Thursday, January 21, 2010

Blues show "Joined At The Hip": Pinetop Perkins and Willie "Big Eyes" Smith at Antone's in Austin, Texas

Normally, I'm not the sort who likes to go out, stay out late, or (God forbid!) dance. My sisters, however, convinced me that "it would be fun", and Greg suggested that we go to a blues show at Antone's in Austin. As soon as I learned a few more details on the show however, I knew that it would be something very special, indeed. Pinetop Perkins (96-year-old Blues legend, living in Austin) was joining up with Willie "Big Eyes" Smith and his band: Frank Krakowski on guitar, Jimmy Mayes playing drums, and Bob Stroger on the bass.

Greg stayed behind with the children (I felt bad to leave him, but he insisted!), dressed us in some of his leather jackets and coats (we didn't get a picture! How terrible!), and we were off.

The show was incredible. Literally, a soul stirring experience. To be in the presence of such blues was an honor to even be there. It blows my mind to read about all of the people these men have played with, all of the shows they've done, the long careers they've led. Pretty awe inspiring.

My sisters, of course, all went out to the center of the room to dance, but I wasn't feeling confidant enough.

It seems, however, that I may have caught the drummer's eye anyway...

Oh dear Jimmy Mayes, you are my new celebrity crush. I don't give a damn about the age difference -- that guy is hot. (Not to be concerned -- nothing can match up to Greg's all abiding fascination with Ellen Page.)

Check out this video from a show that Wilie's band played about a week before the one we were out, featuring Jimmy:


(If you click around, that YouTube poster has a few more videos from the same night, which are all quite good.)

I love the play of light and images in a dark room...

Pinetop Perkins, with his magic fingers:

Willie "Big Eyes" Smith:

"Little Frank" Krakowski:

This fellow approached Joy and asked her to dance; she obliged him, making this older gent's night a VERY happy one, indeed.

After the set was over, Jimmy Mayes called me up on stage and introduced himself...and asked me out. Had I been quicker on my feet, I would have suggested that all of my sisters and I hang out with the band together (in true Youth Group Non Dating style) (haha), but this idea didn't occur to me 'till after I'd already turned him down. Ah well, hindsight and all that.

The girls and I walked over to 6th St. (in heels!) to listen to some more "modern" blues at Friends, where I finally worked up the courage to dance, and we had a smashing time. Ending the night with some pizza at 2:00am, we finally drove back home with sore feet and big smiles. What a night.

Pinetop Perkins and Willie are planning on playing again together at Antone's in the summer, and Greg and I would not miss it for anything. (Check on Willie's home page to see when his band will be near you!)

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