Worthwhile DVD, great intro to J.B.Lenoir
Mickey Shipwreck | Island J, Brigstocke Township, N. Ontario | 02/03/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"While there were some disappointing aspects to this film (I'd wish for more complete versions of songs, for instance), it's worth viewing for its presentation of the relatively obscure (at least to those new to the blues) J.B.Lenoir. Director Wim Wenders was captivated by Lenoir's music as a young man, and gives him a central place in the film, along with Blind Willie Johnson and Skip James. There's some terrific archival footage of Lenoir, and a number of (portions of) his songs. And the contemporary performances of Lenoir pieces by the likes of Bonnie Raitt, Casandra Wilson and others are pretty stirring too. Again, I only wish there were more complete songs, a criticism that can be leveled at most of the volumes in this series.
But if you've never heard Lenoir, or if you've heard him but never seen him, you'll enjoy this DVD.
Great for JB and Skip, but could have been better
Andre M. | Mt. Pleasant, SC United States | 10/21/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Skip James and Tommy Johnson stuff was okay, but the real meat of this collection is the story of JB Lenoir, the forgotten poet of the blues and one of the few who tackled the rawness of what it as like to be a Black Mississippian at the time raw and uncut. This footage of JB with the Swedish filmmakers and the rare cut of him performing in Germany in 1965 (skillfully mixed with civil rights and Martin Luther King footage) are brilliant, but the director noted in the book version of this CD that on the cutting room floor is footage of JB's family and interviews with them. This is the DVD age! Why isn't this and complete songs of JB (aside from the unecessary interpetations by other artists) here! Good Night people! THINK about this stuff when editing these DVDs and adding special features.
But we can be thankful for what's here."