04-26-2007 | Movie Reviews + Features | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper


A live-concert documentary in the tradition of U2's Rattle and Hum and the Stones' Gimme Shelter, Antoine Fuqua's Lightning in a Bottle captures some of the biggest names in American blues music as they perform during a tribute show at Radio City Music Hall. Interspersed with the numerous live sets are brief snippets of backstage horseplay and pre-concert practice sessions, but some of the film's most captivating moments are its bits of historical footage. A grainy vignette of Son House explaining the true definition of blues is particularly memorable, as is a scene of W.C. Handy playing the supposed first note of the genre. Along with timeless musicians like Buddy Guy and Mavis Staples, a steady stream of contemporary characters appear throughout the night including Keb' Mo', who plays a Robert Johnson tune, and India.Arie, who provides a chilling version of Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit." Regent Square



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