Synopsis by Hal Erickson
In the tradition of his past and future up-close celebrity documentaries, Les Blank served up 1981's Mance Lipscomb--A Well-Spent Life. The subject is Texas blues artist Mance Lipscomb, seen at work and in repose. A lifelong sharecropper and tenant farmer, Lipscomb was 65 when he made his first record. His versatility as a singer, composer, guitarist and violinist bordered on the uncanny, and his influence would continue to be felt even into the highly streamlined country-blues market of the 1990s. Director Blank makes excellent use of the materials at hand (there is comparatively little of Lipscomb on film), and the result is a rich, fully fleshed out life study of one of the Southwest's finest "songsters."