The Blues: Godfathers and Sons

The Blues: Godfathers and Sons

Part 5 of 7 - Next Episode

Martin Scorsese’s series exploring the history of the blues continues. Director Marc Levin explores the links between blues and hip-hop as he visits Chicago in the company of hip-hop star Chuck D and producer Marshall Chess.

Following the Great Migration of the 1920s, a distinctive style of blues evolved in Chicago, with the electric guitar replacing its acoustic equivalent and the saxophone and trumpet frequently used to expand the sound. One of Chicago’s major contributors to the music’s advancement was Leonard Chess, founder of Chess Records, which became the city’s major blues label, releasing records by many internationally feted artists including Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters. Leonard’s son Marshall Chess produced Waters’ controversial 1968 album Electric Mud, which attempted to give the great bluesman’s songs a psychedelic treatment. In this documentary, Marshall reunites the band who made the album to record new versions of blues standards with Chuck D, rapper Common and turntablist Juice. A tribute to a city that left a huge imprint on musical history, the film includes archive footage of Paul Butterfield, Willie Dixon and Sonny Boy Williamson, as well as original performances by Koko Taylor, Otis Rush, Magic Slim, Ike Turner and Sam Lay.

The Blues: Godfathers And Sons - Saturday 31 August at 10.30pm

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