The forces that have changed musical history haven’t always been in the spotlight. The players who have laid down the groove for others to shine, or provided undersung support to legendary artists don’t always get top billing, but in the upcoming documentary “Sidemen: Long Road To Glory,” they get their well deserved moment of glory.
Narrated by Marc Maron, and directed by Scott Rosenbaum, the film explores the sidemen of iconic blues artists Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, and through interviews and performances, provides a look at the under-recognized performers who changed rock ‘n roll. Here’s the official synopsis:
Sidemen: Long Road to Glory provides an intimate look into the incredible lives of three of the last Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf sidemen; piano player Pinetop Perkins, drummer Willie ‘Big Eyes’ Smith and guitarist Hubert Sumlin. These legendary bluesmen, who performed and recorded into their 80’s and 90’s, played a significant role in shaping modern popular music. The film features some of the last interviews conducted with all three men as well as their final live performances together. These memorable live performances vividly capture these legends with the blues and rock stars they have inspired including, Robby Krieger of The Doors, Elvin Bishop (recent rock ‘n’ Roll Hall inductee with The Paul Butterfield Blues Band), and Tim Reynolds of The Dave Matthews Band. Personal insights from artists such as, Bonnie Raitt, Gregg Allman, Derek Trucks, Shemekia Copeland, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Joe Perry, Joe Bonamassa and Johnny Winter offer heartfelt accounts of how these three legendary sidemenhelped shape their careers as well as rock ‘n’ roll.
Painstakingly assembled over the course of nearly a decade, Sidemen takes us on the road with Pinetop, Willie and Hubert, three of our last direct links to the origins of the blues, as they share the incredible stories about each of their personal histories. From their upbringings on Delta plantations of the Jim Crow south to lives spent on the road in the shadow of two of the biggest figures in music history, their stories are not only a part of music history, but American history as well. As we ride along, we can’t help but fall in love with these three endearing menas we experience all the trials and triumphs of these remarkable lives.
“Sidemen: Long Road To Glory” opens on August 18th.