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Willie “Pinetop” Perkins - Pinetop Perkins And Friends
Telarc Records

How do you write about a talented, 95 year old artist that has been out there musically since the late 1920s? He played with Sonny Boy Williamson II on the King Biscuit Time radio show on KFFA, and he advertised for Sonny Boy Meal before we had too many TVs . Wow! And, he’s still out there kicking it and doing a great job.

On this C.D. Pinetop has brought in "A little help from his friends." Packed with an all star line up to help out, the CD has the likes of B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Jimmie Vaughn, Eric Sardinas, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, Willie Kent, Nora Jean Brusco, Paul Diethelm, "Little Frank" Krakowski, Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith, Leon Smith, Bob Stroger, and Bill Willis. What a group of friends!

The first number is a smooth mellow song by "Joe Perkins" called "Take It Easy Baby." When I say mellow, I mean for Pinetop. He calls in Jimmie Vaughn for a few lead guitar licks on this track - I think just so they can get warmed up for some others coming down the road later.

The second song steps it up a bit on "Got My Mojo Workin’” by Preston Foster. It has not only got a great Pinetop boogie beat that he has always been known for on those ivory keys, but also very good singing by the 94 year old youngster (when recorded). Eric Sardinas is piloting a slide Dobro sound that is wonderful plus provides more good singing to help out on this great cover song.

Next , he brings in The KING, that is B.B. King to play his guitar Lucille and do a little back up singing on this fast rocking number called "Down in Mississippi.” At one point, after singing a few bars, B.B. tells Pinetop to take over because he can sing better than him. Pinetop and B.B. worked together in Memphis at WDIA Radio. That had to be a couple of days ago, don't you think?

This song, also by "Joe Perkins," "How Long Blues/ Come Back Baby” is a very good slow Blues with Eric Clapton on guitar for good 'ol Pinetop. Eric does his always stellar performance on the fret work while singer Nora Jean Brusco with her remarkable voice jumps in to turn this into another great duet. She and Pinetop sound exceptionally good together. Very good C.D.

Reviewer Tom "THE ENERGIZER" Schlesinger is a long time blues fan and veteran of many a Legendary Blues Cruise and Blues Festival.

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