ABS Magazine (France)
The Alternate Root
Big City Blues Magazine
Blues Blast Magazine
Blues X Blues (Spain)
Bman’s Blues Report
Don And Sheryl’s Blues Blog
Keys And Chords (Dutch)
Making The Scene
New Blues And Soul – WTJU
Professor Johnny P’s Juke Joint
Reflections In Blue
Rock Doctor (Canada)
Soul Bag (France)
Sound Guardian (Croatia)
Midwest Record (May 11, 2018)
Corritore is a cat you can always count on for interesting, offbeat album covers. You can also count on the harmonica ace to deliver some white boy blues that make it sound like Butterfield never made his way to west side Chicago while Corritore was taking all his meals at the Checkerboard lounge. Traditional without being dusty, looka here for your new Highway 61 tour guide. Hot stuff.
Don And Sheryl’s Blues Blog (June 3, 2018)
Bob Corritore continues to be one of the finest harp players on the scene today. He’s recorded with the likes of Dave Riley and John Primer, as well as having released an album of all harp instrumentals a few years back. Blues fans are the winners again with his latest set for Vizztone, Records, “Don’t Let The Devil Ride.” On these twelve cuts, there is an added treat–Bob is paired with a veritable Who’s Who In The Blues as far as guest vocalists and sidemen go, and this one is as good as it gets. Bob and his best friends serve up some of the finest blues it has been our pleasure to review lately, with such a plethora of talent in one set. These cuts were laid down over nine different sessions from 2014 to 2017. OK–let’s play some blues….
Leading off is the ol’ Cell Phone Man himself, Wilie Buck, with one of his originals, “Went Home This Morning, I found my baby gone!” Sugaray Rayford and Bob get into a loping, Jimmy Reed-ish groove on the humorous tale of that “three-legged horse they call The Glide!” Alabama Mike is on vocals, and Big Jon Atkinson is on guitar on the slow-smoked story of the “Laundromat Blues,” with Bob workin’ that big ol’ chromatic. Mike returns for the vocals on the spooky title cut, with its nods to the devil and the Crossroads. Bill “Howl’N’ Madd” Perry adds vocal on the rapid-fire Fifties-style groove of “Willie Mae,” and Bob and old friend Tail Dragger close the set with the story of a storm brewing on the horizon, “Thundering And Raining,” with piano from the iconic Henry Gray, and guitar from another of our friends, Rockin’ Johnny Burgin.
Henry brings the piano heat on our favorite, too. Oscar Wilson of the Cash Box Kings is the vocalist as Bob lays down the galloping groove of “Tell Me Mama, when I came in, who went out that back door?”
Ol’ Tail Dragger put it best–“tornado’s coming,” and it’s Bob Corritore blowing up a storm on a harp fest that brings together many of the best players on the planet. Pour yourself a cold one and enjoy some fine, low-down and down-home blues, “Don’t Let The Devil Ride.” Until next time….Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.
Blues 21 (June 6, 2018)
Bob Corritore once again with an atonishing new album. The master of Chicago Blues harmonica has surrounded himself in the studio of a group of friends among those who find the best of the contemporary blues scene, impossible to highlight anyone. Twenty-six musicians among them, 10 guitar players, 3 piano players, 6 singers, 4 bassists and 3 drummers, and Bob commanding all with powerful harmonica licks. Mostly Chicago Blues – twelve bar mode – interpreted from the most modern conception of revisiting the classic sound of the Windy City. Let no one doubt that you put this album in your digital preferences.
Making The Scene (June 6, 2018)
Bob Corritore was born in Chicago and got hooked on blues harmonica when he was twelve years old. He studied and received playing tips from Carey Bell, Big Walter Horton, Junior Wells and others. At the age of twenty-five Corritore moved to Phoenix, Arizona. Ten years later he opened his own club there called The Rhythm Room. With his house band, The Rhythm Room All-Stars, he backed musicians when they came to town. Corritore has been nominated for five Blues Music Awards. This is Corritore’s thirteenth album although he appears on over seventy others.
This album is a collection of songs recorded at sessions held between 2014 and 2017. These previously unreleased tracks feature harpist Corritore with numerous vocalists, guitarists, and rhythm sections. The opening track “Went Home This Morning” is written and sung by Willie Buck who has two albums of his own on the Delmark label. Corritore gets that high reedy sound on his harp and is joined by Big Jon Atkinson and Mojo Mark, on guitars, Troy Sandow, bass, and Brian Fahey, drums. “Tell Me Mama” from Little Walter is sung by Oscar Wilson the front man for The Cash Box Kings. Wilson sings again on a Corritore original “Fork in The Road”. Henry Gray is featured on piano on both of these.Two songs are written and sung by “Sugarray” Rayford; “The Glide” features Corritore, guitarist Junior Watson, Fred Kaplan, piano; and the rhythm section of Kedar Roy, bass and Rene Beavers, drums. On “Steal Your Joy” the band includes Corritore, guitarists Chris James and Mojo Mark; Patrick Rynn, bass; and Fahey, drums.“Laundromat Blues”, first recorded in 1984 by Albert King, is sung by Alabama Mike. Corritore plays on a Chromatic harp with Atkinson, Sandow, Dodson, and Bob Welch, piano. Mike sings again on the title track “Don’t Let The Devil Ride” and on “Blues Why You Worry Me?” with guitarist Danny Michel joining in. “Lovey, Dovey, Lovey One” features Bob Welch with some absolutely fabulous guitar as Mike shouts words of encouragement. “Willie Mae” is written and sung by guitarist Bill “Howl-N-Madd” Perry. He and Corritore are joined by Malachi Johnson on drums. That’s Perry howlin’ in the background. On “I Was A Fool” written and sung by George Bowman; the band is Corritore, Atkinson, Michel, Sandow and Fahey. The closer “Thundering and Raining” is from Chicago vocalist James Y. Jones a.k.a. Taildragger, Corritore and Fahey are joined by guitarists Rockin’ Johnny and Illinois Slim, Henry Gray, piano, and Bob Stroger, bass.
Not only is Corritore a great harmonica player, producer, bandleader and arranger but he is also a 2011 Blues Music Award winner for Historical Album of The Year. Corritore is relentless as he continually chooses “the rough and rocky path” to give us yet another great traditional blues recording.
– Richard Ludmerer
Keys And Chords (Dutch) (June 6, 2018)
Bob Corritore werd geboren in Chicago op 27 September 1956 en schuimde er als tiener de blues clubs af. Bob verhuisde naar Phoenix, Arizona waar hij al geruime tijd de befaamde club The Rhythm Room uitbaat. Hij is tevens radiopresentator, record producer en talentenschout.
