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Pinetop passed away yesterday in his Austin home from heart failure. I can't begin to list all his accomplishments, but suffice to say the overused term "legend" is completely appropriate! From his early days as a sideman in the '50s for Ike Turner, then with Muddy Waters starting in 1969 to winning a Grammy this year (for "Joined at the Hip" with Willie "Big Eyes" Smith), Pine fit in enough living in his 97 years to fill several lifetimes.

Amazingly enough, he started on guitar, but after an arm tendon injury (seems he was stabbed during an altercation with a woman) he switched to piano. The annual Blues award for pianists is named for him, since it seemed like he won it every year!

He was playing right until the end -- his website lists concert dates across the country booked for later this year. Many nights I would see him at Antone's selling and autographing his CD's and chatting with anyone who stopped by. He used a keyboard-handled cane to get around with, but when he sat down at the piano (wearing an amazingly tailored suit and hat), the switch came on and we were instantly transported! No one could ever keep still on "Got my Mojo Workin'!"

Those of us based here in Austin were privileged to have him these last 7 years. He was in retirement, but after feeling the energy, he called his manager to start booking him again. Those of us who were fortunate enough to jam with him gained so much that the debt could never be repaid.

He will be buried in his native Mississippi, but we know part of his soul will still be here. I know all his old friends are greeting him now.
 

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Pinetop passed away yesterday in his Austin home from heart failure. I can't begin to list all his accomplishments, but suffice to say the overused term "legend" is completely appropriate! From his early days as a sideman in the '50s for Ike Turner, then with Muddy Waters starting in 1969 to winning a Grammy this year (for "Joined at the Hip" with Willie "Big Eyes" Smith), Pine fit in enough living in his 97 years to fill several lifetimes.

Amazingly enough, he started on guitar, but after an arm tendon injury (seems he was stabbed during an altercation with a woman) he switched to piano. The annual Blues award for pianists is named for him, since it seemed like he won it every year!

He was playing right until the end -- his website lists concert dates across the country booked for later this year. Many nights I would see him at Antone's selling and autographing his CD's and chatting with anyone who stopped by. He used a keyboard-handled cane to get around with, but when he sat down at the piano (wearing an amazingly tailored suit and hat), the switch came on and we were instantly transported! No one could ever keep still on "Got my Mojo Workin'!"

Those of us based here in Austin were privileged to have him these last 7 years. He was in retirement, but after feeling the energy, he called his manager to start booking him again. Those of us who were fortunate enough to jam with him gained so much that the debt could never be repaid.

He will be buried in his native Mississippi, but we know part of his soul will still be here. I know all his old friends are greeting him now.
My Dad played the tenor sax with pinetop at Buck's working mans pub in Laporte, Indiana,and it was great to watch! They played alot of boogie woogie.
 
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