Living the blues | | Brainerd, Minnesota

Living the blues


Obituaries are great at providing glimpses into lives that are way more colorful than our own.

A case in point is The Associated Press obituary for blues piano player Pinetop Perkins who died Monday of cardiac arrest in Austin, Texas.

Perkins was a journeyman musician who played for years in the deep South. He never recorded an album until he was in his fifties, when he teamed up with Muddy Waters.

He was 97 when he died in his sleep. 

I’ve heard of Perkins by name but can’t say I’ve ever heard him sing or play. Reading his obituary intrigued me, and I just might have to track down his music.

My favorite part of the AP obituary was an offhand quote from harmonica player Bob Corritore, who explained that Perkins switched from guitar to piano at one point in his career. 

“But due to a misunderstanding with a woman he was stabbed in the arm and had tendon damage so he switched to piano,” Corritore said.

Now there’s a guy who could legitimately sing the blues.