Ik heb in al die jaren dat ik in het blues wereldje meedraai nooit niemand zo overtuigend zien performen als Bob. Als hij ook maar 5-minuten tijd heeft speelt hij op zijn harp. Wachtend op de tourbus, voor het hotel, bij een pitstop in een tankstation… bij iedere gelegenheid tovert Bob wel een mondharmonica uit zijn zak om wat te spelen. Na heel wat projecten met collega artiesten had Bob met ‘Taboe’ een schitterend instrumentale release in de cd-rekken. Nu heeft
harmonica ‘ace’ Bob Corritore een schitterende all-star blues band rond zich verzamelt voor zijn nieuwe release. Het album ‘Don’t Let The Devil Ride!’ laat ook horen hoe belangrijk een traditionele blues release kan klinken! Naast het verbluffende harmonica werk van Bob Corritore, tonen deze opnames ook Bob’s talent als producer, bandleider en arrangeur. Deze collectie presenteert de hoogtepunten van diverse opname sessies tussen 2014 en 2017. Chicagoan Willie Buck opent met het knappe Chicago blues nummer ‘Went Home This Morning’. Big Jon Atkinson’s gitaarriffs accorderen meteen met de harp schikkingen van Corritore. Henry Gray is van de party in het boogiewoogie chapiter ‘Tell Me Mama’. Oscar Wilson neemt hier de vocale honneurs waar, net zoals Jimi “Primetime” Smith samen met Johnny Rapp de gitaarsnaren beroeren. En dan is het beurt aan Sugaray Rayford in de blues slijper ‘The Glide’, waar Junior Watson gitaar groove al even belangrijk zijn. Vocalist Alabama Like is verantwoordelijk voor ‘Laundromat Blues’, met alweer die schitterende Jon Atkinson op gitaar. Oscar Wilson mag ‘Fork In The Road’ inzingen. Piano legende Henry Gray zit alweer op de pianostoel, Marty Dotson hanteert de drumstick en Johnny Rapp is , naast Corritore’s blues harp, belangrijk met zijn gitaarriffs. In de verbluffende rocker ‘Lovely Dovey Lovey One’ komt vocalist Alabama Mike opnieuw in beeld, net zoals Bob Welsch’ gitaar groove. En Mike blijft nog even achter de microfoon voor de slow blues ‘Don’t Let The Devil Ride’. En dan is het de beurt aan zanger/gitarist Bill “Howl-N-Mad” Perry in het geïnfluenceerde ‘Willie Mae’. Sugaray komt ons nog eens overdonderen in het bonzende ‘Steal Your Joy’ dat is gekenmerkt door Brian Fahey drumpartijen en Mojo Mark ingetogen gitaarsolo’s. Big Jon Atkinson gitaar groove’s zijn samen met zanger George Bowman verantwoordelijk voor de track ‘I Was A Fool’. Alabama Mike komt ons een laatste keer vergenoegen in de slow bluesy ‘Blues Why You Worry Me?’. En ook Tail Dragger mocht niet ontbreken op de release van zijn vriend Bob Corritore. Drummer Brian Fayhe, Bob Stroger (bas) en gitaarmaster Rockin’ Johnny begeleiden samen met Bob’s hemelse harp arrangementen de legendarische Tail Dragger.
Het album ‘Don’t Let The Devil Ride!’ levert een frisse en gepassioneerde blues stijl die het ‘old- school’- blues gevoel nieuw leven inblaast. Terwijl dit misschien toch niet zo relevant blijkt in deze hedendaagse blues scéne. Met deze release competeert Bob Corritore zijn positie als een van de beste Chiacgo blues mondharmonicaspelers van de laatste decennia. Genieten!
– Philip Verhaege (5)
Soul Bag (France) (June 22, 2018)
Bob Corritore enregistre sans discontinuer et publie régulièrement des disques de haut niveau. En voici un nouveau qui rassemble des faces mises en boîte entre 2014 et 2017 avec une liste de de contributeurs dont nous ne citerons que les chanteurs, Sugaray Rayford, Alabama Mike, Oscar Wilson, Willie Buck, Bill “Howl-n-Mad” Perry, Tail Dragger, George Bowman. Des voix de caractère, expressives, toutes en énergie et en tripes, auxquelles les harmonicas de Bob s’adaptent avec goût, à l’unisson ou en contraste. Son chromatique est énorme sur Laundromat blues, ses diatoniques sont amplifiés ou non et recréent moult univers, dans les autres reprises de Little Walter ou de Junior Wells mais aussi dans les originaux, qui le sont franchement ou qui évoquent des héros comme Jimmy Reed. Au-delà de l’harmonica, ou des guitares jouées par le gratin du genre, ce sont bien les chanteurs qui sont mis en valeur et qui portent le disque, rappelant que le blues, s’il doit être servi par les instruments est avant tout un art vocal. C’est bien du blues qu’on savoure ici, épais, menaçant, cathartique.
– Christophe Mourot
Bman’s Blues Report (June 22, 2018)
I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release (releasing today), Don’t Let The Devil Ride!, from Bob Corritore & Friends, and it’s super. Opening with Willie Buck’s shuffle track, Went Home This Morning, Bob Corritore on harp joins up with Willie Buck on lead vocal, Mojo Mark on guitar, Troy Sandow on bass and Brian Fahey on drums for a solid opener. On Little Walter’s Tell Me Mama, Oscar Wilson is on lead vocal and Corritore lays out a real nice harp solo with Primetime Smith on guitar, Henry Gray on piano and Johnny Rapp on guitar. Alabama Mike has the lead on Laundromat Blues and with really expressive lower octave work from Corritore, particularly nice soloing from Atkinson on guitar and strong piano work from Welch making this one of my favorites on the release. Corritore original, Fork In The Road, features Oscar Wilson on vocal, with Henry Gray on piano and Johnny Rapp on guitar with Corritore in mostly a strong supportive role choosing cool riffs over long solos…his general trademark. Bob Welch’s rockabilly guitar riffs on Lovey Dovey Lovey One set the stage and Corritore sails on harp. Another terrific track. Particularly strong vocals by Alabama Mike set title track, Don’t let the Devil Ride! with complimentary guitar work by Danny Michel. Willie Mae features the vocal and guitar work of Bill “Howl-N-Madd” Perry and with it’s Latin rhythm, it simmers. George Bowman has the lead on I Was A Fool with Chris James adding tasty texture on guitar. Wrapping the release is Thundering and Raining featuring Tail Dragger on lead vocal, Gray on piano and Bob Stroger on bass. Rockin’ Johnny Burgin and Corritore balance guitar and harp nicely for a solid ending to a real cool release.
Sound Guardian (Croatia) (June 23, 2018)
Upravo jučer, 22. lipnja, poznata izdavačka kuća Vizztone Label Group objavila je novi album izvrsnog blues glazbenika, harpista Boba Corritorea, “Don’t Let the Devil Ride”. Ovaj nadahnuti album tradicionalnog blues ozračja zajednički su potpisali Bob Corritore “and Friends”.
Ti Bobovi prijatelji su vrlo eksponirani pjevači: Alabama Mike, Sugaray Rayford, Oscar Wilson, Willie Buck, James Y. Jones, odnosno, Tail Dragger, Bill “Howl-N-Madd” Perry i George Bowman. Pored njih tu su i Henry Gray, Jimi “Primetime” Smith, Junior Watson, Bob Welch, Rockin Johnny, Bob Stroger, Big Jon Atkinson i drugi! Ovi iskusni profesionalci pružaju opuštajuće, apsolutno prirodne i spontane izvedbe u studiju, kao da ste na koncertu. Naravno, ovi glazbenici nemaju nikakvih problema sa svojom prezentacijom bilo u studiju bilo na koncertu.
I zato dragi moji pred svima nama je apsolutno ‘tvrdi’ i nadasve briljantni album tradicionalnog bluesa osebujnog, duboko tradicionalistički određenog svirača usne harmonike, naprosto briljantnog Boba Corritorea.
Ovo je Bobov dvanaesti album, iako se pojavljuje na više od sedamdeset drugih izdanja.
