"As he paints musical landscapes on 'Pinetop's Boogie' or 'Kansas City' or 'Annalee' or 'Five Long Years,' Pinetop skillfully encapsulates years of authentic blues experiences in the songs. It's a time capsule, Pinetop style. Whenever I hear his soulful delivery and tender key work on Leroy Carr's 1928 smash, 'How Long Blues,' I know I'm hearing a version very close to the original Pinetop heard in his teenage years." —Art Tipaldi, from the liner notes
Telarc presents Pinetop Perkins, the legendary statesman of the Delta blues, in a quiet, semi-acoustic setting. Back on Top is a fresh take on ten blues classics and the perfect followup to Pinetop's Grammy-nominated CD, Legends.
Pinetop Perkins is one of the last great Mississippi bluesmen still performing. Best known for playing piano in the great Muddy Waters Band, this 86-year-old blues icon has worked with everyone from Sonny Boy Williamson to Robert Nighthawk. Widely regarded as one of the greatest bluesmen ever, he's created a style of playing that continues to be the yardstick by which blues pianists are measured.
Produced by Randy Labbe, Back on Top is definitive Pinetop. What makes this new release so special is the sympathetic support he receives from special guests Corey Harris and ex-Roomful of Blues harpist Sugar Ray Norcia. A rock solid, yet restrained rhythm section, including acoustic bassist Michael "Mudcat" Ward, drummer Per Hanson, and guitarist Denny Breau, captures the easy, conversational elements of Perkin's engaging musical approach.
Pinetop's 1998 CD, Legends (CD-83446) with guitarist Hubert Sumlin, was nominated for a Grammy as Best Traditional Blues Album, and he is a perennial W.C. Handy Award winner (in the Blues Instrumentalist—Keyboards category). Perkins' 1997 Telarc debut, Born in the Delta (enhanced CD-83418), was also nominated for a Grammy, won a Handy, and was voted Down Beat's Blues Album of the Year.