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Dare You To Do It Again

by: Jessie Mae Hemphill

Album Artwork

(219 Records)

This 2004 documentary was filmed at Sherman Cooper's farm in Como, Mississippi. Jessie Mae Hemphill died on July 22, 2006, at 71. As a child she learned to play various instruments and spent years performing in the Mississippi hill country. Jessie Mae played guitar, wrote and sang her own blues songs.

Jessie Mae Hemphill won the 1987 and 1988 W.C. Handy Award for Best Traditional Female Blues Artist. Her career spanned more than five decades. She released her last two albums--Dare You To Do It Again and Get Right Blues--in 2004. In this documentary Jessie Mae explains how she started playing guitar at 8, and how Muddy Waters served as one of her inspirations.

The musicians featured in the film include Greg Humphreys, Ruthie Foster, Cyd Cassone, DJ Logic, Papa Mali, the NMAS' Chris Chew, Robert Belfour, R.L. Boyce, Kenny Brown, Kinney Kimbrough, Cedric Burnside, Garry Burnside, Jimbo Mathus, Olga Wilhelmine Munding and the Rising Star Fife and Drum Corps.

Jimbo Mathus made this statement regarding this documentary's performance: "All day long and the night before, musicians have started gathering ands waiting for the arrival of 'Miss Jessie'. Jessie Mae Hemphill, Queen of the Guitar Boogie. More than a recording session, this evening will prove to be a summit, reunion, and document: a juke joint throwdown, presided over by sister Jessie Mae...God bless Mississippi and pass the antiseptic."

The interviews with Jessie Mae in this documentary prove insightful. In almost every scene, Jessie Mae keeps her puppy in her lap. The film is divided into 'The Documentary', The Fish Fry, Late Night Jam and Breakfast at Gerrards. Dare You To Do It Again captures one of the South's most talented blues artists before she passed away. Long live Jessie Mae Hemphill...

James Calemine


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