Bob Corritore & Friends – Spider In My Stew Reviews

Reviews from these publications are listed below in chronological order. Scroll to see all reviews.


ABS Magazine (France)
Blues Blues (UK)
Blues Bytes
Blues In Britain (UK)
Blues Matters (UK)
Blues Roadhouse
Bman’s Blues Report
Chicago Blues Guide (2 reviews)
Concert Monkey
Glide Magazine
In A Blue Mood
Keys And Chords (Netherlands)
La Hora Del Blues (Spain)
Living Blues Magazine
Making A Scene
Midwest Record Review
Musicabile (Italy)
Otago Times (New Zealand)
Paris Move (France)
Philly Cheeze’s Rock & Blues Reviews
Radio Nova (Italy)
Reflections In Blue
Rock & Blues Muse
Rock Doctor
Roots Music Report
Rootstime (Belgium)
Sound Guardian (Hungary)
Working Mojo



Roots Music Report (April 4, 2021)

4 Stars

Blues harp-meister Bob Corritore keeps excellent company on a set of mostly well-chosen covers, his always-apt harmonica a constant throughout shifting styles and band lineups.  Max excitement is generated by vocal guests including Alabama Mike- “Look Out”, Diunna Greenleaf- “Don’t Mess With The Messer”, Lyle Lovett Large Band alum Francine Reed- “Why Am I Treated So Bad” and Lurrie Bell on the Willie Dixon-penned title track and his own “I Can’t Shake This Feeling”.  Plenty of energy throughout.

– Duane Verh


Radio Nova (Italy) (April 10, 2021)

Esattamente il 06.02.2021 sulle pagine di questa rivista, abbiamo pubblicato un’intervista che ci ha rilasciato Bob Corritore. Durante il corso della nostra chiacchierata Bob ci ha comunicato che aveva finito un nuovo album e che sarebbe uscito verso la metà di Maggio. Esattamente il 14.05.2021. Bene!! Noi quel disco l’abbiamo ascoltato in anteprima ed oggi ne anticiperemo alcuni contenuti. L’album si intitola Spider in my stew, da un vecchio brano scritto da Willie Dixon nel 1973 per Buster Benton. Le cromache di quel periodo raccontano che il successo vero arrivò quando ne fece una sua versione Magic Slim.

Bob Corritore èun affermato personaggio, grazie ai numerosi ruoli che ricopre nel movimento Blues. Band leader, proprietario di un club, produttore discografico e conduttore di programmi radiofonici. Ma principalmente è un grande suonatore di armonica. Agli inizi della sua carriera cominciò a seguire noti suonatori di arpa come Big Walter Horton, Little Mack Simmons, LouisMyers, Junior Wells ed altri. Da loro ha ricevuto ottimi consigli ed incoraggiamenti a non mollare ed andare avanti. Sempre riconoscente, negli ultimi anni ha dato lustro alla musica della Wind City con i suoi lavori e le sue esibizioni. Spider in my stew è il seguito di altri progetti precedenti che Bob ha realizzato insieme ai suoi colleghi-amiciormai dei veri cult del genere. Musicisti di livello e principalmente legati al Chicago Blues. In questo progetto ,solo per citarne alcuni, abbiamo Sugaray Rayford, Lurrie Bell, John Primer, Alabama Mike, Diunna Greenleaf, Francine Reed, Johnny Rawls, Oscar Wilson, Willie Buck, Bill & Shy Perry, Bob Stroger, Bob Margolin, Junior Watson, Kid Ramos, Johnny Main , Jimi “Primetime” Smith, Adrianna Marie, LA Jones, Fred Kaplan, Doug James e molti altri. Il disco è molto gradevole , traspare in maniera evidente l’ottimo lavoro fatto sul suono, voci e masteriing finale. La sua apparente semplicità mette a nudo la bravura di tutti gli ospiti che hanno collaborato a questo progetto. Sembra di ascoltare una Band che suona insieme da sempre. Voci incredibili, musicisti con gli attributi, canzoni memorabili, esibizioni appassionate e la squisita armonica di Bob Corritore. E poi la perfetta fusione tra le capacità dei singoli elementi non ha mai un minimo cedimento. Mama Talk to your Daugheter è uno standard scritto a suo tempo da J.B.Lenoir e la versione di John Primer, voce e chitarra, insieme all’armonica di Bob Corritore è veramente accattivante. SoulFood, il singolo che verrà estratto, esalta nel testo i poteri curativi che la cucina meridionale ha sull’anima. Sugaray Rayford, attualmente le voce più potente del Blues, con una band in vero stile Rock Blues e l’armonica bella tosta di Bob Corritore si fanno sentire e come. Le voci femminili presenti sono tutte di altissimo livello. Tra queste vi segnalo Francine Reed. Una cantante che appena passata tra le professioniste ha collaborato con Miles Davis, Stanley Jordan e i Crusades e scusate se è poco. Due le sue esibizioni. In I Shall be released, brano scritto da Bob Dylan, Corritore e la Reed hanno superato veramente se stessi. In Spider in my stew, la canzone che da il titolo all’album, si nota il talento brillante di Lurrie Bell che nonostante le sue vicissitudini riesce sempre a dare il meglio. Anche in questo pezzo Bob Corritore non è li per caso. Il disco e composto da quattordici tracce e credetemi potrei raccontarvele tutte, ma sarebbe troppo lungo e dispersivo. L’allegra brigata ha portato a termine un gran bel lavoro grazie alla maestria, all’estro e alla tenacia di Bob Corritore. Il vecchio Blues nella sua apparente semplicità di esecuzione riesce sempre ad incuriosire e stimolare, un mistero affascinante che porta molti musicisti a tenere alto e vivo il suo prestigio. Bob Corritore e i suoi amici con Spider in my stew ci sono riusciti alla grande.

– Gianfranco Nova


Paris Move (France) (April 11, 2021)

Né à Chicago en 1956, Bob CORRITORE était encore au lycée quand il entendit l’appel du blues. Débutant alors une collection de disques à croissance exponentielle, il se mit à l’harmonica, fréquentant chaque dimanche le marché de Maxwell Street où jammaient les soudards qui hantaient les clubs des environs. Un bon demi-siècle plus tard, il en demeure le prosélyte absolu: outre sa newsletter sur le web, il anime chaque semaine depuis Phoenix, Arizona, sa propre émission radio sur KJZZ FM, et y dirige son propre club, le bien nommé Rhythm Room. Figurant sur plus d’une centaine d’albums à ce jour, il s’enorgueillit d’un carnet d’adresses à faire pâlir le Quai d’Orsay. Le casting ici assemblé suffit pour s’en convaincre: Sugaray Rayford, Lurrie Bell, John Primer, Alabama Mike, Diunna Greenleaf, Francine Reed, Johnny Rawls, Oscar Wilson (des Cash-Box Kings), Bob Stroger, Bob Margolin, Junior Watson, Kid Ramos, Doug James, Brian Fahey, Fred Kaplan, Marty Dodson et June Core… N’en jetez plus, la cour est pleine! Réparties sur pas moins de neuf sessions (de 2018 à 2020), ces 14 plages furent toutes captées aux studios Tempest (à l’exception du “Mama Talk To Your Daughter” de J.B. Lenoir, qui le fut au fameux Greaseland de Kid Andersen à San José, avec un John Primer aussi impérial que de coutume et le piano alerte de Bob Welsh). Se détachent ici d’un lot pourtant déjà relevé les éblouissantes prestations de Lurrie Bell (à la voix et aux six cordes électriques sur la plage titulaire et son propre “I Can’t Shake This Feeling”) et de Kid Ramos (pétrifiant sur “Why Am I Treated So Bad”), ainsi que les performances vocales d’Alabama Mike (notamment sur le swing-jump “Drop Anchor”), Shy Perry (pour un “Wang-Dang Doodle” ébouriffant), Willie Buck (“Soon Forgotten”), Jimi Primetime Smith (dont le “Sleeping With The Blues” aux accents gospel colle réellement le frisson), Francine et Michael Reed (pour leur version du “I Shall Be Relased” de Dylan) et d’Oscar Wilson (des Cash-Box Kings) sur le “Tennessee Woman” d’ouverture. Dénominateur commun à chacune de ces super-sessions, l’harmonica de Corritore revisite avec passion six décennies de Chicago blues masters: chargez donc en toute confiance votre juke-box personnel de cet irrésistible stuff!

– Patrick Dallongeville


Midwest Record Review (April 12, 2021)

Once again if nothing else, you gotta love his noir/tiki era art work.  Of course, there’s plenty more to like–especially audio wise.  With everyone in the blues world invited to play on this party, Willie Dixon gets his due as do the blues in general.  A rollicking good time that digs in and doesn’t let go, this is how you have a wang dang doodle all night long.  Killer stuff.

