Sam Lay in Bluesland

Watch Sam Lay in Bluesland

  • PG
  • 2018
  • 56 min

Sam Lay in Bluesland is a documentary film released in 2016, directed by John Anderson. The movie delivers a portrait of Sam Lay, a blues drummer, as he performs on stage and shares his experiences in the music industry with some of his famous peers. Born in Alabama in 1935, Sam Lay moved to Chicago in the 1950s, where he started playing music. He quickly became involved in the Chicago blues scene, playing with the famous Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter, and Muddy Waters. Sam Lay's contribution to the blues movement of the 1960s was significant; he played drums for the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and the Bob Dylan Highway 61 Revisited album, which was a critical shift toward rock music.

The documentary features interviews with many influential musicians who have worked with Sam Lay, such as Iggy Pop, Elvin Bishop, and Jim Keltner. Sam Lay's performances throughout the film are notable for their energy and authenticity, exemplifying his mastery of the blues genre.

The documentary offers insight into Sam Lay's life, and his dedication to music, as he continues to play professionally in his eighties. The film is an intimate portrayal of Lay's life on and off stage, with interviews interspersed with footage of Lay performing at a variety of venues.

One of the key topics addressed in the movie is the role culture and history the blues has played in the social and political movements of the United States. The film touches on the civil rights era and how blues music, created by the African American community, empowered them to express their collective voice in struggles for freedom and equality.

Lay also shares his personal experience of playing music in a segregated America and his reflections on how the blues has impacted society. Iggy Pop's perspective on the blues is equally insightful, exploring how his punk rock heritage still resonates with the raw energy of blues music.

The film's production is modest and straightforward, featuring the performers and their music without any frills or gimmicks. The movie's soundtrack consists primarily of blues standards, as well as original compositions by Lay's musical associates, who pay tribute to his legacy as a drummer and mainstay of the blues scene.

Overall, Sam Lay in Bluesland is an intimate and moving tribute to an unsung hero of blues music. The documentary offers an insight into the cultural and historical significance of blues music through the eyes of the people who played, lived and breathed it. The film serves as both a reminder of the role blues music has played in American history and an intimate portrait of an exceptional musician, whose love for his craft has never wavered.

Sam Lay in Bluesland is a 2018 documentary with a runtime of 56 minutes.

Where to Watch Sam Lay in Bluesland
Sam Lay in Bluesland is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and YouTube VOD. Some platforms allow you to rent Sam Lay in Bluesland for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    56 min