Update: the filmmakers behind Sidemen are in the midst of a crowdfunding campaign to bring their film to theaters across the country. To find out more or to support the campaign, please visit http://fb.me/2QeugfJRv.
Sidemen: Long Road to Glory is a music documentary that premiered at this year’s SXSW, was well received at Louisiana International Film Festival and Bonnaroo, and won the Special Jury Prize at the Nashville Film Festival. The film tells the story of Pinetop Perkins, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, and Hubert Sumlin, three musicians who played in the bands of legendary bluesmen Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf.
By the end of their lives, the three men profiled in the film became legends in their own right. Pinetop Perkins and Willie Smith would go on to win Grammys in 2011 for their album Joined at the Hip, and there is an active campaign to induct Hubert Sumlin into Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a campaign that includes signatures from the likes of Buddy Guy and B.B. King. (Fun fact: Pinetop Perkins is currently the oldest musician to receive a Grammy.)
Archival footage and animated sequences in the film span the careers of Pinetop Perkins, Willie Smith, and Hubert Sumlin.
The documentary also includes interviews with members of The Doors, The Allman Brothers, Aerosmith, The Dave Matthews Band, as well as with artists like Bonnie Raitt, Johnny Winter, Bobby Rush and more, all of whom talk about the influence of the three sidemen on their music.
The director of the film, Scott Rosenbaum, came on the podcast to discuss the film and the seven-year process that it took to get made. We discuss
- History and appeal of the blues
- What to do when the story you are documenting doesn’t unfold as expected
- How to get well-known people to participate in your documentary
- Getting music rights for a film
Listen to the Episode
- Sidemen: Long Road to Glory
Don’t Look Back(Fans of the show: guesses on how old Dylan was when it was shot?!)
The Last Waltz
The Wrecking Crew
- Joined at the Hip, the last album from Pinetop Perkins and Willie Smith
- “Back Door Man” – Howlin’ Wolf
- “Little Red Rooster” – Howlin’ Wolf
- “Muddy the Waters” – Crispin Schroeder, the song at the end of the episode
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