Road to Memphis
2003 | DOCUMENTARY
A film by Richard Pearce and Robert Kenner
Directed by Richard Pearce
Produced by Robert Kenner
The Blues, executive produced by Martin Scorsese, consists of seven feature-length films that capture the essence of the blues while exploring how this art form so deeply influenced music and people the world over.
The series begins with the journey from Africa to the Mississippi Delta where the music grew from slaves' field hollers, work songs and spirituals then travels up the Mississippi River to the juke joints, house parties and recording studios of Memphis and Chicago, and culminates with the emotional embrace of this African-American creation by musicians and people throughout the world.
"The blues is at once American and worldly," said Martin Scorsese, who began work on the project six years ago. "It's a form of storytelling that is so universal that it has inspired people beyond our borders and continues to influence music here and abroad. We're hopeful that the series and YEAR OF THE BLUES will introduce new audiences worldwide to this music and also inspire kids, whether they like rock or hip hop, to better understand the struggles and genius that gave birth to what they listen to today."
"The Road to Memphis" is as fine as any film ever made about American music."
"What makes The Road to Memphis the unadulterated gem of the bunch [the Scorsese Blues series], however is the way the filmmakers carefully peel back layers of legend and preservation nostalgia in order to reveal the blues as it exists today."