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That's A Good Way To Get To Heaven: The Music & Life Of Big Jack Reynolds

Third Street Cigar Records presents the story of a great unsung American bluesman: Marshall "Big Jack" Reynolds. Jack was a real deal blues player with a mysterious past, a dynamic temperament, a soft heart, and a mean harmonica. He never found national success in his lifetime. But his deep blues and tough songs made him a legend to roots music connoisseurs and an example to many up-and-coming musicians in the Detroit and Toledo areas. Hear Jack’s story from those he touched most deeply, and who kept him going. And hear the man himself sing, blow, and tell his tales.

  • Glenn Burris
  • John Henry, Larry Gold, Glenn Burris
  • Marshall "Big Jack" Reynolds
    Key Cast
  • Larry Gold
    Key Cast
  • John Henry
    Key Cast
  • John Rockwood
    Key Cast
  • Harmonica Shah
    Key Cast
  • Johnny "Hi-Fi" Newmark
    Key Cast
  • Glenn Burris
  • Mark Bunce
    Sound Design
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 21 minutes 25 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 1, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    5,000 USD
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital 4K
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Premiere Screening
    Maumee, Ohio
    United States
    May 11, 2019
    World Premiere
Distribution Information
  • Third Street Cigar Records
    Rights: Internet, Video / Disc
Director Biography - Glenn Burris

For thirty years, Glenn Burris has produced and directed video and live event projects for corporations both in the US and Europe, while also directing a handful of television commercials.

His resume includes numerous large-scale federally-financed media projects. He directed the largest live webcast events ever produced for the purpose of emergency response training and ventured across West Africa documenting the work of young entrepreneurs in that region for the US State Department. Since then, he’s shot numerous grant-funded training presentations under the auspices of Penn State University.

In 2005, Glenn produced and directed a pilot for public television, The Cork Dorks: Our Wine Lists. And in 2019, he completed That’s A Good Way To Get To Heaven: The Music & Life of Big Jack Reynolds, self-financed and in partnership with Third Street Cigar Records. He is currently editing Kefi, a documentary on the Southern California Greek folk dance culture for Web of Culture, San Diego. In 2017, he began the work of directing and producing a feature-length biography of legendary blues guitarist Donald Kinsey, a project that continues today.

Glenn is owner and president of E2HD, a boutique production and communications company based in Ohio.

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Director Statement

That’s A Good Way To Get To Heaven is the product of years of independent work born of a singular goal: To bring the story, songs, and tall tales of a great and under-appreciated American artist to a wider audience. Big Jack Reynolds was in the corner of the last phase of Detroit’s great blues era, one that slammed to a stop in the late 1960s, when the whole city seemed to implode. But his few recordings broke new ground, and blues aficionados seek them to this day. Scholars of the form have remarked time and again that Jack was one that got away – a real-deal bluesman whose work stands up next to his more famous contemporaries, like John Lee Hooker.

As we made our homage to Jack, an unexpected story emerged, that of Jack’s contribution to the careers and lives of the many musicians who supported him during his last decade, after the Motor City scene collapsed and he found new, smaller pastures in Ohio. Those who were close to Jack found their cultural souls in his companionship. Our interviews brought out strong emotions from each subject, and Jack’s music rang through their voices. So, we found ourselves with a small but universal story of how a mysterious blues harmonica player touched the lives of those around him. Now we know that those relationships are really what keep the blues healthy to this day.