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True Blue
from Ellis Kell
Argus/Dispatch blues columnist

May 2007

TRUE BLUE from Ellis Kell

"BORN IN THE HONEY" - THE PINETOP PERKINS STORY... The Vizztone Label Group will release "Born In The Honey" - The Pinetop Perkins Story on May 15, and this very special set includes a 60 minute DVD documentary along with a bonus CD including ten tracks. Produced by Peter Carlson of Sagebrush Productions, this is the only authorized biography of the legendary 93 year old piano man. The documentary follows Pinetop.s own migration north, from his early days with Robert Nighthawk, Earl Hooker, Sonny Boy Williamson on the King Biscuit Time Radio Hour, onto his stints with Ike Turner, Muddy Waters, and the solo career he has continued to pursue since 1983. Born on the Honey Island Plantation in Belzoni, Mississippi, Pinetop is definitely the consummate (and most distinguished) elder statesman of the blues still performing on the planet today. The DVD includes interviews and recollections from Ann Rabson, Bernard Allison, Bob Margolin, Dr. John, Ike Turner, Koko Taylor, Marcia Ball, Sam Carr, Taj Mahal, and Willie "Big Eyes" Smith. Performance footage features Pinetop tickling the ivories with Mookie Brill, Ann Rabson, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, Duinna Greenleaf, Curtis Salgado and Calvin "Fuzz" Jones, among others. The stories, tributes, images, and the long hard road from Mississippi to Chicago is all captured in this priceless documentary of one of the blues most beloved figures. For more information on this special DVD/CD release, visit www.pinetopperkins.com.

3 NEW RELEASES IN ALLIGATOR'S "CRUCIAL BLUES" SERIES... Alligator Records has released three new editions of their budget-priced blues sampler series, "Crucial Blues". These new collection follow on the heels of six previous releases in the series, and include "Crucial Rockin' Blues," "Crucial Acoustic Blues," and "More Crucial Guitar Blues". The samplers are priced at $7.98 each, and include hot tracks from the stable of Alligator artists including such blues legends as Albert Collins, Luther Allison, Koko Taylor, Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Son Seals, Guitar Shorty, Roy Buchanan, Lonnie Brooks, Lucky Peterson and W. W. Clark, as well as choice cuts featuring Ann Rabson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Shemekia Copeland, Johnny Jones, Little Charlie and the Nightcats, Sonny Terry, Lucky Peterson, John Jackson and more. A virtual who's who of blues graces these collections, and provides a definitive sampling of the blues across the board. Each one of these disks should be made mandatory listening for Blues School 101. For more information on the entire "Crucial Blues" series, and the other fine Alligator releases, visit www.alligator.com on the web.

TOMMY CASTRO ADMINISTERS "PAINKILLER" ON BLIND PIG... Tommy Castro is back with a blistering new blues attack on "Painkiller". One of the finest bluesstringers out there today, TC's new studio recording is produced by John Porter, and includes a special guest appearance by Coco Montoya on the Albert Collin's classic "A Good Fool Is Hard to Find". Angela Strehli, David Maxwell and Teresa James also join TC's fiery ensemble as guest artists. Tommy Castro is a favorite here in this old river valley, and his hot 'n spicy blues brew just gets more potent with each new release. Put this one on, turn it up, and it's guaranteed to start the house to rockin'! For information on all the fine releases from Blind Pig, visit www.blindpigrecords.com on the web.

"TRUE BLUE SOUL FOOD" PICK OF THE MONTH: Blackened Catfish from The Captain's Table in Moline, IL - You gotta taste it to believe it, but I done beat 'ya to it. Seasoned up and done just right, and served with corn relish, fresh steamed veggies, and potato of your choice. We passed on the taters, and subbed a salad for a buck extra. Reasonably priced and served up hot 'n spicy. Jeez-ka-dong-it!

I'm already ten miles south on Hwy. 61, so until we meet again at this crossroads, peace, love & blessings to all and...

Blues to ‘ya!

Local musician Ellis Kell writes about blues music both local and national in ‘True Blue’, running the first Sunday of each month in Entertainment. He also serves as a consultant for River Music Experience, a not-for-profit center dedicated to preservation, education and celebration of American Roots music.


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