At age 97, singer and pianist Pinetop Perkins proves you're never too old to play the blues. Pinetop is still in top form on a new album with singer, drummer and harmonica player Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, titled Joined At The Hip.
When Pinetop Perkins celebrated his birthday July 7, retirement was the furthest thing from his mind. In fact, Pinetop was too busy celebrating his latest release and planning his current tour to worry about the passing of another year.
It didn't take long to convince Pinetop to record an album with his close friend and collaborator Willie "Big Eyes" Smith. After all, they've known each other for over 40 years, meeting for the first time in a band led by blues great Muddy Waters. They played alongside Muddy Waters for 10 years, before launching The Legendary Blues Band with three other members of Muddy's backup group.
Willie, now 74, who wrote most of the tunes on Joined At The Hip, returns to his first instrument, the harmonica, while Willie shines on vocals and piano.
Pinetop's 80-year career makes him one of the oldest living Delta blues musicians still performing. Born in Belzoni, Mississippi, Pinetop left home to work as a sideman across the Southern U.S., and eventually settled in Chicago. In 2004, he earned a Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement. Three years later, he was one of four recipients of the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album, "Last Of The Great Mississippi Delta Bluesman: Live In Dallas."