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Born In the Honey: The Pinetop Perkins Story
DVD with bonus Audio CD On the 88’s Live In Chicago

VizzTone Label Group

60 minutes - Highly Recommended

Joe Willie “Pinetop” Perkins is an American musical treasure, a direct link to our musical heritage’s past, and above all a fabulous musician. This documentary traces the journey of the 95 year old legend from the cotton fields of the Honey Plantation in Belzoni, Mississippi to the streets of Chicago and then solo. This candid look at Pinetop’s life and struggles firsthand from his own mouth and his contemporaries is a complete must for any blues fan, musical historian, or first-time listener to Pinetop’s music.

Pinetop documents his struggles from being chased away from his own home as a young boy at the age of 10 to the cotton fields of Clarksdale, MS where he met the likes of early partner Robert Nighthawk, Charlie Patton, and many of the Mississippi Delta’s fabled blues legends. As Pinetop directly relates, “You got the blues if you can’t sing ‘em” on how times were hard running a tractor in pre-WWII era Delta plantations. However, Pinetop was passed over and gives a first hand account of missing the draft board because of his services being needed on the farm. The documentary also goes on to show first hand accounts from Sam Carr, Bobby Rush, and Ike Turner’s stories about Pinetop bouncing around as a musician in Helena AK with Sonny Boy Williamson II’s King Biscuit Time and KFFA with Robert Nighthawk. It was Nighthawk who first recorded Pinetop in 1950 on “Jackson Town Gal.”

Interspersed between concert footage and recorded footage is some finely acted montage by Cedric Burnside is the stories from Pinetop’s closest friends. The documentary includes interviews with Bubba Sullivan the proprietor of Blues Corner in Helena AK, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Lonnie Brooks, Paul Oscher, Hubert Sumlin, Dr. John, Kim Wilson, Eddie Clearwater, Marcia Ball, and Koko Taylor.
You’ll find out first hand why Pinetop Perkins was well-deserving of his Grammy Award this past February and all accolades before and since. As Hubert Sumlin aptly puts it: “He got some of God in him.” Perkins personality and amazing story from the Delta to Chicago is a history lesson and a treat all in one.

DVD Highlights:

Bobby Rush’s story about Pinetop Perkins at the Havana Club setting a friend up with a transvestite. You’ll laugh your head off at this one.

The concert footage, period.    The interview footage with Pinetop himself.

Paul Oscher’s obviously heartfelt recount of Muddy Waters’ car accident in which Pinetop was injured in outside of Champaign IL in October 1969.

Pinetop’s diet of 2 double cheeseburgers and 4 apple pies from McDonalds every day!

This DVD is available from major music outlets.

Reviewer Ben Cox is a Blues Songwriter, Musician, DJ and Journalist.

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