Sunday, November 04, 2007
Son Seals' Blues Journey
Frank ‘Son’ Seals was arguably the most important discovery of Alligator Records and its chief honcho, Bruce Iglauer. Such albums as The Son Seals Blues Band, Midnight Son and Live and Burning are among the finest blues of the past four decades. Son Seals passed away in 2004 and his friend Peter Carlson has produced a documentary just issued on DVD, A Journey Through the Blues: The Son Seals Story (VizzTone), which will appeal to his many fans and will hopefully introduce others to this marvelous artist and person. The centerpiece of the documentary is interview footage of Son along with Bruce Iglauer, members of Son’s family, Koko Taylor, Dr. John and others set against footage of Son in performance, although the soundtrack for the documentary is taken from his recordings. Son’s early days in Arkansas, growing up in a home that served as a juke, learning drums and then guitar and the move to Chicago which led to his being discovered by Alligator are discussed here as well as an overview of his music and performances. There is footage (without sound) of his terrific nineties band that included saxophonist Red Groetzinger among others. Its a nicely done, although short bio-doc of him that is well put together. Also included are three live concert performances of Son from three different events that display how powerful a performer he was, although these are taken from after 2000 and it would have been nice to have included footage of his earlier bands (assuming such exists with sound). Also the three performances are a little under 1/2 hour. Maybe a European tv show of Son with his great band with Lacey Gibson and A.C. Reed will show up. Son was one of this writer’s favorite performers and I miss him as does anyone who got to meet and talk to him. I simply wish there was more than provided here on a well done video.