ABS Magazine (France)
All Music Guide / Barnes & Noble
American Blues News
The Arizona Republic
Beach Music 45
Big City Blues Review
Billtown Blue Notes
Black Highway (Italy)
Block Review (Netherlands)
Blogcritics Music #1
Blogcritics Music #2
The Bluegrass Special: Beyond The Blues
Blue Ink / Blues Lovers United of San Diego
Blues & Rhythm
Blues Again (France)
Blues Art Studio
Blues Blast Magazine #1
Blues Blast Magazine #2
Blues Finland (Finland)
Blues In Britain
Blues In The Northwest
Blues In The South (UK)
Blues Magazine (Netherlands)
Blues Magazine Nº54
Blues News (Germany)
Blues On Stage
Blues Report Blues CD Spotlight
Blues Society of Tulsa
Blues Society of Western Pennsylvania
Crop Blues (France)
Crossroad Blues Society
Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange
IL Blues (Italy)
In A Blue Mood
Juke Joint Blues & Soul (France)
Juke Joint Soul
La Hora Del Blues (Spain)
Long Island Blues Society
The Monk’s Jazz and Blues
Nashville Blues Society
Nightflying News of Record
Pittsburgh Post Gazette / Blue Notes
Red Hot Rock (Sweden)
Rock and Blues Music Examiner
Rock N Roll Revue (France)
Rock Times (Germany)
Roots Highway (Italy)
Sound Guardian (Croatia)
Two J Blues (Poland)
Virus De Blues (France)
Washington Blues Society Bluesletter
WFHB / Cathi’s Blues Reviews
Wichita Blues Society
DistritoJazz.com (Spain) (December 16, 2011)
¡Vaya par de cracks están hechos Dave Riley y Bob Corritore!.
El cantante y guitarrista Dave Riley, nació en Hattiesburgh, Mississippi y desde muy pequeño aprendió a cantar gospel y en los años noventa trabajó con Sam Carr, Frank Frost y John Weston.
Cuando Dave se encontró y unió sus fuerzas hace unos pocos años con el armonicista, productor, dj, empresario… etc. Bob Corritore, absolutamente nadie, podía imaginar que este dúo se convertiría en uno de los reyes indiscutibles de un nuevo sonido, mezcla del Mississippi sound y el Chicago blues.
Este disco es una maravillosa muestra de lo que estoy diciendo, donde Bob y Dave se compenetran a las mil maravillas en los diez temas que se incluyen, de estilo down-home amplificado, marca de la casa.
Siete de ellos son composiciones del propio Dave Riley, más otros tres de Frank Frost, John Weston y Fred James.
Para la grabación del disco ambos músicos han contado con la participación y la complicidad de algunos amigos, entre los cuales cabe citar al propio hijo de Dave Riley, Dave Riley Jr. al bajo y también el pianista Henry Grey o el guitarrista Chris James entre otros.
– Vicente Zumel
Virus De Blues (France) (Fall 2010)
Suite logique du “Travelin The Dirt Road” paru en Novembre 2007, premier CD de ce duo qui était fait pour se rencontrer, “Lucky To Be Living” vient prouver que la distance qui sépare le torride désert d’Arizona aux boues saumâtres du Mississippi ne pourrait briser l’amitié qui lit Dave Riley à Bob Corritore…
Si le premier album du duo fortement épaulé par foule de musicien fut largement récompensé par divers Awards Internationaux sur la planète bleue, ce nouvel effort pourrait bien suivre le même chemin. La recette parait pourtant si simple : de blues du Delta, un point c’est tout ! Adieu fioritures qui ont grandies avec le blues, exit les overdubs trop souvent utilisés par la jeune (et néanmoins talentueuse le plus souvent) génération. Adieu Chicago, Detroit, New Orleans ou San Francisco, Bonjour MISSISSIPPI ! Il n’est pas si grand ce petit bout de terrain planqué de l’autre côté de la grande mare, entre Clarksdale et Jackson qui a vu naître le blues. Il est né de pères et de mères inconnues, et si Dave Riley en revendique naturellement la filiation, Bob Corritore en est devenu un Parrain des plus légitimes.
On peut le certifier sans craintes, la relation musicale qui soude les deux leaders est avant tout amicale pour ne pas dire fraternelle. Si l’on rajoute quelques “guests” comme le pianiste Henry Gray ou les “amis proches” du Rhythm Room All Stars, on imagine difficilement un résultat différent de l’excellence.
Sur les dix pistes du CD dont quatre compos personnelles de Riley, le blues est ici joué de la façon la plus âpre, la plus grasse et la plus rugueuse qui soient, les protagonistes de l’affaire passant tour à tour de la main de fer au gant de velours, à la façon de gourous résolus à nous faire prêter serment de façon irrémédiable à La Cause du Blues. L’ensemble est d’une incroyable cohésion, pour preuve le rire généreux et complice de Riley à l’endroit de Corritore sur Back Down The Dirt Road. L’album débute par un vibrant hommage du Mississippien à ses amis du groupe du Delta, les JERRY ROLL KING, formé par Franck Frost (1936-1999), qu’il affecte du quolibet de “meilleur ami”, John Weston (1927-2005) et Sam Carr (1926-2009) qui a malheureusement rejoint les deux autres au Père Eternel.
Entre l’élégance légendaire de Bob Corritore et la rugosité sudiste de Dave Riley, on assiste à de véritables joutes harmoniques, l’harmonica du premier répondant à la guitare du second de façon aussi naturelle que déroutante. Quoi qu’il en soit, si les nos larrons sont “Chanceux de Vivre” cette aventure, les acquéreurs de ce CD seront pour leur part “Heureux de Partager” ces Tranches de Blues dans la pure tradition des Juke Joints à l’américaine…
– Xavier Boulanger
Blues In The South (UK) (July 2010)
The second set from this top-notch duo of Mississippi singer and guitarist Dave Riley and long-time harmonica ace/producer/ tireless promoter/ label owner/ all-round blues good guy Bob Corritore is probably going to be one of my contenders for ‘Album Of The Year’. There is nothing flashy or spectacular about it, but Dave and Bob draw on their familiarity with Mississippi outfit The Jelly Roll Kings (with whom Dave began his blues career) for their inspiration. People like veteran pianist Henry Gray and guitarist Chris James help out with significant contributions, but the focus remains on Dave’s deep, rich vocals and rhythmic guitar work, backed by Bob’s Walter Horton styled harp blowing (Horton was one of Bob’s original mentors) and suitable rhythm accompaniments where appropriate. The material is a mixture of originals – interestingly with some subtle gospel influences in places – and borrowings from Frank Frost, John ‘So Blue’ Weston and a Fred James number Dave first recorded years ago, but everything combines to form a coherent, down-home Mississippi whole. Albums like this don’t come along often these days, and when they do, they’re not usually as good as this!
– Norman Darwen
Long Island Blues Society (June 13, 2010)
Dave Riley has the blues as a birthright straight from Hattiesburg , MS which has then been carried through Chicago ’s Westside, time in ‘ Nam and back to the Delta where Riley was in the Jelly Roll Kings in the 90s. Bob Corritore is the anchor of the Phoenix blues world from behind his microphone on KJZZ, as owner of the iconoclastic Rhythm Room and as a prolific harp player too. Together, they crank out some downhome, dirty and scratchy, to the core and from the heart blues in a primarily Delta format. Drums, piano and bass come from the roster of guests including Dave’s son Dave Jr., Henry Gray and Chris James. A good timing, real blues disk is the result and it’s full of what’s good for you.
– Doc Blues
Blues Society of Western Pennsylvania (April 6, 2010)
Let me start of by saying that if you’re a fan of Mississippi and Chicago style blues then this CD should satisfy your cravings quite easily. Dave Riley’s guitar and throaty Sam Myers/Muddy Waters type vocals along with Bob Corritore’s haunting harmonica tone, work together on this CD very well. From the opening track Jelly Roll King to Sharecropper Blues all 10 tracks on this CD deliver the goods. Riley and Corritone pay homage to the Mississippi delta and the gritty Chicago juke joints with both seasoned musicianship and fresh vigor. Blue Witch Records has done well for blues lovers. Produced by Bob Corritore, the arrangements are solid, the multiple backup band musicians are excellent and both Riley and Corritore can flat out play. Would I recommend this CD? …the answer is… it’s already in my iPod!Let me start of by saying that if you’re a fan of Mississippi and Chicago style blues then this CD should satisfy your cravings quite easily. Dave Riley’s guitar and throaty Sam Myers/Muddy Waters type vocals along with Bob Corritore’s haunting harmonica tone, work together on this CD very well. From the opening track Jelly Roll King to Sharecropper Blues all 10 tracks on this CD deliver the goods. Riley and Corritone pay homage to the Mississippi delta and the gritty Chicago juke joints with both seasoned musicianship and fresh vigor. Blue Witch Records has done well for blues lovers. Produced by Bob Corritore, the arrangements are solid, the multiple backup band musicians are excellent and both Riley and Corritore can flat out play. Would I recommend this CD? …the answer is… it’s already in my iPod!