Ovaj je album zapravo nadahnuta zbirka pjesama snimljenih na sessionima održanim između 2014. i 2017. Radio se o do sada neobjavljivanim snimkama i materijalima, gdje se Bob pojavljuje kao harpist s brojnim drugim pjevačima, gitaristima i ritam sekcijama. Vrlo zanimljive snimke!
Uzajamno uvažavanje i poštovanje duboko je odredilo ovaj odnos među glazbenicima. Zašto? Razlog je čisto ljudski, pristojnost i poštovanje, koje je apsolutno zdrava podloga za svaku suradnju; ako toga nema, ako to nije prisutno, onda zapravo sve pada u vodu i nema nikakvog smisla. I stoga ova sjajna ekipa glazbenika funkcionira upravo na tim osnovama i to je dodatni bonus za ovaj glazbeni uradak.
Pred nama je album od kojeg će nam krv brže kolati, od kojeg će nam nutrinu bića grijati neka posebna toplina a kostima strujiti će ona poznata hladnoća, koja zapravo izaziva sveopću ugodu. Blues znalci jako dobro znaju o čemu pišem jer to nam se često događa. Ovakve reakcije ne može izazvati nešto što nije dobro, što nema “ono nešto”. Duboko u sebi nosim te neke znakovite vibracije, osjećaj da bi tako trebao zvučati pravi blues album.
Ne znam već koliko godina pratim rad Boba Corritorea i zapravo samo sam čekao kada će sve ovo oko njega eskalirati i pretvoriti se u ovako nešto. Kao i mnogi prije njega, Bob je dosta dugo čekao na svoju afirmaciju, a sada nakon što već puno desetljeće važi za itekako uvažavanog glazbenika, ta afirmacija je samo došla kao potvrda kvalitete i nadahnuća ovog odličnog glazbenika. A Bob nije samo svirač usnjaka, Bob ima svoj klub, on je radio-DJ i glazbeni producent. No, ako sve stavimo na stranu, ostaje njegova svirka usnjaka. Taj njegov prezentacijski stil u sebi snažno objedinjuje jedinstvene glazbene bravure Little Waltera, Junior Wellsa i Jamesa Cottona. Naravno, velika stvar je upravo taj njegov vlastiti i originalni stil sviranja usnjaka. Svakako da je baš time Corritore stekao globanu afirmaciju. To je doista veliki uspjeh, kojeg se treba respektirati i odati mu veliko priznanje. S druge pak strane ovakav sudar ili sraz generacija glazbenika nevjerojatno oslikava svu veličinu, snagu i raskoš prezentacijske forme samih glazbenika, ali i ovog zaista jedinstvenog albuma.
“Don’t Let the Devil Ride” svojim sadržajem donosi nam istinski tsunami tradicionalnog bluesa, koji najprije samo nadire i to čini polako i postepeno a onda, kada postane visok preko 30 metara, samo vas poklopi i priča je završena! Ovih dvanaest pjesama će vas pomesti svojom ekspresijom i da, sada i ovdje trebao bih istaknuti neke pjesme… Ma nema šanse! Album se sluša u cijeosti i ta gotovo 51 minuta proći će k’o tren… i što sad?! Ništa… kreni od početka i tako se krug stalno otvara i zatvara. Želim biti dio tog kruga. Želim da me ‘poklopi’ taj veliki plavičasti val koji će me zauvijek odvesti u tu i takvu “blue land” iz koje se jednostavno ne želim vratiti.
Svakodnevno u mojim rukama nalazi se dosta albuma, ali samo neki zasjednu na ono posebno mjesto u mom biću. E upravo tu se smjestio “Don’t Let the Devil Ride” izuzetnih glazbenika Bob Corritorea and Friends.
Mladen Loncar – Mike
Rootstime (Belgium) (June 28, 2018)
Bob Corritore nog voorstellen is misschien overbodig. Als mondharmonicaspeler van de ‘old- school’, radiomaker, producer en eigenaar van de befaamde Rhythm Room club in Phoenix, Arizona zorgt Corritore voor het in leven houden van de bluescultuur, en dit al bijna 40 jaar. De “Keeping The Blues Alive” award die hij in 2007 ontving was dan ook meer dan verdient. Ondertussen is Corritore al genomineerd voor vijf Blues Music Awards. “Don’t Let The Devil Ride” is het dertiende album van Corritore, hoewel hij op meer dan zeventig anderen verschijnt. Als Bob twaalf is, hoort hij voor het eerst Muddy Waters op de radio. Dit feit verandert zijn leven. Nog geen jaar later, speelt hij al mondharmonica. Als hij op het middelbare school gymnasium zit, krijgt hij de kans om naar een optreden van Muddy Waters te gaan. Als tiener was hij vaak te vinden bij grote mondharmonicaspelers als ‘Big’ Walter Horton, ‘Little’ Mack Simmons, Louis Myers, Junior Wells, ‘Big’ John Wrencher en Carey Bell, van wie hij vaak tips en aanmoedigingen kreeg. Bob ging naar optredens van Howlin’ Wolf, Billy “Boy” Arnold, John Brim, ‘Sunnyland’ Slim, ‘Smokey’ Smothers, Eddie Taylor, met wie hij vaak bevriend geraakte. Corritore werkte in de late jaren ’70 en begin jaren ’80 al samen met “Tail Dragger”, “Big Moose” Walker, Willie Buck, Louis & Dave Myers en Eddie Taylor.
In 1981 verhuist Bob naar Phoenix, Arizona. Daar speelt hij ruim een jaar lang samen met Louisiana Red, voordat Red naar Duitsland verhuist. Bob zit niet stil en werkt ook samen met ‘Big’ Pete Pearson, Buddy Reed, Tommy Dukes, ‘Chief’ Schabuttie Gilliame en Janiva Magness. In 1984 gaat Bob, naast zijn optredens en opnames, ook de ‘Those Lowdown Blues’, een blues radio show, op KJZZ verzorgen. KJZZ is het vlaggenschip van de Nationale publieke omroep in Tempe, Phoenix, Arizona. Ze zenden uit vanaf de campus van het ‘Rio Salado College’, die als sinds 1985 de eigenaar is van het station. In 1991 opent Bob zijn bekende blues en roots concert club, ‘The Rhythm Room’. De club opent nieuwe perspectieven voor Bob. Hij nodigt er grote artiesten uit om samen met zijn band ‘The Rhythm Room All-Stars’, te komen optreden. Deze sessies zijn nu nog altijd beroemd. Als gasten ontving Bob in zijn club Bo Diddley, Little Milton, John Brim, Jimmy Rogers, Henry Gray, Pinetop Perkins, Henry Townsend, Honeyboy Edwards, Big Jack Johnson, Ike Turner, Smokey Wilson. Lil’ Ed, Willie ‘Big Eyes’ Smith, Nappy Brown, R.L. Burnside, Robert Lockwood, Jr., Sam Lay, Barbara Lynn en …
In 1999 brengt Bob zijn éérste album “All-Stars Blues Sessions” uit. Zijn (inter) nationale doorbraak komt er na optredens met Henry Gray, Louisiana Red en ‘Big’ Pete Pearson. In 2007 verklaart de burgemeester van Phoenix officieel, dat 29 september de ‘Bob Corritore Day’ wordt, om hem te eren voor al zijn muzikale bijdragen aan de Phoenix’ gemeenschap. In hetzelfde jaar ontvangt Bob ook de “Keeping The Blues Alive” award van de ‘Blues Foundation’. Bob’s album “Travelin’ The Dirt Road”, dat hij in 2007 opnam met Dave Riley, is genomineerd voor een ‘Blues Music Award’. In 2008 werkt Bob samen met Pinetop Perkins, die met het album een Grammy®-nominatie haalt. In 2010 wint Bob met het album “Harmonica Blues” een ‘Blues Music Award’. In 2012 krijgt Bob in de categorie mondharmonica de ‘Living Blues Award en is hij de ‘Star Blues’ Artist Of The Year’. Bob treedt regelmatig op met de ‘Rhythm Room All-Stars’samen met Dave Riley, Louisiana Red, Henry Gray, Sam Lay, Tail Dragger, John Primer, Mud Morganfield, Diunna Greenleaf, Bob Margolin, “The Andy T/Nick Nixon Band”, “The Delta Groove Harp Blast” e.a.
