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We Juke Up In Here: Mississippi's Juke Joint Culture at the Crossroads

Last Updated 10/30/2012 6:56:36 PM

By: Rick J Bowen

We Juke Up In Here Mississippi's Juke Joint Culture at the Crossroads  (Broke & Hungry)

We Juke Up In Here

Mississippi's Juke Joint Culture at the Crossroads

 (Broke & Hungry)

The independent film, “We Juke Up In Here” follows producers Jeff Konkel and Roger Stolle, the makers of the award-winning blues movie “M For Mississippi,” and are also owners of Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art and Broke & Hungry Records, as they explore what remains of Mississippi’s once-thriving juke joint culture.

Told through live music performances, character-driven interviews and rare on-camera blues experiences, viewers are taken deep below the surface of the quasi-legal world of real Delta jukes. This is a road trip across the delta in search of infamous clubs like the Po Monkey’s Lounge, the “Do Drop Inn, and the legendary Reds Lounge in Clarksdale.

 Aside from Konkel and Stolle, the film’s largest contributor is Red Paden. Proprietor of Red’s Lounge, Paden is the self-declared “king of the jukes,” a true Delta character and jack-of-all-trades. He’s been running his blues and beer joint for more than 30 years, providing one of the region’s most reliable live blues venues and an authentic stage for a cavalcade of veteran blues performers, both legendary and obscure. Paden provides a myriad of delta wisdom and quotable moments throughout the film that are striking with their romanticism and harsh realism of life in the delta.  The juke joint owners and their remaining patrons give us a glimpse into what was and is a thriving cradle of music culture that sadly has become a shell of itself due to economic downturn of the region  and the lure of “free watered down whiskey and electronic music” at the casinos. 

Konkel and Stolle are no doubt diehard fans of blues culture, and this second film is part of their crusade to preserve this rich American treasure any way they can.  They have created a fine package here for like-minded aficionados of the blues with a DVD full of extras and outtakes and a bonus CD soundtrack.
 “We Juke Up In Here” is a bittersweet tale, but one well worth being told.

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