– Chris Spector


Keys And Chords (Netherlands) (April 23, 2021)

Five Stars

einig artiesten zijn zo fanatiek als het om hun instrument gaat dan Bob Corritore. Net zoals hij om de haverslag met een nieuw album op de proppen komt. Vorig jaar was er het drieluik ‘Cold Chills’ met Henry Gray, ‘Phoenix Blues Sessions’ feat.Kid Ramos en  de plaat ‘The Gypsy Woman Told Me’, een samenwerkingsproject met John Primer. In 2019 had Bob met zijn ‘friends’, die een heuse een all-stars cast formatie vormen, de albums ‘Do The Hip-Shake Baby’ en ‘Don’t Let The Devil Ride!’ (2018) in de winkelrekken. Nu geeft ‘harmonica ace’ Bob Corritore alweer een aantal wilde blues feestje, corona proof uiteraard. Zijn muzikale avonturen zijn een nieuwe reeks van veertien songs, en dit met enkele van de grootste hedendaagse blues artiesten. Geweldige zang, geweldige bands, gedenkwaardige songs, gepassioneerde uitvoeringen én Bob’s voortreffelijke harp! Met speciale gasten als (om er maar enkele te noemen) Sugaray Rayford, Lurrie Bell, John Primer, Alabama Mike, Diunna Greenleaf, Francine Reed, Johnny Rawls, Oscar Wilson, Willie Buck, Bill & Shy Perry, Bob Stroger, Bob Margolin, Junior Watson, Kid Ramos, Johnny Main , Jimi “Primetime” Smith, Adrianna Marie, LA Jones, Fred Kaplan en Doug James barst de release uit voegen van bij de aftrap. Chicago blues is de rode draad doorheen de release. De charismatische en legendarische blues veteraan Oscar Wilson mag de vocalen waarnemen in het hypnotiserende ‘Tennessee Woman’, origineel van Fenton Robinson. Opwindende soul is het trademark voor Sugaray Rayford. Hij mag zich in het zweet zingen bij ‘Soul Food’, en dit terwijl Kid Ramos en Johnny Main een heerlijk gitaarduel aangaan. De slowblues ‘Whatcha Gonna Do’ (Chuck Willis), het swingende ‘Drop Anchor’ en ‘Look Out’ zijn een kolfje naar de hand van Alabama Mike. En dan komt een Willie Dixon trilogie. Blues diva Diunna Greenleaf zet ‘Don’t Mess With The Messer’ in de steigers, net zoals Lurrie Bell ‘Spider In My Stew’ verheerlijkt en Shy Perry ons overdonderd met het swingende ‘Wang Dang Doodle’. En wat een Memphis gospel/soul ballade is ‘Sleeping With The Blues’ dan wel niet. We zijn dan ook niet verbaast dat Johnny Rawls werd uitgenodigd voor dit hoogtepunt.

Chicagoan en Corritore’s long time soulmate John Primer is de incarnatie voor J.B. Lenoir’s ‘Mama Talk To  Your Daughter’. Blues soulstress Francine Reed mag voor deze gelegenheid ‘Why Am I Treated So Bad’ en Bob Dylan’s ‘I Shall Be Released’ vertolken. En dan komt Maxwell street blues legacy Willie Buck ‘Soon Forgotten’ interpreteren en mag Lurrie Bell zijn ‘I Can’t Shake This Feeling’ door de woofer jagen.

Het album ‘Spider In My Stew’ is een lang uitgerekt hoogtepunt. Kippenvel van start tot finish.

Bob Corritore werd dan weer geboren in Chicago op 27 September 1956, en schuimde er als tiener de bluesclubs af. Bob verhuisde naar Phoenix, Arizona waar hij al geruime tijd de befaamde club The Rhythm Room uitbaat. Hij is naast radiopresentator en record producer ook talentscout. Maar ik heb in al die jaren dat ik in het blueswereldje 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… iedere gelegenheid neemt Bob ter harte om een mondharmonica uit zijn zak te toveren en te wat te spelen. (H)eerlijke vent toch..!

– Philip Verhaege


Making A Scene (April 27, 2021)

Bob Corritore was born in Chicago and as an adolescent got hooked on blues harmonica. He studied and received playing tips from some of the cities finest, including Carey Bell, Big Walter Horton, and Junior Wells. Corritore moved to Phoenix when he was twenty-five, eventually opening his own blues club called the Rhythm Room. With his house band he backed musicians when they came to town. Corritore has been nominated for seven Blues Music Awards winning in 2011. This is Corritore’s seventeenth album although he appears as a guest on 85 more.Corritore’s friends’ number thirty-eight. Guest guitarists include Bob Margolin, Junior Watson, Kid Ramos, Johnny Main, L.A. Jones, Jimi Primetime Smith, Johnny Rapp and Tony Tomlinson. Keyboardists include Shea Marshall, Fred Kaplin, Bob Welch, and Doc Holiday. Doug James guests on saxophone. Eight bassists are featured, including Bob Stroger, Kedar Roy and Troy Sandow; while drummers include Brian Fahey, Andrew Guterman, Alan West, and June Core.

The album opens with Oscar Wilson, of the Cash Box Kings, singing on Fenton Robinson’s “Tennessee Woman”.  “Big Mama’s Soul Food” is written and sung by Sugaray Rayford. Alabama Mike takes the vocal on “Whatcha Gonna Do  When Your Baby Leaves You”.  Vocalist Diunna Greenleaf is fabulous on Willie Dixon’s “Don’t Mess With The Messer”. Two more Willie Dixon songs are included, the title track sung by Lurrie Bell; and “Wang Dang Doodle” sung by Shy Perry. Johnny Rawls sings on his own “Sleeping With The Blues”.  “Mama Talk To Your Daughter” is sung by John Primer. On Pops Staples “Why Am I Treated So Bad”, and again on Bob Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released” we get to hear Francine Reed. Willie Buck sings on “Soon Forgotten”.Corritore is a great harmonica player, arranger and bandleader. He gives us another great Traditional Blues Recording.

– Richard Ludmerer


Rock Doctor (April 29, 2021)

As someone who wrote radio advertising for over 20 years there are certain clichés that give me the willies; “hand crafted”, “deals” and “home style” being among them. One that really gets under my fingernails is “authentic”.  Having said that, I can’t think of a better word to describe Bob Corritore’s new album. Spider In My Stew than as an authentic, old-timey blues experience of the tallest order.

Bob Corritore is one of the most respected harp players on the scene today with an old school style of playing that takes you right back to Chicago of the 50’s.  Vintage and fresh at the same time, there are few players like him.  Spider In My Stew, recorded over 9 sessions between 2018 and 2020, involves a shit-ton of musicians riding the same grooves over these 14 blistering tracks.  The ‘special guest’ list here includes but is by no means limited to Kid Ramos, Bob Margolin, Lurrie Bell and Johnny Rawls. This disc can be best described as a blues party, the kind of fun we all want to be in on.

Spider In My Stew, produced by Corritore with Clarke Rigsby, is 14 classic numbers given a fresh coat of paint while using time honored production techniques, spiritually faithful renditions that just knock me out.  Some of the more classic numbers include Wang Dang Doodle, Mama Talk To Your Daughter and I Shall Be Released. Not sure who’s playing the guitar on Sleeping With The Blues, Johnny Rawls or Jimi Prime Time Smith, but whoever it is sounds just like BB King.

Lots of singers and instrumentalists on this album feeding each song what it requires, with Bob Corritore’s boisterous harp being the common thread. There are no particular attempts on Spider In My Stew to modernize the blues, but rather skilled musicians playing with natural intensity, care and joy.  In this disc Bob Corritore & Friends have created something for the ages; lowdown and nasty in the very best possible way.

*****(5 stars!)

KEY CUTS: Tennessee Woman, Sleeping With The Blues, Whatcha Gonna Do When Your Baby Leaves You

– John Kereiff


Reflections In Blue (April 2021)

Many thanks to Bob Corritore and his multitude of friends for the infusion of “Old-School” traditional blues.  There are nearly 40 “friends” represented on this album, including: Sugaray Rayford, Lurrie Bell, John Primer, Alabama Mike, Diunna Greenleaf, Francine Reed, Johnny Rawls, Oscar Wilson, Willie Buck, Bill & Shy Perry, Bob Stroger, Bob Margolin, Junior Watson, Kid Ramos, June Core, and a host of others…in short, the best of the best.  Pulled from 9 sessions recorded from 2018 to 2020, Spider In My Stew is the latest in a long list of Bob Corritore’s sweetest dreams and memories.  Bob’s love affair with the blues began at the age of 12, after hearing Muddy Waters on the radio.  He began performing, while in his teens, on Chicago’s Maxwell Street.  Mentored by the best blues performers on the business, in a wide variety of styles, his love for the music never faltered.  Now, over 50 years later, Bob is still doing everything in his power to keep the music alive and well…and I have never heard it done more beautifully.  Ever the consummate professional, Bob is confident enough in his own abilities that he does not need to place himself front and center, blowing every lick he knows in the first few minutes of play.  His harp work can be heard on over 100 releases to date, on a plethora of labels and in a diverse variety of styles.  Band leader, club owner, record producer, radio show host, arts foundation founder, and writer Corritore has immersed himself completely in all things blues, with a particular interest in traditional styles.  Good harmonica players, even great players are a dime a dozen…and Bob Corritore has earned a place among the best harmonica players in the business.  His recordings are a shining example of what traditional blues was meant to sound like.  Spider In My Stew is as good as it gets

– Bill Wilson


La Hora Del Blues (Spain) (May 4, 2021)

Bob Corritore is a person totally devoted and committed to promote and keep the blues alive, not only as a harmonica player, but also as owner of the Rhythm Room club in Phoenix, Arizona, as well as working as composer, producer or hosting his own radio show. Very often he releases different recordings, including many musicians who perform at his club or participate in his radio show. These albums become a real lively and genuine party with great top artists as guests. Here comes a new one with fourteen songs where you will find excellent musicians and good Bob’s friends who join this blues party, with Corritore’s harmonica as the common thread in every song. The participant line-up is extensive, almost reaching the number of forty musicians who participate in these fourteen magnificent songs. You will find among others Alabama Mike, Lurrie Bell, John Primer, Sugaray Rayford, Diunna Greenleaf, Johnny Rawls, Bob Margolin, Francine Reed, Oscar Wilson, Willie Buck, Junior Watson, Kid Ramos, Fred Kaplan, Bob Wells, Bob Stroger or Adrianna Marie. With this impressive cast of musicians and their good work, the blues gathered in the album has an unbelievable variety and amazing quality, because all musicians put their heart and soul on this wonderful and priceless recording. ESSENTIAL

– Vincente Zumel –


Bman’s Blues Report (May 4, 2021)

