Featuring Morgan Freeman, Robert Mugge’s acclaimed 2003 music documentary, LAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI JUKES, explores the fading traditions of rural Mississippi juke joints.

The blues was first played by itinerant musicians in juke joints on the edge of cotton plantations, later migrating into so-called urban lounges, and regional musicians still practice their craft and entertain their fans in both, as well as in modern blues clubs and casino lounges.

The film focuses, in particular, on two well-known Mississippi venues: Jimmy King’s legendary Subway Lounge which, for three decades, operated in the basement of the historic, black-owned Summers Hotel in Jackson, MS; and actor Morgan Freeman’s and attorney Bill Luckett’s Ground Zero Blues Club, a contemporary blues venue in Clarksdale, MS that incorporates the design elements, menu, and spirit of a traditional juke.

The story of Mississippi jukes is told by blues historians Dick Waterman and Steve Cheseborough, by the club owners, by local politicians, and by participating musicians. The musicians also demonstrate styles of blues that originated in the Mississippi Delta and elsewhere around the state.

Performing at Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale are Alvin Youngblood Hart with Sam Carr and Anthony Sherrod. Performing at the Subway Lounge in Jackson are Bobby Rush, Chris Thomas King, Vasti Jackson, Patrice Moncell, Eddie Cotton, Greg “Fingers” Taylor, Lucille, Abdul Rasheed, Levon Lindsey, J.T. Watkins, Dennis Fountain, Pat Brown, George Jackson, Steve Cheseborough, Casey Phillips, Jimmy King, David Hughes, Virgil Brawley, and the Subway’s two alternating house bands: The House Rockers and The King Edward Blues Band.

LAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI JUKES looks at the buildings, the landscapes, and the communities where the blues began, and it examines how original blues traditions have evolved over time, carried into a new century by committed musicians and club owners, both in Mississippi and around the world.

“Juke joints – the early conservatory for blues musicians – and their diminishing existence is the focus of ‘Last of the Mississippi Jukes’…a nice tribute to a part of American history and those dedicated to maintaining its relevancy.” Nate Guidry, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Mugge [has] made a career of getting the beating heart of great American roots music at its most soulful and authentic on film… [JUKES] does an excellent job of capturing the proud culture of the remaining juke joints.” —Ted Drozdowski, The Boston Phoenix

“Robert Mugge’s 90-minute non-fiction field trip is a fascinating and moving account…a wonderful look back at a once-thriving subculture.”  — Brent Simon, Entertainment Today

Bonus Materials

Includes the short ‘The Subway Lounge Today’, an update on Last of the Mississippi Jukes with previously unreleased interview with Jimmy King

Track Listing

  • Alvin Youngblood Hart – Pony Blues
  • Alvin Youngblood Hart – Joe Friday
  • Greg Fingers Taylor – Subway Swing
  • Dennis Fountain & Pat Brown – The Blues Is Alright
  • Patrice Moncell w/ House Rockers – Stormy Monday
  • Eddie Cotton Jr. w/ Jimmy King – All Night Long
  • Vasti Jackson w/ King Edward Blues Band – Casino In The Cornfield
  • Patrice Moncell & Vasti Jackson – Strokin’
  • Levon Lindsey & J.T. Watkins w/ King Edward Blues Band – You Know I’ve Tried
  • Bobby Rush – Garbage Man
  • King Edward Blues Band – Hole In The Wall
  • David Hughes w/ Virgil Brawley – Last Of The Mississippi Jukes
  • George Jackson & Vasti Jackson w/ King Edward Blues Band – Still Called The Blues
  • Levon Lindsey & J.T. Watkins w/ King Edward Blues Band – End Of The Rainbow
  • Chris Thomas King – John Law Burned Down the Liquor Sto’
  • Lucille w/ Greg Fingers Taylor – What Goes Around, Comes Around
  • Steve Cheseborough – Cigarette Blues
  • Abdul rasheed w/ House Rockers – Members Only
  • The Deep Cuts – Every Goodbye Don’t Mean I’m Gone
  • Abdul rasheed w/ House Rockers – Down Home Blues

86 mins on 1 disc


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