Bob heeft meerdere albums op zijn eigen naam staan, maar dit zijn vaak compilatiealbums, die hij samen opnam met verschillende andere blues muzikanten, en zijn nieuwe album “Don’t Let The Devil Ride” is ook niet anders. Dit album is een verzameling nummers die zijn opgenomen tijdens sessies die zijn gehouden tussen 2014 en 2017. Op deze 12 songs die niet eerder uitgebracht werden krijgt Corritore o.a. steun van tal van vocalisten, als Alabama Mike, Sugaray Rayford, Oscar Wilson, Willie Buck, Tail Dragger, Bill ‘Howl-N-Madd’ Perry en George Bowman. Maar ook horen we Henry Gray, Jimi ‘Primetime’ Smith, Junior Watson, Bob Welch, Rockin Johnny, Bob Stroger, Big Jon Atkinson en vele andere vrienden.
Het knappe Chicago bluesopeningsnummer “Went Home This Morning” is geschreven en gezongen door Willie Buck, die twee eigen albums op het Delmark label heeft. Corritore krijgt die hoge rouwerige klank uit zijn harp en wordt vergezeld door Big Jon Atkinson en Mojo Mark, op gitaren, Troy Sandow op bas en Brian Fahey aan de drums. Het boogiewoogie getinte “Tell Me Mama” van Little Walter wordt gezongen door Oscar Wilson, de frontman van de The Cash Box Kings. Wilson zingt opnieuw op een originele Corritore track “Fork in The Road”. Piano legende Henry Gray is op beide nummers te horen . Twee nummers zijn geschreven en gezongen door ‘Sugarray’ Rayford, op de blues slijper “The Glide” horen we gitarist Junior Watson, Fred Kaplan op piano, en als ritmesectie Kedar Roy op bas en Rene Beavers op drums. Op “Steal Your Joy” komen de gitaristen Chris James en Mojo Mark, naast Patrick Rynn op bas en Fahey op drums aan het werk. “Laundromat Blues”, voor het eerst opgenomen in 1984 door Albert King, wordt hier gezongen door Alabama Mike. Corritore speelt op een chromatische harp met Atkinson, Sandow, Dodson en Bob Welch op piano. Mike zingt opnieuw op de meer slow bluesnummers: het titelnummer “Do not Let The Devil Ride” en op “Blues Why You Worried Me?” met als gitarist Danny Michel. Het rockende “Lovey, Dovey, Lovey One” bevat Bob Welch, nu met fantastisch gitaarspel als Mike aanmoedigende woorden roept. “Willie Mae” is geschreven en gezongen door gitarist Bill ‘Howl-N-Madd’ Perry. Hij en Corritore worden op drums vergezeld door Malachi Johnson. Op “I Was A Fool”, geschreven en gezongen door George Bowman, bestaat Corritore’s band uit Atkinson, Michel, Sandow en Fahey. Het afsluitende “Thundering and Raining” is van de in Chicago wonende zanger James Y. Jones, aka Taildragger. Corritore en Fahey worden hier vergezeld door gitaristen Rockin ‘Johnny en Illinois Slim, Henry Gray op piano en Bob Stroger op bas.
Het helpt je uiteraard, als je kan rekenen op enkele prima backing muzikanten, want zomaar 26 muzikanten waaronder 10 gitaristen, 3 pianospelers, 6 zangers, 4 bassisten en 3 drummers, begeleiden allen op dit album Corritore met zijn krachtige mondharmonica licks. Hij is dan ook een mondharmonicaspeler, met een goede blaastechniek, maar ook iemand die heel genuanceerd kan fraseren. “Don’t Let The Devil Ride” is wederom een geweldige traditionele bluesopname met een frisse, gepassioneerde aanpak om het ‘old school’-gevoel naar voren te brengen, terwijl het relevant blijft in het hedendaagse blueslandschap. Voor zowel de Chicago Blues als de rootsliefhebber een aanrader en dus alle reden om dit album aan te schaffen.
No Depression (June 30, 2018)
Bob Corritore & Friends Create a Perfect Throwback Blues Album
Being a blues lover means always looking behind you. Not so much because you’re scared someone is following you, although that certain factors in for many of us, but because there’s often a sense—a lament, even—that the best blues music has already been made. Many of us go deeper down the hole and even begin to wonder about all of the great blues music that wasn’t recorded and that will never be heard again. Don’t Let the Devil Ride, a project/album led by harmonica player Bob Corritore addresses a lot of these concerns, creating a beautiful throwback album that feels, and more importantly sounds, like it’s from the late 1950s/early 1960s. The blues, as a genre, is sad, but this album, which feels like a lost-and-then-found treasure, will make blues fan happy.
The album is Corritore performing with different singers and bands. While the lineups vary from song to song, with Corritore’s harmonica the only constant between them, the album has an impressively consistent sound. It’s a tribute to Corritore’s ear as a co-producer. The overall sound of the album is enticingly ambient, making you feel like you’re overhearing a performance and contributing to the overall vintage sound of the album. The recording studio room itself is almost a character on the album.
Corritore performs with seven singers across 12 tracks. They’re all great singers, but Oscar Wilson stands out, not just channeling Muddy Waters but practically conjuring him on “Tell Me Mama.” Corritore’s harmonica runs through the song like a low-powered electric current; it’s not enough to kill you but it’s just strong enough that you’re aware it’s there. “Laundromat Blues,” made famous by Albert King, is sung here by Alabama Mike, who sounds more like B.B. than Albert King. The track is sad and rickety, with wild blues piano and stinging guitar, courtesy of Big Jon Atkinson, that makes your fingers hurt empathetically. Here Corritore gets a harmonica sound so deep and resonant, it practically sounds like a saxaphone. “I Was a Fool,” sung by George Bowman, features a sick descending guitar riff also courtesy of Atkinson. The riff is stark and scary; it’s almost Satanic. It’s as heavy and as dark as anything ever performed by Black Sabbath.
The album’s best moment, though, is “The Glide,” sung by Sugaray Rayford. Pianist Fred Kaplan leads the song while Corritore supplies the accents, but it’s the ridiculous, obscene lyrics, ostensibly about a horse, which are impossible to ignore or dislike: “He don’t like no saddle / White Lightning likes to ride bare back / Said he needs to feel everything when he’s being jockeyed / Ain’t Lightning just like that.” It’s just the kind of juvenile lyric and absurd sentiment that makes for a great blues song.
