They All Stood Up: The Life and Legacy of James Cotton, a film currently in production, is an emotionally evocative feature documentary that portrays the untold story of James Cotton, a legend whose musical influence shaped the Chicago Blues style having been mentored with the originators of the Delta blues tradition. Cotton’s life tracks a swath of America’s history -- from the post-depression cotton fields of the Mississippi Delta to tough Chicagoland’s era of brilliant artistic reinvention to today’s live music scene in Austin, Texas. In between are tours with Janice Joplin, Paul Butterfield and sessions with the Rolling Stones, Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, Santana, Steve Miller, B.B. King and many more.
Rarely seen archival footage and stills are woven though out the visual landscape of original 4K video in which today’s finest harp and blues musicians lead us on a powerful journey of the heart and soul, bringing a fresh and deep understanding of the harp in the ever expanding blues tradition. With new interviews and original concert recordings, Buddy Guy, Jimmy Vaughan, Steve Miller, Huey Lewis, Billy Branch, Annie Raines, Curtis Salgado, Rick Estrin, Bob Margolin and many others bring Cotton’s story to life and leave us with an understanding of the lasting impact his music has imprinted upon our cultural heritage. Cotton’s unique mixture of high quality musicianship and seemingly boundless energy is an expression of an artist who had become the ultimate showman who made the world pay attention to the ‘harp’ as a complex instrument with its own voice. This musical journey unfolds in a joyful, thumping original film through an exploration of harp-based blues music and stories shared by some of the nation’s most respected musicians.
Director, Bestor Cram, Produced by The Reel Blues Fest, Inc. and Northern Light Productions, Boston. To donate and for more information: www.jamescottonfilm.com
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