Bob Corritore & Friends – You Shocked Me Reviews

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

ABS (France)
Big City Blues
Blues And Soul Music Factory (Japan)
Blues Blast Magazine
Blues Roadhouse
Chicago Blues Guide Review #1
Chicago Blues Guide Review #2
Goldmine Magazine
Keys And Chords
La Hora de Blues (Spain)
Me & Blues Blog
Paris Move (France)
Rock & Blues Muse
Roots Music Report
Zicazic Magazine (France)


Paris Move (France) (August 13, 2022)

Depuis le temps que ce bon Bob Corritore nous abreuve du fruit de ses archives personnelles (rappelons aux plus récents de nos lecteurs que ce remarquable harmoniciste et infatigable activiste dirige depuis son Phoenix d’élection son propre club, le bien nommé Rhythm Room, tout en animant sa propre émission radio sur KJZZ FM), on pourrait se laisser tenter à ânonner: “another Bob Corritore Vaults anthology”… Sauf que la routine s’avère ici un cru d’exception, et qu’il faudrait être sacrément blasé (ou sourd) pour n’y point porter toute l’attention qu’il requiert. Captée en une douzaine de sessions réparties entre 2018 et 2022 dans les studios Tempest de Tempe, Arizona, cette collection de seize plages aligne quasiment un who’s who de la scène blues actuelle. Comptez les: d’Anthony Geraci à John Primer et de Johnny Rawls à Sugaray Rayford (en passant par Bob Margolin, Bob Stroger, Doug James, Fred Kaplan, Ben Levin, Kid Ramos, Brian Fahey, Billy Perry, Alabama Mike, Diunna Greenleaf, Oscar Wilson et encore une vingtaine d’autres), c’est un véritable annuaire qui y participe. Et n’allez pas imaginer que ce beau monde ne pointe que pour le cacheton, car c’est réellement party à tous les étages: un peu comme si tous ces Elmore James (“Hiding Place” de Primer), Howlin’ Wolf (“Josephine”, “Back to The Crossroads” ou le “Blues For Hippies” de feu Otis Spann), Jimmy Reed (“Blue Blue Water”), Jimmy Dawkins (“Blinded”), Little Walter (“Train Fare”, “Sunny Day Friends” ou l’infernal “Don’t Need Your Permission”), Jimmy Rogers et autres Muddy Waters (“That Ain’t Enough”) n’avaient jamais déserté les clubs de Chicago que pour mieux hanter celui de Bob. Tout juste si “Soul Food”, “The World’s In A Bad Situation” et “Work To Be Done” (voire la plage titulaire) parviennent à taquiner sporadiquement la fibre vintage rhythm n’ blues d’un Hank Ballard (cuivres à l’appui), mais pour le reste, ce recueil résonne de bout en bout comme un authentique fantasme de blues addict. Documentant l’inextinguible verve d’un genre se refusant obstinément à entrer au musée, cette nouvelle livraison de haut niveau fait ainsi écho à l’antique ferveur documentaire des John Lomax, John Work et Alan Lomax d’antan. Sauf qu’aucun de ces trois-là n’a jamais pratiqué l’harmonica avec la même flamme et le même brio que Bob Corritore (ni bénéficié non plus de pareils claviéristes, guitar slingers et sections rythmiques)… Privez-vous donc de ceci, et vous serez à plaindre pour longtemps!

– Patrick Dallongeville


Keys And Chords (August 13, 2022)