We’re more than halfway through the year and this is very much a contender for album of the year. The performances on the album are great, not for technical reasons, but for essentially spiritual ones. Every musician reaches deep down to tap into something deeper within themselves. It’s not about playing precisely. Instead Don’t Let the Devil Ride is about playing expressively. Sometimes that means the piano sounds like it’s going to roll right out of the song. Sometimes it sounds like the drummer is going to just slowly disappear into the ether. All of these things add personality and texture to the album. Corritore, and his friends, have created a wonderful album that isn’t just a tribute to the blues, but is also an aural embodiment of it.
– Steven Ovadia
Professor Johnny P’s Juke Joint (July 2, 2018)
Everybody’s got something that draws them to the music. Guitarists worship at the church of Hendrix, or Guy, or Clapton, or any of the hundreds of truly amazing six-string wizards. I’ve always enjoyed harmonica players. I’m no musician, but I’ve always envisioned myself as the harp guy in a smoking hot band.
Hey, it could happen.
Nah, not really. I know my limitations.
But when I get a chance to catch a good harmonica player playing live, I’m there. A few years back, one of the area’s best-known players – Li’l Ronnie – brought some of his friends together in a club and rocked the house like it hadn’t been rocked in a long time.
Aside from Li’l Ronnie himself, he managed to bring in Kurt Crandall, Mitch Kashmar, and the man with the greatest haircut in the blues, Bob Corritore. You don’t find too many men these days that rock a perfect pompadour, but when you find one, he’s usually the most stylish guy in the room.
Corritore is more than the sum of his follicles, he’s a helluva player who in the last few years has been teaming up with some other blues artists to release kick ass albums. He’s down a couple with John Primer and one with Big Jon Atkinson, and all of them rocked and we’ve featured them on Time For The Blues.
On his latest album, Don’t Let The Devil Ride, available on SWMAF Records and distributed through VizzTone, Corritore has stepped front and center and surrounded himself with a variety of top drawer performers. These include Alabama Mike on vocals on four songs, Sugaray Rayford on vocals for two songs, Oscar Wilson on vocals for two songs, Willie Buck on vocals for one song, and Tail Dragger on vocals for one song.
There are others. Big Jon Atkinson plays guitar on five songs, Junior Watson on one, while Henry Gray adds piano on three songs, Bob Welch plays piano and guitar on one song, and there are many others who contribute to all 12 of the tracks on the album.
The first song on the album, Went Home This Morning, has a slow infectious bounce that showcases Corritore working the upper notes of his harp nicely. Willie Buck does the vocals and the song has a front porch feel to it. Fun.
The next song, Tell Me Mama, is a rollicking number that is pure Chicago from the opening notes. Oscar Wilson steps behind the microphone to add his vocals. The boogie style piano runs through the song punctuated by Corritore’s harp. The only issue is the song doesn’t last long enough.
After that is The Glide, the longest song on the album at just shy of seven minutes. It’s a languid number with Sugaray Rayford providing the vocals. It’s one of those songs where I always get the feeling that the band can keep playing as long as the singer comes up with more story to tell.
Corritore and Friends follow up with a lovely, slow, blistering version of Laundromat Blues. Big Jon Atkinson does a great job on the guitar and Alabama Mike does likewise on the vocals. Corritore’s harp is low and picks just the right spots to add spice to the song. Doesn’t get much blusier than this.
The next song, Fork In The Road, was written by Corritore, and Wilson is back to add his vocals. It’s a good up-tempo number with some good boogie style piano, bass, and harp. The musicians may all be friends, but they play like they’ve been playing together for years. So far, every song has been solid and could easily appear on an episode of the show.
Mel London’s Lovey Dovey Lovey One gets the Corritore and Friends treatment with a lively version and upbeat Alabama Mike vocals. Bob Welch supplies the guitar and piano backing. Sweet song.
The second half of the album starts off with the title track. Don’t Let The Devil Ride is a smoldering song with Corritore’s harp answering the guitar. Alabama Mike is back on the vocals and he reaches deep into his soul for a little gospel fervor to make this song a great experience.
Bill Perry wrote the next number, Willie Mae, plays guitar and sings on it as well. It’s a stripped down but effective sound reminiscent of zydeco bands. Add a button accordion and a washboard and this one would be at home in any bar along the bayou. Love it!
Rayford returns to sing the lead on Steal Your Joy. We’re back in Chicago for this number and the whole band is in rare form. Corritore has some fun playing old school style. Rayford wrote the song and his lyrics are very cool as well.
George Bowman writes and sings the next song, I Was A Fool, a slow intense number heavy on the bass and drums. This is a great number where you can imagine the singer addressing the audience while baring his soul. Definitely a keeper and look for this one to be popping up on the show soon.
They follow up with a solid rocking tune, Blues Why You Worry Me? which features Alabama Mike on vocals and Big Jon Atkinson tearing it up on guitar. This is an excellent cut, one of the best on what has proven to be an outstanding album.
The album closes with Tail Dragger taking over the vocals on Thundering And Raining. It’s a strong blues song and his voice has that world weary feel that speaks volumes even when you can’t always decipher the lyrics. It’s a fitting way to bring the album to a satisfying end.
Corritore and Company have delivered several different styles of the blues with great success. Don’t Let The Devil Ride is easily one of the best albums of the year and I look forward to everyone joining forces again for more like this.
Look for Bob Corritore’s corner of the electronic world at https://bobcorritore.com/ and you can find tons of information about the many albums he appears on, as well as tour dates. Spend a few hours there and you’ll be glad you did.
Blues Bytes (June 2018)
Surprise Pick! Phoenix area harmonica player, club owner and general all-around blues entrepreneur Bob Corritore has spent the last couple of decades taking various local and visiting musicians into the studio, with quite a few solid downhome blues albums to his credit. The latest, Don’t Let the Devil Ride! may be the best one yet.
The opening cut, “Went Home This Morning,” starts things out right with Corritore’s Jimmy Reed-style harp nicely complementing the vocals of Willie Buck on the mid-tempo blues shuffle while Brian Fahey pushes the song along with his steady drumming. The pace then picks up considerably on the Little Walter classic, “Tell Me Mama,” with Cashbox Kings singer Oscar Wilson’s tastefully raw vocals and Henry Gray’s always superb piano accompaniment supporting the best harmonica playing I’ve heard from Corritore in the nearly 30 years I’ve known him.
San Diego-based Sugaray Rayford handles the vocals on “The Glide,” a slower shuffle about his three-legged race horse that he calls The Glide. “… He can run with the big dogs, even though he’s only got three feet …” Junior Watson and Fred Kaplan make guest appearances on guitar and piano, respectively. Big Jon Atkinson starts off the slow blues classic “Laundromat Blues” with some stinging guitar riffs before Alabama Mike comes in on shouting, pleading vocals.
Wilson returns to handle the the country blues vocals on a Corritore original, “Fork In The Road,” a slow moving shuffle that again gives Bob a chance to show off on harmonica while Gray makes another appearance on piano. Alabama Mike picks up the tempo on “Lovey Dovey Lovey One” featuring very fine guitar by Bob Welch and some powerful harmonica blowing by Corritore. More soaring vocals from Alabama Mike follow on the snaky, gospel-ish “Don’t Let The Devil Ride,” also including haunting guitar accompaniment from Atkinson that is further back in the mix to good effect. This one will run chills up and down your spine every time you hear it.
Bill “Howl-N-Madd” Perry, a new name to me, makes his lone appearance with raspy, in-your-face blues vocals on “Willie Mae,” with subtle harp accompaniment by Corritore nicely complementing Perry’s raucous singing. We then get one more cut featuring Rayford, “Steal Your Joy,” a mid-tempo shuffle with Sugaray’s powerful vocals bursting through the microphone.
