Lonely at the 'Top
Dont put Pinetop Perkins in a pine box because hes still got things to do. At a few weeks shy of his 95th birthday, Perkins, who joins Koko Taylor for a taping of tonights etown radio show, can no longer hear well enough to conduct telephone interviews, but he still plays piano and sings the blues in a style he knows very well, having practically invented it.
Born in 1913, early in President Woodrow Wilsons first term, Perkins grew up on Mississippi blues, and when he came of age, he shared his keyboarding skills with players such as Sonny Boy Williamson and Earl Hooker. But he didnt receive the attention he deserved until joining Muddy Waterss band for a decade-plus stint beginning in 1969, during which he contributed mightily to late-period Waters masterworks such as 1977s suggestively titled Hard Again and the next years Im Ready. He subsequently joined other Waters alums in a group dubbed the Legendary Blues Band an example of truth in advertising if ever there was one before concentrating on a solo career that got rolling in earnest circa the late 80s, when he was already well beyond what most of us consider to be retirement age. And hes still going strong. The just-released Pinetop Perkins and Friends features guest appearances by a blues whos-who, including B.B. King and Eric Clapton. Theyre lucky hes still in Top form.
Perkins and Taylor get under way at 8 p.m. at Chautauqua Auditorium, 900 Baseline Road in Boulder; tickets are $31 to $34. Learn more at 303-440-7666 or www.etown.org.
Thu., June 19, 8 p.m., 2008
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