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Homemade Hillbilly Jam

3.8 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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(Jun 24, 2008)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In the 1800's a scrappy group of Scotch-Irish immigrants settled in the Ozark Mountains of Southwestern Missouri. Stereotyped as poor, lawless degenerates, these isolated hill folk over time became the butt of countless jokes and earned themselves the name Hillbillies. This enjoyable documentary captures the rich and wonderful sounds of hillbilly music by following three families of modern-day hillbillies back to the roots of their music-making heritage. Leading the pack is singer/songwriter Mark Bilyeu from the band Big Smith, who have been delighting audiences around the world with their foot-stompin' repertoire of songs, including some passed down through generations - twisted tales of moonshining and adultery alongside heartfelt stories of faith and life.

Review

A rich journey through a cultural legacy. --indiewire

This beautifully shot film celebrates Missouri's Ozark Countryside and the way music can transcend conflicting attitudes, to bring and hold generations together. --Friends of American Old Time Music & Dance

Descended from Ozark Hillbillies and bound together by music, the Bilyeu clan keeps the old mountain repertoire alive, singing with a passion and grace that needs no elaboration. --Chicago Reader

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Big Smith, The Pine Ridge Singers, The Baldknobbers
  • Directors: Rick Minnich
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: FIRST RUN FEATURES
  • DVD Release Date: June 24, 2008
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0015YUGV8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #163,930 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Homemade Hillbilly Jam" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
The movie makes the mistake of not realizing "hillbilly" is actually a culture and not a "dying" local stereotype, but that is forgivable because that idea has been campaigned in the popular media ever since there was a popular media -- at least since the 1930s. The Scots-Irish subculture however remains one of the dominate cultures of North America. At least these guys went out and found some -- they are everywhere if you look, but most film makers don't look.

This film did an excellent job of touching the important elements of the culture, and the music work is exceptional. So much traditional music is now performed away from its roots, which mostly makes it lose its edge. This film found an credible example of the real stuff, and then captured it very well.
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My wife and I saw this at the True/False documentary film festival in Columbia, Mo. I was reluctant to see a movie with the word "hillbilly" in the title, but this turned out to be an engaging look at Big Smith, a terrific and difficult-to-classify band out of the Springfield area. Front man Mark Bilyeu is a smart and articulate guide to the region's musical traditions, which have yielded everything to the hillbilly kitsch of Branson's The Baldknobbers to, well, Big Smith.

The soundtrack, of course, is terrific, and includes recordings from live performances as well as studio tracks. Big Smith's ouevre is a blend of country, gospel, bluegrass, folk and rockabilly.
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Just sit back - relax - and see if you are anywhere close. Yes - families matter - here is the feeling of why they do. Yes - Jesus is a binding force - even if you don't have the outward talent this family was blessed with.
This not only displays talent and family but gives hope to all of us. So glad this was made and I found it
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Well, this traveling American "roots" music caravan that I have been running via the Internet, in this and other "hot" cyberspace spots, has been all over this country. I have been down in the Delta with the country blues artists like Robert Johnson, Skip James and Son House. I have been in those dust-blown Oklahoma hills with Woody Guthrie. I have been out West with the cowboy balladeers. I have been down in the swamps of Louisiana with the Cajun boys and girls, black and white. I've have been up in those Kentucky mountains with Roscoe Holcomb. Hell, I have even spent time, an inordinate amount of time, discussing roots music as it filtered through the 1960s folk revival in those rural meccas of New York City and Cambridge, Massachusetts. You will agree I have been around. On this stop we go to the hills again this time to the Ozarks to "discover"....hillbillies and their musical traditions.

Now I know that it is hardly news that the term "hillbilly" has, over the last few decades, carried some pretty negative connotations. Hard-nosed 'wild men' truckers and car aficionados , honky tonks and honky-tonk women, "know-nothing" politics, in short, good old boys and girls fully enjoying the benefits of the 19th century in the outback. The truth or falsehood of those characterizations is not at issue here though. What concerns me is the addition of this "hillbilly" flavor to the "roots' music bandwagon. This is done here, by following the doings, comings, goings and whatnot of three modern "hillbilly" (or at least hillbilly-descended families) musical families out in Ozark country.

Some of this music, the motels, honky-tonks and barns where it is played, and the instruments used to play it are very familiar from other regions like those Kentucky hills mentioned before.
Read more ›
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Very enjoyable film. The family are people you want to know. Talented, thoughtful, intelligent. Two thumbs up from me.
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When a documentary starts off with a bunch of heavy-set, bearded men dressed in cover-alls playing hillbilly music, you know you're not in Kansas anymore Dorothy. Or maybe you are. I liked the way the interviewer talked off camera and didn't feel the need to show his face. The mark of a good documentary. This is also a singing documentary. So I hope you like music. This docu-movie is really just a bunch of people, playing music, and having a good time. No one seems able to answer the question, "What is a hillbilly?" and I think that is just fine. This documentary follows one family "The Bilyeus" and one singing group called, "The BaldKnobbers". Just a feel good documentary you can't help but enjoy.
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Big Smith is my favorite band. I miss seeing them.
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Good history just not what I was looking for.
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