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March 2011 Archives

Blue Pinetop

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ptsteveazzato.jpg Portrait by Chicago's Steve Azzato.


Joseph Bob "Pinetop" Perkins was America's longest living bluesman.
Mr. Perkins died of cardiac arrest Monday at his home in Austin, Tx. He was 97 years old.
Mr. Perkins replaced Otis Spann in Muddy Waters band--when he was 56 years old. Mr. Perkins also played guitar on Sonny Boy Williamson's mystical King Biscuit Flour Hour radio program on KFFA in Helena, Ark. He played background music to cockfights and recorded with Chris and Mick Jagger. He won his second Grammy this year for Best Traditional Blues Album for "Joined at the Hip," which he recorded with former Waters drummer Willie "Big Eyes" Smith.
Mr. Perkins became the oldest person to win a Grammy award. (Edging out George Burns).

"He was happy about the Grammy but he was happiest on playing on somebody's bandstand," Smith said Monday from his Chicago home. "The Grammy was icing on the cake........

OYO Vodka with a Twist of Soul

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A couple of Saturday nights ago we gave the OYO (Ohio River Valley) new Honey Vanilla Bean (infused) vodka a test run at my tiki bar on the west side of Chicago.
We put on Mavis Staples' 1970 "Only for the Lonely" Stax recording (ladies choice) and sipped the velvet smooth spirit from souvenir shot glasses I purchased at Rock City, Tn.

It doesn't get more romantic than that.

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The vodka's gentle touch was not overbearing and encouraged me to try some recipes I was given by Ryan Lang, OYO's head distiller at Middle West Spriits in Columbus, Ohio. Middle West is Central Ohio's first and only "grain-to-bottle" micro-distillery. I'm not much of a vodka drinker, but the $34.95 investment for OYO was a high five-o.

Dave Hoekstra

Dave Hoekstra has been a Chicago Sun-Times staff writer since 1985. His collection of Sun-Times travel columns, "Ticket To Everywhere," was published in 2000 by Lake Claremont Press. He was lead writer for "Farm Aid: Song for America" (Rodale Press, 2005) which commemorated the 20th anniversary of the Willie Nelson inspired effort.
He won a 1987 Chicago Newspaper Guild Stick O-Type Award for Column Writing. Hoekstra wrote and co-proudced the WTTW-Channel 11 PBS special: "The Staple Singers and the Civil Rights Movement," nominated for a 2001-02 Chicago Emmy for a documentary program/cultural significance.
He lives in Chicago.

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This page is an archive of entries from March 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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