This is an approximately 60 minute DVD and a bonus CD that is just shy of 50 minutes. These are two very different projects and need to be talked about separately, so we'll do the DVD first. This traces Pinetop Perkins life with many stills, place shots, interviews with friends and fellow musicians and follow the story of his life in a pretty straightforward manner. There are a number of times when they have the, then 93 year old discussing his life and the choices he made. It is good honest reporting and not much is glossed over. He is quite frank about what he has to say about life and his music. The interviews with people that he has played with, influenced, and known as friends are sharp and insightful; Ann Rabson, Bobby Rush, Ike Turner, and Koko Taylor among many others, share their respect for and stories about him that shed light on the man and his music. The main glitch with this DVD is the sound quality, which varies greatly, going from good to, well, poor puts it nicely. This is a shame because at times the listener is distracted by having to crank up or down the volume or strain to make out what is being said. But it is a good and informative look at the life of this fantastic musician who has had such an influence on so much of the Blues music listened to today. The story line is interesting for the light shed on this master of the blues piano, and the photography at times is superb.
The, as they title it, bonus CD is pretty good; the first 9 tracks are recorded live in Chicago, at a date and venue that is not disclosed. The band for that includes Pinetop on the piano, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith on drums (I'll guess he does the vocals also though they no one gets credit for them), Robert "Bob" Stroger on bass and "Little" Frank Krokowski on guitar. The 10th track is an unreleased studio recording done in 1997 in Arizona with that bit cleaner sound that comes from a studio recording. Pinetop of course is on the piano with Bob Corritore on harp, Johnny Rapp on guitar, Paul Thomas on bass and Chico Chism on drums. A good listen and as valuable, though in a different way, as the DVD.
Tracks on the Bonus CD:
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Website design by David N. Pyles