This is a typical evening of Pinetop and Rogers as they were heard on tour one night in Maine from 1988. Pinetop was never a very demonstrative singer. Rather, he could be very appealing with an easy going, comfortable delivery shown on a number of blues classics that would remain part of his repertoire for over three decades. These include Eddie 'Cleanhead' Vinson's "Kidney Stew," St. Louis Jimmy's "Going Down Slow" (titled here "Had My Fun"), the Larry Darnell hit "For You My Love," Ivory Joe Hunter's "I Almost Lost My Mind" (titled here "When I Lost My Baby"), and Clarence 'Pinetop' Smith's "Pinetop's Boogie Woogie." That number became a staple of Perkins repertoire decades before and led to his stage name. There is plenty of Pinetop's fine, reliable piano and these performances are solid, even if he might have made equally fine performances of these songs in his other recordings.
One wishes there was more of Jimmy Rogers' vocals than the three songs heard here. Rogers was one of the finest singers of Chicago blues with his relaxed, distinctive delivery lending appeal to a cover of "Big Boss Man" along with his own "The Last Time." Pinetop's playing is exceptional on this, and Little Mike and the Tornadoes add lively backing. Rogers addis his own distinctive guitar lines producing some gems of Chicago blues. Rogers adds his guitar into the backing for the rendition of "Pinetop's Boogie Woogie," that is a feverish and exhilarating a performance as Perkins ever produced of this number.
My main complaint about this release is the attribution of composer credit to Pinetop Perkins for "For You My Love" composed by Paul Gayten, and the aforementioned Ivory Joe Hunter and Pinetop Smith songs. Otherwise this is an entertaining reminder of the delightful, sometimes exciting, Chicago blues on tours like the one captured on this release. Perhaps not essential, but certainly a release fans of the two, and Chicago blues, will be interested in.
I received my review copy from a publicist. Here is Jimmy Rogers with James Cotton.
And here is Pinetop Perkins as part of Mitch Woods' Boogie Woogie Blow-Out.