Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues: A Film Tribute to America’s Great Musical Tradition

“I can’t imag­ine my life, or any­one else’s, with­out music,” says film­mak­er Mar­tin Scors­ese. “It’s like a light in the dark­ness that nev­er goes out.” So begins Feel Like Going Home, Scors­ese’s fas­ci­nat­ing and at times lyri­cal doc­u­men­tary on the ori­gin and evo­lu­tion of the blues.

Feel Like Going Home (shown above in its entire­ty) is the first of sev­en install­ments, by sev­en direc­tors, in the PBS series The Blues. It fol­lows musi­cian Corey Har­ris as he traces the roots of the Blues from the Mis­sis­sip­pi Delta back to West Africa. The doc­u­men­tary includes inter­views and per­for­mances from con­tem­po­rary artists like Taj Mahal and Willie King, as well as archival footage of leg­ends like Son House, Mud­dy Waters and Lead Bel­ly.

“I’ve always felt an affin­i­ty for blues music,” Scors­ese told PBS. “The cul­ture of sto­ry­telling through music is incred­i­bly fas­ci­nat­ing and appeal­ing to me. The blues have great emo­tion­al res­o­nance and are the foun­da­tion for Amer­i­can pop­u­lar music.” Scors­ese served as exec­u­tive pro­duc­er of the series, which includes episodes direct­ed by Clint East­wood (Piano Blues) and Wim Wen­ders (The Soul of a Man). The com­plete sev­en-part series is avail­able on DVD as Mar­tin Scors­ese Presents The Blues–A Musi­cal Jour­ney.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Alan Lomax Sound Archive Now Online: Fea­tures 17,000 Record­ings

Ani­mat­ed: Robert Johnson’s Clas­sic Blues Tune Me and the Dev­il Blues

Watch the Only Known Footage of the Leg­endary Blues­man Lead Bel­ly (1935 and 1945)

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