Mike Shea, maker of And This is Free, the now-legendary documentary about Maxwell Street Market, died unexpectedly in 1995. Shortly afterward, Mike Shea's son, Patrick Shea, approached producer and recording engineer Ian Talcroft of Studio IT with a couple of old reels of tape in battered boxes. On the tapes was the voice of Johnny Young, performing live on Maxwell Street, performances that no more than a handful of people had heard in more than thirty years.
And there were more tapes--all the original recordings made in conjunction with the film.
In 1980 an unauthorized edit of some of the music on the tapes was released to critical acclaim (Robert Nighthawk: Live on Maxwell Street, Rounder 2022), but it is now clear that there was much more material. The superior sound of the original tapes is available again for the first time since 1964, lovingly re-mastered with state-of-the-art digital equipment by Ian Talcroft of Studio IT.