5 Stars

​Harmonica-ace Bob Corritore stelt opnieuw een all-star bluesshowcase samen voor zijn nieuwe langspeler ‘You Shocked Me’. Samen van zijn geweldige vrienden, die het neusje van de zalm zijn van een huidige en klassieke generatie bluesartiesten, registreerde Bob zestien overweldigende bluestracks. De tracks werden geregistreerd tijdens twaalf opnamesessies tussen 2018 en 2022, en zijn onversneden en onverbloemde bluessongs. Opgenomen in de Tempest Recording studio in Tempe Arizona, componeert Corritore een meesterlijk ingetogen productie, en dit in de necessiteit van een live optreden. De combinatie van Bob’s gerichte productiewerk en zijn expressieve “serve the song” harmonica-stijl is uiteraard een significante in de tracks. De vocalisten op deze set zijn onder meer Alabama Mike, soul/blues en gospel-icoon Johnny Rawls, Southern bluesman Bill “Howl-N-Madd” Perry, Sugaray Rayford, Diunna Greenleaf, Jimi “Primetime” Smith, Oscar Wilson, Bob Stroger, Francine Reed en Chicagoan Willie Buck. En zij worden begeleidt door een denderende ritmesectie. John Primer zet zijn stem en gitaarvirtuositeit in de openingstrack ‘Hiding Place’. Alabama Mike neemt de micro in handen voor ‘Squeeze Me Baby’, origineel van Eddie Burns, de soulballade ‘Somebody Stole My Love From Me’, ‘Work To Done’ en ‘Otis Spann’s Blues For Hippies’. Diunna Greenleaf zet haar stembanden onder ‘You Shocked Me’ en haar song ‘Sunny Day Friends’. Johnny Rawls vertolkt, het helaas actuele gospel en soulcaput ‘This World’s In A Bad Situation’. Jimi Primetime Smith neemt ons mee naar Chicago voor ‘Blinded’, net zoals Kid Ramos vocaal en gitaar-gewijs de West Coast song ‘Josephine’ inkleurt. Oscar Wilson tekent present voor Jimmy Reed’s slowblues ‘Blue Blue Water’. Het nummer ‘Train Fare’ is origineel van basgitaargigant Bob Stroger, hij is dan ook het best geplaatst om zijn nummer te vertolken. Francine Reed komt in de spotlights in het swingende ‘Don’t Need Your Permission’, net zoals Willie Buck ‘That Ain’t Enough’ omarmt. Primerime Smith is terug voor het fifties beïnvloede soulnummer ‘Soul Food’, net zoals Bill Perry (vocals/gitaar) ‘Back To The Crossroads’ voor zijn conto neemt. Het album ‘You Shocked Me’ is alweer een prachtige verzameling van diepe Southern bluessongs. Deze release is één lang uitgerekt hoogtepunt!

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..!

The album ‘You Shocked Me’ is another beautiful collection of deep Southern blues songs. This release is one long drawn out highlight!

Harmonica ace Bob Corritore once again puts together an all-star blues showcase of his amazing friends. The cream of today’s current crop of blues artists deliver 16 killer songs and electrifying performances on the VizzTone release ‘You Shocked Me’. Captured during 12 recording sessions between 2018 and 2022, these 16 hard-hitting tracks deliver pure, unvarnished blues of the highest order. Recorded at Tempest Recording in Tempe Arizona, Corritore’s masterfully understated production captures the urgency of a live performance and the finishing touch to make complete, memorable songs.

If Bob even has 5 minutes, he plays his harp. Waiting for the tour bus, in front of the hotel, at a pit stop in a gas station… Bob takes every opportunity to pull a harmonica out of his pocket and play some. What a lovely guy..!

– Philip Verhaege


Roots Music Report (August 14, 2022)

Four Stars

Blues harp whiz Bob Corritore returns to his “& Friends” format with familiar voices, reliable good-time energy and always savvy harmonica play.  Alabama Mike’s scorching delivery on “Squeeze Me Baby” stands out as does Francine Reed’s supercharged take on Mr. C’s “I Don’t Need Your Permission”.  Bassist Bob Stroger’s “Train Fare” has the flavor of a classic track from the Excello label and Diunna Greenleaf should shock the airwaves with her work on the title track.  The varied band line-ups are always solid.

– Duane Verh


Zicazic Magazine (France) (August 30, 2022)

