The musicians

Johnny Young
Johnny Young


"Well, you take Black Stovepipe, he played down there.
An' Pork Chops, an' John Henry--there was a lot of different players."
Robert Nighthawk. From a 1964 interview conducted by Mike Bloomfield
in connection with the making of "And This is Free."


The biggest names

Maxwell Street on Sundays drew thousands of shoppers, merchants, and tourists, and scores of blues performers, folk singers, and gospel singers, including some of the most famous names in the blues.

Performances by:

Carey Bell

Mike Bloomfield

Jimmy Brewer

John Lee Granderson

Arvella Gray

Robert Nighthawk

Big John Wrencher

Johnny Young

and others were captured in the filming of "And This is Free"
(Click on the names above for short biographies)


Uncut, original tapes

All of the recordings were edited for use in the film. There is not a single uninterrupted performance in the film. Miraculously, all of the original Nagra sound recordings exist in their unedited form, although the video portions of the musical outtakes from the film are presumed lost. An unauthorised version of a portion of the music from copies of the original tapes was released in 1980 (Robert Nighthawk: Live on Maxwell Street--1964, Rounder 2022).

Many unrealeased performances and the superior sound of the original tapes are available again for the first time since 1964.


The place

The project

The music


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