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Spider In My Stew, from Bob Corritore and Friends and it’s terrific. Opening with Tennessee Woman, Corritore on harmonica is joined by Oscar Wilson on vocal, Tony Tomlinson on guitar, Shea Marshall on piano and sax, Patrick Skog on bass and Alan West of drums and percussion. A solid Chicago style track with a Latin beat, this is a solid opener. Moving into a full on romp, Sugaray Rayfield has the lead on vocal on Big Mama’s Soul Food, backed by Kid Ramos on guitar, Blake Watson on bass and Marty Dodson on drums. Great vocals by Rayford, Corritore’s always always fine harmonica work and saucy guitar work by Ramos give this track real zing. Diunna Greenleaf is upfront on Don’t Mess With the Messer and with a snappy drum beat by Andrew Guterman and hot sax work by Doug James, this track is strong. Lurrie Bell delivers really inspired lead vocal and guitar on title track Spider In My Stew with Bob Margolin and Corritore’s lower octave harmonica work is terrific. Excellent! Johnny Rawls leads with vocal and guitar on Sleeping With The Blues and it’s sensitive BB King approach is rich. Why Am I Treated So Bad is one of my favorites on the release featuring Francine Reed on lead vocal. Her voice is unmistakable and with brother Michael on backing vocals, Corritore soloing on harmonica, Ramos and Johnny Main on guitar, Mike Hightower on bass and Brian Fahey on drums, the deck is stacked for best track on the release. R&B track, Look Out features Alabama Mike on lead vocal with Junior Watson on guitar, Fred Kaplan on piano, Corritore on harmonica, Kedar Roy on bass and Andrew Guterman on drums ramping up the release for the big closer. Wrapping the release is a great rendition of Bob Dylan’s I Shall Be Released again featuring Francine Reed. Joined by brother Michael, Ramos and Main on guitars, Hightower on bass and Fahey on drums, this is a strong closer for a really strong release. 


Rock & Blues Muse (May 4, 2021)

A good year for the blues continues with another high-profile release in the form of Spider In My Stew out May 14, 21 via VizzTone Label Group, the new offering from harmonica-player, songwriter, producer and all-round living link to the classic Chicago-Blues era, Bob Corritore. Fans of modern blues will need no introduction, but it’s worth repeating a little of Corritore’s impressive bio. This is a man who started young, tuned in by Muddy Waters and learning first-hand from some of the great players: Big Walter Horton, Junior Wells, Big John Wrencher, Carey Bell and others. A recipient of more music awards that can be noted here, Corritore’s playing has graced countless albums. His much-loved radio show, Those Lowdown Blues, is still going strong and his Blues and Roots Concert Club has hosted such luminaries as Bo Diddley, Little Milton and Henry Townsend. If you can judge the worth of a project by its contributors alone, Spider In My Stew is a prospect to be savoured. Guest musicians include Sugaray Rayford, Lurrie Bell, John Primer, Alabama Mike, Johnny Rawls, Bob Margolin, Junior Watson, Kid Ramos, and too many more to mention.

Opener “Tennessee Woman” (featuring Oscar Wilson) whips up a fresh blast of delightfully shuffling, dusty blues. Whirling percussion rattles and skips, barrel-house piano vamps and Corritore’s harp soars. This is a wonderful storm of blues, with a striking arrangement, built around a centrepiece of Cuban-flavoured hand-drums, horn flourishes and subtle guitars. This is first-class playing from musicians who are completely at home with their material. “Soul Food” gets down ‘n dirty with some serious swagger and verve, propelled by Corrtiore’s harp back-beat and easy-rolling drums. There’s a beautiful old-school feel here. The production is balanced so that everything feels raw and real, steering well-clear of the ultra-clean production which is so much in vogue.

From there on in, the quality never wavers. “Don’t Mess With The Messer” (featuring Diunna Greenleaf) could have come straight from Chess or Motown circa 1960. It’s barn-storming, foot-stomping jump blues, with some mercurial high-end piano runs and slip-sliding harmonica. Deep sax and walking bass round out the whole into something quite special. You can imagine this belting out from any jukebox in any juke-joint to instant appeal. The title-track itself is a slow, swampy affair, with haunting echoes and plenty of soul. Over a sparse arrangement, the band summon up the ghosts of Delta blues to great effect. The versatility on display here, from high-energy numbers to gritty, swaying ballads, is quite something.

Blues classic “Wang Dang Doodle” (featuring Shy Perry) races along with zest and zeal. Muscular, edgy guitars bounce and moan, harp flits in and out with cutting energy and the track punches hard. It’s remarkable that Corritore and company manage to make this beloved staple feel fresh and exciting. “Sleeping With The Blues” sways softly with melodic harp and Hammond organ, harmonised vocals and some fine, shuffling drums. “Why Am I Treated So Bad” (featuring Francine Reed) is another highlight, a strutting, funky blues with stop-start dynamics and Reed’s powerful, captivating voice. “Look Out” (featuring Alabama Mike) takes us back to Motown for another satisfying quick-step around the dance floor.

What captures the ear throughout Spider In My Stew is Corritore’s incredible breadth of expression on harp. From light, melodic playfulness to raw power, Corritore can do it all. Backed here by a stellar line up, across fourteen excellent cuts, he presents what amounts to a celebration of the spirit of the blues. Essential listening for any fans of the genre.

– Chris Wheatley


Philly Cheeze’s Rock & Blues Reviews (May 8, 2021)

Taking into consideration all his own records in addition to all the others he’s played on, Bob Corritore has appeared on over a hundred albums in his career.  In that time, he’s acquired a hell of a lot of friends.  Thirty-eight of them appear on his new fourteen-track disc Spider in My Stew, making for one of the hottest straight-up blues albums this year.

The fabulous voice of Oscar Wilson (Cash Box Kings) takes command as he joins Tony Tomlinson (guitar), Patrick Skog (bass), and Alan West (drums) of the Fremonts to kick the album off with a swanky cover of Fenton Robinson’s 1957 single “Tennessee Woman”.   Shea Marshall’s contributions on piano and sax gives it the perfect finishing touch.  Sugarray Rayford, one of my favorite singers these past few years, belts out one of his own songs “Big Mama’s Soul Food, joined by Kid Ramos and Johnny Main on guitar.  This one has me jonesing for a meal at Miss Polly’s on Beale Street in Memphis.  The great Johnny Rawls lends himself and a song as well.  “Sleeping With the Blues” is smothered in his trademark style of soulful blues.  Bob Welsh on piano and John Primer on guitar and vocals rip it up on a splendid cover of the J.B. Lenoir song, “Mama Talk to Your Daughter”.  With Alabama Mike taking the mic, and Junior Watson (the Mighty Flyers, Canned Heat) on guitar, “Look Out” absolutely cooks.  I dig the groove.  The rhythm really takes a hold on this one.

I love the Willie Dixon tribute which packs three of his songs right in a row.  “Don’t Mess With the Messer” gets this batch started with Diunna Greenleaf on vocals and Jimi ‘Primetime’ Smith on guitar.  That is followed by title-track “Spider in My Stew” which hosts a dynamic duo of Lurrie Bell and Bob Margolin.  Corritore pours his soul into the song, as Bell and Margolin duke it out on guitar.  Bell takes the mic on this one, and it sounds great.  The Willie Dixon three-fer concludes with a rollicking standout recording of “Wang Dang Doodle” with Bill ‘Howl-N-MAdd’ Perry and his daughter Shy Perry.    

Blues fans will surely want to pick up this all-star blues record.  It’s fantastic!       

– Phillip Smith


Blues Blues (UK) (May 10, 2021)

Bob Corritore is a curator of great Blues music and brings together some of the best artists around on his albums. This time, for Spider In My Stew, he plunders the archive for a fresh batch of 14 new tracks recorded over 9 sessions between 2018 and 2020 and featuring a plethora of modern Blues exponents. First up is Oscar Wilson whose sharp vocals feature on Tennessee Woman with its shuffling beat, wailing sax from Shea Marshall and deep harmonica from Corritore. Sugaray Rayford features on his own strong composition, Big Mama’s Soul Food, and he brings us a more earthy vocal. It’s a mid-pace Blues and after listening to the subject matter you’ll be hungry for more. Kid Ramos is prominent on guitar on this one. Chuck Willis’ Whatcha Gonna Do When Your Baby Leaves You features Alabama Mike on vocals, another strong and sharp vocalist. Pronounced guitar notes from Junior Watson are a feature and although there is less involvement from Corritore, you always know he’s there in the background. We get some good advice from Diunna Greenleaf on Willie Dixon’s Don’t Mess With The Messer. She is a powerful vocalist, perfectly suited for the strong rhythmic Blues of this track. The added deep sax sounds from Doug James are a bonus. Another of the Willie Dixon penned songs is the title track of the album. This time it’s Lurrie Bell on vocals, whose voice will chill your spine. Bell also contributes piercing guitar and Corritore is at his deep, warbling harmonica best. We have a slightly faster than usual version of the third Willie Dixon song, Wang Dang Doodle, made famous by Howlin’ Wolf. Shy Perry takes on the vocals and shows that the girls can take this song on too. Deep harmonies and raucous guitar are provided by Bill Howl-N-Madd Perry. Drop Anchor is a second song with Alabama Mike. This time it’s a Swing Blues with Corritore hitting the spot with his harmonica. My only complaint is that it’s too short.

Johnny Rawls adds his not inconsiderable vocals and sharp, sweet guitar to his own song, Sleeping With The Blues and with Doc Holiday added on organ, Rawls turns in a soulful, intimate performance. John Primer is one of Corritore’s go to people and on Mama Talk To Your Daughter it’s not hard to see why. This JB Lenoir song is a strong, striding Blues with excellent guitar from Primer. The moody and atmospheric Why Am I Treated So Bad has Francine Bell adding her dulcet tones. Stop start used to good effect and Corritore adds to the mood with haunting harmonica as does Kid Ramos on guitar with some particularly sharp notes. What a tone to her voice, an absolute pleasure. Up next is Willie Buck, who adds his vocal to the Muddy Waters style Chicago Blues of Soon Forgotten. Corritore rips into the harmonica for some of his best work so far with Jimi Primetime Smith on guitar and Fred Kaplan tinkling away on piano in the background. Lurrie Bell returns for his own composition, I Can’t Shake This Feeling, a strolling Blues with incisive guitar from Bob Margolin and the other Bob doing what Bob does on harmonica. The third and final contribution from Alabama Mike is on Look Out, which is R&B is the style of Money. He screams out the vocal at times and boy, can he reach those high notes. Kaplan plays a bigger part here, both on piano and organ and Corritore, not to be outdone, throws in a solo too.  Things are rounded off with a good version of Bob Dylan’s I Shall Be Released with Francine Bell returning on vocals. This is a great song for her voice and you can grasp the Gospel feel. It’s very powerful with echoed guitar from Kid Ramos and Johnny Main. It’s a classic song and they don’t mess about with it too much and makes for a good end to the album.


