March 31, 2012

Bayou Maharajah

Bayou Maharajah, directed by New Orleans filmmaker, educator, and journalist Lily Keber and funded almost two years ago via kickstarter, is the first attempt to treat the life of New Orleans pianist James Booker at any real length; although how it's taken so long for "the black, gay, one-eyed junkie" (as NPR describes him in a nutshell) to receive in depth treatment (biographical) is beyond me. Booker's distinctive playing style, synthesized from his huge range of generic and personal influences, and almost unnerving faculty for keyboard playing earned him an international reputation, though his eccentric lifestyle and chronic drug abuse caused his early death at 43. Having said that, Keber's project has been a model resuscitation. Throughout the life of the film, Keber has regularly communicated with fans and the past generation of silent chroniclers that remember Booker via her blog, where she and her team are also continuing to accept further donations to offset the notoriously expensive post-production process. (via NPR Music)

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