And This Is Free: The Life And Times Of Chicago’s Legendary Maxwell Street (1964)

1960s: Days of Rage


“After languishing out of print for many years, Mike Shea’s legendary film on Chicago’s Maxwell Street Market, And This Is Free, has finally been reissued by Shanachie and I imagine news of this will stir up quite a bit of excitement in blues circles. Shanachie has done an exemplary job with the packaging; housed in a soft covered fold out set is a two disc set containing the 50 minute documentary And This Is Free, the 30 minute documentary Maxwell Street: A Living Memory, some fascinating archival footage, an interview with sound man Gordon Quinn, a separate CD of performances by artists associated with Maxwell Street plus an illustrated 36 page booklet. The history of the film and music recorded by Mike Shea over the course of sixteen Sundays on Chicago’s Maxwell Street in 1964 has an interesting if convoluted history, and I find it odd that…

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