– John “Johnny Rooster” Kunzwiler
Block Review (Netherlands) (April 2010)
Zoalselders in deze Block valt te lezen, is eind September drummer Sam Carr overleden. Ik vond het in eerste instantie nogal bijzonder dat in het eerste nummer van deze eerder dit jaar opgenomen cd over hem in de verleden tijd wordt gezongen.
‘Sam Carr, he was a Jelly Roll King.’ Maar de verkelaring hiervoor ligt in het feit dat het duo Riley & Corritore op Hun nieuwe album de sound van Frank Frost’s Jelly Roll Kings wil doen herleven. Sam Carr legde daarvoor met zijn simpele, maar zeer doeltreffende drumwerk de basis. De openingstrack is Frost’s ‘Jelly Roll King.’ Carr was al bandlid bij Frost toen het origineel werd opgenomen. Het is Riley (voc/gtr) en Corritore (hca) behoorlijk goed gelukt om de feel van de oorspronkelijke Kings te doen herleven. Naast nog drie composites van Frank Frost, waarvan ‘Ride With Your Daddy Tonight’, het meest bekend is, bevat deze cd vier nummers van Riley die dezelfde sfeer uitademen.
Een rijtje gasten, onder wie pianist Henry Gray, levert een bijdrage aan dit album. Maar een drummer van het kaliber Sam Carr hebben ze toch niet kunnen vinden.
Red Hot Rock (Sweden) (April 2010)
Jag har sett Dave Riley ett par gänger på Arkansas Blues & Heritage Festival utan att bli allitör imperonad. Hans lite tungrodda Chicago-still har alltid verkat lite tilligjord, lite på låstas. Desto bättre att den här plattan delvis satte Mina fördomar på skam! Lucky To Be Living innehåller faktiskt en hel del bra akustisk och elektrisk blues. Riley & Corritore gräver bland anat I Frank Frosts låtskatt, arrangerar om och skapar fräscha versioner av “Lucky To Be Living“, “Jelly Roll King“ och “Ride With Your Daddy Tonight“.
Corritores munspelande är dessutom oerhört smakfullt plattan igenom Det man kan kritisera, förutom en stundtals frapperande brist på säregenhet, är kanske att duon tar för många säkra steg, lutar sig för mycket på tidigare samarbetspartners och välkända vändningar. En bra, men lite tråkig bluesplatta.
– Peter Seander
Crop Blues (France) (April 2010)
Je ne vais pas cracher dans la soupe, c’est un album auquel, j’ai eu du mal d’accrocher. Mauvaises conditions, pas la motivation, je pourrais trouver tout autre chose. Enfin, je décide quand même d’écouter ce disque dans de meilleures conditions. Et j’avoue, que c’êtait une grave erreur de faire la moue devant cet enregistrement. Ce duo qui existe depuis 5 ans, vous fait profiter de son amour du blues. Rien n’est laissé au hassard, c’est du grand Chicago blues. Dans cet album, c’est une vie de bluesman qui EST passée au crible, distillée au son de la gratte et de l’harmonica. Clin d’oeil également àun autre grand nom, celui de Frank Frost, disparu en 1999, puisque ce duo complice reprend certains de sees textes. Fermez les yeux, grimpez dans lepremier yellow cab dispo et laissez vous guider dans les rues de Chicago, au son de Dave et Bob. Ce son imitable de cette City qui en a vu du blueseux, dans ses salles et ses rues. C’est une Anne, Messieurs, Dames! Et, ils sont là pour la perpétuer! Chapeau bas!
Sound Guardian (Croatia) (April 2010)
U ove naše prostore album Lucky To Be Living – Dave Rileyja & Bob Corritorea došao je ciljano zaslugom fantasticne Betsie Brown, koja je glavna promotorica promotorske kuce Blind Raccoon iz Memphisa. Ovaj album je objavljen je pod okriljem Blue Witch Records dok je promociju istog preuzela promotorska kuca Blind Racccoon. Sam album izvrstan je dokumet spajanja tradicionalizma i modernih blues trendova. Procitajte u nastavku zašto.
Album Lucky To Be Living vec samim svojim sadržajem otkriva nam uvid u ogromnu i prebogatu baštinu bluesa. Sam album izuzetna je pjesmarica blues pjesma, sjajno prezentiranih i izvedenih od strane ovog osobitog blues dvojca uz pridružene im glazbenike. Pa tako na albumu uz Dave Rileyja – gitara i vokal i Bob Corritorea na usnjaku tu su i: Henry Gray – piano, Chris James – gitara, Dave ‘Yahni’ Riley, Jr. i Patrick Rynnn basu, Tom Coulson, Eddie Kobek i Frank Rossi na bubnjevima.
Njihova prezentacija svojom kvalitetom mora osvojiti svakog ozbiljnijeg poklonika bluesa. Teško je uopce pisati i dati tocnu kvalifikaciju albuma, buduci da se radi o materijalima koji u svakom svom segmentu traži svekoliku pozornost i usmjerenost ka ogromnom i raznolikom bogatstvu blues glazbe.
Sve te vrijednosti valja percipirati i shvatiti, kao nešto što ce svakako pomaknuti Vaše poimanje tradicionalnog bluesa. Stoga nije cudo da ovaj blues dvojac u svakom svom
segmentu prezentacije bluesa zraci izuzetnim feelingom i kompletnim ugodajem toliko bitnim kada je u pitanju blues.
(Klikni na fotografiju za uvecani prikaz) S druge pak strane i Dave i Bob vec se dugi niz godina nalaze u svemu što je vezao uz blues, bilo da se radi o direktnom izvodenju ovog glazbenog stila, produkciji ili pak o njegovoj promociji ili radijskoj prezentaciji. Dakle, daje se zakljuciti da oni jednostavno žive blues i blues je njihov život.
Njihova suradnja traje vec više od pet godina i svakim danom njihova osobna samostalnost obostrano jaca u njihovoj j suradnji. Interesantno zar ne?! Dave Riley nam dolazi iz Hattiesburga, Mississippi dok Bob svoje korjene vuce iz Chicagoa pa sudar ove dvije razlicitosti: tradcije i modernizma plijeni svojom dijametralnom suprotnošcu. Njih dvojica dobro su se snašli u Chicagou, gdje djeluju vec duži niz godina i to vrlo uspješno na obostrano zadovoljstvo.
Pišuci o albumu Lucky To Be Living – Dave Rileyja & Bob Corritorea jednostavno sam uvidio koliko je tanka ta linija izmedu lošeg, dobrog, odlicnog i izvrsnog. Tu se zaista radi o nijansama, koje valoriziraju odredeni glazbeni uradak. Dave Riley i Bob Corritore su dobro ucvrstili svoju kategoriju odlicnog albuma sa svim predispozicijama ka izvrsnom.
– Mladen Loncar
Blues Again (France) (April 2010)
Sur ce coup-là, IL NE s’agit plus de flânocher. Voil cinq ans que Dave Riley et Bob Corritore débroussaillent ensemble les sentiers du blues. Ils arrachent tout sans ciller,
les mauvaises herbes, les belles fleurs, empilent de gros tas de branches et y mettent le feu, même si la Terre reste collée aux racines. A la fin, les visiteurs de passage sont là, éberlués, à se repaître de leur incendie mi rural, mi-urbain, attisé par les traditions ancestrales. Sur des bases simplistes, mais tellement efficaces, ils marient jusqu’ à l’extase la voix éraillée de Dave, le son à peine dégauchi de sa guitare Kay et les cris stridents de l’harmonica de Bob. Ce-demier ne jure que par le South Side de Chicago, quand son compère a germé dans le limon du Mississippi. Et ils y vont comme au premier matin du monde ! Quatre morceaux ont été composés pour la circonstance, les six autres étant des reprises enfiévrées de pièces classiques signées Frank Frost, John Weston, Fred James. Les douze mesures standard se parent des jolies teintes d’autrefois, revêtues cependant d’un son moderne et puissant. Aucune faiblesse, l’emotion degouline de partout, reinforcée par l’osmose saisissante entre les deux potes et leur rythmique implacable. A n’en pas douter, cet opus de Riley et Corritore donnera une méchante claque à tous les fondus du blues séculaire, un brin abrupt, version canal historique.