Bob Corritore est incontestablement un des musiciens les plus actifs et les plus respectés de la scène blues américaine, d’autant plus qu’il n’avait que treize ans quand il a commencé à jouer de l’harmonica, faisant ses classes dans sa ville natale de Chicago en guettant les autres artistes sur Maxwell Street avant d’atteindre l’âge légal pour pouvoir entrer dans les clubs et jouer avec eux. Se liant d’amitié avec les plus grands artistes de blues avec lesquels il collaborera abondamment à la fin des seventies et pendant toutes les eighties, l’harmoniciste virtuose quittera la Windy City dès 1981 pour s’en aller vivre à Phoenix, Arizona, où il animera une émission toujours d’actualité sur KJZZ avant de créer en 1991 son propre club, le très réputé Rhythm Room, où se produit encore et toujours le gratin de la scène blues mondiale. Présent sur une centaine d’albums, Bob Corritore entamera une carrière solo en 1999 et produira à ce titre nombre d’ouvrages sur lesquels il invite ses nombreux amis, le tout dernier en date, « You Shocked Me », ayant été mis en boite entre 2018 et 2022 durant une douzaine de sessions dans les studios Tempest de Tempe, Arizona. La liste des invités a un petit quelque chose qui évoque un who’s who de la scène contemporaine avec des participants comme Bob Margolin, John Primer, Johnny Rawls, Anthony Geraci, Ben Levin, Brian Fahey, Kid Ramos, Sugaray Rayford, Bob Stroger, Alabama Mike, Diunna Greenleaf et nombre d’autres encore pour des morceaux qui ressemblent quant à eux à une anthologie du blues, chacun des chanteurs invités ayant à cœur d’amener ses propres créations ou encore, à l’occasion, de céder à quelques emprunts faits à Jimmie Reed ou encore Otis Spann. Au rayon des indispensables, on soulignera forcément « Hiding Place » avec John Primer, « Squeeze Me Baby », « Somebody Stole My Love From Me », « Work To Be Done » et « Blues For Hippies » avec Alabama Mike, « Josephine » avec Sugaray Rayford, « Train Fare » avec Bob Stroger, « Soul Food » avec Jimi “Primetime” Smith en enfin « Sunny Day Friends » et le tittle track, « You Shocked Me », sur lesquels on appréciera la présence de Diunna Greenleaf, ce qui n’enlève forcément rien à chacun des seize morceaux qui pourrait appartenir à une playlist idéale dont le seul point commun serait d’avoir un harmoniciste incroyable sur chaque piste. Si chaque album de Bob Corritore & Friends a quelque chose d’indispensable, celui-là ne déroge pas à la règle et pour s’en persuader encore un peu plus, il faudra encore attendre jusqu’au 9 septembre, date de sa sortie mondiale !


Me & Blues Blog (September 4, 2022)

After So Far’s acoustic bracket, along with Bob Margolin, Bob Corritore gives us another gem of blues music. You Shocked Me comes out on 09.09.22. Bob returns to play with his numerous friends and comes out a fresh, yet electrifying record. Right from the first notes and from their pleasant listening, you can feel the passion and taste of this group of musicians to play together. Corritore is a specialist in these projects. Blowing in the reins of his harmonica he manages, without conceding, to get into full tune with the singer on duty. A tailor who sews custom-made clothes. And then the Band. The various elements alternate with disarming versatility. Genuine talents that have made a point this time too. A unique show of the classic Blues. Thank you Bob…

– Gianfranco Piria


Chicago Blues Guide Review #1 (September 4, 2022)

Bluesman Bob Corritore might have made the break to Arizona in the early eighties, but this native Chicagoan has managed to keep his Midwestern mindset. Besides an aversion to ketchup on hot dogs, folks from the city of Big Shoulders are known for being loyal to their cohorts and extending an open door for whenever far-flung friends feel like dropping in.

This has been the case at Corritore’s Rhythm Room where a steady stream of visitors pops in to visit or gear up for a gig at this Phoenix bastion of blues music. Although Corritore is a busy club owner, an in-demand harp player, radio host and producer, he always finds time to hang out and jam with friends ranging from the late great Pinetop Perkins and Louisiana Red to present-day blues stars like John Primer, Lurrie Bell and so many others.

Luckily for blues fans, Corritore also has the foresight and Chicago street smarts to record the multitudes of jam sessions that he has orchestrated over the years. Corritore’s vast collection from his blues “vaults” have yielded a long string of superb albums that showcase the brightest and best in the business.

Corritore’s latest album, You Shocked Me, features a total of 16 electrifying tracks that were recorded at Tempe, Arizona’s Tempest Room recording studio. These sessions span from 2018 through 2022 and feature a wide range of big-name collaborations including Chicago-based bluesmen like Willie Buck, John Primer, Bob Stroger, and Oscar Wilson. But the well-traveled Corritore has also cast a wide net and captured blues talents who hail from all over the US of A.

Corritore’s nationwide blues connections include everyone from long-time collaborators Alabama Mike and Sugaray Rayford to Mississippians Johnny Rawls along with Bill Howl-N-Madd and Shy Perry. Other blues luminaries on You Shocked Me include Jimi “Primetime” Smith, Francine Reed, and Diunna Greenleaf.

The CD kicks off in fine fashion with John Primer doing his own “Hiding Place” and opening with a great riff that befits his position as someone who’s played alongside a venerable “who’s who” of the blues. Primer and Corritore are no strangers either. They’ve recorded three CDs together and with each release, their distinctive blend of old-school Chicago blues just keeps getting better. 91-year energizer bluesman Bob Stroger plays bass on this track and several others.

Alabama Mike is another of Corritore’s “go to” guys and his distinctive vocals are featured on four tracks on You Shocked Me. He comes on strong on the second song, “Squeeze Me Baby/” He also brings it home on “Somebody Stole My Love from Me,” “Work to Be Done” and “Blues for Hippies.”

