The Bluestime Power Hour is a series of non-commercial documentaries designed primarily to showcase locally prominent blues musicians from around the country. The shows, produced during 1997 and 1998, include footage of live performances by the featured artists, and many include interviews with the performers.
The Bluestime Power Hour videotapes were the concept of Cinthea T. Coleman, an entrepreneur, music enthusiast and semi-professional producer. Coleman was born in Long Beach, California, in 1947. Her father was a chemical engineer, and her mother was a big band singer who preformed predominately with local northern California bands in the early 1940's. She was first exposed to blues and jazz music while growing up in Southern California. In the early 1970's Coleman met bass player Walter M. ABookie@ Booker, Jr., while he was recording the album "Inside Straight" with Cannonball Adderly and began a 9-year relationship with him. During this period she lived with Booker in New York and became acquainted with many blues and rock musicians.
After ending her relationship with Booker, she returned to California and eventually settled in the Central Coast town of Los Osos. With a friend, Dee Grayson, she formed Blues Diva Music Productions, a company that sold blues recordings over the Internet. As part of this venture, which subsequently folded, Coleman came upon the idea of using streaming technology to broadcast live or taped performances over the Internet. From this concept came the Bluestime Power Hour show.
The Bluestime Power Hour series was produced with a limited budget. The format of the half-hour shows is simple. The programs consist of live performance footage of the featured artist along with an introductory and closing comments by the shows host (usually Coleman). The shows often included an interview with the artist. Coleman began the series with performers from the Oakland/East Bay area. She subsequently took her production on the road, featuring artists from Kansas City, St. Louis and central California. Coleman hopes to expand The Bluestime Power Hour series to include musicians from Memphis, New Orleans and Austin, Texas, and to "ferret out" the remaining real Blues people, still living, playing and respected in their own neighborhoods. She is currently working on "Full Moon/Midnight Sky," a project devoted to documenting the music of white blues musicians, primarily guitarists.