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Blues Documentaries ‘Sidemen,’ ‘Two Trains Runnin’ Scheduled for August Release

Variety logo Variety 6/12/2017 Dave McNary
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Abramorama has acquired blues documentaries “Sidemen: Long Road To Glory” and “Two Trains Runnin'” for theatrical release in August.

Abramorama has become a specialist in handling long-form music documentaries, including Amir Bar-Lev’s “Long Strange Trip,” John Scheinfeld’s “Chasing Trane” and Ron Howard’s “The Beatles: Eight Days A Week — The Touring Years.” Earlier this year, the company announced a deal with Sword Rowe Capital to invest further in music driven films.

“These two films are powerful illustrations of how the blues, a great and original American art form, has resonated across the entire spectrum of life in this country throughout the past century,” said Richard Abramowitz, president of Abramorama. “Its impact on music and its confluence with social justice has been, and continues to be, profound and we’re proud to help bring these sterling examples out into the world.”

“Sidemen” is narrated by Marc Maron and centers on piano player Pinetop Perkins, drummer Willie “Big Eyes” Smith and guitarist Hubert Sumlin, all Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf sidemen. The film includes some of the last interviews and final live performances before their deaths in 2011.

“Sidemen” includes Gregg Allman, Joe Bonamassa, Shemekia Copeland, Warren Haynes, Robby Krieger, Joe Perry, Bonnie Raitt, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks and Johnny Winter. The film is directed by Scott D. Rosenbaum and produced by Jasin Cadic, Tony Grazia, Emmett James, Joseph White and Rosenbaum, and executive produced by Alan Rudolph, Fabrizio Grossi and Pat Scalabrino.

“Two Trains Runnin'” explores the events that unfolded in Mississippi in the summer of 1964, when Freedom Summer coincided with the hunt for blues musicians Son House and Skip James. Common narrates the film which features the music by Gary Clark Jr., with performances by Lucinda Williams, Buddy Guy, Valerie June, and the North Mississippi Allstars.

Tom Pollard directed. The film is produced by Benjamin Hedin and Dava Whisenant and executive produced by Common, Derek Dudley, and John Beug.

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