Pinetop Perkins,
Ladies Man
(M.C., 2004)

Legendary blues pianist Pinetop Perkins gets several talented women to back him, a different one on nearly every track of this upbeat, swinging blues album. (No one seemed willing to add vocals to "Big Fat Mama," though.)

Guests include Susan Tedeschi ("Since I Lost My Baby"), Ruth Brown ("Chains of Love"), Odetta ("Trouble in Mind") and Marcia Ball ("Pinetop's New Boogie Woogie"). The last, of course, a new take on the uncopyrighted song Perkins is known for and claims to have given to one of his influences, Pinetop Smith. Many of these songs Perkins never before recorded and this is the first new studio recording from him since 2000.

While the theme here is talented women singing to Perkins' talented piano playing, a notable exception is Elvin Bishop joining Perkins with some slide guitar on "How Long." A nonagenarian, Perkins still shines brightly at the keys and does some nice playing along with Ball and Ann Rabson on the piano duets "Pinetop's New Boogie Woogie" and "Careless Love."

- Rambles
written by Tom Schulte
published 6 November 2004

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