Mississippi Delta & Hill Country (1978)

Bluesmen; fife-and-drum ensembles; former muleskinners and railroad tie-tampers; and tall-tale reciters. Performers include Skip James collaborator Jack Owens, former Mississippi Sheik Sam Chatmon, diddley-bow player Lonnie Pitchford, fife legend Otha Turner, and R. L. Burnside in his first film appearance.

 

 
Jack Owens (vocal and guitar) and Benjamin "Blind Bud" Spires (harmonica) perform "Can't See Blues," a composite blues of Owens' devising. (Not to be confused with Peetie Wheatstraw's blues of the same name.) Shot by Alan Lomax, Worth Long, and John Bishop at Jack Owens' farm near Bentonia, Mississippi, August 1978.
 
Jack Owens (vocal and guitar) and Benjamin "Blind Bud" Spires (harmonica) perform "Hard-Time Killing Floor Blues," made famous by Owens' friend Skip James. Shot by Alan Lomax, Worth Long, and John Bishop at Jack Owens' farm near Bentonia, Mississippi, August 12, 1978.
 
 
James Hall recites the first part of his World War II toast at Mira's Cafe, Greenville, Mississippi. Shot by Alan Lomax, Worth Long, and John Bishop, August 22, 1978.
 
Former levee camp workers (and, in Savage's case, Parchman Farm inmate) trade levee camp holler verses on the levee in Greenville, Mississippi. Shot by Alan Lomax, John Bishop, and Worth Long, August 22, 1978.
 
A field holler sung by Joe Savage, former muleskinner and Parchman Farm inmate, on the levee in Greenville, Mississippi. Shot by Alan Lomax, Worth Long, and John Bishop, on August 22, 1978.
 
A field holler sung by Joe Savage, former muleskinner and Parchman Farm inmate, on the levee in Greenville, Mississippi. Shot by Alan Lomax, Worth Long, and John Bishop, on August 22, 1978.

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