Diunna Greenleaf does the honors on the title track and brings bona fide swagger and sass to shake things up on “You Shocked Me.” This tune was first recorded in 1958 by Tiny Topsy but Greenleaf puts her own spin on this high-voltage little number that has Corritore hopping and bopping with his lively harp work with Adrianna Marie on bass. Greenleaf also shines on her very own tune “Sunny Day Friends.”

Corritore makes the switch to a more mournful harmonica on “The World is in a Bad Situation.” This tune was penned by Mississippian Johnny Rawls who lends his smooth and soulful vocal stylings with a plea to “get down and pray” striking a hopeful note during these troubled times.

While Jimi “Primetime” Smith’s guitar work is showcased on many tracks, his vocals are front and center on “Soul Food” and “Blinded.” This track is followed by a jaunty “Josephine” with Sugaray Rayford at the helm on vocals. Busy Chicago bluesman, Oscar Wilson, has his turn on “Blue Blue Water” where his slow-groove delivery is pitch-perfect for this plaintive song.

Another highlight on You Shocked Me is “Train Fare.” On this tune, the ageless Bob Stroger is right on track as he punches his ticket with another hit. The action shifts over to “Atlanta’s Queen of the Blues” as Francine Reed’s powerful voice is on full display for “Don’t Need Your Permission.”

The Buck stops on the next song as Chicagoan Willie Buck takes center stage on “That Ain’t Enough.” Although Buck hails from Mississippi, he came to Chicago in the mid-fifties and made his mark on Maxwell Street. While still in Chicago, Corritore was a frequent presence on this fabled street and got his first paying gig as a member of Buck’s band.

The action moves down to Mississippi as Clarksdale’s own Bill “Howl-N-Madd” Perry sings and plays guitar on his “Back to the Crossroads” composition. He is joined by his daughter and frequent collaborator, Shy Perry, on keyboard bass.

Besides the slew of big-name blues headliners, You Shocked Me also features an incredible cast of musicians who rank as the best in the business. You’ve got Kid Ramos, Steady Rollin’” Bob Margolin and Johnny Main playing guitar on various tracks in addition to a stellar supporting cast who lend their talents to enrich and enhance each blues number.

You Shocked Me is the latest high-voltage release from Corritore’s vault of musical treasures. As per usual, he has managed to capture electrifying performances from blues treasures who come from every corner of the country. This isn’t the least bit shocking because this Chicago transplant has kept blues front and center whenever his talented friends happen to drop in.

– Robin Zimmerman


Rock & Blues Muse (September 8, 2022)

Harp rocker Bob Corritore gifts us all with an all-pro showcase of today’s finest blues artists on his new Vizztone Label Group/SWMAF record You Shocked Me.

The set comes out September 9th, 2022 and features 16 servings of pure, untainted blues goodness recorded between 2018 and 2022 with some current leading lights of the scene including Alabama Mike, John Primer, Diunna Greenleaf, Bill “Howl-N-Madd” Perry, Jimi “Primetime” Smith, Oscar Wilson, Johnny Rawls, Sugaray Rayford, Bob Stroger, Francine Reed, and Willie Buck.

Corritore captured and produced the sessions at Tempest Recording in Tempe, Arizona and did excellent, dedicated work putting down urgent, live-feeling takes of outstanding songs. His production and tight, to-the-point harmonica style are the common threads connecting these cuts and make You Shocked Me a long, sweet listen from end to end.

Born in Chicago in 1956, Bob Corritore has been in love with the blues since he first heard Muddy Waters on the radio when he was 12. It didn’t take long until he was playing harmonica and collecting blues albums. He cut his teeth sitting in on Maxwell Street until he was of legal age to play the bars and spent time hanging around harp masters like Big Walter Horton, Little Mack Simmons, Louis Myers, and Junior Wells.

By the late 70s, he was playing live and making records with many veteran musicians. He first stepped out as a solo artist in 1999. His music has been honored with a Keeping The Blues Alive Award, a Blues Music Award, a Living Blues Award, and a Blues 411 Jimi Award. He’s become a popular and charismatic presence in the blues world and any new material he puts out is guaranteed to be worth your listening time.

You Shocked Me jumps off with the shuffling beat of “Hiding Place” featuring Chicago bluesman John Primer on vocals and guitar. Primer worked with the bands of Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, and Magic Slim before going solo and becoming a prominent Windy City attraction. He adds his straight-up Chicago ways to this one and turns it into a February ice-melter. Corritore is a master of the Chicago sound and his lead and backup harp work here add tons of conviction and soul.