– Max Mercier
Blues News (Germany) (April 2010)
Dave Riley und Bob Corritore sorgen in den US-Bluesszene für reichlich Aufsehen, ihr Debüt-Album „Travelin’ The Dirt Road“ wurd in der Rubrik „bestes akustisches Album“ im vergangenen Jahr für einen Blues Music Award nominiert. „Lucky To Be Living“ ist von ähnlichem Kaliber, wobei der Plattentitel zusätzlich eine gewisse Bedeutung hat. Riley (Gesang, Gitarre) und Corritore (Harp) spielen Songs von Fred James, John Weston und Frank Frost, darunter als Opener „Jelly Roll King“. Von all den Musikem, die Darin namentlich erwähnt werden, lebt nur noch Sam Carr. Die ver von Dave Riley geschriebenen Nummern fügen sich blendend in Konzept des Albums ein, den traditionellen Chicago-und Mississippi-Blues nahmen die beiden mit kompletter Band auf. Im Studio dabei waren Henry Gray (Piano), Chris James (Gitarre) und andere. Abgerundet wird das vorzügliche, aber mit vei zu kurzer Spieldauer ausgestattete Album durch Down-Home-Blues erster Güte: Zwei Titel spielten die Protagonisten als Duo ein. Dave Rileys Gesang steht übrigens ganz in der Tradition von Frank Frost, Lazy Lester und anderen Vertretern des rauen, ursprünglichen Mississippi-Blues. Wer den mag, wird an „Lucky To Be Living“ seine wahre Freuse haben. (df)
Blues Society of Tulsa (April 2010)
Dave and Bob have been paired together five years creating a tight band playing a hybrid of Chicago and delta style blues. Fans who have seen them at the Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival will not be dissapointed.
Roots Highway (Italy) (March 19, 2010)
Dave Riley/Bob Corritore
Non solo Chicago blues a soffiare in questa collaborazione fra Dave Riley, chitarrista e ottima voce, e Bob Corritore, armonica e soprattutto grande ambasciatore e dj nella windy city. Lucky to be Living è un buon esempio di blues elettrico che dagli standard urbani si muove verso le sue radici nel Mississipi.
Black Highway (Italy) (March 2010)
Dave Riley ha una voce che fa tremare le corde del cuore prima ancora di quelle della sua chitarra, Bob Corritore lavora tanto di armonica quanto dietro le quinte del blues da una vita. L’incontro del ragazzo bianco di Chicago (che non tradisce le origini italiane nel cognome) col country boy nero (immigrato al momento giusto nella Wind City) non può che far scaturire questo discreto gioiellino che è Lucky To Be Living. A dire il vero questo è il secondo album della coppia che pur da tempo ha percorso anche strade diverse, ma (a quanto pare) nella stessa direzione. Sicchè il sound che ne emerge conserva davvero quel tanto che basta dei toni rurali nello stesso carattere urbano delle canzoni, mai inquinate totalmente dalla standardizzazione dell’idioma afroamericano, talora commerciale nello stile di Chicago.
Così Riley che viene dal Mississippi ha ascoltato giovincello la musica delle campagne, Corritore ne ha respirato l’animo blues nella città fin da bambino, soffiandolo nelle ance in modo naturale come il vento dal lago Michigan. Questo disco prende allora la piega di una produzione curata, ma allo stesso tempo abbastanza “downhome” per il feeling che ne viene fuori, e perché attualmente i due vivono veramente poco lontani di casa a Phoenix, in Arizona, da potersi trovare a suonare fin sotto la veranda. Bob ha prodotto poi molti dischi di blues, e forse perché ha imparato “a bottega” per aver visto più volte i grandi come Muddy Waters o Big Walter Horton o vissuto anche la sua stessa musica al fianco di gente come Lonnie Brooks, Eddie Taylor o Mighty Joe Young. Dave invece, tra città e campagna (musicale e non) ci si è trovato coinvolto più da vicissitudini e personaggi come Frank Frost, John Weston, Doris Carr, Robert Lockwood Jr. e Chico Chism (ai quali il disco è dedicato), che altro.
La decina del cd mescola quindi queste firme e ne trae un blues appassionato come la title – track o l’apertura su Jelly Roll King di Frost, quanto su di una Sharecropper Blues di Weston che omaggia col ricordo della mezzadria più sofferto che mai uno stile alla Lightnin Hopkins da far accapponare la pelle. Insieme all’arrivederci dall’Automobile by Fred James (piuttosto standard di chiusura, invece) restano la manciata di autografe nella medesima vena artistica, tra cui spicca l’incedere popolare di On My Way su di un ascolto che si beve di filato come una birra fresca cogli amici una sera d’estate.
– Matteo Fratti
La Hora Del Blues (Spain) (March 2010)
¡Vaya par de cracks están hechos Dave Riley y Bob Corritore!. El cantante y guitarrista Dave Riley, nació en Hattiesburgh, Mississippi y desde muy pequeño aprendió a cantar gospel y en los años noventa trabajó con Sam Carr, Frank Frost y John Weston. Cuando Dave se encontró y unió sus fuerzas hace unos pocos años con el armonicista, productor, Dj, empresario… etc. Bob Corritore, absolutamente nadie, podía imaginar que este dúo se convertiría en uno de los reyes indiscutibles de un nuevo sonido, mezcla del Mississippi sound y el Chicago blues. Este disco es una maravillosa muestra de lo que estoy diciendo, donde Bob y Dave se compenetran a las mil maravillas en los diez temas que se incluyen, de estilo down-home amplificado, marca de la casa. Siete de ellos son composiciones del propio Dave Riley, más otros tres de Frank Frost, John Weston y Fred James. Para la grabación del disco ambos músicos han contado con la participación y la complicidad de algunos amigos, entre los cuales cabe citar al propio hijo de Dave Riley, Dave Riley Jr. al bajo y también el pianista Henry Grey o el guitarrista Chris James entre otros. MUY BUENO. English: What a pair of cracks Dave Riley and Bob Corritore! Singer and guitar player Dave Riley was born in Hattiesburgh, Mississippi and since he was a young boy, he learned to sing gospel. During the nineties he worked with Sam Carr, Frank Frost and John Weston. When some years ago Dave met and joined forces with harmonica player, producer, Dj, business man…. Bob Corritore, nobody could imagine this duo would become one of the undisputed kings of a new sound, mixture of Mississippi roots and Chicago blues. The cd is a good example of what I am saying, where Bob and Dave sound perfectly teamed along ten amplified down-home style songs included on the cd, seven Dave Riley’s own ones and three Frank Frost, John Weston and Fred James covers. They have also included on the recording the valuable work of some friends and good musicians, such as Dave Riley’s son, Dave Riley Jr. on bass and piano player Henry Grey or guitar player Chris James among others. GREAT.
Blues Finland (Finland) (February 2010)
Rentoa meininkiä tekijämiehiltä “Lucky to Be Living”, Dave Rileyn ja Bob Corritoren kiekko, yhdistää maalais- ja kaupunkibluesin perinteitä. Kaikupohjaa on haettu esimerkiksi Jimmy Reedin ja Muddy
Dave Rileyn ja Bob Corritoren albumi ”Lucky to Be Living” on hyvältä maistuva blueskeitos
delta- ja Chicago-maustein ryyditettynä. Pääkokkien lisäksi mukana on häärinyt joukko
monen muunkin sopan hämmennyksessä mukana olleita, asiansa osaavia apukokkeja.
”Lucky to Be Living”-levyn avaa Frank Frostin kynästä lähtöisin oleva lennokas shuffle ”Jelly Roll King”. Nimensä mukaisesti kappale kertoo Jelly Roll Kings -nimisestä bändistä, jossa Frank itsekin oli mukana. Kyseisen yhtyeen musiikillinen vaikutus on voimakkaasti läsnä tällä Rileyn ja Corritoren julkaisulla.
Chicago-blues -vaikutteista, sähköisempää meininkiä tarjoavat myöskin Frank Frostin säveltämät ja sanoittamat ”Ride with Your Daddy Tonight” ja hidastempoinen levyn nimikappale ”Lucky to Be Living”, jolla Dave Rileyn kantava ja tyyliin sopiva möreän muheva lauluääni pääsee oikeuksiinsa.
Dave Rileyn omaelämäkerrallinen ”On My Way” tarjotaan Chicago-maustein sävytettynä delta-kattauksena. Perinteisestä, puhtaasti akustisesta delta-bluesista saa nauttia Rileyn sävelmällä ”Country Rules”. Sähkökitaran siivittämänä samaa meininkiä tarjoaa John Westonin ”Sharecropper Blues”.
