About the Film

From Charlie Patton’s roots in the rural south to Bob Dylan’s 1998 performance at Madison Square Gardens, Blues music has transcended generations and racial barriers. It has laid the foundation for pop culture and American music. Blues is a time-honored art, influencing musical genres like jazz, country and rock n’ roll as well as helping to tear down walls of segregation and create social acceptance of cultural diversity.

America's Blues takes a new angle on an established narrative, focusing on the evolution of American music and the impact that Blues music has had on our society, popular culture, and the entertainment industry. Through interviews with musicians, historians, artist, professionals, activists, and others, a compelling story of the music’s significant historical contribution unfolds. We explore, not only the musical impact it has had on all forms of Popular American Music, but also the influence it has had on art, fashion, language, film, literature and more.

About WE Entertainment

WE Entertainment, formerly TrAGIK Entertainment, founded in 2009 by writer and director Patrick  Branson, is dedicated to changing the world through film; or at least changing the way people view it.  The purpose of this project is to document and preserve one of America's few original art forms. Through an alliance with Aaron Pritchard, Vice President of the Killer Blues Headstone Project and Co-Producer of America’s Blues,WE’s mission is to ensure that future generations have the opportunity to learn and benefit from the rich history of Blues. By the subsequent retelling these stories are preserved.

About the Crew

Producer/Writer/Director - Patrick Branson

Patrick Branson at the 2015 Saint Louis Filmmaker's ShowcasePatrick has a BFA in Digital Cinema Arts from Lindenwood University where he studied film direction, cinematography and editing as well as script writing and story development. His short film, Déjà vu, won awards for Best Directing and Best Editing at the Lindenwood University Lindy Awards and was screened in New York City. He is also the owner and managing member of the Motion Picture Company WE Entertainment, formerly TrAGiK Entertainment, that was opened in 2009 and has since produced numerous music videos and short films. His short documentary on the Killer Blues Headstone Project, a non-profit organization that provides headstones to deceased Blues musicians lying in unmarked graves, and his love of music and history have inspired Patrick to make this film.

Producer/Writer - Aaron Pritchard

Aaron Pritchard playing guitar Aaron is a blues traveler, musician, and the Vice President of the nonprofit organization Killer Blues Headstone Project. His expertise lies in the history of American music with an emphasis on the blues and the impact it has had on American culture. Through networking and extensive travel, he has established and maintained working relationships with many like-minded activists in the blues community who, like him, are dedicated to preserving this important piece of American history.

About the Cast

Terence Blanchard

Terence Blanchard Picture

Multiple Grammy Award Winning Jazz Musician & Film Composer (Malcom X, Cadillac Records, Next Friday)

Ira Newborn

Ira Newborn Picture

Hollywood Film Composer (Ferris Bueller, Naked Gun, Planes Trains & Automobiles)

Jimbo Mathus

Jimbo Mathus Picture

Blues Musician and former Frontman for the Squirrel Nut Zippers

Big George Brock

Big George Brock Picture

"Heavyweight Champion of the Blues"

Leo Bud Welch

Leo Bud Welch Picture

Mississippi Blues Legend

David Dee

David Dee Picture

Saint Louis Blues Legend

Bill Sims Jr

Bill Sims Jr Picture

Singer/Guitarist for 2013 Grammy Nominated Heritage BLues Orchestra

Chaney Sims

Chaney Sims Picture

Singer for 2013 Grammy Nominated Heritage Blues Orchestra

Junior Mack

Junior Mack Picture

Singer/Guitarist for 2013 Grammy Nominated Heritage BLues Orchestra

Drumma Boy

Drumma Boy Picture

Grammy Nominated Multi Platinum Hip hop Producer

Danielle Schnebelen

Danielle Schnebelen Picture

Blues Musician & Blues Music Award Winner

Samantha Fish

Samantha Fish Picture

Blues Musician & Blues Music Award Winner

Curtis Salgado

Curtis Salgado Picture

Blues Musician & Blues Music Award Winner

Sharon Lewis

Sharon Lewis Picture

Chicago Blues Diva

Kim Massie

Kim Massie Picture

St Louis R&B/Blues Diva

Jimmi Mayes

Jimmi Mayes Picture

Blues Musician & "Sideman to the Stars"

Theo Dasbach

Theo Dasbach Picture

Blues Musician, Historian & Founder of Rock N Blues Museum in Clarksdale

Anthony Gomes

Anthony Gomes Picture

Blues Rock Musician

Bill Luckett

Bill Luckett Picture

Mayor of Clarksdale and Co-Owner of Ground Zero Blues CLub

Harry Weber

Harry Weber Picture

Famous Artist & Sculptor

Rip Kastaris

Rip Kastaris Picture

Famous Artist

Dick Waterman

Dick Waterman Picture

Famed Blues Photographer & Manager

Debra Devi

Debra Devi Picture

Blues Musician and author of "The Language of the Blues: From Alcorub to Zuzu"

Lance Williams PhD

Lance Williams Picture

Historian and founder of Blacks on Blues

Jim O'Neal

Jim O'Neal Picture

Historian & Co-Founder of Living Blues Magazine and Research Director for the Mississippi Blues Trail

Robert Earl Price

Robert Earl Price Picture

Famed African American Playwright and Poet

Charles Chamberlain PhD

Charles Chamberlain Picture

New Orleans Historian

Houston Baker PhD

Houston Baker Picture

African Ameican Scholar and Professor of English at Vanderbilt University

Dean Alger PhD

Dean Alger Picture

Historian and Author of "The Original Guitar Hero and The Power of Music: The Legendary Lonnie Johnson Music and Civil Rights"

Hal Lansky

Hal Lansky Picture

Owner of Lansky's in Memphis and son of the "Clothier to the King"

Gil Cook PhD

Gil Cook Picture

English Professor and contributor to "Jay-Z: Essays on Hip Hop's Philosopher King"

Janice Monti PhD

Janice Monti Picture

Professor & Chair of Sociology and Criminology and Director of the Blues and the Spirit Symposium, Dominican University

Venci Vernado

Venci Vernado Picture

Leo Bud Welch's Manager

Patricia Schroeder PhD

Patricia Schroeder Picture

English Professor and author of "Robert Johnson, Mythmaking and Contemporary American Culture"

Stan Street

Stan Street Picture

Blues Musician, Artist and owner of Hambone Art & Music Gallery in Clarksdale

Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson Picture

Blues Curator and Associate Professor in the department of Archives and Special Collections at the University of Mississippi

Tom Graves

Tom Graves Picture

Historian & Author of "Crossroads: The Life and Afterlife of Blues Legend Robert Johnson"

 

Enjoy some of our favorite songs we recorded while in production on America's Blues!