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Blues Houseparty

Blues Houseparty

MCM 1011 (2006)

Blues Houseparty: Music, Dance and Stories by Masters of the Piedmont Blues

Featuring John Cephas and Phil Wiggins, Archie Edwards, John Jackson, James Jackson, Cora Jackson, Flora Molton and Larry Wise, John Dee Holeman and Quentin 'Fris' Holloway

Produced and Edited by Eleanor Ellis
Directed by Jackson Frost


"This was one great party, an extraordinary gathering of musical friends who are also some of America's greatest masters of the Piedmont blues. It was a privilege to be a part of this event and to document that wonderful day." - Eleanor Ellis

This is a very recent customer review from!!!

Exceptional , September 7, 2006
Reviewer: Terri Van Doren "bluesin1" (Harpers Ferry, WV United States) - See all my reviews

This is one of the best Blues films around. I bought my copy on vhs about 10 years ago at the Pocono Blues Festival and haven't seen another copy since although believe me, I've looked. I can't wait to get a copy on dvd. Takes place in Bluesman John Jackson's back yard in Alexandria VA. He and his wife threw an annual Blues party for many years and this has many of the older Blues musicians (including Flora Molton, a musician who played many a street corner in DC) reminiscing about their careers and lives as well as performing and just having a fine time. Perfect example of the southern house party tradition. Every true Blues fan should own this dvd. I own about 50 Blues videos and this is one of my very favorites.

"Even though the heyday of the Piedmont blues sound was over by the 1940s and none of the musicians here ever achieved the notoriety of early headliners like the Reverend Gary Davis, Blind Boy Fuller or Brownie McGhee. you'd never know it by the ebullient music they deliver -- the result of a fascinating intertwining of culture and community. Very well photographed (lots of fretboard closeups) and edited." Sing Out, Winter 2007

Some of America's greatest traditional blues masters get together at home to swap songs from the old days and stories of what those days were like, when blues flourished 'back down home' at country breakdowns, corn-shuckings and houseparties. These musicians and their friends create the lively spirit of houseparty blues, while conveying the values, the history, the good and bad times, and the sense of community that gave form to their music and dance - Dick Spottswood

...suffused with the light and life, the warmth of good company evident in ebullient music...testimony to both culture and community...excellent production - The Washington Post

...exhibits a vitality of its's all interesting...well shot, recorded and edited - Sing Out

...the music is opportunity for all of us to see some true blues greats - Living Blues

Producer Eleanor Ellis offers Piedmont blues fans a rare front-row seat to a private house party that is as down home and authentic as they come on this 57-minute DVD Blues Houseparty. Filmed in 1989 at the late John Jackson's home in Fairfax Station, Virginia, Blues Houseparty includes performances by Jackson and his son James, John Cephas and Phil Wiggins, Archie Edwards, Cora Jackson, Flora Molton and Larry Wise, John Dee Holeman, and Quentin "Fris" Holloway. Between songs, performers talk about the history of country breakdowns, demonstrate traditional dances and swap hilarious stories. The atmosphere is natural and relaxed. The audio and video quality are good. One small criticism: Performers could have been identified earlier in the film. But that's a small price to pay for admission to this rip-roarin' good time.
- Michael Swanger, Dirty Linen - November 2006

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