“Squeeze Me Baby” is primal and raw. It’s a bare-knuckle sort of blues that’s all sharp edges and desire. Alabama Mike dominates the vocal microphone on it and his high-toned, strident vocals drive the track as hard as it can go. Corritore shows his depth here, instinctively fitting into Mike’s vibe and making it his own. Mike’s vocal performance on this song is one of the many amazing moments Bob’s production extracted from the singers involved with You Shocked Me and truly represents the spirit of the blues.

Speaking of moments, one you’ll want to play over and over is the mighty Diunna Greenleaf’s romping, stomping star turn on the album’s title cut “You Shocked Me.” It’s the kind of syncopated dance floor filler that gave rise to rock and roll back in the day and Greenleaf’s bold vocal style sends it up into the sky. Here, Corritore contributes more melodic harmonica lines that are ideal for this type of tune but never loses that gorgeous, dirty tone of his. Skip this number at your own risk.

Sugaray Rayford shows all the way up on the galloping “Josephine.” Rayford has a magic touch with this style of jumping, vintage blues and his big, confident voice really makes this song happen. It’s the sound of the best party you’ve ever been invited to.

Greatness is liberally deployed throughout You Shocked Me and the liveness of it all makes this a top choice to blow the dust out of your ears and get them reset on what matters. Can’t-miss tracks are everywhere and include “The World’s In A Bad Situation” featuring Johnny Rawls and “Don’t Need Your Permission” showing off Francine Reed. Bob Corritore is absolutely the man of the hour for facilitating a record like this. Live blues is what this planet needs. Come get some.

– Mike O’Cull


Blues Roadhouse (September 21, 2022)

Sometimes, when you want to hear some blues, you want to hear some blues.

That’s when musicians like harpmeister Bob Corritore and some of his old-school friends come in handy. Corritore has spent decades recording some of the best traditional blues artists, and often pulls those sides from his copious musical vaults to produce excellent albums.

For his latest release, “You Shocked Me,” Corritore put together the best of 12 recording sessions between 2018 and 2022, featuring 10 stalwart blues talents on 17 tracks (Yes, 17 songs on a CD! Too often, CDs don’t have much more music than two sides of an LP).

Those stalwart blues talents include vocalists Alabama Mike (with four songs), John PrimerJohnny RawlsBill “Howl-N-Madd” PerrySugaRay RayfordDiunna GreenleafJimi “Primetime” SmithOscar WilsonBob StrogerFrancine Reed, and Willie Buck.

Corritore underlines the music of all these fine artists with his considerable harp talents, blending magically into every song and style.

The album kicks off with John Primer’s tough “Hiding Place,” with fierce guitar and deep-blue vocals. That’s followed by another scorcher, “Squeeze Me Baby,” from Alabama Mike. The title track follows, a bluesy explosion from a supercharged vocal by Diunna Greanleaf.

Johhny Rawls offers a soulful take on the socially prescient “The World’s In A Bad Situation,” and a couple of softer blues offer a respite from the raw toughness on many tracks: “That Ain’t Enough” by Willie Buck and “Blue Blue Water,” a plaintive slow blues from Oscar Wilson a,re good examples.

One of my favorites is a lyrical play on the “down at the crossroads” and hellhound on my trail” themes: “Back to the Crossroads” from Bill “Howl-N-Madd” Perry turns it all around as he hunts for relief — “Goin’ back to the crossroads to try to reverse my deal, you can never be happy when hellhounds are on your heels….”

That’s just a handful of the fine tracks included here. There’s more of the same throughout. Gritty blues, soulful vocals, tough music-making all around.

The words “real deal” are overused to the point of being trite — but I think they apply here. If this isn’t a satisfying package of real-deal blues, I don’t know what is.

– Jim White


Blues Blast Magazine (September 22, 2022)

Fans of old-school blues have had more reasons than heaping love on Bob Corritore than for his skill as a harp player. The Rhythm Room in Phoenix, Ariz., he’s sharing its stage with top talent for close to 30 years while recording the performances and trips to the studio with them, too. And he’s been serving up a treat for the ears in the past four years, releasing compilations of those efforts.

Featuring vocals from John Primer, Alabama Mike, Diunna Greenleaf, Johnny Rawls, Jimi “Primetime” Smith, Sugaray Rayford, Oscar Wilson, Bob Stroger, Francine Reed, Willie Buck and Bill “Howl-n-Madd” Perry, this disc – the fifth in the series – might very well be the best yet.

