Director Don McGlynn has been in the business of making heartfelt, low-budget documentaries of important but marginalized musicians for 20 years now. Performers such as Art Pepper, Charles Mingus and Harold Arlen -- all monumentally influential and under threat of being footnoted -- have had their legacies bolstered by McGlynn's films. Now, the impact of Chester Burnett, aka Howlin' Wolf, can be equally measured. Though Wolf's probably not in danger of being forgotten, it would be a tragedy if he were to be solely remembered as "the black guy who played with Clapton and those other British cats." This film, expanded by 30 minutes from its original one-hour length, celebrates both Wolf's ambassadorial impact on rock audiences and his relevance to blues traditions. Without overly idealizing Wolf's Mississippi upbringing, McGlynn makes it abundantly clear that despite his crossover appeal, Howlin' Wolf was a to-the-bones bluesman during his four-decade career. Long-lost performance footage pads a substantial bonus section on the DVD, virtually eclipsing the theatrical release of the movie.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at email@example.com.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.