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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Devil Deal Blues - A Short Film in the making

In 1936, blues man Robert Johnson recorded a series of songs for a wad of cash -- with no residuals and no ownership of the recordings. Johnson's music has inspired rock and blues musicians ever since.

A new short film dramatic film re-imagines this moment at the rock bottom of the Great Depression, when a down-and-out record man discovers an unknown young blues musician. Crossing dangerous race lines, they forge an uneasy alliance which changes both their lives forever.

This project grew from a seed of generosity, when award-winning playwright Willy Holtzman gave actor/director Robert Brink the adaptation rights to his play, San Antonio Sunset. After several screenplay drafts with co-writer Talvin Wilks, Brink shot test footage of the action with different actors. With editor Soham Mehta and director of photography Andres Karu, Brink began developing a unique camera language to express the story -- as if the story were narrated in a Robert Johnson song. Producer Brent Bettes and assistant director Thomas Willams did preliminary location research in Texas for vintage interior and exterior locations. Musical director Ebonie Smith traveled the Delta, visiting blues venues, transcribing Johnson's songs, talking with musicians, and asking the question, if Johnson were alive today, what kind of music would he be making? For in this film, what you hear will be at least as important as what you see.

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