The Chicago native dipped deep into his archives for the four previous efforts – Don’t Let the Devil RideDo the Hip-Shake Baby!Spider in My Stew and Down Home Blues Revue. But this one is decidedly different. All of the material was captured between 2018 and 2022 at Tempest Studios in neighboring Tempe with Corritore weaving the folks from diverse disciplines together through his masterful work on the reeds and an in-your-face attitude in the control room.

The list of backing musicians is just as impressive as the star-studded roster of vocalists. The roster includes Bob Margolin, Kid Ramos, Johnny Main, L.A. Jones, Patrick Skog and Johnny Rapp (guitars), Doug James (sax), Fred Kaplan, Ben Levin, Anthony Geraci and Shea Marshall (keys) with Tony Tomlinson, Yahni Riley, Troy Sandow, Adrianna Marie, Mike Hightower, Blake Watson and Shy Perry on bass and Wes Starr, Allen West, Marty Dotson, Brian Fahey and Andrew Guterman on drums and Celia King and Eboni McDonald providing backing vocals.

Primer opens the action with a sprightly, loping cover of his “Hiding Place.” His voice has never sounded better, and his extended six-string solo rocks. Bay Area fixture Alabama Mike contributes four tunes to this set, beginning with a take on Eddie Burns’ “Squeeze Me Baby,” which serves up plenty of old-school appeal thanks to his strong tenor and Corritore’s lilting accompaniment before yielding to Greenleaf for a cover of “You Shocked Me,” a 1958 hit for R&B/blues shouter Tiny Topsy, on which Margolin and Jones deliver a catchy mid-tune solo.

Rawls takes command for a smooth take on his gospel-fueled complaint, “The World’s in a Bad Situation,” before giving way to Alabama Mike for an extended take on Sammy Lewis’ 1977 burner, “Somebody Stole My Love from Me.” The beat quickens but the theme remains dark for Primetime’s “Blinded” Primetime and Sugaray’s Latin-flavored “Josephine,” both of which deal with problem ladies and the latter features high-end runs from Corritore with vocal accents from Rayford to match.

The mood quiets as Oscar delivers the sweetest take on Jimmy Reed’s “Blue Blue Water” you’ll ever hear then gives way to nonagenarian Stroger who shines on the self-penned “Train Fare.” Corritore comes to the fore on harp and Ramos on six-string as Reed belts out his original, “Don’t Need Your Permission,” then gives way to Buck, who dips into his own catalog for the deep blue ballad, “That Ain’t Enough,” and Primetime powers through “Soul Food,” a pleaser first served up by Rex Garvin & the Mighty Cravers in 1963, aided by James.

Perry’s Delta-flavored “Back to the Crossroads” follows before two Alabama Mike numbers – Paul Perryman’s Work to Be Done” and Otis Spann’s “Blues for Hippies” – bookend Diunna’s original, “Happy Day Friends,” to close.

Strongly recommended. Don’t be surprised when this one gets strong consideration when the next awards season comes around!

– Marty Gunther


La Hora de Blues (Spain) (September 2022)

ESSENTIAL

Once again Bob Corritore hits the nail with the release of this superb album with sixteen impressive tracks. These songs come from twelve recording sessions between 2018 and 2022 and belong to Corritore’s highly appreciated personal archive. The sessions were recorded at Tempest Recording in Tempe, Arizona and were produced and supervised by Bob Corritore himself who managed to create and give to them all the feeling and atmosphere of Chicago and swamp blues like if there were played live during the fifties, sixties and seventies.

Some of the selected artists to complete the album were singers Alabama Mike, Johnny Rawls, Diunna Greenleaf, Sugaray Rayford… guitar players like John Primer, Kid Ramos, Bob Margolin, Jimi Primetime Smith… piano and keyboard players like Fred Kaplan, Anthony Geraci, Ben Levin… bass players like Bob Stroger, Tony Tomlinson, Adrianna Marie… drummers like Wes Starr, Marty Dodson, Allen West… or Doug James’ sax among many others, without forgetting Bob Corritore on harmonica as master of ceremonies. You will find more than thirty-six musicians who play old Chicago blues with an intense and passionate feeling, all giving the best of themselves with an unusual strength and incredible delivery.

For those of us who deeply love old time Chicago blues, this album becomes a valuable treasure, because it covers the best one and only Windy City blues, displayed with an impressive texture and flavor. Bravo for Bob Corritore and Vizztone!!

