Doc looks at the influence Native American artists had on rock and pop music
RUMBLE: THE INDIANS WHO ROCKED THE WORLD (Catherine Bainbridge). 103 minutes. Opens Friday (July 28). See listing. Rating: NNNN
The growl of Link Wray’s eponymous single – and the straight line between its rebellious sound and the rise of rock and roll – is the starting point for Catherine Bainbridge’s deep dive into the influence of Native American artists on American popular music.
Stretching over a century of recordings, Bainbridge draws some striking connections between Indigenous history and evolving American culture. Everyone from Mildred Bailey and Jimi Hendrix to Buffy Sainte-Marie and Robbie Robertson gets to be celebrated.
Hearing the seminal Delta blues of Charley Patton in this context lands like a sledgehammer, and seeing Redbone perform Come And Get Your Love on Midnight Special in full Native costume feels like a triumph. And those are just two moments among dozens in this crackling work of reclamation.