BONNIE BLUE James Cotton film with guests

Runtime: 86 minutes

Producers: Judy Laster, James Montgomery, Bestor Cram

Directors: Bestor Cram

Actors: James Cotton


SPECIAL GUESTS: Executive producer Judy Laster (co-founder The Reel Blues Fest, founder Woods Hole Film Festival) and co-producer James Montgomery (acclaimed leader of the James Montgomery Blues Band). THE FILM: "Bonnie Blue: James Cotton’s Life in the Blues" 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 Janis Joplin, Paul Butterfield and sessions with the Rolling Stones, Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, Santana, Steve Miller, B.B. King and many more. This new film capture’s America’s soul as the blues becomes interpreted in jazz, big band, rock and roll, punk, hip-hop and rap. Born in 1935 on Bonnie Blue plantation in Tunica, Mississippi, apprenticing with Sonny Boy Williamson II and Howlin’ Wolf, and schooled by Muddy Waters, James ‘Super Harp’ Cotton became a mentor to harp players around the globe as he brought the delta blues into mainstream rock ‘n roll. Orphaned at nine, Cotton’s journey tracks America’s history and his story is one of empowerment during a time when the weight of racial inequity made the journey seem impossible. Bonnie Blue – James Cotton’s Life in the Blues is a unique portrait of an era and its impact today. Cotton’s music made history; his musical voice was unique, and the blues were never the same. Original interviews with many of today’s most prominent musicians including Buddy Guy, Billy Branch, Bobby Rush, Steve Miller and Jimmie Vaughan are combined with unique live performances and found archival footage to create an authentic rendering of Cotton’s harmonica power and enduring musical influence. As rock ‘n’ roll jolted a nation to rediscover its sense of its original self, Cotton expressed his soul as part of a desire to engage audiences with high energy joy. His life and music is an expression of the exhilaration he found bearing witness to music’s ability to make overt social barriers become invisible, to bring people together and have fun, to touch the heart living the blues.