Glide Magazine (May 13, 2021)

We should be used to this by now. As mentioned, a few times on these pages, blues harp master Bob Corritore essentially has his “pick of the litter.” As proprietor of Phoenix’s premier blues club, The Rhythm Room, he can sit in with any of the acts he books, and in this case, lure them to a nearby studio for recording. After all, who will say no the one who is paying you. His latest collection of such recordings is Spider in My Stew with a list of performers that reads like a who’s who of traditional blues, some 38 in all, a dozen of whom are called out in caricatures sprinkled across the cover and inset. They are Lurrie Bell, Steady Rollin’ Bob Margolin, Alabama Mike, Shy Perry, Sugaray Rayford, Francine Reed, John Primer, Bill Howl-N Mad Perry, Diunna Greenleaf, Oscar Wilson, Johnny Rawls, and Willie Buck.  Okay, you’re already dizzy so we will stop there for now.

There are 14 selections. Most of these are well-known classics written by the likes of Willie Dixon, Chuck Willis, Fenton Robinson, Pops Staples, J.B. Lenoir, and others. Two of the Dixon tunes, among the best in the set, feature female vocalists with Diunna Greenleaf stepping in for “Don’t Mess With The Messer” and Shy Perry taking the venerable “Wang Dang Doodle” up a level in tempo and rendering it in true Koko Taylor fashion. The title track, just shy of seven minutes, is the longest cut, with Lurrie Bell on an amazingly gritty vocal and sizzling guitar to match, with Corritore on an extended chromatic harp solo.  These are some of the best vocalists on today’s blues scene and all performances emit a powerful, sweaty take.  Most vocalists have one track, but Alabama Mike has three and Bell takes two. 

Yet, arguably the major highlights are when the vocalist delivers an original tune, for which we have many examples. BMA Blues Entertainer of the Year Sugaray Rayford kills his “Big Mama’s Soul Food,” and Bell does the same for his “I Can’t Shake This Feeling.” While the vocalists and the leader’s harp playing may get most of the attention, this set features a host of seasoned guitarists, keyboardists, and horn players who solo as well. (yes, we’ll refrain from another lengthy list). 

Johnny Rawls steps away slightly from his usual soul mantra and into some deep slow blues on his own “Sleeping With the Blues,” aided by background vocalists. Primer takes J.B. Lenoir’s “Mama Talk To Your Daughter,” likely an outtake from one of the Corritore/Primer albums recorded, as the only one here, at Kid Anderson’s Greaseland Studios. Francine Reed (Asleep at the Wheel) gets support from guitarists Kid Ramos and Johnny Main on a fervent take of Pops Staples’ “Why I Am I Treated So Bad.” Each will have their own preferences in the high caliber menu here but this writer, as you might guess, favors the two best traditional blues singers/guitarists today, Lurrie Bell and John Primer. Bell’s “I Can’t Shake This Feeling” comes late, appearing as #12 in the sequence. Be sure to hang in for it as it’s a classic slice of Chicago blues with those requisite ingredients of slicing guitar, howling harp, and commanding vocals.

You just can’t go wrong with Corritore. He is a traditionalist, a purist, and a tastemaker. Bring yourself to his table.


Concert Monkey (Belgium) (May 14, 2021)

Bob Corritore is een Amerikaans mondharmonicaspeler, die op 27 september 1956 in Chicago werd geboren. Zijn leven veranderde voorgoed wanneer hij op twaalfjarige leeftijd voor het eerst Muddy Waters hoorde op de radio. In minder dan één jaar leerde hij mondharmonica spelen. Bob zocht contact met de grote harpspelers, zoals Big Walter Horton, Little Mack Simmons, Louis Myers, Junior Wells, Big John Wrencher en Carey Bell. Van hen kreeg hij veel mondharmonica tips en aanmoedigingen. In 1981 verhuisde Bob naar Phoenix, Arizona, waar hij in 1986 begon samen te werken met voormalig Howlin’ Wolf drummer Chico Chism. Die samenwerking duurde twintig jaar, tot Chico in 2007 overleed. In 1991 opende Bob de inmiddels beroemde blues & roots club, The Rhythm Room en in 1999 bracht hij zijn debuutalbum ‘All-Star Blues Sessions’ uit. In 2005 bracht Bob de Rhythm Room All-Stars, met Big Pete Pearson, naar het Marco Fiume Blues Passions Festival in Italië. Hierdoor kwam er heel wat Europese interesse voor het vurig mondharmonica spel van Bob Corritore. In 2007 ontving Bob een Keeping The Blues Alive Award van de Blues Foundation. In datzelfde jaar werd ‘Travelin’ The Dirt Road’, een samenwerking met Dave Riley, genomineerd voor een Blues Music Award. In 2011 won het album ‘Harmonica Blues’ van Bob Corritore & Friends een Blues Music Award voor Best Historical Blues Release. In 2013 werd ‘Ain’t Nothing You Can Do’, de schitterende samenwerking met John Primer, gekozen tot Best Blues Album Of 2013 door het Duitse Blues News Magazine. Een jaar later kreeg Corritore ook een Blues 411 Jimi Award als Beste Mondharmonicaspeler. In mei 2020 verscheen ‘The Gypsy Woman Told Me’, de derde samenwerking tussen Bob Corritore en John Primer. In het najaar van 2020 verschenen nog drie albums van Bob Corritore in de reeks ‘From The Vault Series’. Ook op zijn nieuwe album ‘Spider In My Stew’ heeft Bob Corritore weer een hele reeks gasten uitgenodigd. Sugaray Rayford, Lurrie Bell, John Primer, Alabama Mike, Diunna Greenleaf, Francine Reed, Johnny Rawls, Oscar Wilson, Willie Buch, Bill & Shy Perry, Bob Stroger, Bob Margolin, Junior Watson, Kid Ramos, Johnny Main, Jimi Smith en Adrianna Marie zijn er een paar van. Er staan veertien songs op het album, waarvan er drie door Willie Dixon werden geschreven. Op één nummer na werden alle nummers opgenomen in negen sessies die plaats vonden in de Tempest Studios, tijdens de periode 2018 – 2020.

Oscar Wilson, de legendarische frontman van The Cash Box Kings neemt de zang voor zijn rekening in de opener ‘Tenessee Woman’. Drummer en percussionist Alan West geeft het nummer een mooie beat en saxofonist Shea Marshall en mondharmonicaspeler Bob Corritore zorgen voor het uitstekend solowerk. Daarna is het de beurt aan de fantastische stem van Sugaray Rayford in de soulvolle en radiovriendelijke bluesrocker ‘Big Mama’s Soul Food’. Dat deze song als single werd uitgebracht is een uitstekende keuze. Natuurlijk is mondharmonica virtuoos Bob Corritore heel het nummer uitstekend en uitdrukkelijk aanwezig. Hij zet zelf de kers op de taart met een erg knappe solo. Ook de gitaristen Kid Ramos en Johhny Main laten zich niet onbetuigd en kleuren deze erg sterke ‘Big Mama’s Soul Food’ met heerlijk snarenwerk. Alabama Mike weet op een geweldige wijze het melodieuze ‘Watcha Gonna Do When Your Baby Leaves You’ te zingen. Bob Corritore op mondharmonica, Andrew Guterman op drums, Junior Watson op gitaar, Kedar Roy op bas en Fred Kaplan op piano en orgel zorgen voor het instrumentale genot. Daarna volgen de drie nummers die werden geschreven door Willie Dixon. Te beginnen met het swingende ‘Don’t Mess With The Messer’ dat gezongen wordt door de krachtige en rauwe stem van Diunna Greenleaf. Pianist Fred Kaplan en harpspeler Bob Corritore schitteren weer in het instrumentale gedeelte. Saxofonist Doug James kruidt het gehele nummer met krachtige riffs en zijn saxofoon solo is van uitstekende kwaliteit.

De titeltrack ‘Spider In My Stew’ is een slowblues, die met veel gevoel en emotie gezongen wordt door Lurrie Bell. De gevoelvolle snarensolo’s van Bob Margolin en Lurrie Bell zijn een lust voor het oor. Daarna gaat het ritme de hoogte in voor een verschroeiende versie van ‘Wang Wang Doodle’. Shy Perry zingt het nummer met grommende stem en de backing vocals van BillHowl-N-Madd Perry maken het vocale gedeelte helemaal af. Met uitstekend, gruizig mondharmonica werk blaast en zuigt Bob Corritore een geweldig slot aan deze erg dansbare en genietbare song. Het swingende ‘Drop Anchor’ trekt hij met zijn geliefkoosde instrument dan weer op gang. Met zijn warme orgelklanken draagt Doc Holiday de melodie van de melodieuze slowblues ‘Sleeping With The Blues’. Er klinkt pijn en verdriet in de warme stem van Johnny Rawls en zijn gevoelvolle gitaar riffjes geven deze slowblues nog een extra touch. Bob’s goede vriend John Primer mocht niet op dit album ontbreken. Primer zingt het heel dansbare, door J.B. Lenoir geschreven ‘Mama Talk To Your Daughter’. Een schitterende Bob Welsch op piano, John Primer op gitaar en Bob Corritore op mondharmonica geven kleur aan dit aanstekelige nummer. Blueszangeres Francine Reed laat horen dat ze nog steeds over een volle en prachtige stem beschikt in de meeslepende blues ballade ‘Why Am I Treated So Bad’. Net als in ‘Big Mama’s Soul Feed’ zijn de gitaristen Kid Ramos en Johnny Main van de partij. De klanken die beide heren uit hun sixstring toveren is weer van uitzonderlijke kwaliteit.