– Vicente Zumel


ABS (France) (September 2022)

Issue 79

Bob Corritore n’a pas attendu Facebook pour se faire des amis ! Depuis plusieurs décennies maintenant, il reçoit ses potes musiciens dans son club à Phoenix, Arizona, dans ses émissions de radio, joue et enregistre avec eux. Pourquoi une telle affection de tous ces musiciens sans exception pour ce passionné de la note bleue ? Je crois que la réponse tient en un mot : « respect ». Outre ses talents d’harmoniciste et de producteur, il sait se mettre à la disposition des autres, les écouter et leur offrir le meilleur à chaque fois. Je regarde ma discothèque en écrivant ces quelques lignes et je me rends compte que je ne pourrais me séparer d’aucun des disques que Bob m’a envoyés depuis vingt ans. Chaque musicien enregistré bénéficie à chaque fois du meilleur en terme de son et d’accompagnement. Pour lui, qu’il s’agisse d’une légende du blues comme Robert Lockwood Jr ou du peu connu Chico Chism, chacun mérite la même attention. Vous l’aurez compris, au-delà du « professionnel », j’estime énormément le bonhomme. Tout cela n’empêche pas de se marrer, surtout quand le répertoire s’y prête. De ce point de vue, cet album est un pur bonheur. Délectez-vous de Squeeze My Baby, You Shoked Me et Sunny Day Friends (dans lesquels brille Diunna Greeleaf), Don’t Need Your Permission (avec la voix incomparable de Francine Reed), ou Blues For Hippies ! Difficile de faire un choix tant les 16 faces de ce cd sont de qualité. L’ensemble a été enregistré dans le Tempest Recording Studio en Arizona entre 2018 et 2022. Outre les musiciens présents, parmi lesquels Shy Perry, Fred Kaplan, Kid Ramos, John Primer, Bob “Steady Rolin’” Margolin, Ben Levin, Johnny Main (pour n’en nommer que quelques-uns), on retrouve des amis de longue date au chant : les deux chanteuses précédemment citées (Diunna Greenleaf et Francine Reed), Alabama Mike, Johnny Rawls, Bill “Howl-N-Madd” Perry, Sugaray Rayford, Jimi “Primetime” Smith, Oscar Wilson, Bob Stroger et Willie Buck. Quant à Bob Corritore, en Maître de Cérémonie, il est à l’harmonica sur l’ensemble des faces. La pochette de cet excellent cd, façon comix, a le look aussi soigné que celui de son producteur et les artistes ont, eux aussi, la banane ! Jusque-là, rien d’anormal.

– Marcel Bénédit


Blues And Soul Music Factory (Japan) (September 2022)

名ハーピスト、ボブ・コリトーの最新作は、好評を博した前作『ダウン・ホーム・ブルース・レヴュー』の続編にあたる、2018~2022年のコロナ過に録音された最新セッションの中から編集されたブルースファン垂涎のアルバム。充実のゲストヴォーカルには、ジョン・プライマー、ジョニー・ロウルズ、アラバマ・マイク、ディアナ・グリーンリーフ、ウィリー・バック、オスカー・ウィルソン、ジミ・プライムタイム・スミス、ビル・ハウリンマッド・ペリーなど、いつもながらにメジャーからマニアックなブルースマンまで多数参加。

★Bob Corritore(ボブ・コリトー)
ボブ・コリトーは、1956年シカゴ出身。12歳でハーモニカを手にし、ティーンの頃からマディ・ウォーターズを始め、ハウリン・ウルフなど本物のブルースマンを直に見て技術を磨いてゆく。70年代の終わりからはプロとして、テイル・ドラッガー、ルイス・マイヤーズ、エディ・テイラーらのバンドに参加。81年にはアリゾナ州フェニックスに移りルイジアナ・レッドのバンドに約1年間参加。レッドがヨーロッパに移ったのをきっかけに、ビッグ・ピート・ピアソンのバンドに参加。多くのミュージシャンと親交を深め、91年には地元にクラブ《リズム・ルーム》をオープン。そこを拠点にボ・ディドリー、リトル・ミルトン、ジミー・ロジャース、パイントップ・パーキンスなど多くの著名なミュージシャンを招きライブ、レコーディングを行う。99年、それらを集めた初のアルバム『All-Star Blues Sessions』をハイトーンからリリース。その後は今まで録りためてきた数多くのアーティストとのセッションを『フォロム・ザ・ヴォルツ』シリーズとしてコンスタントにリリースし、ブルース・ミュージック・アワードなど数多くの賞を獲得している。

★関連商品


Chicago Blues Guide Review #2 (October 2022)

Arizona-based harp player/club owner/producer Bob Corritore has released four stellar compilation CDs lately but outdoes himself with this 16-track effort that was recorded between 2018 and 2022 and features appearances from John Primer, Alabama Mike, Diunna Greenleaf, Johnny Rawls, Jimi “Primetime” Smith, Sugaray Rayford, Oscar Wilson, Bob Stroger, Francine Reed, Willie Buck and Bill “Howl-n-Madd” Perry on vocals.

