Funny how things work out. When a violent dustup with a choirgirl in Arkansas ended Joseph Williams Perkins budding career as a guitarist, it started him down his path as a pianist. Better known as Pinetop Perkins, Joseph holds the distinction of being one of the oldest Delta blues performers still plying his trade. At 97, he unbelievably still performs live and records, showing off his signature boogie-woogie piano style. His latest release, Joined at the Hip, finds him assisted by drummer and harmonica player Wille Big Eyes Smith, a longtime musical foil. The record features, Grindin Man, a tune written by Perkins himself, in addition to a warm assortment of Chicago blues. Over the songs lazy, shuffling backbone and Smiths whining harmonica, Perkins delivers his own theme song, Ladies call me Pinetop Perkins, he sings, Some of them call me the grindin man. Its a classic example of the man does best, a nice and easy groove with charm and style to spare. Perkins ragged voice certainly shows his age, but also his years of experience, trials and triumphs.
Fri., Dec. 10, 8 p.m., 2010