Sideman: Long Road To Glory Film portrays legendary blues sidemen
On some of the greatest Chicago Blues albums you will find their names on the backside of your record. Pinetop Perkins, Hubert Sumlin and Willie “big eyes” Smith were the backbone of the best blues bands around. They made history as sidemen alongside Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf in the 50s, 60s and 70s. and now these legends are featured in documentary film SIDEMEN – Long Road To Glory.
Legendary Sideman of Muddy and Wolf
In the documentary artist like Bonnie Riatt recall that Hubert Sumlin’, Pinetop Perkins and Willie Smith were actually too big to be called sidemen and she is right. All these guys recorded multiple records, received Grammy awards, were inducted into the Rock nd Roll hall of fame and played the blues over more than sixty years. But it is amazing to see that their is a movie dedicated to not the blues bandleaders but the backing bandmembers.
Willie Dixon is the man who changed the style of the blues. As a songwriter and producer, the man was a genius. If you wanted a hit song, you went to Willie Dixon. Played it like he said play it, and sing it like he said sing it, and you damn near always had a hit. Willie Dixon taught bass players how to rock ‘n’ roll.
Listen to him on Chuck Berry’s Chess recordings of “Rock and Roll Music,”and “Reelin’ and Rockin”. He took big band music and Mississippi blues and melded them into something new, opening the door for Motown and others to walk in and take it even further.