CONISH ‘PINETOP’ BURKS
Conish ‘Pinetop’ Burks was a Texas pianist who was part of the Santa Fe style group. His nickname is presumably derived from Clarence ‘Pine Top’ Smith as he re-recorded Pine Top’s Boogie Woogie under the title Shake the Shack. Burks uses familiar materials in some of his other recordings such as Mountain Jack Blues, which is a version of the Santa Fe standard, The Cows. His version is nearly identical musically to Pullum and Cooper’s Cows See That Train Comin’ and Black Boy Shine’s Brown House Blues. Another interesting recording is Burks’s Sun Down Blues which is not familiar at first but then halfway through plays the chorus of Hersal Thomas’s Suitcase Blues. It is intriguing to consider whether Burks learned this material from Hersal Thomas before Thomas migrated to Chicago. It is not the only time that the Suitcase Blues chorus appears in Texas artists’ recordings. It can also be heard in Ninth Street Stomp, a duet between Bernice Edwards and Black Boy Shine.