Een andere ballade is het door Bob Corritore’s mondharmonica gedreven ‘Soon Forgotten’, dat hier gezongen wordt door Willie Buck. Fred Kaplan kruidt dit trage nummer met heel fijne en prachtige piano riffjes. De lome blues shuffle ‘I Can’t Shake This Feeling’ is het tweede nummer met Lurrie Bell achter de microon. Met een knappe baslijn zorgt Troy Sandow voor een uitstekende groove en Bob Margolin en Lurrie Bell verwennen ons weer met heerlijk gitaarwerk. Alabama Mike mag zelfs drie nummers zingen. Na ‘Spider In My Stew’, ‘Drop Anchor’ zingt hij ook het swingende ‘Look Out’. Instrumentaal is het genieten van het uitstekende toetsenwerk van Fred Kaplan op de piano en het orgel, het gevoelvolle snarenwerk van gitarist Junior Watson en het machtige mondharmonica spel van Bob Corritore. Het album wordt afgesloten met de Bob Dylan cover ‘I Shall Be Released’. Francine Reed is de zangeres van dienst en Michael Reed verzorgt de backing vocals. Kid Ramos en Johnny Main laten nogmaals horen dat ze erg begaafde gitaristen zijn.  Hoewel er met ‘Big Mama’ Soul Food’ en ‘Sleeping With The Blues’ maar twee nieuwe, onuitgegeven  nummers op het album ‘Spider In My Stew’ staan, is het een zeer genietbaar en gevarieerd album dat een breed publiek kan bereiken. De afwisseling van prachtige stemmen en uitstekende muzikanten hebben daar een groot aandeel in. Ook de inbreng van mondharmonica virtuoos Bob Corritore mag zeker niet vergeten worden. Hij weet met zijn klasse blaas en zuigwerk op de mondharmonica, zijn stempel te drukken op elke song van het album. (7,5/10)

– Walter Vanheuckelom


Sound Guardian (Hungary) (May 14, 2021)

Već sam naslov albuma “Spider In My Stew” Boba Corritorea & Friends govori nam sam za sebe zaista puno. Bob je do sada razvalio sve oko sebe. A sada njegova glazbena priča ide dalje, ide jače i agresivnije pokazati svima da je upravo on, Bob Corritore, nevjerojatan svirač usnjaka, koji sada sve svoje aktivnosti u studiju prepušta VizzTone Label Group, dok svjetsku radijsku promociju znalački odrađuje Amy Brat i njezina BratGirl Media.

Nikako nemojmo zaboraviti da Bob zasigurno nije tamo neki početnik, on na blues sceni djeluje već dugi niz godina i stalno je prisutan pri samom vrhu ove scene. A što se mene osobno tiče, Bob svojim usnjakom i vokalom na toj i takvoj sceni sigurno ulazi među moje favorite.

Naime, teško je uopće pojmiti s kime je sve svirao ovaj “harp wizard’. Ne, naravno da neću nabrajati ekipu ali već ovi njegovi gosti, prijatelji s kojima snima i radi, jasno nam daju smjernice o kakvom se sjajnom glazbeniku radi. Na ovom albumu svoj obol dali su: Sugaray Rayford, Lurrie Bell, John Primer, Alabama Mike, Diunna Greenleaf, Francine Reed , Johnny Rawls, Oscar Wilson, Willie Buck, Bill & Shy Perry, Bob Stroger, Bob Margolin, Junior Watson, Kid Ramos, Johnny Main, Jimi “Primetime” Smith, Adrianna Marie, L.A. Jones, Fred Kaplan i Doug James. Nema nikakve sumnje, Bob je uvijek volio svirati i razmijenjivati tu plavičastu sinergiju, ali i upijati i učiti od drugih. Nikada nije bio egocentričan, već upravo suprotno, želio je biti aktivni sudionik te svoje blues priče, ali samo kao odlična spona prema sjajnom blues ozračju.

Pred nama je album od kojeg će nam krv brže kolati, od kojeg će nam nutrinu bića grijati neka posebna toplina a kostima strujiti 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 i da, upravo takav album je pred nama.

Bob Corritore je glazbenik, harpist, koji je najprije samo slušao, a onda je krenuo u taj beskrajni plavičasti svijet u kojem danas ima itekako značajnu ulogu. Bob nije samo svirač usnjaka, on 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, Juniora Wellsa i Jamesa Cottona. Naravno, velika stvar je upravo taj njegov originalni stil sviranja usnjaka. Svakako da je baš time Corritore stekao globanu afirmaciju. To je doista veliki uspjeh, kojeg se jednostavno mora respektirati i odati mu veliko priznanje.

S druge pak strane ovakav sudar generacija nevjerojatno oslikava svu veličinu, snagu i raskoš prezentacijske forme Boba i samih gostujućih glazbenika. Rezultat je pred vama, jedinstven i izvrstan album.

PREPORUKA

I zato, dragi moji, pred svima nama je apsolutno “tvrdi” i nadasve briljantni album tradicionalnog bluesa “Spider In My Stew”, kojeg bez imalo ustezanja potpisuju Bob Corritore & Friends.

“Spider In My Stew” svojim sadržajem donosi 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 14 pjesama će vas pomesti svojom ekspresijom. Zato s “repeat” krećemo od početka i tako krug se stalno otvara i zatvara. Želim biti dio tog kruga. Želim da me poklopi taj veliki plavičasti val koji će me zauvijek odvesti u tu ‘ blue land’ iz koje se jednostavno ne želim vratiti.

– Mladen Loncar – Mike


In A Blue Mood (May 17, 2021)

This album is yet another compilation from Bob Corritore with the veteran blues harmonica teamed with some of today’s most outstanding blues artists for many wonderful traditional Chicago blues. Among those heard, with Corritore’s harp backing, are Sugaray Rayford, Lurrie Bell, John Primer, Alabama Mike, Diunna Greenleaf, Francine Reed, Johnny Rawls, Oscar Wilson, Willie Buck, and Bill & Shy Perry. Bell, Primer, Rawls, and Bill Perry also contribute guitar. Other guitarists on this album include Bob Margolin, Junior Watson, Kid Ramos, L.A. Jones, Jimi ‘Primetime’ Smith, and Jimmy Rapp. Among the keyboard players are Fred Kaplan, Shea Marshall, Doc Holiday, and Bob Welsh. Bob Stroger, Adrian Marie, Kedar Roy, and Troy Sandow are among the bassists, while the drummers include Brian Fahey, Andrew Guterman, Marty Dodson, and June Core. Shea Marshall and Doug James are heard on saxophone.

With this contemporary group of blues all-stars, one should not be surprised with just how good some of these performances are, starting with Oscar Wilson’s robust singing on a cover of Fenton Robinson’s “Tennessee Woman.” Sugaray Rayford’s “Soul Food” is one of the few originals here. It sounds like a hot 50’s Memphis shuffle as he exuberantly shouts about going to get Big Mama’s Soul Food. Corritore’s fat wet tone evokes Papa Lightfoot here while drummer Marty Dodson channels Fred Below. Alabama Mike transforms Chuck Willis’ “Whatcha Gonna Do” into what it might have sounded if Jesse Fortune had recorded it in Chicago. Junior Watson is outstanding on guitar. Mike also updates Harmonica Slim’s “Drop Anchor.

Koko Taylor sang the original rendition of Willie Dixon’s “Don’t Mess With The Messer.” Diunna Greenleaf makes this song her own on a recording that evokes Willie Dixon’s productions. Here Corritore playing more in a Sonny Boy Williamson II manner. Add Doug James’ rousing baritone sax solo and one has a gem of a performance. Willie Dixon also wrote the title track, which Lurrie Bell pours his heart into with fervent singing and white-hot guitar while Corritore shines on chromatic harmonica. Johnny Rawls contributes a soulful B.B. King-styled “blues, “Sleeping With the Blue.” 

With trebly guitar from Kid Ramos and Johnny Main, Francine Reed powerfully updates the Staples Singers “Why Am I Treated So Bad” and Bob Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released.” Another standout selection is Willie Buck’s channeling of Muddy Waters on “Soon Forgotten.” Jimi ‘Primetime’ Smith’s guitar, Fred Kaplan’s piano, and Corritore’s harp contribute to evoke the Chicago blues legend on this stellar cover. Everything on this album is wonderfully played, and again Bob Corritore has put together a collection of first-rate Chicago-styled blues with so many outstanding selections.


Blues Roadhouse (May 18, 2021)

There must be a massive pipeline running from a big old 1950ish Chicago blues refinery somewhere that flows directly into the recording studio of harp-master Bob Corritore. The man never fails to create a fine album, filled with classic Chicago-style blues, played by some of the best remaining practitioners of that art.

“Spider In My Stew” (VizzTone, May 14) is his latest effort, packed with tough blues from a stellar cast of artists who know how to deliver blues that actually sound like the blues.

I may be revealing here that I’m very partial to traditional blues music. Some very fine musicians are working very hard at moving beyond that level, and I enjoy a lot of their music as well. I just like the traditional stuff more. It’s kind of like the old saying about whiskey: “There’s no such thing as bad whiskey; I just like some better than others.” (And I admit, I don’t even know if that’s true, but it sounds kind of impressive.)

But I digress.

Corritore’s latest is filled with great blues from a handful of guests showing off their chops with mostly classic tunes, and a couple of fresh ones. Plus the unusual choice of a Bob Dylan track — “I Shall Be Released” — to wrap things up. There are 38 talented musicians making up the complete roster here.

The vocalists include Oscar Wilson of the Cash Box Kings, Sugaray Rayford, Alabama MikeDiunna GreenleafLurrie Bell, Shy PerryJohnny RawlsJohn PrimerWillie Buck and Francine Reed.

