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Friday, December 16, 2011

FILMING CONCLUDES FOR "WE JUKE UP IN HERE" AS ADDITIONAL SPONSORS CLIMB ABOARD



(CLARKSDALE, MS)  In 2008, music producers Jeff Konkel and Roger Stolle took viewers on a road trip through the birthplace of the blues in the award-winning film “M For Mississippi.” Now the duo is set to return with a new film exploring what remains of the once-thriving tradition of juke joints in the Mississippi Delta. Filming concluded last week for “We Juke Up In Here: Mississippi’s Juke Joint Culture at the Crossroads.” The DVD/CD set will be released in April 2012 but is available now for pre-order at www.wejukeupinhere.com.

“Great blues music can be enjoyed anywhere, whether it’s at a big outdoor festival or an upscale supper club. But we believe the best place to hear it is in a dimly lit juke filled with tough characters, treacherous women and lukewarm beer,” Konkel said. “This film aims to prove our point.”

Production for “We Juke Up In Here” began in May and continued through the summer and fall. The project reunites Stolle and Konkel with their “M For Mississippi” cinematographer and co-producer Damien Blaylock. Also returning from the previous production was sound engineer Bill Abel. The team was rounded out by talented videographer and photographer Lou Bopp.


Although the movie’s production included film shoots in venues throughout the Delta, the film largely focuses on Red’s Lounge, a long-running juke in Clarksdale, Mississippi, and its owner Red Paden. Over the past decade, Red’s Lounge has emerged as the most active juke joint in the region, hosting live blues every weekend by some of the state’s best-loved bluesmen.

“There are plenty of so-called ‘juke joints’ in Mississippi that book live music during festival weekends when thousands of tourists flood the region,” Stolle said. “But the test of a real juke is what happens when the crowds go home. Red books real-deal blues into his juke week-in and week-out, all year round. He’s like the last of the Mohicans.”
Other venues to be featured in the film include Po’ Monkey’s Lounge in Merigold, Mississippi and the Blue Front Cafe in Bentonia, Mississippi.

In addition to insightful interviews with juke owners, patrons and musicians, “We Juke Up In Here” will feature gritty performances by Anthony “Big A” Sherrod, Louis “Gearshifter” Youngblood, Elmo Williams & Hezekiah Early, Robert Lee “Lil’ Poochie” Watson, Big George Brock, Jimmy “Duck” Holmes and Terry “Harmonica” Bean.

“We Juke Up In Here” will be released as a deluxe box set featuring a DVD, a CD soundtrack and a glossy pullout booklet with multiple essays, notes and color photos. The DVD will include the feature-length documentary along with a treasure trove of bonus features including unreleased scenes, production stills, a promotional trailer, closed captioning, foreign-language subtitles and more. The DVD will be region-free and playable on DVD players worldwide. The box set will retail for $29.99 (US).

Customers who pre-order “We Juke Up In Here” from www.wejukeupinhere.com will receive the product before its official release and at a discounted price of $25 (US) plus free shipping worldwide.


Several marketing sponsors have stepped forward with financial support to assist in the production of the movie. The filmmakers’ principal sponsor and partner is the Rootsway Roots & Blues Association (www.rootsandblues.org), a nonprofit organization from Parma, Italy. Founded in 2004, the group is dedicated to promoting rural and indigenous American and African-American musical art forms throughout northern Italy. Rootsway has brought several Mississippi blues performers to Italy in recent years.

Additional sponsors include: AJStephans Company/Jeff Rose (www.ajstephans.com), Cathead Vodka (www.catheadvodka.com), Jerry and Marge Konkel, Lemuria Books (www.lemuriabooks.com), Nayati Dreams (www.nayatidreams.fr), The New Roxy (www.newroxyclarksdale.com), Roadhouse Lou, and Smokestack Blues (www.smokestackblues.com).

Additional sponsorship opportunities remain for “We Juke Up In Here”. To inquire about sponsorships, e-mail the filmmakers at info@wejukeupinhere.com.

“We Juke Up In Here” is a joint production of Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art (www.cathead.biz) and Broke & Hungry Records (www.brokeandhungryrecords.com).
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