Saturday, October 20, 2007

Two free Pinetop Perkins downloads

The Internet might be killing the record industry... but it ain’t killing music.

Let me ask: Is music a bigger part of your life now than before you were online? It sure is for me. Whole new worlds have opened up.

Just recently I stumbled on Pinetop Perkins, a 94-year-old blues musician who’s been performing since 1926.

He often jammed on the legendary “King Biscuit Time” radio show in the 1940s. He was in the Muddy Waters band during the ’70s.

And Mr. Perkins is still playing. Matter fact, he played last night at the Blues Masters at the Crossroads festival in Salina, Kansas.

You wanna download a FREE MP3 by Pinetop Perkins?

Give it a listen first; click here and spin “Pinetop’s New Boogie Woogie” on my Vox site. This track – a romping duet with Marcia Ball – is from Pinetop’s 2004 CD, “Ladies Man.”

Follow this link to Blue Mountain Artists and scroll down; you’ll see “Pinetop’s New Boogie Woogie” as one of two “MP3 Sample Tracks.” The other is “Since I Lost My Baby,” sung by Susan Tedeschi, also from the “Ladies Man” album.

Both are yours for the taking.

8 comments:

S.O.L. said...

David,

When I was doing publicity at the "new" Ashgrove in Santa Monica, we got Pinetop to come play. He was great.

We also had R.L. Burnside. If you haven't checked out that cat yet, get thee to it right away. What bad thing can you say about a guy who puts out a CD titled "Ass Pocket of Whiskey"?

Undercover Black Man said...

Cool, S.O.L. Now, how come I don't know what the Ashgrove is?? And I lived on the Westside for 10 years.

S.O.L. said...

David,

The original Ashgrove was a famous counterculture music venue on Melrose in Los Angeles. It opened in 1958 as a place where you could hear a lot of the blues/folk/early rock and ethnic sounds of the day – sometimes the only place you could hear it. It was also home to a lot left-wing activists and its underground cache grew during the 1960s.

Legend has it that the Byrds met there and Mick Jagger was a regular, coming to listen to all these great black blues guys. I can't remember if it was Ralph Stanley or Bill Monroe, but one of those legendary bluegrass dudes played their first West Coast gig at the Ashgrove.

Because of its left-leaning politics and perhaps its rather acerbic founder, Ed Pearl, the Ashgrove was always under attack -- FBI raids were not uncommon for example. In 1973, the original Ashgrove burned to the ground in a "suspicious" fire.

Pearl tried many times to resurrect his visionary club, but the world had changed and the music business was exploding in different directions and folk/ethnic/political music was being pushed aside.

Back in 91, a group of investors got enough together to give it a try, opening the new Ashgrove as a music/supper club on the Santa Monica pier. It opened in the summer of 1996.

The place was doomed to fail in part because the new investors had no idea what they were doing. And the organizers had unrealistic expectations – like filling up the joint every night. I can say this because for about half its new life, I was the club’s publicist. It was a pretty basic, seat-of-your-pants operation too. We made our own flyers, did a lot of early viral marketing and everybody chipped in doing all sorts of things. A few nights I was the MC and would announce the acts. I remember one time I picked up Ray “Hard Hands” Barretto at the airport and drove him to his hotel. It was trippy, I tell you.

We had some really memorable shows, too. The Texas Playboys sold out and we cleared the tables. You should have seen the place -- wall-to-wall cowboy hats and shit-kicker boots with spurs and Texas swing hoofing. It was like an Lubbock, Texas dance hall had dropped down from the sky into Santa Monica. You shoulda been there.

Townes Van Zandt played a gig in August 96 and I after sound check, I spent a couple of hours shooting the shit with him on the steps between the stage and the dressing room. He was dead within six months.

Guy Clark, another Texas singer/songwriting legend, had been playing up and down the West Coast and hadn't sold out one show, including ours. We got a hot young singer/songwriter to open for him the morning of his show and filled the house. I'll never forget the look on his face after that show. He just didn't think L.A. had it in them.

But while it lasted barely a year, the lineup was impressive. Artists who performed included: Dave Alvin, Peter Case, Tom Russell, Arlo Guthrie, Kate & Anna McGarrigle, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Richard Buckner, Freedy Johnston, John Doe, Laura Love, David Olney, Randy Newman, Van Dyke Parks, Townes Van Zandt, Butch Hancock, Guy Clark, Terry Allen, Michael Fracasso, Jimmy LaFave, Dan Bern, John Wesley Harding , Amy Rigby, Bob Neuwirth, Victoria Williams, Mark Olson, John Gorka, Rickey Skaggs, Ralph Stanley, Laurie Lewis, Del MeCoury, Smokey Wilson,Kim Wilson, Coco Montoya, R.L. Burnside, Joe Lewis Walker, Kelly Jo Phelps, Long John Hunter, Pinetop Perkins, Sonny Landreth, Guy Davis, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Cubanismo w/Jesus Alemany, Ray Barretto, Olatunji, Charlie Hunter Quartet, Quetzacoatl, Five Blind Boys of Alabama, Peter Buck & Mark Eitzel, Medeski, Martin & Wood and The Negro Problem.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Wow! Thanks for that, S.O.L. I wish I had connected with you back then... There are at least 10 of those shows I would've seen.

Great story.

S.O.L. said...

I know, Dave. A lot of my friends from those days still say they're indebted for getting them into some of those gigs. Don't think you knew I was out in L.A. yet -- I remember you called me after you saw my first novel on the shelf at Borders. By that time, the Ashgrove was a memory. Place still owes me my last three paychecks. Doh!

Dougfp said...

They're holding a tribute to Ashgrove at UCLA in April. So far, they've announced Taj Mahal, Ry Cooder, Dave Alvin, Jack Elliot, the Chambers Brothers, and a bunch of others. I got tickets as part of my UCLA package this year. Never attended any shows at either of the Ashgrove's, but I'm looking forward to the concert.

Madam said...

Awesome, UBM, thanks - I love Pinetop. Folks who live in or visit Chicago can sometimes catch him playing at the friendly Rosa's Lounge.

Interesting, s.o.l. That was a great era for music - what a roster.

That's an amazingly great lineup, dougfp. Say, do you have a date for the concert yet? I think I may be free that night ;-)
madamjujujive

Dougfp said...

Madam...

The Ash Grove shows at UCLA are April 18th & 19th. Not sure if it's the same show or different artists.