Local blues/soul fave George Bowman steps to the mic for a slow blues, “I was A Fool,” an original composition that will hopefully show the rest of the world what we in Arizona have known for years — that Bowman is a dynamic singer who should be better known outside this area. Corritore comes in halfway through the song with a killer harmonica solo. Well done, George!
Alabama Mike gets one more time in the spotlight as he shouts out the vocals on a mid-tempo tune, “Blues Why You Worry Me?,” that threatens get out of control at times as Mike just keeps refuting any advice or rejection coming from his woman. Great guitar here from Atkinson, one of the better young artists on the scene today. The legendary Tail Dragger makes his lone appearance on the closing cut, the slow blues “Thundering And Raining,” with his raspy, rough-hewn vocals coming in strong over Gray’s piano and the tasty guitar of Rockin’ Johnny and Illinois Slim. A great way to finish this album.
Just hitting retail outlets now, Don’t Let The Devil Ride! will rank as one of the best albums of the year and hopefully will likely garner plenty of support for best blues album of the year. Don’t miss out on this one, folks!
– Bill Mitchell
Rootsville (Belgium) (June 2018)
Voor deze ‘Don’t Let The Devil Ride!’ van harpmaster Bob Corritore wist hij een hele resem alls-stars rond hem te verenigen. Namen als Alabama Mike, Sugaray Rayford, Willie Buck en Tail Dragger zijn er enkelen die tot de verbeelding spreken. Voeg daarbij nog instrumentale interventies van onder meer Junior Watson, Bob Welch en Big Jon Atkinson en je ben verzekerd van een line-up om tegenaan te kijken. Uiteraard is het hoofdbestandsdeel van dit album de ‘bluesharp’ van Bob Corritore.
Bob Corritore werd geboren in Chicago en liet zich reeds op 12-jarige leeftijd inspireren door de blues met als voorbeelden namen als Muddy Waters, Carey Bell, Big Walter Horton en Junior Wells. In 1981 verhuisde hij richting Phoenix waar hij ging samenwerken met Louisiana Red. in 1997 werd hij geïntroduceerd in de Arizona Blues Hall of Fame. Zijn eerste solo werk bracht hij uit in 1999 op het High Tone label. Later vond Bob onderdak bij Delta Groove waar hij in ook ging samen werken met Big Jon Atkinson. Deze collaboratie leverde in 2016 nog het album ‘House Party at Big Jon’s’ op (album report).
Dit album is niet nieuw werk maar bestaat uit opnamen uit sessies tussen 2014 en 2017, vandaar ook het grote aantal muzikanten die eraan deelnemen. Opener is ‘Went Home This Morning’ dat werd geschreven en gezongen door Willie Buck. Deze in Houston MS. geboren blues shouter heeft een typische klankkleur die je kan vergelijken met deze van een Lazy Lester en komen beiden uit dezelfde generatie van blues muzikanten. Naast Big Jon Atkinson staat er ook Brian Fahey (The Paladins) als muzikant gecrediteerd. Oscar Wilson van The Cash Box Kings neemt het vocale van Little Walter’s ‘Tell Me Mama’ voor zijn rekening en is ook te horen op ‘Fork In The Road’.
Voor het nummer ‘The Glide’ gaan de credits naar Sugaray Rayford, een echt barrelhouse bluesje met Henry Gray aan de black & white keys. ‘Laundromat Blues’ is dan weer een oudje van Albert King hier met een Alabama Mike als klankbord. Iets wat hij ook nog eens overdoed op de titeltrack ‘Don’t Let The Devil Ride ‘. Met het nummer ‘Willie Mae’ van gitarist Bill “Howl-N-Madd” Perry gaat het natuurlijk over Big Mama Thorton. Afsluiten doen Bob Corritore en zijn vrienden met ‘Thundering And Raining’ van de 77 jarige James ‘Taildragger’ Jones.
Big City Blues Magazine (June/July 2018)
Rare is the contemporary blues release these days that spot-on conveys a fresh and forceful approach to channeling that know-it when-you-hear-it, “old school” feeling while still decidedly keeping the music relevant to the modern day blues landscape. Enter Bob Corritore’s latest self-released project, that presents highlights from nine different recording sessions from 2014 to 2017, where the harmonica ace is constantly surrounded by an all-star team—particularly vocalists like Alabama Mike (his lowdown, late-night lament “Blues Why You Worry Me” and the vividly cautionary title tune are picks), Sugaray Rayford (great job on the nearly seven minute jockey blues about a legendary three-legged horse called “The Glide”) and the Tail Dragger, who delivers a moaning, “down on my knees” vocal alchemy on the reverb-blessed “Thundering And Raining.” Also putting in formidable vocal appearances are Oscar Wilson, with a stellar recall of Little Walter’s galloping “Tell Me Mama” as well as Willie Buck, George Bowman and gravel voiced Bill “Howl-N-Madd” Perry—who exhibits a one-of-a-kind, chanting energy concerning his “gone, gone, gone” girlfriend “Willie Mae.” Sidemen include the best in the biz—from Jimi “Prime Time” Smith and Henry Gray to Junior Watson (that’s his guitar on “The Glide”) to Bob Stroger and Big Jon Atkinson and more. Throughout, Corritore’s harmonica work is nothing short of stupendous. !!!
– Gary von Tersch
ABS Magazine (France) (July 1, 2018)
Comment ne pas apprécier Bob Corritore ? Musicien, dee-jay, patron de club et producteur, il vit le blues et le sert merveilleusement depuis plusieurs décennies en étant toujours ouvert aux autres, à l’écoute. On ne compte plus les sessions qui ont permis à des musiciens parfois un peu en perte de vitesse de se relancer, à d’autres d’être simplement connus grâce à son émission, ses enregistrements ou encore la scène qu’il a partagée avec tant et tant. Harmoniciste de talent, c’est aussi un garçon d’une gentillesse inouïe. Alors, pas étonnant que pour ce nouvel opus blues, tant d’amis soient là. Les parties vocales des douze titres sont tour à tour assurées par Alabama Mike (exceptionnel sur Laudromat Blues et sur l’interprétation du morceau-titre joué sur un tempo très lent), Sugaray Rayford (remarquable sur The Glide), Oscar Wilson, Willie Buck, Bill Perry, George Bowman ou encore Tail Dragger. Côté musiciens, on retrouve Big John Atkinson, Danny Michel, Junior Watson, Mojo Mark, Jimi “Primetime” Smith, Johnny Rapp, Chris James, Rockin’ Johnny, Illinois Slim (guitares), le complice et ami Henry Gray, Bob Welch, Fred Kaplan (piano), Troy Sandow, Kedar Roy, Patrick Rynn, Bob Stroger (basse), Brian Fahey, Rene Beavers, Malachi Johnson (drums) et, bien sûr, Bob omniprésent à l’harmonica. En 2018, il y a « jouer le blues et jouer le blues… » . Là, chaque titre peut mettre tout le monde d’accord tant dans les prestations des musiciens, la qualité des voix, les arrangements, le son, sont remarquables d’intensité et de justesse ; ce son que Bob Corritore sait si bien rendre lorsqu’il est aux manettes. Un grand disque de blues.
