RIP to the legendary Willie "Pine Top" Perkins, one of the last original Delta bluesmen. My brother in law saw him play live years ago and called me to tell me this news. I'm a newbie as a blues listener, and this fellow is easy on the ears. His voice is smooth and paced with comfort, making the repetitive lyrics of the blues an easy ride. He is most well known for his piano playing, and for spanning the evolution of the blues, from the Delta to Chicago, although he most recently lived in Texas. Passing at the age of 97, the man had a long and active career, winning three grammies; a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 2005, followed by the 2007 Best Traditional Blues Album for his collaboration on the "Last of the Great Mississippi Delta Bluesmen: Live in Dallas" and most recently, a Grammy in 2010 for his work with Willie "Big Eyes" Smith for Best Traditional Blues CD for Joined at the Hip with Telarc Records.

 

When other websites do those surveys of your favorite Led Zeppelin this or that song, my answer is always, "Ten Years Gone." Physical Graffiti is probably a favorite Zeppelin album of mine too; the Immigrant Song, Down By The Seaside, The Rover, In My Time of Dying, all musical masterpieces. But am I biased because Ten Years Gone is on it too?

The song quietly sneaks up on you with the first riffs and then another of Page's 14 guitar tracks that he used to structure the song comes in with a solid, powerful and under the earth harmony. This initial root grabs you and the seed is sewn for Robert Plant's somber, wise and poetic voice.

winwoodninelivesthumbThe single, "Fly", is worthy of the first Tea for One entry to our site. It was written by Steve Winwood, Jose Neto, and Peter Douglas Godwin. (Columbia Records).

I was amazingly lucky to hear this for the first time live when he played with Tom Petty several years ago in an outdoor venue on a clear summer night in New England, 2008. Beach balls were included!

http://bluebirdreviews.com/live-shows/6-tom-pettysteve-winwood-june-11-2008.html

"Fly" starts as a beautiful float through island Brazillian, African and Celtic percussion, saxophone and Irish whistle (by Paul Booth), acoustics and softly complicated bass lines. Then Winwood's strong voice starts the piece which grounds the song in his earthy tones. The lyrics bring comfort to any aching, lonely soul, or inspiration to a heart that is already full. It is a lifetime of striving for fulfillment in communion with others who are close, yet an autonomous wisdom that is confident from healing experience.

Mick's Music Messages:

February 6, 2011

In honor of the legendary guitarist Gary Moore, I asked my friend Mick Houser, bassist and vocalist of Dr. Mudd and Shinebox to allow me to post his thoughts on the late artist.

We got news that Gerry Rafferty has passed away today. I have to admit, this is a favorite singer/songwriter whom I took for granted. Always there with his smooth familiar voice, always on the radio. Mr. Rafferty, we've loved you so much at Bluebirdreviews, that last year you were voted into our classic remake section. Our friends over at Dr. Mudd do a stunning cover of "Stuck in the Middle". It's been you, Gerry - "Right Down the Line."

If you get a chance, download "City to City" or better yet, stalk your local record store for the LP.

Entertainment Weekly did a fabulous piece honoring him and covering his history and popular songs. Check it out:

http://music-mix.ew.com/2011/01/04/gerry-rafferty-obit-appreciation/

 

 


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