Deep Sea Blues

After dropping anchor at some fest circuit ports, "Deep Sea Blues" should make a respectable splash as homevid and cable fare.

It’s tempting to dismiss “Deep Sea Blues,” the latest music documentary by vet helmer Robert Mugge (“The Gospel According to Al Green”), as a slick infomercial for the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruises, weeklong cruise ship jaunts organized by Roger Naber (the doc’s executive producer). But it’s difficult to deny the appeal of spirited performances by Bobby Rush, Deanna Bogart, Buckwheat Zydeco, Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials and other luminaries who light up the pic. After dropping anchor at some fest circuit ports, “Deep Sea Blues” should make a respectable splash as homevid and cable fare.

Predictably, Mugge includes enthusiastic testimonials from passengers — many of them repeat customers — and entertainers on the Caribbean cruise captured in the doc. But the sailing is smoother, and the good times roll easier, during such musical highlights as Tab Benoit’s Cajun-flavored “We Make Good Gumbo,” Rush and Bogart’s playfully naughty duet on “Ride My Automobile,” and Earl Thomas’ straight-from-the-soul “Maybe in the Next Life.” Musically speaking, the only real disappointment is the lack of a set by prominently-billed Taj Mahal, who offers a lively cooking demonstration, but none of his hit music.

Deep Sea Blues

Production: A Mug-Shot Prods. production in association with Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruises. Produced by Robert Mugge. Executive producer, Roger Naber. Directed, edited by Robert Mugge.

Crew: Camera (color, DV), David Sperling, Christopher Li; sound, Bob Schachner, Mike Taylor. Reviewed on DVD, Houston, Nov. 24, 2007. (In Denver Film Festival.) Running time: 118 MIN.

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