Ladies Man

Blues pianist/vocalist Pinetop Perkins is 91 years old and still hammering the ivories.

Blues pianist/vocalist Pinetop Perkins is 91 years old and still hammering the ivories. That's beyond amazing, but then, Perkins' life in the blues has been extraordinary. On "Ladies Man," his first full-length studio album in four years, Perkins hosts an array of very special women who lend their considerable talents to a very hip collection of songs. Any mention of prime tunes must begin with Ruth Brown's stellar vocal on "Chains of Love" and Odetta's classy rendition of "Trouble in Mind." Susan Tedeschi reprises a fine version of "Since I Lost My Baby," and Madeleine Peyroux takes good care of "He's Got Me Goin'." While Marcia Ball and Ann Rabson don't sing, they do bring their keyboard chops to bear on "Pinetop's New Boogie Woogie" and "Careless Love," respectively. Perkins also sings three songs, including a swinging version of "Chicken Shack" recorded live in California. This is a wonderful album and a tribute to Perkins' astonishing staying power.—PVV