Bluesland A Portrait in American Music explores the blues, with allits poetic irony and sly humour, its eroticism and timeless power. A uniquely creative and highly visual look at American blues, Bluesland travels the expansive landscape of the music, tracing its roots from the beginning of the 20th century through the Mississippi Delta to Louisiana, Texas, Kansas City and Chicago. With rare and memorable footage of
the greatest performers, the film follows the music's many tributaries as blues flows into the sophisticated jazz of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Count Basie, the rhythm and blues of Louis Jordan and Dinah Washington, and the rock and roll of Chuck Berry and Elvis. Bluesland is a moving, authentic and illustrative overview of the blues a must for all music lovers.
B.B King, Muddy Waters, T-Bone Walker, Chuck Berry, Fred McDowell, Big Bill Broonzy - legendary artists who helped define the sound of blues. They're all featured in Bluesland: A Portrait in American Music, an exceptional just-released DVD that explores the inception, development and influence of the blues in American culture. Originally broadcast as a part of the PBS TV series Masters of American Music in 1993, the documentary, which also includes Son House, Leadbelly, Sonny Boy Williamson II, Big Joe Turner, Etta James, Dinah Washington and many more artists, plus the musicologists Albert Murray and Robert Palmer, has just been remastered and provides a potent reminder of the genre's roots and off-shoots.
For fans of blues guitar, it's also a reminder of the important role that Gibson models have played in defining the genre's sound. King, Waters, Walker, Berry, McDowell and Broonzy, who feature prominently in the film, are all associated with specific Gibson models, as are many of the other players who make cameos, from Robert Johnson, who was famously photographed with a Gibson L1, and Howlin' Wolf guitarist Hubert Sumlin, an early Les Paul Gold Top player.
Starting with the film's guitar stars - and Walker, in particular, steals the show with his fluid picking style and unerring swing - here's a rundown of some of the classic formative blues guitar players and the Gibson models associated with their careers and indelible sounds. - Ted Drozdowski -- Gibson Lifestyle- June 17, 2010