Evolutionary Blues is a soul-stirring gumbo mix that traces the roots of the music that was played in postwar Oakland on 7th Street. The regional sounds of Alabama, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas came together in West Oakland as migrating Blacks answered the call of the war effort, finding work at Bay Area shipyards.
A community was developed that provided work, housing, culture and music. More than 30 local musicians share the history of this culture; how it evolved and what it has become.
Background historical narration is provided by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns), author Robert Self (American Babylon) and Bay Area historian and author, Rickey Vincent (The History of Funk).
The film includes a very compelling soundtrack, period images from the collections of E.F. Joseph, The Library of Congress and film clips from Riggs’ and Webster’s Long Train Running.
Local musicians appearing in the film include Sugar Pie DeSanto, Faye Carol, Lenny Williams, Fantastic Negrito, Freddie Hughes, Paul Tillman Smith, Wylie Trass, Jesse James, Lady Bianca and D’Wayne Wiggins. There are vignettes on the careers of Charles Sullivan, T-Bone Walker, Lowell Fulson, Jimmy McCracklin, Big Mama Thornton and Omar Sharriff. Bob Geddins, Sr., Johnny Talbot and Larry Graham are often included in many of the stories told.
Evolutionary Blues is a project by KTOP Channel 10. It is produced and directed by Cheryl Fabio, filmmaker and Executive Director of the Sarah Webster Fabio Center for Social Justice.
For more information, go to: https://www.facebook.com/evobluesfilm/