Rumble, which premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, at long last makes known the untold story of a profound, essential, and, until now, missing chapter in the history of rock n’ roll: the Indigenous influence. Investigating the influential careers of performers such as Mildred Bailey, Charley Patton, Jimi Hendrix, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Robbie Robertson, and North Carolina’s own Link Wray, whose iconic counter-culture anthem from 1958 lends the film its title–and, for what it’s worth, is still the only instrumental song to ever be banned from the radio–Rumble shows how these talented Native musicians helped shape the soundtracks of our lives.
Inspired by the Smithsonian Institution exhibit “Up Where We Belong: Native Musicians In Popular Culture,” created by Tim Johnson and Stevie Salas for the National Museum of the American Indian, the film features engaging testimony from a long list of music artists, historians, and experts, including Steven Van Zandt, Tony Bennett, Taj Mahal, Martin Scorsese, John Trudell, Steven Tyler, George Clinton, Slash and many more. For those of you seeking your musical fix during RiverRun, this electric rock-doc with astonishing cultural and ethnomusicological insights surely will not disappoint.
Screening co-presented by Phuzz Records