Tuesday, January 5, 2016

ELROB Records artists: Pinetop Perkins & Jimmy Rogers with Little Mike and the Tornadoes - Genuine Blues Legends - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Genuine Blues Legends from Little Mike (Markowitz) and the Tornadoes featuring Pinetop Perkins and Jimmy Rogers and it's terrific! Recorded live at the Grand Auditorium in Ellsworth Maine on May 21, 1988, this is a real gem! Opening with Cleanhead Vinson's Kidney Stew, Pinetop is rocking the keys and lead vocals and Little Mike is on harp backed by Tony O Melio on guitar, Brad Vickers on bass and Michael Anderson on drums. A cool shuffle track, Mike really takes the harp for a ride and Pinetop is in his prime. Excellent opener! Tommy Tucker's High Heeled Sneakers is up and Chicago style. Melio rips off some real nice blues riffs on guitar on this track and in addition to solid work by Pinetop on vocal and piano, Little Mike rides high on harp. Very nice! St Louis Jimmy Odem's Had My Fun is up next cranking in at over 10 minutes and Pinetop's vocals and piano work on this track are terrific. Melio digs deep on this track putting together some really tight guitar phrases. There is not a wasted not on this track. Excellent! Joe Willie Perkin's track, For You My Love is a real blues shuffle with Pinetop literally taking control. If you aren't familiar with Pinetop's work from this time period, you owe it to yourself to hear this release. This is Pinetop at his best! Little Mike really cranks it up on this track pushed along nicely by Anderson. Jimmy Rogers joins on this track and lays down some cool riffs of his own. Excellent! On Jimmy Reed's Big Boss Man, Reed takes the mic backed by Pinetop and the Tornadoes. Little Mike keeps his riffs tame giving plenty of room for Pinetop to solo. Very nice. Another Rogers original, All In My Sleep slows things down a bit and Melio and Mike take an early instrumental intro reminding me quite a bit of Bloomfield/Butterfield. Roger's vocals are more pronounced on this track and Pinetop really digs in on piano. Melio takes a later solo again putting me in mind of Bloomfield. At 9 minutes plus this track is very nice! Shuffle track, The Last Time, again led by Rogers captures the classic Rogers style. The blend and clarity of soloing on this release by Perkins and Little Mike is terrific. On Perkins penned, When I Lost My Baby, similar to a Ivory Joe Hunter song of similar name, features Pinetop back on lead vocal and piano. Pinetop's keyboad work is sensational and tight and Little Mike's harp work stimulating. Very cool! On Pinetop's Boogie Woogie, Pinetop really lets it go with Melio, Mike and Rogers each adding nicely to what really is Pinetop's track. Excellent! Wrapping the release is Pine and Jimmy's Jump, a tight instrumental jam. Each man gets his chance up front and takes it deep. This is a great conclusion to what had to be a terrific show. Excellent!

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Unfortunately I couldnt find any footage of these guys together but Here's Little Mike!

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