– Marcel Bénédit
Blues X Blues (Spain) (July 4, 2018)
Bob Corritore & Friends: Don’t Let The Devil Ride. No me puedo ir sin hablar de este disco. Todo lo que que hace Corritore pasa por aquí. Lo hace cada vez que quiere porque puede. Este disco es una maravilla y se parapeta con lo mejor del blues contemporáneo como Oscar Wilson, Sugaray Rayford o Tail Dragger. Recuperación de temas clásicos puesto al día y con la autenticidad que desborda en cada grabación del risueño harmonicista.
Reflections In Blue (July 13, 2018)
Bob Corritore has built a career around his ability to play with the best in the business, and make them all sound like a million bucks. Pulled from recordings done between 2014 and 2017, Don’t Let The Devil Ride is a delightful mix that brings together young and old for an album that is 100% old school in style with a freshness that will appeal to fans of all ages. Featured vocalists include Willie Buck, Oscar Wilson, Sugaray Rayford, Alabama Mike, Bill “Howl-N-Madd” Perry, George Bowman and Tail Dragger. Guitarists include Bill “Howl-N-Madd” Perry, Big John Atkinson, Danny Michel, Mojo Mark, Junior Watson, Jimi “Primetime” Smith, Johnny Rapp, Chris James, Rockin’ Johnny, Bob Welch & Illinois Slim. Pianists Henry Gray, Bob Welch, and Fred Kaplan; Bassists, Troy Sandow, Kedar Roy, Patrick Rynn & Bob Stroger hold down the bottom end…and capping it off on drums are Marty Dotson, Brian Fahey, Rene Beavers & Malachi Johnson. This disc is pulled together beautifully, flowing seamlessly, as if it were one solid session. Each artist has their opportunity to shine, and Corritore pulls it off beautifully, knowing when to cut loose and when to hold back. It could be said that he plays very well with others. He has a particular flair when it comes to performing with the old-timers. This may well be his best work to date. This is a perfect blending of traditional with just a bit of contemporary flair. Don’t Let The Devil Ride is proof positive that old-school styles are every bit as valid today as they were in the days when Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and Willie Dixon ruled the blues airwaves. The names and faces may have changed, but, now and then, if you listen real closely, you can still hear that lonesome train whistle off in the distance or the cries of a Mother when she realizes that her child is gone. You might even hear the sound of young love after a long night on the dancefloor. The possibilities are endless…as long as people play the blues with power, passion, and as if their lives depended on it. This one’s a keeper.
– Bill Wilson
The Alternate Root (July 15, 2018)
Harmonica man Bob Corritore brings Friends in to back him on his recent release, Don’t Let the Devil Ride. Trained in old school Blues growing up in Chicago, Illinois, Bob Corritore & Friends use the Blues to keep the rock’n’roll of “Lovey Dovey Lovey One” raw, drag feet for the slow trudge of “Blues Why You Worry Me?”, wobble on the left/right sway making a decision in “Fork in the Road”, smooth out on the Blue Jazz roll of “The Glide”, and make a roadhouse ruckus with “Steal Your Joy”. Friends for Don’t Let the Devil Ride include A-list sidemen as Bob Corritore backs a long line of singers stepping up to the microphone including Sugarray Rayford, Alabama Mike, Tail Dragger, Willie Buck and more. A somber Blues stroll escorts the message in the title track across the album as Don’t Let the Devil Ride tears into “Tell Me Mama” while Bob Corritore & Friends rattle out a goodbye for “Willie Mae” and put the cycle on slow to spin the tale of “Laundromat Blues”.
Rock Doctor (Canada) (July 17, 2018)
Harmonica ace Corritore enlists the help of several vocalists to deliver this old school treat. Sounding very much like a traditional early 60’s blues record, Don’t Let The Devil Ride demonstrates Bob’s considerable skills as producer, bandleader and arranger. This feels like an old Muddy Waters album, which I’m sure was the point. The performances from all concerned here are relaxed and natural, which comes from spending many years on the bandstand. If traditional blues is your groove, this is for you.
KEY CUT: Thundering and Raining
Blues Blast Magazine (July 19, 2018)
It’s always a pleasure to get a new Bob Corritore release and this one stay true to form- it’s another goody! Here Bob gives us a dozen treats he recorded with all-star artists who graced his studio for ten tracks at Big Jon Atkinson’s for the other two.
Bob does all the harp work here and is joined on vocals by Alabama Mike, Oscar Wilson, Sugar Rayford, Willie Buck, Bill Perry (who also does guitar on his track), George Bowman and Tail Dragger. On guitar is Big Jon Atkinson, Danny Michel, Junior watson, Mojo Mark, Jimi Smith, Johnny Rapp, Chris James, Illinois Slim and Rockin’ Johnny. On piano are Henry Gray, Bob Welch (who also plays guitar on another track), and Fred Kaplan. On bass are Troy Sandow, Kedar Roy, Patrick Rynn, and Bob Stroger and on drums are Marty Dotson, Brian Fahey, Rene Brewers and Malachi Johnson. Whew! What a cast of fine musicians!
Willie Buck starts us off with his cut “Went Home This Morning.” He’s spot on with his vcals and Big John and Mojo Mark blaze on guitar. Corritore offers us some fantastic harp and sets a high bar for the remaining songs. Little Walter’s “Tell Me Mama” keeps the bar high with Oscar Wilson on vocals and Jimi “Primetime” Smith and Johnny Rapp on Guitar. Bob’s harmonica gets some nice effects added to grease things up along with Henry Gray on piano, but it’s Oscar in front that is driving this train! Sugar Rayford then gives us “The Glide” which is his song. He growls out the lead and Fred Kaplan offers some nice piano filler. Junior Watson offers the guitar work for us to enjoy and gets a cool solo later in the cut and Corritore offers up one on harp earlier for us. Sugaray is also up to the task here vocally- well done shouting! “Laundromat Blues” follows with Alabama Mike driving. Big Jon gets the call on guitar and it’s prime evil -ly cool stuff. Mike is ready to grab you with his vocals on this pretty slow blues. Greasy and gritty stuff and Corritore just makes it all more so. Smith and Rapp return with Oscar for Bob’s own “Fork In The Road.” more slow blues offered up Chicago style for all to savor. Corritore blows a mean solo for us and Oscar is always a fantastic front man. “Lovey Dovey Lovey One” is up for us next, a Mel London penned cut that Junior Wells made famous. Mixing blues a bit of rock, Alabama Mike delivers the goods as does Corritore on harp and Bob Welch on guitar.
The title track is next and again Alabama Mike gets the call. He shouts out and testifies on this sweet slow blues. Atkinson offers up some very stinging guitar to enjoy, too, and he and Corritore parry to great effect. “Willie Mae” features Bill “Howl-N-Madd” Parry on vocals and guitar. He offers up his spin on this classic with his signature howlin’ vocal style. Corritore solos backed up by Perry on guitar; a very enjoyable song. Sugaray returns for his “Steal Your Joy,” a mid tempo blues with his shouts and moans making for a nice cut. Atkinson and Mojo Mark reprise their guitar work from cut one and Chris James also appears on guitar as Rayford testifies for us. So “I Was a Fool” follows with George Bowman fronting on his own song and Big John on guitar. Dirty, slow blues done up right- there are no throw away songs here, and of course Corritore makes his mark to help things out. “Blues Why You Worry Me” is up next and we have Alabama Mike on vocals with Atkinson on guitar. Mike offers us another winner and Corritore makes sure his harp is a special treat as they all testify passionately. The next track is also Alabama Mike singing for us on his “Blues Why You Worry Me.” Atkinson is on guitar and gives us a special solo. Rockin’ Johnny plays the guitar as does Illinois Slim on the final cut “Thundering and Raining” in support of front man and song writer Tail Dragger. Johnny plays a lot with Tail Dragger; they and everyone here deliver a superb performance on this one. Corritore gives us a pretty final solo that drips with greasy cool blues and Tail Dragger’s classic vocals in the style of Howlin’ Wolf are always a treat.