Dave Riley on lainannut Muddy Watersilta ”You Shook Me”-riffin kappaleeseensa ”Back Down the Dirt Road”. Puuduttavan oloinen tekele omaa täydelliset täytebiisin ainekset: kappale jatkuu “valelopetuksen” jälkeen Rileyn mielipuolisella naurukohtauksella, jonka jälkeen perusriffin jauhaminen tuntuu jatkuvan loputtomiin.
Bob Corritoren koko levyn ajan voimallisesti soiva huuliharppu pääsee loistavasti esille hänen kumppaninsa säveltämällä ‘jimmyreedmäisellä’ shufflella ”Let´s Get Together”. Frank Frostin teos ”The Things You Do” on myös kuin suoraan Jimmy Reedin sävelarkistosta. Esitystavaltaan Daven ja Bobin versio – aina huuliharppusoundia myöten – on nöyrä kunnianosoitus Jimmylle.
Levyn päättävä, nashvilleläisen Fred Jamesin sävelarkistosta napattu”Automobile” kulkee kuin sorkkaeläin suviyössä. Bluesin syvimmän olemuksen sisäistäneet soittoniekat soittavat kuin Muddy Watersin bändi parhaimmillaan: etenkin Bob Corritoren huuliharpun soitanta on kovaa luokkaa.
”Lucky to Be Living” on omistettu Rileyn ja Corritoren edesmenneille ystäville ja soittokumppaneille Frank Frostille, John Westonille, Doris Carrille (Samin vaimo), Robert Lockwwood Jr:lle ja Chico Chismille. Heidän musiikillinen henkensä on levyllä vahvasti läsnä.
– TT TARKIAINEN
Kentuckiana Blues (February 2010)
Dave Riley, as native of Hattiesburg Mississippi, joined Bob Corritore, a native of Chicago, five years ago and formed a personal and professional relationship, Riley played the guitar while in the army during the Vietnam era, and more recently with the Jelly Roll Kings. On this CD, he plays guitar and handles all of the vocals. Corritore plays the harmonica and produced the CD as he did their first effort, Travelin’ the Dirt Road.
Although this yet another guitar/harp duo (reference Cephas and Wiggions, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee and others), the music is unique and Riley’s gravelly voice gives it a dimension not heard from others. Corritore’s fills complement the guitar and Riley’s voice well.
The best song on the CD in my estimation is “Sharecropper’s Blues” in which only Riley’s guitar and vocals and Corritore’s harp tell the story. This, the longest track on the CD, will make you wish it were still longer. All ten cuts are winners though. Although this CD has been billed more as a Delta blues CD, I would classify it more as Chicago blues. Four of the songs were written by Frank Forst of the Jelly Roll Kings, and the first song on the CD is a tribute to those folks who helped Riley become who he is today, all of which are now gone.
The Title track is a Frank Frost song that the duo felt neededd to be recorded because of all of the recently departed elder musicians, they feel “Lucky to be Living”.
This CD will be a good addition to your collection, a they would be a great group to see live. Currently they are performing overseas. Check out music clips at http://www.myspace/daverileybobcorritore.
– Bob Brown
Southland Blues (February 2010)
Delta blues runs through Chicago for this program of roots music featuring two veterans with band and plenty of lowdown spirit. Dave riley sings 10 songs and plays guitar while Bob Corritore “converses” with him on harp, allowing his deep-seated musical emotions to penetrate. The sound of harmonica and a full baritone voice gives the session it’s recognizable timbre and recalls the heyday of Muddy Waters and his generation.
With songs like John Weston’s “Sharecropper Blues,” Frank Frost’s “Lucky To Be Living” and Dave Riley’s “Back Down the Dirt Road,” the band gets a snappy rhythm going and eases into a comfortable mood. Piano, bass, drums and rhythm guitar round outthe unit with a jumpin’ attitude that never lets up. As veterans of the blues community, riley, Corritore and their band share a love of foot-stompin’ blues.
Riley, a Vietnam Veteran, grew up in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and moved to Chicago as ateenager. Corritore grew up in Chicago and studied the Harp master: Big Walter Horton, Little Wilie Anderson, Louis Meyers, Big Leon Brooks and others. Now he lives in Phoenix where he hosts the weekly radio program Those Low Down Blues on Sunday nights. As their sophmore album, Lucky To Be Living brings fruit fromthe duos five-year musical partnership and succeeds in bringing great blues to the public.
– Jim Santella
Washington Blues Society Bluesletter (February 2010)
Dave Riley & Bob Corritore’s follow up to their BMA & Blues Blast Music Award nominated Blue Witch Records release Travelin’ The Dirt Road , is definitely part 2. From the laid back strumming of acoustic rhythm guitar to the gruff vocals and growling harp on the opening track “Jelly Roll King” to “Sharecropper Blues” reminiscent of Hooker, you will find that Lucky To Be Living also brings a full plate of blues to the table. “Ride With Your Daddy Tonight” features the renowned piano playing of Henry Gray and stellar guitar by Chris James, and Gray also plays on the Jimmy Reed styled “Let’s Get Together” and the final track “Automobile”, which also features Patrick Rynn’s bass and Chris again on guitar. There are several standouts including “On My Way” which has a “My Love Don’t Stand No Cheatin’ vibe, “Country Rules”, and my favorite track, a rehearsal track so good it made the final cut, “Back Down The Dirt Road” clearly a reference to their first outing. Several cuts are re-workings of songs by, or associated with, Dave’s friend Frank Frost and Sam Carr of the Delta classics The Jelly Roll Kings. You won’t find stinging single note lead guitar lines, but you will find solid tunes and plenty of biting, sharp edged blues harp and true blues.
– Malcolm Kennedy
Blues Matters (February 2010)
After a particularly successful first album, “Travelin’ The Dirt Road”, we were expecting great things from Dave Riley and Bob corritore’s second album – and they haven’t dissapointed! This is a superb album of pure Blues, with no filling in with long, useless guitar solos. The sound is perfect, just like it used to be in an old-fashioned ’50’s studio, with Bob’s harmonica leaving Dave’s voice in the forefront, whilst always being present. This incredible sound is down to the talent of Clark Rigsby – in charge of frecording and mixing-demonstrating what a producer Bob Corritore really is, taking care of every detail. As for the musicians, there are the usual culprits: Chris James and Patrick Rynn, regulars in the Blue Four and Bob Corritore’s loyal soldiers when on tour, but also Henry Gray on piano, Dave ‘Yahni’ Riley Jr. on bass and no less than three drummers. There is a special tribute to Frank Frost, the last original Blues artist to have recorded in 1962 for Sam Phillips, with four of his songs being covered, such as the highly spirited ‘Jelly Roll King’. Four other songs are written by Dave Riley, another one by Fred James, and, as in the first album, Dave pays homage to his late friend John Weston by performing one of his songs, ‘Sharecropper Blues’ . “Lucky to be Living” is a CD you could describe as timeless, between acoustic and electric, one of those CDs they don’t often make anymore – Blues masterpiece.
– Frankie Pfeffer/Nat Harrap
Two J Blues (Poland) (January 2010)
Te plyte Bob Corritore, czlowiek-instytucja (dziennikarz radiowy, promotor, wlasciciel najbardziej znanego klubu muzycznego w Arizonie, harmonijkarz, producent plyt), zadedykowal niedawno zmarlym muzykom (Frank Frost, John Weston, Robert Lockwood Jr., Chico Chism). Wraz ze swoim dlugoletnim muzycznym partnerem I mentorem, spiewajacym gitarzysta Davem Riley’em, postanowili przywrócic pamieci kilka kompozycji Frosta I Westona granych kiedys przez zespól The Jelly Roll Kings. Dodali do tego kilka utworów Riley’a dobrze wspólbrzmiacych z klasykami. Powstala plyta, której slucha sie z duza przyjemnoscia, rozkoszujac sie nie tylko melodyka utworów, ale I kolorystyka aranzacynja, na której swe pietno odcisneli goscinnie wspierajacy Dave’a I Boba muzycy. Kilka utworów pieknymi dzwiekami fortepianu okrasil Sam Henry Gray. W tych samych tematach slyszymy tez gitare swietnie swingujacego Chrisa Jamesa, jednego z najbardziej wzietych gitarzystów ostatnich lat. Zagrane w tym skladzie Ride With Your Daddy Tonight, Let’s Get Together, Automobile, a takze otwierajacy plyte Jelly Roll King najbardziej wpisuja sie w magiczny klimat sygnowany marka The Jelly Roll Kings – radosnego juke-jointowego grania umilajacego sobotni wieczór z przyjaciólmi. Sa tez na plycie utwory grane tylko we dwójke (Country Rules, Sharecropper Blues), czasem dyskretnie wspomagane przez perkusje (On My Way, Back Down The Dirt Road) zywo przenoszace w nostalgiczny klimat dzwieków spod znaku duetu Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee.