Here is the track list, and who sings what:

  1. Tenessee Woman (feat. Oscar Wilson)
  2. Big Mama’s Soul Food (feat. Sugaray Rayford)
  3. Whatcha Gonna Do When Your Baby Leaves You (feat. Alabama Mike)
  4. Don’t Mess With the Messer (feat. Diunna Greenleaf)
  5. Spider in My Stew (feat. Lurrie Bell)
  6. Wang Dang Doodle (feat. Shy Perry)
  7. Drop Anchor (feat. Alabama Mike)
  8. Sleeping With the Blues (feat. Johnny Rawls)
  9. Mama Talk to Your Daughter (feat. John Primer)
  10. Why Am I Treated So Bad (feat. Francine Reed)
  11. Soon Forgotten (feat. Willie Buck)
  12. I Can’t Shake This Feeling (feat. Lurrie Bell)
  13. Look Out (feat. Alabama Mike)
  14. I Shall Be Released (feat. Francine Reed)

This album, another in a long series of star-studded Corritore outings, is just one fine blues after another, starting with Wilson’s powerful “Tennessee Woman.” Rayford rolls out a delicious “Big Mama’s Soul Food,” and it’s one of my favorites. Another highlight is the still smooth and soulful Rawls sensuous take on his own composition, “Sleeping With The Blues.” Primer updates the old R&B-flavored J.B. Lenoir song, “Mama, Talk to Your Daughter,” and Buck turns in a tough version of Muddy Waters‘ “Soon Forgotten.”

The blues roll on through 13 sparkling tracks, and the album winds up with Francine Reed lending her potent pipes to Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released,” and while it didn’t exactly roll directly out of the blues refinery pipeline, it somehow manages to sound just right as a closer.

At the risk of repeating myself, this is a real deal, downhome blues album, another little gem from Bob Corritore. Give it a listen.

By the way, the song “Spider in My Stew” was written by the prodigious and prolific Willie Dixon in 1973, with a popular version recorded by Buster Benton.

– Jim White


Rootstime (Belgium) (May 2021)

Bob Corritore is een gevestigde waarde in de blueswereld, hem nog voorstellen is misschien overbodig, volgende maand verschijnt zijn nieuwe album, dat laat horen wat een geweldig harmonicaspeler hij wel is. Het album is getiteld “Spider In My Stew”, naar een oud liedje dat Willie Dixon in 1973 schreef voor Buster Benton, maar pas echt bekendheid en succes kreeg toen Magic Slim er zijn eigen versie van maakte.  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 50 jaar. De “Keeping The Blues Alive” award die hij in 2007 ontving was dan ook meer dan verdient.

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 of trad vroeger 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 “Spider In My Stew” is ook niet anders, want deze plaat is het vervolg op andere eerdere projecten die Bob heeft gedaan samen met zijn vrienden die nu ware blueshelden zijn geworden. Muzikanten van niveau en voornamelijk verwant aan Chicago Blues. Voor deze opnames hebben we, om er maar een paar te noemen, Sugaray Rayford, Lurrie Bell, John Primer, Alabama Mike, Diunna Greenleaf, Francine Reed, Johnny Rawls, Oscar Wilson, Willie Buck, Bill & Shy Perry, Bob Stroger, Bob Margolin, Junior Watson, Kid Ramos, Johnny Main, Jimi “Primetime” Smith, Adrianna Marie, LA Jones, Fred Kaplan, Doug James en vele anderen….kortom, het beste van het beste. Verspreid over niet minder dan negen sessies van 2018 tot 2020, werden deze 14 tracks allemaal opgenomen in de Tempest Studios, behalve J.B. Lenoir’s “Mama Talk To Your Daughter”, dat werd opgenomen in Kid Andersen’s beroemde Greaseland in San José, hier gebracht in een John Primer’s versie, zang en gitaar, samen met Bob Welsh achter de piano en Bob Corritore’s harmonica is het echt een topnummer!

In de titeltrack “In Spider In My Stew”, hoor je het briljante talent van Lurrie Bell die altijd het beste van zichzelf weet te geven. In dit nummer is Bob Corritore er toevallig niet bij maar ook is dit weer een prachtige song. Naast Bell’s eigen “I Can’t Shake This Feeling” ,  Kid Ramos verzengende “Why Am I Treated So Bad”, alsmede de vocale prestaties van Alabama Mike, vooral in het swingende “Drop Anchor”, zijn echt hoogtepunten op deze plaat.  Maar ook Shy Perry die we horen in het opzwepende “Wang-Dang Doodle”, Willie Buck in “Soon Forgotten”, Jimi Primetime Smith in het gospel-getinte “Sleeping With The Blues”, Francine en Michael Reed met hun versie van Dylan’s “I Shall Be Relased” en Oscar Wilson (van de Cash-Box Kings) in het openingsnummer “Tennessee Woman” , al deze songs springen evenzeer in het oog. “Big Mama’s Soul Food”, is de single die zal worden uitgebracht, en horen we Sugaray Rayford, momenteel de krachtigste stem van de blues, met een band in onvervalste rock blues stijl en het stoere harmonicaspel van Bob Corritore . De vrouwenstemmen zijn allemaal van het hoogste niveau. Onder hen wil ik Francine Reed even opnieuw vermelden, want deze zangeres die vroeger samenwerkte met Miles Davis, Stanley Jordan en de Crusades, heeft zichzelf samen met Corritore in het afsluitende en reeds vermelde “In I Shall be Released”, werkelijk overtroffen. 

Het album is zeer genietbaar, het uitstekende werk dat is gedaan aan geluid, zang en uiteindelijke mastering is duidelijk hoorbaar. De schijnbare eenvoud ervan legt het vakmanschap bloot van alle gasten die aan dit project hebben meegewerkt. Het lijkt te luisteren naar een band die al eeuwig samen speelt. Ongelooflijke stemmen, memorabele songs, steeds gepassioneerd gebracht en het voortreffelijke mondharmonicaspel van Corritore geeft de perfecte samensmelting. De oude blues weet in zijn schijnbare eenvoud van uitvoering altijd te intrigeren en te prikkelen, een fascinerend mysterie dat veel musici ertoe brengt het prestige ervan hoog te houden en levend te houden. Bob Corritore en zijn vrienden zijn er met dit nieuwe album “Spider In My Stew” daar op een geweldige manier in geslaagd. De gemene deler in elk van deze supersessies is uiteindelijk Corritore’s mondharmonica, die met passie zes decennia van Chicago bluesmeesters laat herleven. Goede harmonicaspelers, zelfs grootse spelers zijn er in een dozijn…en Bob Corritore heeft een plaats verworven tussen de beste harmonicaspelers in de blues.  Zijn opnames zijn een lichtend voorbeeld van hoe traditionele blues bedoeld was te klinken. “Spider In My Stew” is dan ook zo goed als het maar zijn kan, voor zowel de Chicago Blues als de rootsliefhebber een aanrader en dus alle reden om dit album aan te schaffen.


Otago Times (New Zealand) (May 2021)

4 Stars! While harp player Bob Corritore has guested on numerous recording sessions over the past two decades, he has moved up to fronting albums more recently, with Spider In My Stew billed to Bob Corritore & Friends. Vocalists Alabama Mike, Oscar Wilson, Sugaray Rayford, Lurrie Bell, John Primer, and Francine Reed deliver genuine blues sounds, accompanied by tasteful harp licks from Corritore, including chromatic harp forays, which add another dimension to songs. Corritore’s affection for the blues is obvious, but he also inspires the musicians around him, making Spider In My Stew a modern blues classic with its roots deep in the Chicago blues genre. Spider In My Stew will give you a serious dose of blues heaven.

– Tony Nielsen


Blues Bytes (May 2021)

On the heels of the equally outstanding collection of various artists recorded by Bob Corritore when they come through the Phoenix area, 2019 release Do The Hip Shake Baby!, here comes another blockbuster in Spider In My Stew, billed to Bob Corritore & Friends. The friends include an impressive array of blues standouts, including Lurrie Bell, Francine Reed, Alabama Mike, John Primer, and many more. The risk of an album with so many different artists is that it won’t have a cohesive sound, but the tracks are arranged so that they flow seamlessly from one to the other despite the differences in the headline artists. With 14 cuts, Spider In My Stew is an immediate classic.

Kicking it off is a wonderful blues standard, “Tennessee Woman,” with the impressive vocals of Oscar Wilson, most often known as a singer with The Cash Box Kings. That leads into the appetite-inducing “Big Mama’s Soul Food,” with the raspy vocals of Sugaray Rayford going through a Hall of Fame-worthy lineup of soul food dishes. These two cuts are the lone contributions of those two singers, but they set the stage for the smorgasbord ahead.

Alabama Mike takes the lead on three different tunes — the straight-ahead blues of “Whatcha Gonne Do When You Baby Leaves You,” “Drop Anchor,” an up-tempo shuffle with a real retro vibe, and “Look Out,” a fast burner that features Junior Watson on guitar and Fred Kaplan on piano. Alabama Mike shouts out the vocals, and while he doesn’t have the deep booming voice like most shouters his vocals are effective nonetheless.

Veteran Chicago guitarist Lurrie Bell shows up two times, most notably on Willie Dixon’s slow blues number, “Spider In My Stew,” with Bell and Bob Margolin both contributing monster guitar solos and Corritore setting the mood with heavy harmonica riffs. Bell encores later in the disk with his own mid-tempo shuffle, “I Can’t Shake This Feeling,” again featuring Margolin sharing the guitar duties.

Houston singer Diunna Greenleaf shouts up a storm on the Willie Dixon stomper, “Don’t Mess With The Messser,” while Johnny Rawls is featuring singing and playing the guitar on his own composition, the slow blues “Sleeping With The Blues.” One of my favorite numbers has Shy Perry on vocals and Bill Perry on guitar performing a frantic version of Dixon’s classic “Wang Dang Doodle.”

