Adventure 12: A Priceless Fragment of American Folk Blues History

"Three Songs By Lead Belly" 1945

In case your credit card isn't maxed out from my previous recommendations, here is another "must have" set of three DVDs… Legends of Country Blues Guitar.

Just like "Swingin' the Blues" perfectly catches the essence of Jazz, this landmark film distills the essence of folk blues. The staging and cutting in this little film is exquisite. Lead Belly was a man whose temper kept him in trouble with the law. Bob Dylan described him as "one of the few ex-cons to record a children's album". But he is best known as the "King of the 12 String Guitar". Like the Carter Family, his extensive recording career was responsible for documenting and preserving scores of folk songs that would not have survived otherwise. His importance to American folk music can't be overemphasized. This clip is the only time he ever appeared on film- a treasure of the first magnitude.