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December 05, 1971 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1971-12-05

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Page Two

THE WICHIGAN DAILY

Sunday, December 5, 1971

Page Two THE 'MICHIGAN DAILY Sunday, December 5, 1971

Doe3
'human,
By JIM IRWIN
The first time I ever heard
Doc and Merle Watson perform
in person was two years ago in
Canterbury House. It was one
of those performances you never
dreamed could exist-entirely
unique and unforgettable.
Lydia Mendelssohn Theater
last night was not the old Can-
terbury House with its hots cider
and intimacy, but the perform-
er was still the same Doc Wat-
son - warm, traditional, down-
to earth, and the audience ap-
preciated every minute of it.
Musically, Doc Watson is an
incredible technician - anyone
who has heard him will attest
to. that. Between songs he and
Merle will launch into flat-pick
instrumentals that are so fast
they seem to defy the capabili-
ties of the human ear-it's im-
possible to gain any sense of
melody, yet every time they
play a new instrumental the
ideas are still rich and new.
They never fail to re-energize
even the most foggy mind.
But Doc Watson is much more
than music - he makes you
' homesick for places you've never
been and a peaceful way of life
you never knew. He tells stor-
ies of the old Southern way of
making molasses that was "clear
and golden like honey." Or of
the first banjo his father ever
gave him when he was about
seven-it was even unfretted.
He sings of the old American
folk heroes that have become
but dim archetypes in our mem-

T1a

Ltson: Warm, Soul performers go to Ghana
dow-n-to-ea th and present a soul lacking film
v wn -. t' w-inr-

i

MLAIL. %-JF T V T&4f-EL-EL

By PETER N. MUNSING
The reasons people make films
of rock festivals and the rea-
sons people go to see them are
often different. People generally
go to see a film about a festival
if they couldn't make it to the
festival itself. Woodstock is a
prime example of this. The peo-
ple that make the films may
either try for a straight show
approach, such as Monterrey
Pop, or try to give the surround-
ing atmosphere or insight. Of
course, if you're Warner Bros.,
you fabricate a show and then
film it, ending up, with a preten-
tious flick like Medicine Ball
Caravan.
Soul to Soul tries to be Wood-
stock but ends up a'Monterrey
Pop, and is at times boring, for
the same reasons Monterrey Pop
didn't come off.
People will go to see Soul to
Soul for Ike and Tina Turner,
Wilson Pickett, and Santana, al-
though the Voices of East Har-
lem, Les McCann and Eddie
Harris, Roberta Flack, and the
Staples. Singers are also there.
Director Dennis Sanders is try-
ing for a little more, though he
ends up with a lot less.
In March of this year a group
of black American performers
were invited to Ghana for the
celebration of the anniversary
of its independence, and Sanders
attempted to capture this on
film. The film concerns itself
not only with a show, but with
a return to the roots for these
performers-a search for iden-
tity.
Soul to Soul begins in the best

George Pierrot style with an air-
plane and the pilot speaking,
"Let me tell you a little bit
about Ghana," which he pro-
ceeds to do. Then conversations
among passengers like Ike Turn-
er reading a poem about being
black; Roberta Flack telling us,
"I'm looking forward to all the
pretty materials and things be-
cause I like to sew,"-in short,
the mixed reactions of Ameri-
cans going back to their home-
land, just like a synagog from
Southfield going to Israel.
All well and good, except that
the title (used by the Ghanians
as well) implies an exchange
from which both will benefit.
But most of what we see is the
Americans performing to a smil-
ing African audience. Sure,
there's a special excitement and
rapport generated between the
performers and audience differ-
ent from what you'd find in De-
troit, Chicago, or Washington,
but we really won't see the per-
former's reactions.
What we do see are the per-
formers playing tourist-taking
pictures, buying souvenirs, tra-
velling to villages. Occasionally
we get a sense of their feelings
-realizing that they're not The
dudes, they're not really on their
own turf, black though they may
be. But whenever anything like
this plot is developed, the scene
shifts back to more travelogue
-natives singing as they work
in the fields, cure people, dance,
and generally live.
A Ghanian performer joins
Eddie Harris and Les McCann,
but the scene suddenly switches

to a Disney-type series on his
dancing his way from his village
to Accra; director Sanders mar-
velling a la Ed Sullivan, "And
this young man came all the way
from his village to perform
here tonight."
The performances themselves
are worth it, with the possible
exceptions of Roberta Flack and
the Staples Singers who were
unexciting. I also got a little tir-
ed of Carlos Santana's histrion-
ics, though maybe Sanderasrwas
trying to make a point, which
escaped me. The Ike and Tina
Turner Review was up to its
high standard, but because it
was standard, it wasn't as good
as the Voices of East Harlem
or Wilson Pickett. My disap-
pointment with the film lies not
so much with what it gives, but
with what it fails to give. There
were parts where it showed
glimpses of potential police-
men swaying in harmony with
the music and the crowd they
were controlling; one of the
Ghanian hosts telling the group
that they didn't worry about
slaves as they were tribes de-
feated in battle, and other shots,
but these got lost in the pretty
wrapping. It's like National Ge-
ographic attempting to do a
story on James Brown, and fail-
ing miserably.

