documentary.

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We Juke Up In Here: Mississippi’s Juke Joint Culture at the Crossroads is the 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. We Juke Up In Here follows producers Jeff Konkel and Roger Stolle 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. Some of the blues performers in the DVD/CD include Anthony “Big A” Sherrod, Terry “Harmonica” Bean, Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, Big George Brock. 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. We Juke Up In Here is a joint production of Broke & Hungry Records and Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art. You can watch trailers for the documemtary and purchase it here. All the photos above were taken by Lou Bopp, whose additional work can be seen here.

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Thumbnail image for Artist Profile: Anthony “Big A” Sherrod

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