10 Days Out (Blues from the Backroads) Review
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This touching documentary brings us on a scenic road trip along with Kenny Wayne Shepherd through the south and part of the midwest, stopping to talk and jam with a vibrant assortment of well-seasoned artists including BB King, Gatemouth Brown, Cootie Stark, John Dee Holeman, Etta Baker, Jerry “Boogie” McCain and Henry James Townsend.

Shepherd plays “Knoxville Rag” with 92 year-old Etta Baker in her kitchen. He plays “Prison Blues” outside on a cloudy afternoon Cootie Stark and Neal Pattman. He chats with Gatemouth and BB King about music, love, and life. One of the final scenes includes a gorgeous set with the Muddy Waters Band, including a magnificent version of “Got My Mojo Working.”

There is a great deal of wisdom and insight imparted by these talented veterans about both music and life. It’s painful to be reminded about how much more prevalent racism was when these guys started out, yet it is absolutely heartwarming to watch them, some in their ‘80s and ‘90s, let loose with such youthful passion. You’d swear they were kids.

Taken under the wing of the remarkable Bryan Lee, Kenny Wayne Shepherd is a brilliant musician who’s extremely humble about having the opportunity to play with these greats. What really shines through here is his golden-hearted love for the blues and the talented lot that transported them from then to now.

Carrying us from a time when blues was “the devil’s music” through the evolution to the respected genre it has become, Ten Days Out is an outstanding movie, a much-deserved tribute to these great founders and a testament to Shepherd’s enormous respect and appreciation for the history of blues. This wise, passionate film will leave you feeling enriched and contented, like you’ve just spent a perfect day enjoying good conversation with close friends.

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