Pianist Pinetop Perkins, Muddy Waters’s last great keyboard man, is a living repository of over half a century of blues. He laces barrelhouse standards and up-tempo rockers alike with a deep blues sensibility and solid craftsmanship fused with an impish good humor that makes every performance an unabashed celebration of life. In recent years he’s had the annoying habit of surrounding himself with loud young musicians who tend to overwhelm the subtle majesty of his style, but you cant squelch a spirit like Perkins’s for long; his left hand lays down a sure, deep-chording foundation for his nimble-fingered treble work, and his rousing performances bring back echoes of the fabled juke joints of the Delta, where this magnificent music was born. An evening with Pinetop Perkins is both a delightful contemporary musical experience and a glimpse into the heart of the rich musical heritage that gave birth to modern blues. Saturday, Rosa’s, 3420 W. Armitage; 342-0452.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/James Fraher.