Sonny Boy Williamson, Robert Jr Lockwood: on film, 1942

Amazing colour film footage from 1942 of Sonny Boy Williamson II (Rice Miller) and Robert Jr Lockwood playing on the front porch of an Arkansas grocery store in 1942. It also features some shots of Williamson playing with his band in 1952. No sound, but as one YouTube commenter wrote, “The music is there! You just can’t hear it”. This is quite an amazing artifact. It was apparently shot by Max Moore, the owner of the King Biscuit Flour company which sponsored the now-legendary (an overused word, but in this context, highly appropriate) King Biscuit Time radio show on KFFA … Continue reading

Benda Bilili! documentary opens Oct 14

A highly acclaimed documentary on the remarkable Congolese group, Staff Benda Bilili will open at the TIFF Lightbox on Oct. 14. The film was the first documentary to ever open the Cannes Festival, where it received a standing ovation. The group has achieved great international success in the last couple of years (but sadly hasn’t yet played Toronto). The members were all homeless street people living on the ground of the Kinshasha Zoo. Many of them are polio victims and perform in their customized wheelchairs. Their story — and their music — is unique and moving. (Their name means “Don’t … Continue reading

Event notes

Event listings (www.events.to-music.ca) have been updated. A few upcoming shows of note: Tonight (May 6) a rare chance to see music from Equatorial Guinea featuring Anastasio & Zalang Band in a free show at the Melody Bar, Gladstone Hotel. 1214 Queen W., 7-10pm. Part of “Gladstone World” co-presented with Batuki Music. Details on Facebook May 7-15: Toronto Jewish Film Festival. As Hot Docs winds down, this winds up, and it always features some music-themed films. This year’s include: “The Three Lenny’s”: a series of films featuring and about Leonard Cohen, Leonard Bernstein and satirist Lenny Bruce. Also, look for The … Continue reading