W sumie mamy krazek wypelniony bardzo zywotna muzyka, która zapewne jeszcze dlugo nie bedzie potrzebowala ingerencji zadnej technologii. Podobnie jak haslo zawarte w jej tytule, jest ponadczasowa
Blues Revue (December / January 2010)
On their sophomore effort, Dave Riley and Bob Corritore continue exploring the deep Delta blues they delivered on their 2007 debut, Travelin’ the Dirt Road- raw, unfiltered, hardcore blues that echoes sounds of years gone by yet still sounds original and vital.
Though singer and guitarist Riley contributed four originals for Lucky To Be Living, he and harmonica player Bob Corritore also pay special attention to the music of the late Frank Frost, who helped Riley along in his career. The two revamp Frost’s “Jelly Roll King,” with Riley reworking the lyrics to pay tribute to his blues friends, most of whom have passed on. The two also tackle Frost’s shuffle “Ride With Your Daddy Tonight,” plus”The Things You Do” and the title cut.
Riley and Corritore (who produced the sessions) are backed by a rhythm section on most songs, and guitarist Chris James and piano player Henry Gray each appear on a few cuts. But it’s when the duo is un accompanied that the music cuts the deepest: On John Weston’s “Sharecropper Blues,” Riley’s slightly distorted electric guitar and Corritore’s moaning haramonica sit just behind Riley’s up-front-in-the-mix vocals, making for a session, that’s as intimate as Muddy Waters early recordings. On the Riley original “Country Rules,” the guitarist trades his electric for acoustic, indulging in front-porch blues as Corritore’s wailing harmonica mimics the vocal line.
Riley’s other originals are cut from the same cloth as the material he and Corritore revisit: the upbeat gospel song “On My Way,” the gently loping “Back Down the Dirt Road” (a sequel to the title track of the duo’s 2007 debut), and the full band track “Let’s Get Together,” featuring great piano from Gray.
Riley and Corritore have been refining their partnership for the last five years, but both have decades of experience playing with other musicians. For lovers of Delta blues, it’s almost as if everything Riley and Corritore have done up to this point was just meant to bring them together.
– Michael Cote
Billtown Blue Notes (Winter 2009)
The pairing of the harmonica is one of the sweetest things in the world, and few do it better than Dave Riley and Bob Corritore. Lucky To Be Living is the duo’s second release together and, while not earth shattering, this one fine piece of work and a delight to the ears.
The duo work as a single well-oiled machine and the backing musicians on bass and drums are right on the money. Riley has one of those voices that is perfect for the genre,sounding as if you could hear every cigarette, every shot of whiskey, and every smoke filled room. It is the kind of roughness that feels good, like velvet. Then there’s Bob’s harp work…every note perfectly placed and, unlike so very many, not overplayed. This is the mark of a master, as too many harp players feel obligated to fill eevery empty spot simply because they can.
In short, this is a fine piece of work. If you like the combination of guitar and harmonica, you wil sure to enjoy this one.
– Bill Wilson
Nightflying News of Record (December 2009)
Yep, this is the blues, good old down-home blues, and Dave and Bob work together as seamlessly as did Sonny and Brownie, complementing each other at every turn. Riley has a guttural voice and plays some mean guitar (he also wrote about half of the songs), while Corritore hums on that harp. Local legend Henry Gray plays piano on a few tracks and Dave Riley Junior plays bass on several cuts, keeping it in the family. The album is dedicated to the late Frank Frost, who wrote a few of the songs, and to John Weston, who wrote one, and to Doris Carr, Robert Lockwood Jr, and Chico Chism.
– Kody Ford
Beach Music 45 (December 2009)
Blues legend Dave Riley and producer/harmonica player Bob Corritore have, again, teamed together releasing their second album, Lucky To Be Living on the Blue Witch Records label. Two good cuts on this one, in fact, The Things You Do To Me is outstanding and gives great tribute to the Frank Frost classic. Good song! You will also want to check out Let’s Get Together. The duo does a pretty good job on this Al Green classic. The most interesting thing about this recording is that Henry Gray handles the piano work on the song, as he does with two other cuts on the album. Dave Riley has been around for a long, long time. Born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, his parents moved to Chicago when he was a small child, leaving Dave and his four siblings in the care of his grandparents. Although Dave began playing the guitar at the age of nine, he really did not get serious with the instrument until he moved to Chicago in 1961, and, later, with his preacher father and the rest of the siblings, formed a family band, The Riley Singers. After high school, Dave was drafted for duty in Viet Nam. After his release, he married his current wife, Tanja, and had a son, Riley. Shortly thereafter, Dave left Soul music for Gospel. He bought a house and began working as a prison guard at Joliet State Penitentiary, a job he held for about 25 years. In 1998, his neck was broken, ending his career at the prison and leaving him unable to play the guitar for nine months. He now has regained most of his playing ability. Dave’s partner in music lately is Bob Curritore. A lifelong fan of the Blues, he began playing the harmonica after hearing Muddy Waters on the radio. He moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 1981, forming a band with Louisiana Red. Along with producing albums for artists, such as R.L. Burnsides, Bob worked as a pick-up harp player for touring artists such as Willie Dixon and Otis Rush. In addition, he has played in local Blues groups and hosted a weekly Blues radio program. With the backgrounds of these two talented musicians, we are lucky to be living to hear their work on Lucky To Be Living.
– Mike Little
Rock Times (Germany) (December 2009)
Hier sind zwei gestandene Blueser am Werk. Dave Riley hat seine Wurzeln im Mississippidelta. Bob Corritore stammt aus Chicago. Seit fünf Jahren bilden der Gitarrist und Sänger Riley sowie der Harpspieler Corritore ein Duo und vorliegende Scheibe “Lucky To Be Living” ist deren drittes Album und zweites für das Label Blue Witch Records. Nach dem Erfolg des Vorgängers “Travelin’ The Dirt Road”, für den sie in gleich zwei Kategorien für den Blues Music Award 2008 nominiert wurden, war es zwangläufig klar, dass, bei den guten Kritiken, ein Nachfolger fällig war.
Das Duo outet sich auf “Lucky To Be Living” nicht als Innovator der Bluesszene, allerdings sind deren zehn Songs, davon vier aus eigener Feder, so etwas von frisch und mit viel spürbarem Spaß eingespielt worden, dass es folglich eine riesige Freude bereit, den beiden Protagonisten und ihren Gästen zuzuhören. Dabei ist unter anderem ein Veteran am Piano: Henry Gray, der schon mit Billy Boy Arnold, Jimmy Reed, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter, Bo Diddley oder Kenny Wayne Shepherdzusammen Alben eingespielt hat.
Das Duo widmet sein Album unter anderem Frank Frost, Robert Lockwood Jr. sowie John Weston. Dann darf man auch deren Kompositionen covern. Für den Titel “Jelly Roll King”, einem der Markenzeichen von Frank Frost, hat sich Rileyeinen neuen Text einfallen lassen und er singt ihn mit seinem prägnanten Stimme zwischen Soul und Reibeisen.
Shuffle, Groove, Slow-Blues und flotte Sachen machen die Platte zu einem Vorzeigeobjekt in der Kategorie ‘antörnende Musik’.
Einen Track hat man sich bei John Weston geliehen und der “Sharecropper Blues” ist die längste und langsamste Nummer auf “Lucky To Be Living”.
Wenn man die gesamte CD durchgehört hat, erweist sich dieser Song als einer der Höhepunkte und zeigt, dass die beiden mit allen Wassern gewaschen sind. Die Besetzung ist so weit runtergefahren, dass man auf eine Rhythmusabteilung zur Gänze verzichtet hat und auch allen anderen Begleitmusikern eine Pause gegönnt hat. Riley undCorritore pur, unverfälscht und authentisch. Riley verzichtet bei dieser Ballade nicht auf seine E-Gitarre und der Harper macht eine starke Figur zwischen Begleitung und Soli.
Nach diesem super Track verabschieden sich die Leute mit Fred James’ “Automobile”. Muss man dazu noch etwas schreiben? Vielleicht nur so viel: Wenn man eine Groovenummer herausheben möchte, dann definitiv diesen Song. Gray am Piano ist eh eine Bank und nicht nur Bassist Patrick Rynn sowie Drummer Eddie Kobek sorgen für den Groove. Was Corritore da mit seiner Harp veranstaltet ist zum Zunge schnalzen.
