Shake 'Em On Down

Directed by: Joe York
USA | 55 minutes
VUE Piccadilly
Pic. 2
Sun 25th Sep 17:30

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Shake ‘Em On Down tells the story of Fred McDowell, a blues artist who served as the cornerstone of a unique style of music that originated in North Mississippi. Interviewing friends, colleagues and admirers of his work, Joe York’s documentary looks at the man behind the name through his personal life and professional career. The longevity of McDowell’s music is explored, as well as the musical landscape of that time. The revival of folk music grew out of unsatisfied baby boomers in 1960’s America, and a counter culture grew from a generation wanting more folk. That affected the revival of country blues, as white middle class college kids turned to music they thought was an alternative to rock ‘n’ roll. The film explores McDowell’s partnership with Alan Lomax as they recorded his first album in 1959, and friendship with singer and mentee Bonnie Raitt. Interviews and archive footage shape the conversation, and McDowell’s character. The result is a touching documentary about a man whose guitar took over the need for words, with interviewees describing that being in his presence was to be a part of something remarkable.
Bonnie Raitt
Taj Mahal
Shirley Collins
Ron Watts
Tony Russell
Joe York
Joe York
Joe York
Scott Barretta
Executive Producer(s)
Andy Harper
Becky Feder
Ron Feder
Screening Status
International Premiere
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