Joe Willie “Pinetop” Perkins : July 7, 1913 – March 21, 2011
It was with the deepest, most profound sadness that I discovered today that Pinetop Perkins had passed away peacefully at his home in Austin, Texas. It was just over a year ago that I had the singular pleasure of meeting this legendary 96 year-old delta bluesman, shaking his hand getting him to sign a CD and watching him perform. He amazed and inspired me. So much so, that I wrote a song about him: “96 on Sixth” for my album of the trip, Blue Odyssey.
Few people in this world are worthy of the accolade ‘legendary’. but Pine was one of them. The album he signed for me, recorded aged 94, was evidence of his continuing dedication to music, and was full of guest appearances from Eric Clapton, BB King, Jimmy Vaughn, etc – showing in just how high regard he was held. He also won a Grammy last year for his collaboration with Willy ‘Big Eyes’ Smith.
The CD he signed for me
Bluesmen like Pine are International treasures, and with his passing a little more of the Blues moves from the present into the history books. We need to keep it alive, singing his songs, and playing his wonderful records. Pinetop, the honour was mine, I salute you. God bless. R.I.P.
Here’s the song I wrote for him, featuring Stef Cybichowski on drums, who told me the sad news today. This one’s for you Pinetop.
Visit Pinetop’s website to find out more about him.