Skip to content
MUSEUM AND NWFC CLOSED: The Portland Art Museum and Northwest Film Center are closed in an effort to further stem the spread of COVID-19. All public programs, screenings, and events are canceled until further notice. Stay connected to art, film, and more by signing up for our newsletter.

Directed by John Anderson

United States 2015 90 mins.

The man some call “the greatest drummer of all time” is mostly recognized for his signature double-shuffle beat—but is almost as famous for the capes, crowns, canes and cowbells that are the stuff of his legend. Sam Lay has played a key role in the evolution of blues music for almost 60 years; he was on drums when Bob Dylan went electric at Newport, was a founding member of the groundbreaking Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and spent decades in the studio and on the road with blues greats such as Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Little Walter and James Cotton. And, at 80 years old, Lay is still an active part of the Chicago blues scene. Anderson tells this remarkable story through Lay’s own words, music, and home movies, and features interviews with past bandmates including Elvin Bishop, Charlie Musselwhite, and James Cotton.