(CLARKSDALE, MS.) – Recently hailed by Living Blues Magazine as ranking “among the most important blues events of 2008,” the new documentary M FOR MISSISSIPPI has now been nominated for a Blues Music Award as DVD of the Year.
The film celebrates the raw, raucous spirit of the current Mississippi blues scene by following blues producers Jeff Konkel and Roger Stolle on a weeklong journey across the state as they visit a dozen of the state’s most fascinating blues figures. The duo’s journey, captured by cinematographer Damien Blaylock, led them to rustic environments ranging from juke joints to cotton fields and placed them face-to-face with such fascinating artists as James “T-Model” Ford, Robert Belfour, Robert “Bilbo” Walker, Jimmy “Duck” Holmes and more.
The Blues Music Awards are a production of the Blues Foundation and represent the industry’s highest honors. Members of the Blues Foundation may vote for their favorite nominees online at www.blues.org/bluesmusicawards/vote.php4 between now and March 1, 2009. Those who would like to vote but are not yet members of the Blues Foundation can join at the same Web site. Enrolling is quick, easy and affordable.
“Since the film’s release, we’ve truly been overwhelmed by the response. We’ve received countless phone calls, e-mails, cards and letters from customers who enjoyed the film,” Stolle said. “We’re thrilled with the response and hope it inspires more people to venture down to Mississippi for a road trip of their own.”
M FOR MISSISSIPPI is a joint production of Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art, Broke & Hungry Records and Mudpuppy Recordings. Mudpuppy owner Kari Jones joined the crew as co-producer. Mississippi blues guitarist Bill Abel completed the team, serving as sound engineer, operating his Big Toe Porta-Studio from the back of his Volvo station wagon.
“The intimate nature of this film called for a small crew, but what we lacked in number we more than made up with grit, perseverance and dedication,” Konkel said. “With Damien behind the camera, Bill behind the mixing board and Kari in charge of the money and beer cooler, Roger and I knew we were in good hands.”
The film, which is available on DVD, will be making the film festival circuit throughout 2009, beginning with a slot at the Oxford Film Festival in Oxford, Mississippi in February.
M FOR MISSISSIPPI was made with the generous support of several key sponsors, including:
Other sponsors included blues musician Bob Long and blues enthusiasts Roadhouse Lou and Jerry & Marge Konkel.
- The Rootsway Roots & Blues Association (www.rootsandblues.org), a nonprofit organization from Parma, Italy. Founded in 2004, the group is dedicated to promoting rural and indigenous American and African-American musical art forms throughout northern Italy. Roots & Blues has brought several Mississippi blues performers to Italy in recent years.
- Live Blues World (www.livebluesworld.com), a web community billed as “the online home of the blues and blues infected music, connecting artists and fans in the fastest growing social network dedicated to the blues.”
- Delta Music Experience (www.deltamusicexperience.com), an organization dedicated to helping blues enthusiasts dig deeper at the roots of the music, getting to know its musicians and feel the music up close and personal. DME’s owner Amanda Gresham sponsored the film’s premiere in Clarksdale, Mississippi.
The Mississippi Motion Picture Incentive Program also helped make the film possible. The program was created in 2004 to attract filmmakers and to create a more supportive environment for filming in Mississippi.
Other contributors to the film’s success include Anne Willis, web master for the film’s web site; Joey Grisham, who oversaw the packaging for the DVD and CD soundtrack; and Mark Yoshida and the team at Audiographic Masterworks who oversaw mastering and pressing.
The DVD and its companion CD are available as a package from www.mformississippi.com; the items also can be purchased at Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art in Clarksdale, Mississippi, online at www.brokeandhungryrecords.com and at hip record stores around the globe.
For more information, contact Jeff Konkel at firstname.lastname@example.org or Roger Stolle at email@example.com.