11217 S.University across from Campus'lheater
DIAL-
NOW! 8-6416
"Ingmar Bergman's 'The Touch' is the best
film about love he has ever made."
-Penelope Gilliatt, The New Yorker
Elliott Gould
M Ingrnar
^s Bergman's
kJ..j""'The Touch"
TA CoAor 79
r ,f jTODAY AT 1,3, 5,7,9 pm.

lazy old codger and all the trou-
bles he's having on his farm-
the hens aren't laying, the fish
stopped biting, the hole in the
seat of his pants keeps getting
bigger. But he doesn't care; he
just takes it easy with a sort of
comfortable satisfaction that
the world will take care of him
anyway.
Doc Watson gave a workshop
at the Ark yesterday afternoon
where he gave a lot of tips on
flat-picking - what he's best
at - and talked about the nu-
merous folk musicians and
styles he draws his "notions of
country pickin"' from - such
as the Delmore brothers,
Mississippi John Hurt and
Merle Travis.
"A friend of mine came over
one day and said to me, 'Hey,
yer the best guitar player in the
land.'
"'Well I got you fooled,' I
said.
"Then he looked at me and
said. 'You got Earl Scruggs
fooled?'
"I said 'Yeah."'
For those who are interested,

ories-like Casey Jones and
John Henry. George Gershwin's
"Summertime" is indeed a more
modern song-but his rendition
of it still evokes that same rich
nostalgia.
One of my favorite songs
which I distinctly remember
from his performance two years
ago was "The Black Jack Coun-
ty Chain." "The moral of this
song is don't be unfair or dis-.
honest or you'll get your 'come-
uppins'." (A traditional South-
ern idiom meaning karma;) The
song is about a guy who gets
picked up by the Black Jack
County Sheriff for vagrancy
and spends a few years drag-
ging around unbearable chains.
The sheriff, with his "black
snake whip is a tyrant. One day
the prisoners creep up on him
in his sleep and kill him. The
melancholy tune and the per-
cussive lyrics make it an un-
forgettable song.
One of Doc Watson's more
unusual numbers was a narra-
tion accompanied by the "gui-
tar." The story was about some

-Daily-Tom Gottlieb
Merle and Doc don't play any of
the standard makes of fine gui-
tars - like Gibson or Martin.T Centicor B
Theirs were made by J.W. Gal- r
lagher of Wartrace, Tennessee
-what a sound,it speaks for it-
self.
What are you going to do
with all your paperbacks?
Program Information 662-6264
OPEN 12:45 Centicore on South University pays higher
"Always the Finest in
Screen Entertainment" prices in cash or credit for all used quality
Corner State & Liberty Streets and mass market paperbacks in good condi-
Shown at 1 P.M. & 3 P.M. tion: 30 % of cover price in cash, 50 % of
Only-Separate
Admission-All Seats 75c cover price in credit.
"WONDERFUL WORLD__
OF THE BROTHERS
GRIMM" G Rated..
Centicore on South University will specialize in
AT 5 P.M., 7 P.M. & 9P.M.
ONLY-NOT CONTINUOUS used paperbacks-and a few other things-all
WITH FAMILY MATINEES
year round. Bring your paperbacks in now. And
I.&T. T URNER,
WILSON PICKETT when you buy, you save.
& SANTANA
N
-_ ' tThe Centicore BookshopJ
336 Maynard 1229 S. University
NO 5-2604
THE NEW YORK TOURING COMPANY
Presenting Its Interpretation of
JSUS CHRIST
Saturday, December 11 CO-SPONSORED BY
Hill Auditorium-8:30 P.M. ENACT AND THE
Tickets $4.50, $5.50, $6.50 ANN ARBOR JAYCEES
TICKET SALE BEGINS 10:00 A.M. MONDAY
DECEMBER 6 AT HILL AUDITORIUM BOX OFFICE
THE ALLEY CINEMA
330 MAYNARD
TOMORROW ONLY -MONDAY, DEC. 6
THE SERVANT
dir. JOSEPH LOSEY ; screenplay by HAROLD PINTER
1963

American Revolutionary Media presents
Jean-Luc Godard and the Youth Culture
-TONIGHT-
Vladimir and Rosa ... & Abbie & Jerry
"flashes of the Marx Brothers and Bertold Brecht . . . on the whole, the best
recent Godard I've seen."-Kauffman, NEW REPUBLIC
"the Chicago Trial parody is bitter, but the playing is exuberant and ener-
getic, as childlike as the }(pre-Mao) fantasies."-N.Y. TIMES
also: Haight six-minute 1968 Newsreel documentary-and-
Godard in America 40-minute documentary of Godards-
1970 campus tour..Berkeley confrontation was historic.

7:30 & 9:30

Naturay Science Aud.

$1.25 cont.

I

AIII

Doc Watson

Program Information 665-6290
LAST DAYS
Today at 1-3-5-7-9
" . gut-tightening thriller and one "of the most
exciting films you'll see this year!'Ken Barnard-Det. News
CLINT EASTWOOD
...an invitation to terror...
SHOWCASE PRODUCTIONS NO. 2!
VASCO0
by George Schehade
TRUEBLOOD Theatre, Dec. 9, 10, 11
at 8 P.M.!
Box Office Open 2-5, M-W; 2-8, Th-S
Tickets: Thurs., $1.00; Fri., Sat., $1.50
3 PERFORMANCES ONLY!

'ii>
x:i:>?
s: :-:-.

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(All~ift
sk~1tum nYaRin o

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starring DICK BOGARDE, SARAH MILES, JAMES FOX ("Performance")
WENDY CRAIG

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II . _ _III

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