Adam Gussow was a twenty-something Jewish Ivy League educated harmonica player seeking fulfillment. Sterling “Satan” Magee was an aging street performer and blues legend who had once played with James Brown and Etta James. During a spike in racial tensions in Harlem during the 1980s, Adam passed Satan playing his blues guitar and makeshift percussion instruments on the street, a block from the Apollo Theater. He was floored by Satan’s playing and asked to join in on his harmonica. It was that small gesture that gave birth to a larger-than-life Harlem fixture, and eventually a national touring outfit after the unlikely duo was discovered – and sampled – by U2.
SATAN & ADAM is a beautifully crafted documentary that captures the wild, exciting energy of blues music and its power of universality passed down from generation to generation.