Birthplace of the blues

The Mississippi Blues Commission presents the story of Dockery Farms, the ‘birthplace of the blues’. Narrated by B.B. King the film examines how the community at a plantation founded in 1895 become a magnet for blues musicians like Willie Brown, Son House & Charlie Patton.

The film is just one in series featuring monumental places and people from Mississippi in the history of some of America’s finest music.

The Thrill is Gone: B.B. King

Today, May 15th marks the day the Blues died. Musical icon and ‘King of the Blues’, B.B. King passed away in his Las Vegas home at the age of 89. King is known for transitioning blues music from the barrooms and porches of Mississippi to the concert halls and main-stages of the world. Throughout his 7 decade career, B.B. King inspired countless musicians with his blistering solos, smooth gospel, and immaculate charm.

In his honor, we present a full 1974 live performance from B.B. King in Africa. The concert was held in honor of the historic Ali vs. Foreman fight “Rumble in the Jungle.”

Ironing Board Sam’s Return

A short documentary by filmmaker, Tom Ciaburri about the past and present life of bluesman, Ironing Board Sam. Hailing from South Carolina, Ironing Board Sam, real name Samuel Moore, started his music career in the 1950’s and at one point had a backing band that featured a young guitarist named, Jimi Hendrix. The piano player went through many low points in his career and by the 1990’s was widely considered dead, until an old fan pulled him back into the spotlight and got him recording again. His story is inspiring for any one chasing a dream and his music is unstoppable and uncompromising. This documentary was made in the South, with support from the Southern Documentary Fund.

Ironing Board Sam's Return (short documentary) from Tom Ciaburri on Vimeo.

Welcome to Elgin Park

Artist Michael Paul Smith, works with miniatures to recreate scenes of Americana that depict stories and memories from his childhood. As Smith describes it, “Elgin Park is not my fantasy. I am documenting the 20th century, in a way.” Through the use of model cars, replicas of gas stations, farm houses, and even wrecked UFO’s, Smith takes the viewer on an adventure into a world often forgotten. Animal has posted a wonderful profile on Smith’s story and photography.

Elgin Park from Animal on Vimeo.