In a 1998 story for the Reader, writer David Whiteis describes a performance by longtime Maxwell Street blues musician John “Dancin'” Perkins (front row, fourth from right): “Holding his bass behind his head or propping it up on the ground and spinning around it as if it were a dwarf maypole, he kicks high into the air, does groin-straining splits, and shuffles backward in a modified camel walk, all the while pounding out his trademark bass riff, sometimes using just his left hand.” Perkins is well into his late 70s–if he’s not older–but he’s still going strong. Wednesday night at 8:30 PM he plays a free show at the Old Town School of Folk Music with a promised “all-star lineup” including his son (drums) and daughter-in-law (vocals). Call 773-728-6000 or visit to reserve tickets.

Peep a recent performance by Perkins, still wearing his trademark cowboy duds, here.