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Rethinking the Blues

15 Nov, 2005 By: Jessica Wolf

B.B. King praises The Chicago Blues Reunion on the new DVD.

Buried Alive in the Blues was a labor of love for Timm Martin and his company, Out of the Box Records.

The audio CD, available via Bayside Distribution, has a DVD component and features The Chicago Blues Reunion — a group of Chicago blues performers in a concert filmed live in their hometown last fall.

Out of the Box released the set in a CD-sized jewel case with an emphasis on the live recording of the concert earlier this year.

“What became clear about a month ago is, we were completely missing the boat on this,” Martin said.

So, Out of the Box took the set and repackaged it with a DVD emphasis, putting it in an Amaray-sized case and highlighting the DVD portion of the two-disc set. The DVD includes 30 minutes of performance footage and interviews with the band members and musicians they've influenced over the years.

In the tradition of Standing in the Shadows of Motown and The Buena Vista Social Club, Buried Alive in the Blues lets the lesser-known artists who've wielded major influence in the blues sound for decades take center stage.

The documentary focuses on the artists Barry Goldberg (keyboards), Nick Gravenites (vocals, guitar), Sam Lay (drums, vocals), Harvey Mandel (guitar), Tracy Nelson (vocals) and Corky Siegel (harmonica, vocals), who also are featured in Paramount Home Entertainment's recent Bob Dylan music documentary, No Direction Home.

Buddy Guy and B.B. King jumped at the chance to be part of the DVD interviews for the release, Martin said.

The CD and music market, like movies, is so hit-driven it's easy for a title like this to get lost in the music mix at retail. But some retailers, who didn't order any of the CD-emphasis release, now are on board for the DVD version, according to Martin.

“I am 1,000 percent convinced that this project can cross over,” Martin said.

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