Riley schreibt sehr gute Songs, die sich im Chicago Blues bestens wohlfühlen und eine
Muddy Waters-Stimmung reflektieren. Hier will niemand dem anderen einen Rang ablaufen. Die Musik ist so positiv, wie es der Titel “Lucky To Be Living” aussagt. Die Riley Komposition “On My Way” wird rhythmisch in den Acker gestampft und der Gitarrist schultert hier die Akustische.Die anderen vom Gitarristen geschrieben Songs reihen sich ohne Probleme in die hohe Qualität der Covertracks ein.
“Lucky To Be Living” ist eine herrliche Tour durch den Blues, mit einem längeren Aufenthalt in der ‘Windy City’. Es ist keine Schande, das Duo Dave Riley And Bob Corritore vor dieser Veröffentlichung nicht gekannt zu haben. Sehr wohl aber, wenn die CD nicht bald in die Sammlung wandert…
– Joachim ‘Joe’ Brookes
IL Blues (Italy) (December 2009)
Un disco blues…che suona come un blues. È già una notizia, una buona notizia. Meglio essere chiari fin dal principio: acquistando questo album non impreziosirete certamente la vostra colezzione con una perla, una gemma rara, ma se cercate un buon album blues acustico, lineare ma al contempo godibile, grezzo al limite, ma efficace, “Lucky To Be Living“, seconda collaborazione in studio tra IL chitarrista Dave Riley e l’armonicista Bob Corritore, fa al caso vostro.
L’album scorre piacevolmente lungo Le dieci tracce proposte, non lesinando brani particolarmente incisivi, comela la title track “Lucky To Be Living“, un bluesaccio targato Chicago, “Back Down The Dirt Road’, Country Rules“, o il brano “Sharecropper Blues“, uno slow che ho particolarmente apprezzato, specialmente per l’apporto di Corritore, a mio modesto avviso più che ispirato nell’esecuzione. Fattore non secondario, anzi, vero e proprio punto di forza del disco, è l’assenza di brani spenti e stanchi, pezzi inseriti, come accade in molti album moderni, tanto per…
Nelle note di copertina si apprende che il disco è dedicato alla memoria di veri e propri monumenti blues, bluesmen del calibro di Frank Frost, scomparso nel 1999 (apparso anche nel film di Walter Hill “Crossroads“, del 1996), Robert Lockwood, Jr., Chico Chism (storico batterista blues…citate un bluesmen, e state pur certi che lui è stato il suo percussionista…qualche nome? Howlin’ Wolf, Big Joe Turner, Sonny Boy Williamson, il e Bo Diddley), John Weston e Doris Carr, moglie di Sam Carr. Riley e Corritore, coadiuvati da un band all’altezza, hanno avuto il merito di omaggiare questi grandi del passato nel miglior modo possibile, musicalmente parlando almeno, registrando un disco di ottima fattura, un album (finalmente!) pensato, sviluppato e soprattutto suonato, come un album blues. In fondo non è chiedere tanto, no?
– Federico Stevan
il Blues – N. 109 – Dicembre 2009
All Music Guide / Barnes & Noble (December 2009)
The Arizona-based tandem of guitarist/vocalist Dave Riley and harmonicist Bob Corritore sure sound like they are having a lot of fun when they get together to play the blues. Between them, they have all the bases covered to entertain their audience, and stay true to an authentic, 12-bar Chicago blues roadhouse style. Riley plays a competent guitar, leaving flashy pyrotechnics to glam rockers, adding a slightly gravelly and soulful voice to the proceedings that is never mealy-mouthed or incoherent. Corritore is an excellent harp player, working well off the tradition of his predecessors, while adding his own brand of vigor and stone-round grit. This program features four tracks written by the late Frank Frost, single cuts by John Weston and Fred James, and four more by Riley, all in the urban electric style from the southside of Chi-town. The grand vizier of Texas blues piano, Henry Gray, plays on three tunes with the same gutsy vitality of his earlier days, with Dave Riley, Jr. on the bass for half the album, and drumming duties split between three players. The music is as solid as it gets, original within standard blues parameters, and just as much fun to listen to as these musicians have playing it. The four Frost tunes include the sly, choogling, get-down anthem “Jelly Roll King” with deference to the ultimate womanizer, the title track in a slower Muddy Waters style, talking about being “shot with a pistol” and agonizing about post-fight “broken bones.” “Ride with Your Daddy Tonight” features steady and clean, two-fisted chords from Gray, while “The Things You Do” is pure good-time blues, featuring the sandpaper vocals of Riley. Among the tunes from Riley himself, there’s the basic, under-three-minute “On My Way,” the midtempo, baby-is-gone blues “Back Down the Dirt Road,” and the duet with Corritore, “Country Rules,” warning that those who “abide by the country rules” should also be aware that they are strictly “for fools.” Weston’s slow, six-minute “Sharecropper Blues” is also a soulful Riley/Corritore duet about slave drivers, while “Automobile,” penned by James, is still relevant in that his woman likely “cares more about a car than me.” This recording is unique for contemporary blues in that Riley and Corritore play in an acoustic style, but with electrified energy. There’s no need to turn up the amps and peg the meters into the red, for this band is more than capable of cranking it up without touching a volume control. This recording, one of the best traditional and contemporary blues CDs of 2009, is beyond reproach in relation to any of the big-name blues stars you’d care to name.
– Michael G. Nastos
Blues Blast Magazine #2 (December 2009)
Dave Riley and Bob Corritore have come out with their second album together after an acclaimed inaugural effort. “Travelin’ the Dirt Road”, their 2007 release, was nominated for the 2008 Blues Music Award for Acoustic Album of the Year and was a Blues Blast Music Award Nominee for Best Traditional Blues Recording. There is no sophomore jinx with this CD as it builds upon the great music and firm foundation between these two artists.
Riley offers us some down home vocal work and understated yet gripping guitar work. Corritore’s harp provides a superb compliment for Riley’s vocals and fretwork. I am becoming more and more impressed with what Bob is doing with his harp as he moves into the realm of being a long-time and well-respected bluesman. Both Riley and Corritore offer true love and appreciation for the blues in approaching their music without being over the top in their style. From the opening chords of the first track I was hooked on this great approach to traditional blues.
Riley upholds the great traditions of the Jelly Roll Kings, of which he became a member of in the mid 1990’s. This album pays homage to them as Riley covers and reworks several of their songs along with offering us four new and original tracks. The first song “Jelly Roll King” is a Frank Frost number that Dave has redone the lyrics to and pays tribute to Frost, John Weston and Sam Carr. Sam Carr who recently passed away was the last surviving member of the Jelly Roll Kings that Riley sings about, making this track somewhat sad, but one can revel in the friendship and love expressed by Riley’s reworking of this song.
Henry Gray and Chris James provide some great solo work on the second track, “Ride with Your Daddy Tonight”. Another Frost tune, Riley and Corritore blast their way through this number to a heart pounding beat.
“On My Way” takes a Gospel melody line that Corritore came up with along with Riley’s lyrics; it was turned into a cool little fast paced number. Dave’s gravelly vocals and Bob’s harmonica chugs punctuate this song nicely.
The next track returns to a homage to those who have passed. Frank Frost’s tune becomes the album’s title track and the slow wailing harmonica and Riley’s vocals really serve to testify to their luck to be living. The boys then revisit their last album with “Back Down the Dirt Road”, a song they came up with as they rehearsed to lay down the other tracks for this CD. It was so good that it had to be included and they certainly have done right in including it. Dave’s inspired vocals and aside conversations make this a great piece.
Henry Gray returns to the keys to support “Let’s Get Together” as Corritore pleases the listener with a big harp solo. Dave’s “Country Rules” follows, a catchy song that Dave sells with his Delta inspired vocals. They return to Frost’s library of songs and rearrange “The Things You Do” in an inspired manner. The harp work in the upper register is sweet and poignant as is Riley’s guitar and singing.
The next to last track features Dave getting deep, down and dirty as he winds his way into the darkest blues on the CD. His guitar work rings like a bell as Corritore fills in his greasy harp along with Dave’s intense vocals; this IS the blues! Riley closes out with Fred James song “Automobile” that he originally covered many years ago on a Helena compilation. Henry Gray and Chris James are on this track; their piano and guitar really add to the sound. Corritore opens with and fills in some great harp, too, but Riley’s vocals are what make this song and the album a big success.
If you liked their prior album, then this release is for you! If you didn’t like their last album you might not be impressed, but I would have to say that you just don’t like good blues music if you can’t appreciate the musical love affair between Dave Riley and Bob Corritore on their first two albums. With chemistry like these guys have, I can’t wait for their next offering!
