Cleveland International Film Festival } April 7 – April 18, 2021 } Playhouse Square

HELLHOUNDS ON MY TRAIL: THE AFTERLIFE OF ROBERT JOHNSON

 

Year: 1999
Country: USA
Run Time: 95 minutes

During last September's Rock Hall tribute to legendary Delta bluesman Robert Johnson, documentary filmmaker Robert Mugge decided to bring in a whole crew to film the week-long series of events, from concerts to panel discussions. Using the same title as the Rock hall's in-depth educational examination, HELLHOUNDS ON MY TRAIL takes an honest look at the fans and music scholars who came together in Cleveland to obsess over every note of Johnson's songs, every detail of his life and every bizarre permutation of his ever-expanding legend. Almost a mythological character, Johnson died before he was thirty after developing a unique slide guitar sound that he supposedly came by fter he sold his soul to the devil. The film also vividly capture a long list of performers in concert performing covers of Johnson's classic blues songs or related material, from slide-guitar wonder Sonny Landreth to Cleveland's own Robert Lockwood Jr., who, as Robert Johnson's stepson, learned to play at the feet of the master. Mugge has added additional footage beyond the Cleveland extravaganza by profiling Stephen C. LaVere, the controversial keeper of Johnson's estate, and Willie Coffee, a childhood friend of Johnson.

Director
Robert Mugge

Producer
Robert Mugge

Cinematography
Lawrence McConkey

Editing
Robert Mugge

Principal Cast
Performers include Bob Weir, Rob Wasserman, Robert Lockwood Jr., Keb' Mo', G. Love and Special Sauce, Sonny Landreth, Joe Louis Walker, Chris Whitley, Marcia Ball, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Rory Block, David Honeyboy Edwards, Peter Green, and more.

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