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Arts & Culture

INDEPENDENT LENS: Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World

Pat Vegas and members of the Native American rock group, Redbone. (undated photo)
Courtesy of Joseph Dominguez
Pat Vegas and members of the Native American rock group, Redbone. (undated photo)

Stream now or tune in Tuesday, July 27, 2021 at 10:30 p.m. on KPBS TV

Available to stream on Amazon Prime + YouTube

A musical celebration of how Native American musicians transformed blues, jazz and rock, “RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World,” premiered on INDEPENDENT LENS in 2019.

As the film reveals, early pioneers of the blues such as Charley Patton had Native as well as African American roots, and one of the first and most influential jazz singers, Mildred Bailey, had a voice trained on Native American songs.

As the folk rock era took hold in the ‘60s and ‘70s, Native Americans such as Robbie Robertson and Buffy Sainte-Marie helped to define its evolution, and Native guitarists and drummers like Link Wray, Jimi Hendrix, Jesse Ed Davis and Randy Castillo forever changed the trajectory of rock and roll.

Buffy Sainte-Marie, one of the most influential folk singers of the 1960s. (undated photo)
Courtesy of Rezolution Pictures
Buffy Sainte-Marie, one of the most influential folk singers of the 1960s. (undated photo)

"RUMBLE" brings the music and musicians to life using innovative re-creations, archival concert footage and interviews.

Heavy metal drummer Randy Castillo, one of the Native American musicians profiled in "RUMBLE."
Courtesy of Courtesy of Christine Castillo, Randy Castillo Foundation
Heavy metal drummer Randy Castillo, one of the Native American musicians profiled in "RUMBLE."

Their stories are told by some of the music legends who knew them, played with them and were inspired by them, including George Clinton, Taj Mahal, Slash, Jackson Browne, Taboo (Shoshone/Mexican), Buddy Guy, Quincy Jones, Derek Trucks, Tony Bennett, Iggy Pop, Steven Tyler and Stevie Van Zandt.

Also featured are Native American poet and activist John Trudell, rock critic David Fricke, director Martin Scorsese and many more.

Steven Van Zandt, member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band.
Courtesy of Rezolution Pictures
Steven Van Zandt, member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band.

“Anyone who loves contemporary music will hear something they connect with in 'Rumble,'” said Lois Vossen, INDEPENDENT LENS executive producer. “From Link Wray's iconic guitar riff that made an indelible mark on the evolution of rock, to how Jimi Hendrix's part-Cherokee heritage shaped his genius, to the spoken music of John Trudell, and Tony Bennett being 'completely influenced' by jazz improviser Mildred Bailey, American music is steeped in Native American sounds from Native musicians. History never sounded so good."

Watch On Your Schedule:

This film is currently available to stream on Amazon Prime Video, YouTube and iTunes.

Join The Conversation:

INDEPENDENT LENS is on Facebook, Instagram, and you can follow @IndependentLens on Twitter. #IndieLensPBS

Stevie Salas (Executive Producer), Taboo (of the Black Eyed Peas), Catherine Bainbridge (Director/Producer/Writer) and Alfonso Maiorana (Co-director/Writer).
Courtesy of Chris Rutkowski
Stevie Salas (Executive Producer), Taboo (of the Black Eyed Peas), Catherine Bainbridge (Director/Producer/Writer) and Alfonso Maiorana (Co-director/Writer).

Credits:

In memory of John Trudell. Dedicated to the work of Brian Wright-Mcleod. The film is directed/produced by Catherine Bainbridge ("Reel Injun"), co-directed by Alfonso Maiorana, executive produced by legendary rock guitarist Stevie Salas (Apache) and Tim Johnson (Mohawk), and produced by Christina Fon, VP and executive producer of Rezolution Pictures. Producer: Lisa M. Roth. Edited by Benjamin Duffield and Jeremiah Hayes. Executive Producers: Catherine Bainbridge, Christina Fon, Diana Holtzberg, Linda Ludwick, Jan Rofekamp, Ernest Webb and Ray Halbritter. Executive Producer for INDEPENDENT LENS is Lois Vossen.