Friday, March 25, 2011
In his early career, he played with Robert Nighthawk and Sonny Boy Williamson on their radio shows in Helena, and with Nighthawk during his early 1950's sessions with Chess Records. He also played with B. B. King and Earl Hooker, and during his tenure with Hooker, he recorded his version of Pinetop Smith's "Pinetop Boogie Woogie," that earned him his nickname for good (he had also been called "Pinetop" during his King Biscuit days with Williamson).
Perkins left the scene for most of the 60's, but came back in 1969 to replace Otis Spann in Muddy Waters' band and held down the piano stool for the next twelve years, leaving with several other members to form The Legendary Blues Band. They recorded a couple of albums for Rounder in the 1980's.
Friday, March 18, 2011
Johnson was born in Lambert, MS, in 1940. His father was a musician, playing fiddle, banjo, and guitar, and loved country music and blues. His son was also a big country music fan and they began playing together when Big Jack was only 13. Johnson also learned slide guitar from a local musician named Earnest Roy (that's his son, Earnest Jr., who played drums on The Oil Man).
|Frank Frost (left) and Sam Carr|
Juke Joint Saturday Night, a session with his band, the Cornlickers, that attempted to capture the feel of a regular weekend appearance at Red's. The results were successful, as Johnson tackled a number of standards and played some incredible guitar, such as on the instrumental, "Jack's Guitar Groove," which starts somewhere around James Brown and winds up down in Howlin' Wolf territory. Johnson's last release was Katrina, in 2009. It was also a self-release, but Johnson was to the point that he knew what he wanted with his sound and figured he had the best idea of how to do it. Katrina was a tribute to the spirit and people of his home state, but has not been widely heard.