Pinetop Perkins, Hubert Sumlin and Willie “Big Eyes” Smith were some of the greatest sidemen who ever lived. They played for lots of different bands, but they were known for backing Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf. Mostly in the case of Hubert, but all of them to an extent, every modern musician has been influenced by them. Sadly, not a single one of them is in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.
It’s hard to make this kind of film feel different from other films of the genre, so what you have to hope for is a set of subjects that make the movie rise above. Luckily, Pinetop, Hubert and Willie do just that. They lived good, long lives, were amazing musicians and were all genuine human beings. Rosenbaum got to be friends with all three of them before they died (all within 8 months of each other) and their warmth shows through in the interviews and the music.
Of course, there’s a concert that is edited into the film, and it’s the typical conglomerate of great musicians playing great music. That’s not a bad thing. It made my top five list for a reason. This is a fun doc that will get you interested in these three important men.