Reviewer Steve Jones is secretary of the Crossroads Blues Society in Rockford. IL
American Blues News (November 17, 2009)
For those of you out there aching for some genuine, no foolin’ ‘round, blues…with a capitol ‘B’, Dave Riley and Bob Corritore are serving it up with their latest release, LUCKY TO BE LIVING. The guitar and harmonica duo deliver over 41 minutes of traditional Chicago-style blues music that is sure to satisfy any classic electric blues fan.
Dave Riley’s guitar work is far from “flashy”, but stays true to the Muddy Waters school of playing and comes across as informed and authentic. The Mississippi native’s vocals are soulful and slightly gravely, but remain controlled and clear. Bob Corritore, who hails from Chicago, manages to shine on the album’s 10 standard 12-bar tracks by delivering his rich and perfectly meaty harmonica tone, with taste and a refreshing amount of restraint. Like many of the blues’ most beloved recordings, LUCKY TO BE LIVING is not about “bells and whistles”. Riley and Corritore take a “less is more” approach, emphasizing the importance of how the notes are played, rather than trying to see how many notes they can fit into a 3 minute song.
LUCKY TO BE LIVING is not groundbreaking. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel and it is far from trying to push the genre to its limits, but it is a tastefully executed and completely authentic collection of Dave Riley originals and lesser known blues compositions, penned by Frank Frost, John Weston and Fred James. If you’re a blues fan that is looking for something new, but you don’t want it to sound too out of place on your classic Chess Records playlist, this might be what you’re looking for.
– J. Blake
The Bluegrass Special: Beyond The Blues (November 2009)
When Dave Riley retooled the lyrics of Frank Frost’s “Jelly Roll King” only Sam Carr among three of the four friends he mentions in the song were still with us, but on September 29 Carr passed away from congestive heart failure in Clarksdale, MS. So now this easygoing Mississippi shuffle becomes a wonderful tribute to Carr, his wife Doris Carr, John Weston and Frost, with Riley growling the lyrics in a manner that would no doubt meet the approval of his departed pals as would the whole of his second teaming with the master harp man, Bob Corritore, Lucky To Be Living. They’re no more lucky to be living, though, than we are to be hearing blues done with such honest-to-God authority and love, and with smarts and heart to burn. The spirits of Frost and Carr loom over the proceedings even after Riley has stopped singing their praises. Frost’s “Ride With Your Daddy,” following “Jelly Roll King,” is centered on Riley’s lowdown vocal and Corritore’s rich swoops and moans, while drummer Eddie Kobek pushes the enterprise ahead with his delectable homage to Carr’s Mississippi shuffle style drumming. You might even say the ghost of Little Walter has joined the fray, too, because “Ride With Your Daddy” bears some melodic similarities to “My Babe,” and on Riley’s “On My Way” Corritore seems to lift a melody line from that same Little Walter classic. Heck, Riley’s muscular, wry vocal even sounds like Little Walter circa “Dead Presidents.” But let’s not get carried away with similarities here or there, because Lucky To Be Living is neither homage nor tribute but a for-real trip into some powerhouse blues from the Mississippi-Chicago axis by two fellows who are keeping the faith in a way that will do your soul good to hear. Maybe you’ve hit a bad patch in your love life. An immersion in Riley’s “Let’s Get Together,” with its heartfelt appeal for reconciliation, might give you some rhetorical devices with which to appeal for a second chance, assuming you can extricate yourself from the song’s infectious groove long enough to make your case, but do linger to appreciate both Corritore’s discursive wailing and especially Henry Gray’s rollicking piano. Like Frank Frost and Sam Carr, John Weston gets more than a nod in the first track too. His dark, piercing treatise, “Sharecropper Blues,” is blessed with a stark vocal-guitar-harmonica treatment designed to be an aural evocation of title subject’s dead-end prospects. Riley sings it from some haunted place in his soul that is absolutely chilling, and Corritore enhances the abiding but unspoken malevolence in the singer’s heart with ominous, soul-searing wails weaving a desolate tapestry in conversation with Riley’s distorted riffing. And yet, true to the Frank Frost title tune, the energy throughout is life affirming. Riley and Corritore are not only grateful to be alive, they’re grateful to be alive and playing the blues. Every note suggests as much, and for a listener, such commitment to a cause makes their music a welcome guest any time it comes around. This is some mighty fine blues of the first order.
Folk World (November 2009)
The latest album by the duo Dave Riley & Bob Corritore is called Lucky to be Living. It’s a nice album with some pure and honest blues music. Riley on guitar and vocals and Corritore shows his talent on the harmonica. The duo is backed by several guest musicians, but they keep the good old acoustic sound alive. This album is a must for any lover of the old fashioned blues. Listen to Ride with your daddy tonight with great piano and rocking harmonica or the raspy vocals in The things you do. It shows the professionalism of the musicians and this album.
Crossroad Blues Society (November 2009)
The second release from the duo of guitarist Dave Riley and harmonica ace Bob Corritore continues their expert blending of Riley’s modern Mississippi delta blues with the driving Chicago sound that Corritore grew up with. Riley has a deep, expressive voice that is perfectly suited to the down-home style found on his four originals as well as songs by Frank Frost, John Weston and Fred James. Backing musicians on various tracks include the legendary Henry Gray on piano, Chris James on guitar, Dave “Yahni” Riley Jr. & Patrick Rynn on bass and three different drummers.
Opening with a Frost tune, “Jelly Roll King”, Riley pays tribute to the veteran musicians who were his mentors and friends. Sadly, with the recent passing of drummer Sam Carr, every musician mentioned in the song has left this world. Riley maintains a steady rhythm on the guitar and Corritore weaves his harmonica lines around Riley’s vocal with expert precision. The driving performance of “Ride With Your Daddy Tonight” features some great piano work from Gray on another Frost composition.
“On My Way” has the duo backed by drummer Frank Rossi. Despite the stripped down accompaniment, the track still brims with energy behind Riley’s booming vocal. The trio also nails another Riley original, “Back Down the Dirt Road”, with Corritore’s harp once again echoing his partner’s singing. Two tracks feature just the leaders, with Riley switching to acoustic guitar on “Country Rules” and Corritore adopting a more basic style of playing.
Another highlight is the powerful rendition of Weston’s “Sharecropper Blues”, which lays out the plight of a system that allows a man to work all year only to be left deeper in debt. Riley sings with the conviction of a man who understands the system all too well. Corritore once again manages to dazzle with his sensitive backing. The title track includes a raw-edged vocal from Riley and some mournful tones from Corritore’s harp on a Frost original that rejoices in life while acknowledging some of the tribulations that have been endured along the way.
“Let’s Get Together is propelled by Eddie Kobek on drums. Corritore flat-out wails on the harp and Gray contributes another superb piano part. The disc closes with “Automobile”, with Gray, James and Gray trading licks behind another strong Riley vocal. It is a fitting close to a project that expertly captures a style of blues music that is rarely heard anymore. This is the real deal – songs that take an unflinching look at life, played by musicians who have lived the life and are still here to make beautiful music that addresses the human condition as only the best blues music can. Highly recommended !!!
– Mark Thompson
Blues On Stage (November 2009)
Guitarist Dave Riley and harpist Bob Corritore’s second album continues their love affair with Chicago and Mississippi blues. The duo open with a revamped “Jelly Roll King” where they pay tribute to Sam Carr. Riley’s big gruff vocals are matched by Corritore’s phat harp. Rather appropriately this is the first of four Frank Frost songs, because Riley and Corritore do plough a similar musical furrow to the Jelly Roll Kings. Other discernable influences include Jimmy Reed (“Let’s Get Together” and “The Things You Do”), and Muddy Waters on John Weston’s excellent “Sharecropper Blues”.
The album is full of jaunty, good time tunes, and the camaraderie between Riley and Corritore is evident throughout, most notably on “Back Down the Dirt Road”. It was originally meant as a rehearsal, but they just left the tape running. Riley breaks out into laughter during a mid-track pause, before the pair pick up the pieces. While the duo mostly stick to amplified electric blues, they do take things back down home for “Country Rules”. All too soon, though, the pair jump into Fred James’ “Automobile” to drive off into the sunset.
