"Pinetop was one of my mentors, way back in the 1980's, the year after my husband was killed in a traffic accident, leaving me with four children to raise from ages 10 months to 10 years. All I could feel was the blues from that day on, so I was determined to go back to my roots and birth right as the eldest daughter of Oregon's boogy-woogy piano man, Don Brewer, who passed in 1982.
I was seeking the real deal. A Mississippi born bluesman to mentor me, give me guidance and the inside scoop on the blues world from his years as a member of Muddy Water's band. He offered me his couch, in his tiny one room residence at the time, even though I didn't need it. He'd flirt with me and I'd laugh it off, then encourage him to critique me on another song. He taught me many things about life and the blues. He encouraged me to keep everything simple.
Listening to Pinetop play piano, would bring my father's memory back to me. When my tears would flow, missing him and my husband, Pinetop would wipe them away, holding my head on his shoulder, until I could regain my composure, then he'd offer me a drink or something to eat, reminding me to wash my own glass and dish, so his tiny place would remain organized and clean. He was gentle, kind and encouraged me to put my grief into my lyrics and the inflection into my voice as I morphed from a rock-n-roll singer, to a blues and jazz singer.
I may someday write more details about my short time with Pinetop. Maybe I won't. Some things are just better left with those who hold the memories in their hearts. There are others such as Bob Margolin, who enjoyed far more time with him than my life would allow, because I was a young and struggling widowed mother. But I will never forget all he taught me about the blues, life, his advise for handling my children, his kindness to them and me, and his desire to have the younger generations know the blues.
Thank you Pinetop, for all you taught me and many others. Thank you, for the legacy you have left us all. It was an honor to know you and be mentored by you. Thank you, for the music and the memories, which will live on in our hearts forever.
I know that my father Donald Lee Brewer Sr., was most likely standing at heaven's gate to welcome you and thank you for taking his daughter under your wing, and my guitarist Stevie "Doc" Betts, Pinetop Perkins, Muddy Waters and all the other great blues legends' spirits whom have passed on, will be watching those of us left behind with smiles and jamming right along with everyone here, from beyond the veil and heaven's window to our world.
Rest in peace, dear old friend. You were more than a blues brother to me. You were a blues father, picking up where my own father left off, when his spirit ascended from this world far too young. My heart and spirit will be with everyone at your Celebration of Life jams, funeral and memorial services, in honor of you, even though I am unable to physically attend.
Teressa "BluesBabe" Brewer"
– Teressa "BluesBabe" Brewer, Pinetop's Protege' and Friend ,
Lincoln City, OR, Mar 27, 2011
"My memory (on a personal level) of Pinetop was a brief meeting at a Sixth Street club years ago. I was invited by a ftriend (Marcus Tharpe - lead singer for the Southside Ramblers blues band) to come hear the Ramblers at a hole-in-the-wall club called Nuno's. When I arrived, the only table open was really more like a throne, decorated with memorabilia, photos and such of Pinetop. I purchased my beverage and sat down, whereby the doorman came over and said: "You know that this table belongs to Pinetop Perkins, and while you're welcome to sit here, if Pinetop happens to make an appearance tonight (which he did regularly in Nuno's) you will need to move on to another table". Long story short, about middle of the Rambler's second set, who should stroll through the door but Pinetop. It must of looked like I saw a snake, I was up so quick! With the band nodding approval, the crowd cheering him on, and my bowing to the King, Pinetop came over and took his seat. He'll be sorely missed."
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