Many artists and musical forms played a role in the creation of rock, but arguably no single piece of music was more influential than the 1958 instrumental “Rumble” by American Indian rock guitarist and singer/songwriter Link Wray.
When recalling Link Wray’s shivering guitar classic, “Rumble,” film director, and producer Martin Scorsese marvels, “It is the sound of that guitar . . . that aggression.” “Rumble” was the first song to use distortion and feedback. It introduced the rock power chord – and was one of the very few instrumental singles to be banned from the radio for fear it would incite violence.
The independent film, RUMBLE, explores how the Native American influence is an integral part of music history, despite attempts to ban, censor, and erase Indian culture in the United States. It tells the story of a profound, essential and, until now, missing chapter in the history of American music.
As RUMBLE reveals, the early pioneers of the blues had Native as well as African American roots, and one of the first and most influential jazz singers’ voices was trained on Native American songs. As the folk rock era took hold in the 60s and 70s, Native Americans helped to define its evolution.
Father of the Delta Blues Charley Patton, influential jazz singer Mildred Bailey, metaphysical guitar wizard Jimi Hendrix, and folk heroine Buffy Sainte-Marie are among the many music greats who have Native American heritage and have made their distinctive mark on music history.
RUMBLE uses playful recreations and little-known stories, alongside concert footage, archives and interviews. The stories of these iconic Native musicians are told by some of America’s greatest music legends and other artist who knew them, played music with them, and were inspired by them, including: Taj Mahal, Cyril Neville, Ivan Neville, John Trudell, Steven Tyler, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Jackson Browne, Martha Redbone, Joy Harjo, Iggy Pop, Pura Fe Crescioni (Ulali), Robbie Robertson, Buffy Sainte-Marie, and many others.
The documentary is the winner of the Sundance Film Festival 2017 Special Jury Award for Masterful Storytelling, and Best Music Documentary.
RUMBLE is showing at the Landmark Lagoon Cinema in Minneapolis September 1st thru September 7th.
Rumble is scheduled to show through-out 2017 and 2018 at locations around the country. To find dates and places, see: www.rumblethemovie.com.