Delta Rising - A Blues Documentary is a fascinating film that documents the history of the blues, and more specifically, the birthplace of the blues, Clarksdale, Mississippi. The film not only delves deeply into the historical signposts of who, where and what came first, but more interestingly - why in Clarksdale? The simple answer is this: the poor residents of the region in the 1920s and 1930s could generally earn more money playing the blues than picking cotton. If they couldn’t, playing the blues in the club was more enjoyable than picking cotton in the sun all day long. With its abundance of blues clubs and blues museums, Clarksdale makes a legitimate claim for being the birthplace of the blues, a claim that is supported by the testimony of several blues heavyweights. Featuring new interviews with, and performance footage of, Morgan Freeman (owner of one of the most well-known blues clubs in Mississippi), Willie Nelson, Pinetop Perkins, Charlie Musselwhite, Grace Kelly, Mose Allison and others.
“This documentary originated in 2002. We followed a talented San Francisco musician named Chris Cotton to Clarksdale, MS where he recorded an album with some old friends in that old style analog, scratchy dirty way. Along the way we met some amazing folks and fell in love with this place- Clarksdale, Ms. A million miles away but right next door. So come and step inside and get to know a little about the delta blues, the delta people and the soul of American Music.” – Director’s Statement