It has been obvious for a long time that there is much more to Bill Wyman than his many years of bass-playing with the Stones. He is a life-long fan/disciple/collector of blues music, and a true expert on this genre.
As a blues fan myself, I bought his "Blues Odyssey" book, and devoured it, cover to cover. It is a gorgeous book, well-researched and lavishly illustrated--much, much more than a coffee table book. No blues fan should be without it.
So--having read the book, I was anxious to see the DVD of the television programs based on the book. There are two episodes, each slightly under an hour, and they are fascinating. Of course, in less than two hours, there is no way these programs could ever be as exhaustive as the book, but they are highly instructive and enjoyable in their own right.
What we have here is not a complete, chronological history of the blues, but rather a personal view on the blues from someone who is a real devotee. Of course, as one of rock n' roll's giants, Bill has been in a unique position over the years to meet and even record with many of his heroes.
When you can sit and chat with BB King and Buddy Guy, as Bill does here, you know you are getting the straight goods from these living legends. Sadly, many blues giants are no longer with us, although we see a lot of them in action during these marvellous programs--Muddy Waters, T-Bone Walker, Howlin' Wolf and many more.
We are shown areas of the southern US that formed the cradle of blues music--some excellent colour film here--as well as Bill's personal memories of growing up in the London area, discovering the magic of music, and some of the UK artists who also loved the blues--Lonnie Donegan, Brian Jones, Eric Clapton to name a few.
We also get a taste of Bill's more recent band--"The Rhythm Kings"--in action, including people like Gary Brooker and Albert Lee. It is a group that Bill pulled together just to play small clubs, and have fun with old blues and rock n' roll songs. For a guy who loves blues, Bill comes across as a very happy man !
A personal note from me--I was in London a couple of years ago, and luckily Bill was in a book store signing autographs. I lined up with other fans and finally it was my turn--of course, there was no chance to sit down for a "chat", but he was very friendly and gracious. It is the same approachable, unpretentious personality that comes across on this DVD.
Bottom line--if you like the blues, I'm sure you will enjoy this personal journey with Mr. Wyman--his love and enthusiasm for this music is infectious. Highly recommended.