Sunday, January 10, 2010

"You See Me Laughin' -The last of The Hills Country Bluesmen " Media Commentary

This is not a story of great musicians retelling the story of their claim to fame and the success that followed.
It’s a story of raw of emotion that is communicated through music for the sole purpose of listening and creating.

The technical style the director uses to tell the story of the country bluesmen is as raw as their music. The technical aspects of the film and the style which the story is told acts as a clear reflection of the history of struggle and pain that musicians like R.L Burnside, Junior Kimbrough and Cedell Davis to name a few put into their music, the Blues.

Heres a short clip of the beginning of the film.

The culture and the life that’s inspired the creation of their music is expressed by the musician immediately in the opening of the film. This is their attitude through out the entirety of the documentary they openly share the struggles of their life; The blues wouldn’t be the blues with out the pain of the human experience.

Some of these musicians have never found success outside of their community and there are many interpretations of what success means to a musicians and for a few of these men having a space to perform was more then enough to make them happy. What’s interesting is that for a few of the bluesmen playing music was their only means of surviving. Their perseverance and dedication to blues is what make their stories captivating.

The controversy of Fat Possum Records taking the role as exploiters of their music is a result of media culture. I feel this is especially true for pop music. Pop musicians image is integral to their success. Foster Kamer writer for the gawker posted an article on the surrounding hype from music journalist obsession of writing about indie pop band Vampire Weekend and their Ivy League origins. Their upcoming sophomore album, which comes with a new California chic look, gives the media a point of intrigue for their fans and the public. “regionalism and branding are staples of pop music.” Saids Kamer This is the same kind of interest that is being generated by the last hill country bluesmen their music their perspective is a point of interest for the media it’s not a matter of exploitation it’s the ability to market a style of music that can reach the public.


  1. I agree that the culture and the lifestyles surrounding these artists have a huge impact on the music they compose. The music in the film, as well as their stories were very raw and pure, mainly because these musicians have less to loose and so much to gain from exposing their music to the world. There were times throughout the film where I wanted to see the record label take these bluesmen further but, I feel the musicians were blessed with whatever new windows opened for them.

  2. The film portrayed the musicians as dedicated enough to their music and lifestyle to stay true to themselves no matter where they went. If the musicians, their families and friends got through the various "media treatments" unscathed they have proven they are one resilient bunch.