A couple of long-time Chicago blues cats, John Primer and Willie Buck, get one song each. Primer covers J.B. Lenoir’s blues classic, “Mama Talk To Your Daughter,” giving Corritore one of many opportunities to shine on the harp while Bob Welsh lays down some extremely tasteful piano. Buck does a slow blues from the Jimmy Oden songbook, “Soon Forgotten,” with Corritore again standing out for his harmonica solos.

Phoenix area blues/soul/jazz legend Francine Reed is featured on a pair of ready-made classics, her strong vocals carrying the Staples song, “Why Am I Treated So Bad,” with Kid Ramos helping out on guitar. Reed then infuses a more swampy blues sound to Bob Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released” that closes the album.

The 14 recordings on Spider In My Stew were recorded at nine different sessions from 2018 to 2020. The music is all top-notch, with so many session musicians participating that it would be hard to list them all. But don’t fear, because the session details are tirelessly documented in the album liner notes, which is a reason to buy the physical disc instead of downloading the mp3 files.

Blues fans, albums like this are what we live for. It’s all high quality blues from the heart. Spider In My Stew should without a doubt be your next blues purchase.

– Bill Mitchell


Chicago Blues Guide (1 of 2) (May 2021)

I had this girlfriend in trade school. She was in a band called “Little Miss Muffet and the Soul Curds.” She lived the part. We’d go to Jennifer Convertibles just to sit on the tuffets. We smoked whey, put on Pharaoh Sanders and wondered aloud “After the spider frightened Miss Muffet away, where did she go?” All I knew was that, wherever she went, there’d be some of that Bob Corritore spooky-as-all-get-out chromebone weaving through one messed up love thing after another.

I was right. Three nights ago, there she was — half a block ahead of me on the hairiest sidewalk this side of a bad neighborhood in Armenia — as she ducked into Spider in My Stew, sadly unprepared for the embrace of a dark beauty that reaffirms the already reaffirmin’est fact of modern recording; namely that nobody tells a twisted tale of love like the master of Blues Noir Bob Corritore and his merry band of “I don’t know how much more bacon grease this mic can take” collaborateurs. Together, they were ready to teach Miss Muffet some lessons in chrome-mance even if it killed her.

The pain and drama of Corritore’s tough love lessons hit early and hard. Halfway through the first verse of the first cut, I had to cover my mind’s eyes as “Tennessee Woman” throws Oscar Wilson’s heart to the wolves; the song’s narrator is framed as the most endearingly vulnerable, hopelessly doomed character in pop culture since the porpoise fetus they fed to Jaws.…(you gotta catch it in the book; it was too gruesome for Spielberg to use in the movie). By the last verse, Oscar’s impending heartbreak is palpable as he sets off on a pony­ – yes, a pony – for “way down in Tennessee” (good luck with that one on a GPS), never realizing that, with no car, no cell phone and no money, he’s more likely to become the first guy banned from match.com since Drew Peterson than to win the heart of a woman in a Blues song.

Naturally, with this being her first stop on the Corritore side of the rabbit hole, Li’l Miss M is already asking herself “Should I have given the spider a second chance? What if I tell my parents he’ll convert?” Too late! A girl who can barely metabolize curds and whey is broadsided by “Big Mama’s Soul Food,” the greatest soul food song of all time – and that includes Blues, Soul, Hip Hop, Polkas, Klezmer….I don’t care! Sugaray Rayford probably made this up in real time as he sang it, and the ultimate voice of authority is thunderin’, and my soul’s mouth is still watering. And leave it to Sugaray to come up with the perfect rhyme for cornbread: “Cornbread!” Well done, Ray-Squared.

But wait! Faster than hokum revivalist Chris “Bad News” Barnes could sing, “Burpin’ Up the Blues,” the arachnophobic Miss M finds herself standin’ face to face with the undisputed Queen of Pickin’ the Wrong Man; the roar we adore, Diunna Greenleaf, who lets loose with Willie Dixon’s sweet tale of Blues revenge “Don’t Mess with the Messer.” Doug James orchestrates a jaw-dropping sax orgy that, all by itself, is worth twice what Spider in My Stew will set ya back off the music rack at Porky Pine’s Pomade in the Shade.

And Corritore and Dixon are just warming up. Shy Perry howls through the greatest party song of all time, “Wang Dang Doodle,” and — for perhaps the first time in Blues song history – evolves, or maybe devolves, ”windahs” into “windows,” and I like it. Not that, after being frightened away by an unarmed invertebrate, Muffie would be ready to take a chance at romance with Razor-Totin’ Jim or Butcher Knife-Totin’ Annie.

But it’s the Dixon-penned title cut, as delivered by Lurrie Bell, that could stoke terror in the heart of Hannibal Lechter. This is Bob Corritore at his my-goosebumps’-teeth-are-chattering darkest. With every blood-curdling quiver of his nightmare-soaked delivery, Bell isn’t channeling a guy with a spider in his stew; he’s channeling the guy who is tied to a chair, watching the guy with the spider in his stew eat his own liver. No wonder Lefty Dizz called Lurie Bell “The Hieronymus Bosch of the Blues!”

Once again, it’s a Johnny Rawls’ performance that begs the question “What’s the difference between Blues and Soul Blues?” “Sleeping with the Blues” is a 9-1-1 call convincing me that the answer lies in what kind of hat the guy by the door has on, and “what’s he wearing that matches it?” And Johnny Rawls’ soul-drenched Blues just might have Miss M achin’ for a chance to let the Octobrutha’s memory foam earn its name.

Still, convincing a name-above-the-title nursery rhyme diva like LMM to seriously consider tying her cans to the Web Weaver’s back bumper has Corritore diggin’ deep into his Fender Bender All Stars, most notably guitar greats Kid Ramos (“Big Mama’s Soul Food”) and John Primer (“Mama Talk to Your Daughter”). Steady Rollin’ Bob Margolin’s guitar brings the ragout du jour to a steamin’ swampy boil, perfectly accenting Willie Buck’s vocal on a song that should win the BMA Award for Most Oxymoronic Blues Song Title: “Soon Forgotten,” in which Buck reveals he’s still reeling from his baby’s indiscretion on April 12, 1951.

Clearly, no tour guide can compare to Bob Corritore, who so adeptly leads us to the sad ’n’ seedy side of the street of the Devil’s music. And nobody drops as lethal a poison cherry on that sundae as Alabama Mike, tearing through “What Ya Gonna Do When Your Baby Leaves You?” with a voice that could peel bark off a redwood, making it plain as day that it’s just a matter of time ’til the Muffster lands back in those eight lovin’ arms at the Curds ‘n’ Whey Drive Thru.

And there she stands. Alone. Trembling. Sure as the rain that she’ll never again dip her toe into the dark cruel water of the Sea of Love. But as the sun begins to rise, Francine Reed takes Miss Muffet’s hand and intones Dylan’s lyrics: “Any day now/Any way now/I shall be released.” And with no trace of an alley anywhere in sight; with no hint of the –“wasn’t you at the Zanzibar the night that guy walked in with his wife’s head in a bag?” — whisper that stands as the unseen brand on every murky, fiery glistening drop of his music, Bob Corritore slow-dances her all the way home to the unlikely caress of “I Shall Be Released,” and into the eight stew-drippin’ arms of the arthropod she left behind. “Welcome home, Miss Muffet,” he cooed deep – and deeply – in her ear. “Please baby,” she softly exhaled, “Call me ‘Kesha.’”

Spider in My Stew is Bob Corritore’s collection of 14 songs recorded over nine sessions between 2018 and 2020. It’s a scathing deconstruction of romance. And all the reasons you’ll ever need to fall in love with The Blues.

– Terry Abrahamson


Musicabile (Italy) (May 31, 2021)

Stamattina ho aperto il computer e, come sempre, per prima cosa ho cercato musica da ascoltare. L’ho trovata, e perfetta per il mio umore: Bob Corritore, grande armonicista e bluesman, assieme a un parterre di musicisti di tutto rispetto, ha appena pubblicato un disco, Spider in my Stew. Con lui ci sono Alabama Mike, Sugaray Rayford, Oscar Wilson, John Primer, Johnny Rawls, Lurrie Bell, Kid Ramos, Bob Margolin, Junior Watson. Ascoltate Big Mama’s Soul Food e capirete di cosa sto parlando! Perfetto per un giorno di sole, come oggi qui a Milano, i ricami di Corritore con l’armonica, sia nel blues rude e polveroso o in quello lento e paludoso del Delta, sono incredibili, meglio di un caffè nero bollente per drizzare la giornata.

– Beppo Ceccato


Living Blues Magazine (May/June 2021)

On Spider In My Stew by Bob Corritore & Friends, the emphasis is rightly placed on the “and friends” component.

Corritore, the Phoenix blues harp savant, producer, radio DJ, and owner of the famed blues club, The Rhythm Room, has a lot of friends–so many that his Rolodex must be housed in its own room (trust me, youngsters, the Rolodex really did exist at one time). Each of the 38 musicians appearing on the album’s 14 tracks bring their own special flavorings to his new blues stew.

This isn’t the first time Corritore has called on his litany of musical friends to produce a sterling blues release–the most recent example being 2019’s excellent Do The Hip-Shake Baby!. The recipe remains intact: pick some cool eclectic covers and a handful of originals, give them some inventive arrangements spiced with Corritore’s harp serving as the roux, and let the players play and the singers sing.

for a guy who wears a closet full of musical hats, Corritore has been a pretty relentless recording artist since releasing his first album in 1999. Here he shares producing credits with Clarke Rigsby on the album derived from nine sessions between 2018 and 2020. Frequent collaborators like Alabama Mike, John Primer, Willie Buck, and Sugaray Rayford are in the mix again in a lineup that includes ten vocalists.

The tracks run the gamut from energetic shuffles to mid-tempo stomps to gutbucket slow-burners. Oscar Wilson lends his smooth pipes to the swinging opener, Tennessee Woman. Rayford brings his rough and tumble vocals to his composition Big Mama’s Soul Food, an homage to “neck bones, oxtails, butter beans, and fried baloney.”

