96 on Sixth
My attention now turns to the song “96 on Sixth” – which is a tribute to Pinetop Perkins. It describes meeting him at Nuno’s on Austin’s famous Sixth street, and seeing him perform, and will be another ‘signpost’ in my Blue Odyssey song series -part of the trip that will become my next album. The word legend is bandied about in the music world with monotonous regularity these days, and bestowed on one-dimensional johnny-come-lately’s not fit to wear the crown. But in Pinetop’s case, it is richly deserved . He is the oldest surviving Delta Bluesman who still performs at the grand old age of 96, and recorded an album with stars such as BB King and Eric Clapton at the age of 94. I was dumbstruck to see him launch into “Got my mojo workin'” at Nuno’s. The guy is just incredible, and an inspiration. I just had to do a song about him. Shaking his hand was like connecting directly to the Mississippi delta all those years ago, it was an unbelievable privilege.
I just hope the song will do him justice. I’ve lifted a line from his song ‘barefootin’ to intro the track – “everybody get on your feet” and hope to dovetail it nicely into the song, and the chorus shoutbacks will echo titles – take it easy baby – down in mississippi, etc., to give a flavour of his work.
Once again this track will go over to my friend Stef for the drums to be added. I hope to present the finished version to Nuno’s where Pinetop hangs out. It’s a sincere homage to a remarkable character. Don’t stop what your doin’, Pinetop!