A dozen great tracks, Bob Corritore and a superb cast of musicians and a great mix make this album a real treat. I loved it from start to finish and anyone wanting to hear classic blues done right will, too. This one needs to be added to your blues music collection- great stuff.
(Reviewer Steve Jones is president of the Crossroads Blues Society and is a long standing blues lover. He is a retired Navy commander who served his entire career in nuclear submarines. In addition to working in his civilian career since 1996, he writes for and publishes the bi-monthly newsletter for Crossroads, chairs their music festival and works with their Blues In The Schools program. He resides in Byron, IL.)
Blues Power (August 1, 2018)
We’ve talked here before about some of the terrific collaborations of which harmonica master Bob Corritore has been a part over the years, including recordings with the likes of piano great Henry Gray, guitarist John Primer, and Chicago bluesman Tail Dragger, just to note a few, and Corritore’s new album Don’t Let the Devil Ride! (VizzTone Label Group/Southwest Musical Arts Foundation) is another perfect example of that, featuring a dozen songs captured during nine different sessions between 2014 and 2017. While the title of the project makes it clear that ol’ Beelzebub wasn’t welcome to the party, Corritore does bring a whole bunch of talented friends along for this devilishly good ride down the blues highway, including Gray and Tail Dragger, as well as guitarist Big Jon Atkinson, bassist Bob Stroger, and vocalists such as Sugaray Rayford, Willie Buck, Oscar Wilson, and Alabama Mike, among others.
We could easily go through this album for you track by track, but the truth is that 1) absolutely everything here is solid and 2) doing that will really only delay you from going out to get a copy, which is something you’re definitely going to want to do. If, however, you’re looking for suggestions on a track or two (or four) on which to start, we might recommend the uptempo “Tell Me Mama” (Little Walter) that features Oscar Wilson on vocals, Jimi “Primetime” Smith and Johnny Rapp on guitar, and Henry Gray on piano; a creeping “Laundromat Blues” that combines high, raspy vocals from Alabama Mike with some haunting harmonica from Corritore, guitar from Big Jon Atkinson, and piano from Bob Welch to make for a tune that’s so gritty, you might really actually need a laundromat; a shuffling “Steal Your Joy” with booming vocals from Sugaray Rayford, guitar from Chris James and Mojo Mark, and bass from Patrick Rynn; and the funky grooves of “Blues Why You Worry Me?” with its screechy Hill Country style vocals from Alabama Mike as well as guitar from Atkinson and Danny Michel.
With its rotating cast of vocalists and musicians, Don’t Let the Devil Ride! once again demonstrates that, for Corritore, playing isn’t about promoting himself so much as it is about the music that’s created, with just as many, if not more, solos on guitar and piano as you’ll hear from Corritore’s harmonica. Together, it makes for a, well, hell of a ride, one that should be an automatic lock for the traditional blues album nomination in next year’s music awards. Here’s hoping there’s some room in that car for an awards statue or two!
New Blues And Soul – WTJU (August 3, 2018)
This disc is a collection of outstanding performances by Corritore on harmonica with a variety of guests recorded from 2014 through 2017. One of the tunes is a Corritore composition. He also does a great job on Little Walter’s “Tell Me Mama”. With the added exception of “Don’t Let The Devil Ride”, the remainder of the songs are less well known. The various players are Alabama Mike (vocals on 4 songs); Sugaray Rayford (2 vocals), Oscar Wilson (2 vocals), and Willie Buck, Bill Perry, George Bowman and Tail Dragger (vocals on one song each); Big Jon Atkinson (guitar 5 songs), Danny Michel (guitar 3 songs), Mojo Mark, Jimi “Primetime” Smith and Johnny Rapp (2 songs each), and one each by Junior Watson, Chris James, Rockin’ Johnny and Illinois Slim; piano from Henry Gray, Bob Welch (also guitar); bass by Troy Sandy, Kedor Roy, Patrick Renn and Bob Stroger, with drums by Marty Dotson, Brian Fahey, Rene Beavers and Malachi Johnson. Hardcore Chicago Blues!!!!
– Dave Rogers
Living Blues (August 2018)
Harmonica slinger Bob Corritore was introduced to the blues as a 12 year old growing up in Chicago when a Muddy Waters tune on the radio caught his ear and changed his life. After establishing himself as a first-call sideman and producer and following a move to Phoenix in 1981, Corritore became the de facto “Blues Impresario” of the desert.
Soon after decamping to Phoenix, Corritore was joined by several Chicago-area blues cohorts, including Louisiana Red, and he went on to perform with a who’s who of southwest blues heavyweights including Big Pete Pearson, Buddy Reed and Tommy Dukes. In the ‘90s, he opened the Rhythm Room, a seminal Phoenix blues club, and began hosting a weekly blues radio program on KJZZ, a gig he continues to hold down. Despite a decidedly full plate, Corritore has released several solo albums since his first CD release in 1999.
Not content to be a mere club owner, Corritore doubled down as the leader of the Rhythm Room All-Stars, the outstanding house band that backed many of the performers who passed through town. He was also able to arrange studio time with many of these artists and reportedly has an extensive vault of recordings at his disposal. The mix of covers and originals for Don’t Let The Devil Ride are derived from various recording sessions between 2014 and 2017.
The disc kicks off with Willie Buck handling vocals on the shuffle of “Went Home This Morning,” a tight number that features excellent upper register harp work by Corritore. The slinky, jazzy guitar of Jimi “Primetime” Smith and the back porch beat by drummer Marty Dodson complement the gravelly delivery of vocalist Oscar Wilson on the up tempo “Tell Me Mama.”
Sugaray Rayford’s playful delivery on “The Glide,” along with the delicate piano of Fred Kaplan, give the song a John Lee Hooker vibe. Frequent Corritore collaborator Alabama Mike lends his powerful church house tenor to three songs (“Laundromat Blues,” “Don’t Let The Devil Ride” and “Lovey Dovey Lovey One”), with the slow burn “Laundromat Blues” being one of the most powerful on the disc. The song features simmering guitar by Big Jon Atkinson, and note-perfect barrelhouse piano by Bob Welsh, while Corritore reaches for a bottom-heavy harp tone that sounds as if it were conjured from the deep inside the earth.
Corritore’s harp pairs perfectly with the guitar of Danny Michel and George Bowman’s urgent vocals on the ballad “I Was A Fool.” Bassist Troy Sandow locks in with Dodson on drums to propel the funky groove of “Blues Why You Worry Me?,” which is also lifted by Michel’s tasty fretwork and Atkinsons powerful vocals.
The disc closes with another frequent Corritore collaborator, vocalist Tail Dragger (a.k.a. James Yancey Jones), taking the mic on the smoldering “Thundering And Raining.”
Don’t Let The Devil Ride features great performances and a strong mix of up-tempo and gutbucket blues with a dash of funk, and provides a solid platform to display Corritore’s skills as a performer, arranger and producer.
– Rod Evans