This soundtrack to the movie features an astonishing array of blues artists from three generations. Recorded during one long night at NYC’s Radio City Music Hall on Feb. 7, 2003, the electricity is in the air and on stage. While it may not have been the finest blues show in history, the collection of founding fathers such as David “Honeyboy” Edwards, Buddy Guy, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Larry Johnson, Hubert Sumlin, Solomon Burke, and the ubiquitous B.B. King along with their spiritual offspring (Gregg Allman, John Fogerty, and Steven Tyler) and some usual suspects like Bonnie Raitt, Robert Cray, and Keb’ Mo’, makes it arguably the most significant blues session ever captured on film.
Beginning acoustic, the double disc builds momentum and volume as we hear the blues mutate to electric and finally hip-hop with Chuck D. exploding on a rap version of John Lee Hooker‘s “Boom Boom.” The crackling house band led by drummer Steve Jordan provides foundation for gritty, roof-raising pieces like the unusual collaboration between former New York Doll David Johansen and guitarist Sumlin on Howlin’ Wolf‘s “Killing Floor.” Not all of the film’s music is included but there are enough magnificent performances for established blues fans and to entice those first experiencing the genre’s abundant riches. –Hal Horowitz
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