The life and times of 3-time Grammy® Award winning roadhouse roots rock legend Delbert McClinton shot mostly aboard his annual floating music festival, the Sandy Beaches Cruise. Live performances by Delbert McClinton, Marcia Ball, Rodney Crowell, Stephen Bruton, Al Anderson, Paul Thorn, Tommy Castro, Wayne Toups, Jimmy Hall, and Teresa James & the Rhythm Tramps. Written by
The (often undeserving) first tier of music - the Madonna Ciccone's, the Britney Spears, the Rolling Stones' and Elton Johns' of the world get pretty well known pretty quickly.
The B tier - the Delbert McClinton's, Marcia Ball's, and Jimmy Hall's of the world don't get so much attention. They tend to make music that is more genuine - less directed by the market-makers and more directed at their creative impulses - than the first tier artists. They gather a group of loyal listeners who dependably purchase their disks and attend their concerts -- regardless of whether those disks get radio play. The reliable audiences provide enough relative security to allow these artists to develop and hone a style and a message in a way that artists cannot manage: like politicians delivering the message the pollsters tell them to deliver, the first-tier artists produce the music the marketing wizzes tell them to produce. Not surprisingly, such music often comes out sounding like crap.
This movie provides a unique view into the mind and careers of a number of a small number of the dedicated second-tier artists, and a view at their collective annual retreat: Delbert McClinton's Sandy Beaches Cruise. It also shows the ups and downs of the life of a second-tier entertainer.
Making music is less about glamour, and more about hard work and dedication, than the conventional wisdom reveals. This movie shows (if only a little) how a few dedicated professionals have managed to eke out a living without sacrificing their integrity.
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