Pinetop’s Boogie Woogie
Photo courtesy of the awesome Will van Overbeek.
Pinetop Perkins, one of the world’s great bluesmen, passed away yesterday at the age of 97. I got to see Pinetop many times at Antone’s in Austin, TX and he always put on an amazing show. Born in 1913 in Mississippi, he dropped out of school after 3rd grade and taught himself blues guitar on the diddley bow (a homemade instrument of wires nailed to a wood wall). A knife attack left him unable to hold or play a guitar, so he moved on to piano by age 10 and ultimately played with Robert Nighthawk, Sonny Boy Williamson and Muddy Waters before forming the Legendary Blues Band in 1980. He didn’t release an album under his own name until his mid-70s. While he grew up hard….working in cotton fields as a boy, surviving knife attacks and the blues club life, smoking and drinking until the end…he always made the crowd smile. Here’s a video celebrating his 95th birthday and release of a new recording.