Diunna Greenleaf channels Koko Taylor, while Corritore conjures upper register playfulness and Fred Kaplan’s piano flows like water on Don’t Mess with the Messer. Singer/guitarist Lurrie Bell envelopes the title track–an old Willie Dixon tune–while Bob Margolin serves up soulful guitar and Bell adds his own South Side-inspired licks. Why Am I Treated So Bad features a sly arrangement, some of Corritore’s best harp, and languid guitar by Kid Ramos and Johnny Main, all topped by Francine Reed’s so-honest-it-hurts vocals.

Jimi “Primetime” Smith serves up some crisp, B.B. King-like fills as Johnny Rawls wraps his rich baritone around his own Sleeping With The Blues. Willie Buck testifies on the gutbucket Soon Forgotten as Corritore cooks up a sizzling solo.

Margolin returns to back Bell on the singer’s I Can’t Shake This Feeling, a tight shuffle bolstered by a wonderful arrangement with the rhythm guitar doubling Troy Sandow’s liquid bass line. Look Out borrows liberally from the chord pattern of the classic Motown hit Money, but Alabama Mike makes it his own with his playful vocals.

The sorrowful cover of Dylan’s I Shall Be Released–covered famously by The Band–finds Reed backed by brother Michael Reed on vocals on this superb closer.

Corritore has carved our a niche as a maestro of pure, unfiltered blues, and Spider In My Stew finds this master collaborator and cohorts in fine form.

– Rod Evans


Working Mojo (June 3, 2021)

4/5

Surprise is overrated. Albums don’t need to shock us or deviate from a successful formula to be enjoyable. For the past few albums, harmonica player Bob  Corritore’s used the same playbook: gather some blues-loving colleagues and record solid songs. It’s classic blues, but in the same way a gift of a million dollars is no less appreciated when presented in a clear bag, Spider in My Stew is still plenty of fun, even though Corritore fans will know what to expect.

It’s because Corritore knows how to work a good blues. He starts with a solid band, finds talented singers and soloists, and then thoughtfully lays down his harmonica, fleshing out the songs, filling in gaps, and generally taking every track to a higher level. And even though you see many of the same guests across albums, it’s still welcome, like seeing old friends after a brief break.

Corritore takes on classic songs, like “Wang Dang Doodle,” featuring singer Shy Perry. The Willie Dixon tune, immortalized by Howlin’ Wolf, is a blues classic, and Corritore keeps it pretty straight-forward. They push the tempo, not into rock or punk territory, but a bit like a rocking chair that’s gotten away from its passenger. Perry has a strong voice. If Howlin’ Wolf sang like barbed wire, Perry’s vocals are the poles holding up the fence. She has an infectious energy, almost as if she’s powered by the track. And Corritore is brilliant, with a tone that lets his harmonica take up much of the tune, not in a greedy way, but more in how he’s an uncontainable force of nature.

But Corritore also takes on non-blues artists. Specifically, Bob Dylan, with his cover of “I Shall Be Released,” sung by Francine Reed. While Reed is a blues singer, here she gives the rock standard a gospel tone, her vocals connecting to the song’s vulnerability. Corritore’s harmonica here is much less bluesy, serving more as a string section filtered through his harmonica. It’s not typical blues licks, and it deviates from Corritore’s plan of giving his fans what they want, but it’s an interesting experiment.

Corritore is on stronger footing when he goes up against saxophones, though. “Don’t Mess With The Messer,” another Dixon tune, featuring singer Diunna Greenleaf, is Corritore versus the horns. The song takes on a 50s rock and roll bounce,with sax courtesy of Doug James. With James ably holding down the bottom end, Corritore goes for a higher tone, much like Stevie Wonder. It’s funky and unexpected, showing Corritore still has moves to spare.

I’ve come to look at Corritore’s annual albums like magazine subscriptions. You know what you’re getting and it’s what you want. Part of the reason you want it is because while Corritore builds his albums in the same way, he always has a new take on the blues. Corritore constantly has something new to say, even within familiar constraints.

– Steven Ovadia


ABS Magazine (France) (June 2021)

L’harmoniciste, chanteur, auteur-compositeur, patron de label et de club, homme de radio, l’attachant Bob Corritore, on le sait, a de multiples cordes à son arc. Sa discographie commence à être impressionnante, de par son talent propre et ses participations marquantes, mais aussi par l’intérêt qu’il porte aux autres. Si à titre personnel j’ai beaucoup d’affection pour l’individu, force est de constater qu’au plan professionnel peu de musiciens en activité ont autant donné la parole et aidé les autres. Il le fait depuis de nombreuses années soit en leur permettant de jouer et de s’exprimer dans son club, le Rhythm Room à Phoenix, Arizona, soit en les enregistrant et/ou les produisant, soit via les émissions de radio dont de nombreux disques ont émané. La présente compilation, sous-titrée « Blues Comix », met en avant des artistes et amis tels que Lurrie Bell, John Primer, Alabama Mike, Shy Perry, Willie Buck, Oscar Wilson, Johnny Rawls, pour ne citer qu’eux, dans 14 faces blues et soul toutes de niveaux musical et sonore exceptionnels. Un CD qu’on passe en boucle sur la platine en y découvrant à chaque fois quelque chose de nouveau.

– Marcel Bénédit


Blues In Britain (UK) (June 2021)

Here is another strong set from Bob Corritore’s recording sessions with musicians passing through Phoenix, Arizona, often to play at Bob’s club The Rhythm Room. These tracks were all recorded between 2018 and 2020 and almost 40 musicians are involved overall! The material is mainly straight-ahead Chicago blues.

Fans of Bob’s harp playing will know how brilliantly he plays both on featured solos but also in accompanying mode: check out how he drives ‘Mama Talk To Your Daughter’, getting a wonderfully energised performances from John Primer, making this one of the best versions of the old warhorse heard in a long time, or how he weaves elegantly around Francine Reed’s vocal and Kid Ramos’ shimmering guitar on Dylan’s ‘I Shall Be Released’; Francine and Kid also feature on The Staples Singers’ ‘Why Am I Treated So Bad’. Bob takes his time on chromatic harp on an extended examination of the title track, one of three Willie Dixon classics revisited here. Indeed, much of the material comes from familiar sources like Fenton Robinson, Chuck Willis and St Louis Jimmy Oden whose ‘Soon Forgotten’ was recorded by Muddy Waters, Willie Buck sounding uncannily like Muddy here. Chicagoans Lurrie Bell and Oscar Wilson also appear and the West Coast is represented by Alabama Mike, pianist Fred Kaplan and guitarist Junior Watson. Alabama Mike features on three tracks, the pick being a short but sweet take on ‘Drop Anchor’, an obscure Slim Harpo track. There are also a couple of originals brought along by ‘friends’ like Sugaray Rayford whose ‘Big Mama’s Soul Food’ sounds very tasty indeed (not least when Kid delivers a stinging solo!) and Johnny Rawls who gives us a superb ‘Sleeping With The Blues’, a slow, soulful tune with elegant guitar/harp ensemble work. Just one track features horns, courtesy of Doug James (on both tenor and baritone), behind Diunna Greenleaf’s impressive vocal on ‘Don’t Mess With The Messer’, a lesser-known Willie Dixon tune.

This disc should be a must-have for fans of classic blues and comes highly recommended.

– John Mitchell


Chicago Blues Guide (2 of 2) (June 2021)

After releasing three albums from his vault at the Rhythm Room in Phoenix, AZ., recently, harmonica ace Bob Corritore turns the clock forward on this one, teaming with great, current vocalists to deliver a set of tunes that deal with the darker side of romance.

The roster includes Diunna Greenleaf, Johnny Rawls, Sugaray Rayford, Shy and Bill “Howl-N-Madd” Perry, Francine Reed, Alabama Mike, Oscar Wilson of the Cash Box Kings, John Primer, Lurrie Bell and Willie Buck, all of whom are at the absolute top of their game. They’re backed by an all-star lineup that includes Johnny Main and the 44s, Bob Stroger, Bob Margolin and a host of others.

An album sure to be in awards consideration in the coming months, Wilson powers out of the gate with “Tennessee Woman.” Some of the other choice cuts include Rayford’s “Big Mama’s Soul Food,” Greenleaf’s “Don’t Mess with the Messer,” Bell’s “Spider in My Stew,” Reed’s “Why Am I Treated So Bad” and Alabama Mike’s “Look Out,” but everything here is a standout.

– Marty Gunther


Blues Matters (UK) (June/July 2021)

Oh, yes indeed. If you are a regular traditional blues aficionado using Facebook no doubt, you will often see collections of fine vintage blues photographs under the heading Bob Corritore. I am pleased to see that this fine album is also a hallmark of Bob Corritore. You will not find anything more Chicago blues-flavoured or satisfying this side of Christmas. Chicago-born Corritore is a terrific harmonica player who learned his craft directly from the greats. On these 14 rocking performances he’s joined by an impressive assembly of guests, including names such as Lurrie Bell, Johnny Rawls, Bob Margolin. Kid Ramos and others. The songs are all classics, including Watcha Gonna Do when your Baby Leaves, originally by Chuck Willis, Willie Dixon’s Don’t Mess with the Messer and Wang Dang Doodle, which has a sizzling vocal by Shy Perry. A truly soulful Lurrie Bell takes the vocal and guitar on the title track, and there’s other fine renditions of classic blues compositions by J.B. Lenoir and others. Corritore’s meaty, moody harp underpins everything. This is a very satisfying album for a blues fan. The CD’s distinct packaging too fits the mood; a dark, tongue-in-cheek comic-book art which totally matches the smoky mood. There is even a Bob Dylan song, I Shall Be Released sung with real soul by Francine Reed. Best track? Undoubtedly Johnny Rawls singing Sleeping with The Blues. This is just what we need to lift us out of lockdown. Best thing I have heard this year so far. 

– Roy Bainton