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1950. Rural Alabama. Cotton harvest. It's a make-or-break weekend for the Honeydripper Lounge and its owner, piano player Tyrone "Pine Top" Purvis. Deep in debt to the liquor man, the chicken man, and the landlord, Tyrone is desperate to lure the young cotton pickers and local Army base recruits into his juke joint, away from Touissant's, the rival joint across the way. His plan to hire a guitar legend go awry and Tyrone is forced to take drastic action in a final scheme to save the club. Written by
The movie was enjoyable. Only complaint would be that it moved slowly, and with a two-hour length ... made it seem quite long. Reasonable plot, well composed, well acted & directed. The supporting actress for the character of China Doll had some very good moments. Tighter editing and better pacing would have made it much much better. It is not the best film in the world, but of good quality and very much worth watching - it will probably fall under the radar for Hollywood and the general populace.
The really outstanding thing was the music. While not a musical, it does stop whole-heartedly to focus on the performers and the music. Think "Black Snake Moan" but without repeated cuts/editing. Those who love blues, six-count blues and early rock-and-roll will likely enjoy the film. I intend to get the soundtrack. It apparently includes Ruth Brown's final recording, as well as work by Dr. Mable John & Keb' Mo. Newcomer Gary Clark Jr., a Texan actor and musician shows good potential. Although this performance at Chicago and New Your music festivals last year (with the "Honeydripper All-Stars" promoting the film) have larger dynamic and vitality to them. His performance of the song China Doll, which John Salyes apparently wrote/co-wrote, is on the other hand quite entertaining.
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