Corritore’s runs on the reeds serve as the tie that binds across multiple blues stylings with additional backing from guitarists Bob Margolin, Kid Ramos, Johnny Main and L.A. Jones, keyboard players Fred Kaplan, Ben Levin and Anthony Geraci and several more major talents.

The high points abound beginning with Primer’s “Hiding Place.” You’ll also love Squeeze Me Baby,” “You Shocked Me,” “The World’s in a Bad Situation,” “Blinded,” “Josephine,” “Train Fare,” “Don’t Need Your Permission,” “Back to the Crossroads” “Happy Day Friends” and “Blues for Hippies.”

– Marty Gunther


Big City Blues (October 2022)

Harmonica ace Bob Corritore has a lot of friends! (and that’s not even referring to Facebook).

The harmonica ace, based in Phoenix, AZ, has accolades galore, including a Blues Music Award and multiple nominations, and a Grammy nomination. During his decades in Phoenix he has collaborated with innumerable blues artists, many as they passed through the city to play at his own venue, The Rhythm Room. He has released his own praised albums, as well as specific endeavors with Henry Gray, John Primer, Kid Ramos, and Louisiana Red.

Obviously, though, Corritore enjoys releasing compilations from his extensive recorded archive; by my count, this is his ninth edition of “Bob Corritore & Friends.” All the tracks on “You Shocked Me” were recorded between 2018 and 2022. The names of no less than thirty-seven musician friends appear on this album. Some names you will readily recognize – Primer, Ramos, Johnny Rawls, Sugaray Rayford – others may be new to you. Corritore has chosen well, since all of the sixteen tracks, which encompass more than an hour, are distinguished by adept playing.

Corritore’s harmonica is present on every track, but he is clearly no egomaniac; his playing is always supportive of the song and other musicians rather than a flamboyant display of his own formidable talent. Stellar musicians such as guitarists Primer, Ramos, and Bob Margolin and pianists Fred Kaplan and Anthony Geraci ply their gifts on the set of tunes, which adher mainly to a basic twelve-bar, electric Chicago-style blues format, with enough variation never to become monotonous.

Not to be shortchanged is the singing. Of the dozen vocalists, two represent the distaff side of the blues: award-winning Texas blueswoman Diunna Greenleaf distinguishes herself on the shuffle “Sunny Day Friends” and the album’s title track, and Frnacine Reed does equally well on “Don’t Need Your Permission,” a romp spurred by Corritore’s wailing harp and the dual guitars of Ramos and Johnny Main. That same guitar pair mesh well on “Josephine,” fronted by Sugaray’s powerful vocal.

Oscar Wilson, lead singer of The Cash Box Kings, croons notably on the slow blues “Blue Blue Water,” Corritore dealing out some of his best licks over the laconic guitars of Margolin and Jimi Primetime Smith. It’s a number whose brevity is a disappointment; give us more! Until we’re jolted into pleasure by the ensuing upbeat “Train Fare,” singing done by nonagenarian legendary bassist Bob Stroger. Also worthy of accolades is Alabama Mike, who sings on four tracks, which range from gut-bucket gritty (“Squeeze Me Baby”) to pensive (“Somebody Stole My Love From Me”) to lilting and perky (“Blues For Hippies,” with Kaplan on tinkling piano).

The extensive array of blues performers should be grateful that they have such a good friend as Bob Corritore, who presents them to us in top form.

– Steve Daniels


Goldmine Magazine (November 11, 2022)

Bob Corritore stakes his claim as The King Of Harmonica. You Shocked Me (VizzTone/SWMAF), by Bob Corritore & Friends, is the latest in a stunning series of blues jams between producer/harmonicat Corritore and his blues-drenched friends. This one has 16 such gem tracks from 12 Arizona sessions spanning 2018 to 2022. Alabama Mike sings four. Johnny Rawls adds his signature gospel flair. Howl-N-Madd Perry, Sugaray Rayford, Red Hot Mama Diunna Greanleaf, Primetime Smith, Oscar Wilson, Bob Stroger, Francine Reed and Willie Buck all add their charismatic soulful voices to the party. Corritore’s tape vaults run deep so we can expect more from this blues standard-bearer.