Tuesday, October 6, 2020

MAKE 'EM DANCE: The Hackberry Ramblers Story, "Cajun Boogie," "Deep Water"

(PBS, 2004/Flying Fish, 1993, Hot Biscuits 1997) This PBS documentary is about a Louisiana band from the 78 rpm era, recording originally in the 30s, and playing for decades at parties and BBQs and gatherings for in a  manner that made them both omnipresent and casual to the point that it was hard to say they ever broke up. So when they began recording again in the early 90s and getting to play festivals and tour Europe it wasn't so much a comeback as a come around. So what's crazy is that the members that were active when this was made 13 years back were damn near original members, so this is the story of hundred year old dudes getting the party started! The only young ringer is Ben Sandmel, the great New Orleans music writer (and my former Rabbi's brother) who has to carry all the gear and do the computer stuff (like booking rooms and finding a Catholic church with a Rambler to attend daily mass in each town). The documentary was inspired by the great album on Chicago's Flying Fish label, a joyous relaxed, enticing affair. The follow up record, produced by music historian Sandmel. has some spoken contextualizations and an air of history. It also has a title track that is one of the best versions I've ever heard of one of the best songs ever. I know these guys are not going to be making records when they are 125 (the doc ends with a pre-Oscars obit screen for one Rambler) bu I be damned if this is still some immortal stuff.

No comments:

Post a Comment