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Music Doc "Chasin' Gus' Ghost" to Screen at Memphis Film Fest

- for the Grateful Web

Music documentary "Chasin' Gus' Ghost" will screen on March 29 as a part of the On Location: Memphis International Film Festival.

The film, directed by Todd Kwait, is a labor-of-love documentary focused on one of America's most beloved forms of folk music, the jug band.  Featuring a who's who of '60s folk artists like Rock and Roll Hall of Famers John Sebastian (Lovin' Spoonful) and Bob Weir (Grateful Dead), David Grisman, Geoff Muldaur, Maria Muldaur and Jim Kweskin, "Chasin' Gus' Ghost" explores the history of jug band music and the influence it had on these legendary musicians.

Jug band music has deep roots in Memphis.  Two of the most famous early jug bands were from the city: Cannon's Jug Stompers, featuring Gus Cannon, and the Memphis Jug Band, featuring Memphis native and blues godfather Will Shade.  Both bands recorded and played in Memphis during the 1920s and 30s.  Gus Cannon's Jug Stompers were a popular Beale Street act into the 1930s. Three decades later, following the folk revival of jug band music in the early 1960s, Will Shade and Gus Cannon recorded an album for Memphis' Stax label.

Here's what the critics are saying:

"Delightful... it is the first word that came to mind when considering Chasin' Gus' Ghost... the end product happens to be the most enjoyable film anyone will see this year."  
DocumentaryFilms.net - Bryan Newbury

"An absorbing movie capable of inspiring a whole new generation of ghost-chasers."
AllAboutJazz.com - Sam Chell

What: "Chasin' Gus' Ghost" screening at Memphis International Film Festival
Where: Malco Theatre - Studio on the Square
When: Saturday, March 29th 12:30PM
Tickets: $8.50 at door, available online

"Chasin' Gus' Ghost" Featuring Chicago's Charlie Musselwhite

Charlie Musselwhite- for the Grateful Web

Among the luminary musicians featured in the acclaimed music documentary "Chasin' Gus' Ghost" is Chicago bluesman Charlie Musselwhite.  He is one of many to cite jug band music as a source of inspiration early in his musical career.  Says Musselwhite in the film, "I think jug bands is where the later electric blues came from.  It's an important part of American music."  

Musselwhite is an acclaimed blues harp player from Mississippi who made his way north on Highway 51 to Chicago looking for work.  In Chicago, he immersed himself in music and met legends such as Buddy Guy, Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters.  He has released over 20 albums, topped Billboard's blues charts, performed on Grammy-winning records and is synonymous with Chicago blues.  Musselwhite will perform at the Will Shade Gravestone Benefit Tribute Concert following the screening of "Chasin' Gus' Ghost."  

The bluesman's source of musical inspiration is echoed by legends like Bob Weir (Grateful Dead), John Sebastian (Lovin' Spoonful) and David Grisman throughout the film.  The Grateful Dead - one of the best-known bands in American music - started as a jug band, Mother McRee's Uptown Jug Champions.  Weir and Jerry Garcia created the band on one fateful New Year's Eve, a historic meeting that Weir discusses in the film.

"Chasin' Gus' Ghost" is entertaining and educational.  Full of archival video and concert footage featuring John Sebastian, Jim Kweskin and the beloved jug and washtub bass master Fritz Richmond, this film is a must-see for any music fan.  

What: Will Shade Gravestone Benefit featuring Charlie Musselwhite, Carolina Chocolate Drops and a screening of "Chasin' Gus' Ghost" at the Old Town School in Chicago

When: Sunday, Jaunary 27, 2008
2PM - SCREENING OF CHASIN' GUS' GHOST (FREE)
4-6PM - Jug Band Jam Session (FREE)
7PM - Benefit Concert featuring Charlie Musselwhite and Carolina Chocolate Drops
$20, $18 for Old Town School Members, $16 for seniors and kids

Where: Old Town School of Folk Music
4544 N Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL
http://www.oldtownschool.org/concerts/event.lasso?id=P6531 

Folk music doc 'Chasin' Gus' Ghost' to screen in Indiana Dec. 1

Gun Cannon- for the Grateful Web

Following sold-out screenings at the San Francisco Jug Band Festival, the Woodstock Film Festival and the Hartford International Film Festival, jug band documentary 'Chasin' Gus' Ghost' will screen in Bloomington, IN on December 1st at the Monroe County Public Library Auditorium.  The film features music legends such as Bob Weir (Grateful Dead), John Sebastian (Lovin' Spoonful), David Grisman, Maria Muldaur and Erik Darling (Rooftop Singers).

A must-see film for music lovers, 'Chasin' Gus' Ghost' is full of interviews, great live performances and archival film footage and newspaper clippings dating back as far as the 1920s.  The documentary traces the history of jug band music, with emphasis on the enigmatic Gus Cannon, who passed away virtually penniless at the age of 91 despite penning the tune "Walk Right In," which became a Number 1 hit for The Rooftop Singers in 1963.  

The Grateful Dead and Lovin' Spoonful also cite early jug band music as a main source of inspiration, and one of Bloomington native Hoagy Carmichael's first compositions, written when he was still an Indiana University student, refers to an "instrument" frequently used by jug band musicians (and visible in the film) in "Washboard Blues."

Here's what critics are saying about the film:

"An absorbing movie capable of inspiring a whole new generation of ghost-chasers."
AllAboutJazz.com - Sam Chell

"Pull out the banjos and Popcorn Sutton moonshine, for a jug band might just be coming to a theater near you soon."
PasteMagazine.com - Christina Martin

"If you are a fan of blues, jazz, and American roots - or jug - music, ['Chasin' Gus' Ghost'] is not to be missed."
Blogcritics.org- Connie Phillips  

Details:

What: 'Chasin' Gus' Ghost music documentary screening
When: Saturday December 1st at 1 and 3PM    
Where: Monroe County Public Library Auditorium
303 E. Kirkwood Ave Bloomington, IN 47408
http://www.monroe.lib.in.us/
Cost: FREE

"Chasin' Gus' Ghost" Jug Band Documentary Screens In Hartford, CT

John Sebastian- for the Grateful Web

Fresh off the heels of a sold-out world premiere screening at the Woodstock Film Festival earlier this month, jug band documentary "Chasin' Gus' Ghost" is set to screen at the Hartford International Film Festival in Hartford, CT on November 10th at 7PM.

The film, directed by Todd Kwait, is labor-of-love documentary focused on one of America's beloved forms of folk music, the jug band.  Featuring a who's-who of 60s folk artists like Rock and Roll Hall of Famers John Sebastian (Lovin' Spoonful) and Bob Weir (Grateful Dead); David Grisman, Geoff Muldaur, Maria Muldaur and Stamford, Connecticut-born Jim Kweskin, "Chasin' Gus' Ghost" explores the history of jug band music and the influence it had on these legendary musicians.

Highlights of this "inspiring" (Allaboutjazz.com) film include Bob Weir recalling the first time he met Jerry Garcia and the eventual formation of the Grateful Dead, vintage performance footage of Lovin' Spoonful and the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, and newspaper clippings, photos and archival video footage of jug band musicians dating as far back as the 1920s.  All are rare treats for music and documentary lovers.

What: Screening of "Chasin' Gus' Ghost"
Where: The University of Hartford's Wilde Auditorium, Hartford, CT
When: November 10th at 7PM
Tickets: $10 for "Chasin' Gus' Ghost" screening, available at the Wilde Auditorium before the screening and online at http://www.capitolcinemacollective.org.