– Gordon Baxter
Harmonica World (October / November 2009)
Bob Corritore learned his harmonica licks around the blues clubs of Chicago before becoming a producer, promoter and all-around good guy of the Blues over the last three decades or so.He is in a backing role behind singer and guitarist Dave Riley, a real deal Mississippi bluesman. Bob’s playing is full-toned, as befits a pupil of Walter Horton’s, and the result is a wonderful album of first-rate, no nonsense Blues
Big City Blues Review (October 2009)
Dave Riley and Bob Corritore’s sophomore project sounds like a natural progression of the pair’s five-year musical and personal relationship that has its roots in the Deep South. The duo exhibit a great chemistry together as they play that blaring, powerful down-home blues, drawing on both post-war Chicago and amplified Mississippi blues styles, that you just don’t hear done that well all that often these days. Riley’s raspy, Gospel-trained voice, exceedingly articulate guitar lines and rowdy, personable, original songs combine with Corritore’s passionate, well-seasoned and rich-toned harmonica playing for an engaging sets-worth of performances that will satisfy both blues novices and devoted aficionados.
Throughout, the grinning pair work in a decidedly traditional, unvarnished vein, upholding the tradition of the illustrious Frank Frost And The Jelly Roll Kings, accompanied solely by a trio of drummers (Tom Coulson, Eddie Kobek and Frank Ross) that spell each other and occasional bass by either Dave “Yahni” Riley, Jr or Patrick Rynn with added guitar from Chris James and rock-ribbed piano by Henry Gray on three of the album’s strongest tracks. Frost’s “Ride With Your Daddy Tonight” was a Jelly Roll Kings staple and features some typically dazzling Gray piano while Riley’s “Let’s Get Together” is a harp workout (and must always fill the dance floor) with Fred James’ story-song “Automobile” turning out to be a witty tale framed by a finger-popping bass line and some great lump-de-lump guitar.
Other picks start with two more Frost classics that have been updated and lovingly reshaped by the pair (Riley actually began his career working with Frost and the Kings) with the title song channeling Muddy Waters as Riley soulfully reflects on his charmed life (“I been shot with a pistol and had my neck broke twice”) and the opening “Jelly Roll King,” that is a tribute reflection on some of his musical pals—sadly, of the names mentioned only King’s co-founder Sam Carr is still around. I’m also fond of both Riley’s “Country Rules and “Sharecropper Blues.” The former is an all acoustic tour-de-force that recalls Riley’s recent, widely acclaimed CD on the Fedora label titled Whiskey, Money And Women while the latter is a deep, lonely blues composed by John Weston (one of Riley’s deceased pals) that recalls Lightnin’ Hopkins at his best. Again, the combination of Riley’s matter-of-fact vocal and dynamic fretwork and Corritore’s straining, wavering harp commentary is magical. More please.
-Gary von Tersch
Blueswax (October 2009)
Straight out of Mississippi comes the essential sounds of Dave Riley, again teaming up with Rhythm Room proprietor and harmonica extraordinaire Bob Corritore. Out on Bob’s record label from Arizona , and listing Bob as the CD producer it brings together some incredible blues for the listener. 10 tracks that mix up the flow a bit when it comes to the boredom of the same old thing. Here Bob and Dave have literally tossed in several different musical styles, yet never straying from the down home blues Mr. Riley has always been known for. Different drummers and bass players were brought in to help out on certain tracks, but for the most part its just Bob’s heavy harmonica and Dave’s gritty Mississippi roots on guitar and vocals that keep the light burning on this one. The incomparable Henry Gray plays piano on 3 tunes here as well. From the slow blues of the title track, to the acoustic guitar and Delta strum of “Country Rules,” this CD is sure to please the ear. Some of the more raspy, blue drenched songs come on “Ride With Your Daddy Tonight,” and the deep southern blues of “Let’s Get Together.” With the sadness of the passing of drummer Sam Carr, and seeing 4 songs here written by Frank Frost, its no doubt that they use Frost’s song “Jelly Roll King,” as the opener, turning out to be a great tribute of sorts that flow back to the original band. A gospel is heard on “On My Way,” with a single soft chord, and the crawling blues of John Weston’s “Sharecropper Blues,” gets you into a far away mood that carries you back to Clarksdale. Through all these great blues songs is Bob’s grueling, undisturbed harmonica that truly shines throughout these cuts. Dave has four original tracks here, and he has recorded four CD’s with Mr. Corritore to date. Give this CD a listen if you love the blues, and you’ll be “lucky to be living.”
The Blues In The Northwest (October 2009)
Here’s a 10-track treat of downhome blues from the duo of Mississippi born and raised guitarist and singer, Dave Riley, and Chicago-born harmonica player, Bob Corritore – the songs on “Lucky To Be Living” offer a mix of their respective birth locations and upbringings. The duo have a five year working partnership, and this, their second release, features a mix of different writers – including four songs from the pen of the late Frank Frost, with whom Riley worked in the Jelly Roll Kings.
Bob Corritore, as well as being a fine harmonica player, is also a well-known blues radio show host, and owner of The Rhythm Room venue in Phoenix, Arizona, where he moved to in 1981. Dave Riley was born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and when barely a teenager relocated to Chicago. It was after he was drafted to Vietnam that he began to take his music seriously – eventually leading to meeting legends Sam Carr, Frank Frost and John Weston.
The opening “Jelly Roll King”, one of the Frank Frost songs, name checks the likes of John Weston and Doris and Sam Carr – all now sadly no longer with us, since the recent passing of Sam Carr, who the duo paid tribute to at the recent Arkansas Blues & Heritage Festival in Helena. Frost’s “Ride With Your Daddy Tonight” features nice solos from guests Henry Gray on piano, and Chris James on guitar.
Dave Riley’s “On My Way” has a nice, stompy feel to it – Mississippi Hill Country flavours to the guitar work and fine harmonica from Bob Corritore, and based on an old gospel melody which Riley put lyrics to. The title track, “Lucky To Be Living”, another Frank Frost tune, sees the duo doffing their caps to departed friends and indeed, that they are blessed to be living and playing fine blues together.
“Back Down The Dirt Road” is a follow up to the title track of their first album, “Travelin’ The Dirt Road”, and is a laid back shuffle, ending with a trademark Dave Riley hysterical laugh and chat. “Let’s Get Together” is another fun uptempo track, driven by Corritore’s harmonica and sparking piano again from Henry Gray. The all-acoustic “Country Rules” sees them stripped right down, plaintive vocal and acoustic guitar from Riley, and sweet harmonica from Corritore.
The late John Weston’s “Sharecropper Blues” is a deep, slow blues, with the guitar and harmonica work of the duo almost telepathic. The closing “Automobile”, from the pen of the very fine Nashville writer and guitarist, Fred James, here delivered as a lazy shuffle, with more fine work from Gray and James.
Blues releases this authentic and downhome are probably not too common these days – nice songs, beautifully played by a fine bunch of musicians, who don’t try to do anything too much ‘outside the box’. Apart from the previously mentioned musicians, the rhythm sections feature drummers Tom Coulson, Eddie Kobek and Frank Rossi, with bass players Dave ‘Yahni’ Riley Jr. and Patrick Rynn.
Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange (September 29, 2009)
The chemistry between Riley and Corritore is evident right from the opening cut, Jelly Roll King, and stays with these two throughout the disc. It is also the first of four Frank Frost songs Riley and Corritire do here. This disc is a beautiful melding of their two disparate yet cohesive styles. Bob was born and raised up in Chicago and learned his harmonica chops on Maxwell Street from many of those who blazed the trails such as Big Walter Horton and Junior Wells. Dave Riley was born down in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and spent his early years learning gospel started playing guitar and moved to Chicago as a teenager and eventually teamed up with Sam Carr, Frank Frost, and John Weston and they moved back to the Delta.
This is their second disc together and the two of them just surround themselves with friends and cut loose on a variety of acoustic and electric blues, a relaxed and yet intense melding of city and country. These are the down and dirty blues that you hear about with an ample burst of fire just to let you know that “it is the devil’s music.” Riley and Corritore cut loose on a variety of tunes…four by Frank Frost, four by Dave Riley, and one each by John Weston and Fred James. There is a joy and simpatico that is apparent throughout this disc, and some excellent musicians join them. Henry Gray kicks in with some great piano on three cuts and Chris James joins in with some wicked guitar on those same three. Everyone gets their chance to cut loose and each does with a fiery vengeance that just amps up the rest of the players. A sure fire crowd pleaser here.
Blues Report Blues CD Spotlight (September 25, 2009)
Dave Riley and Bob Corritore have made another old-fashioned blues record, the kind of guitar and harmonica record you just don’t find out there very much anymore.
Their first CD together, 2007’s “Travelin’ the Dirt Road” was a Blues Music Award nominee for Acoustic Album of the Year and Blues Blast Music Award nominee for Best Traditional Blues Recording. This one takes off right where that one left off, and that’s a high compliment. Again it’s mostly an acoustic outing, rich and deep blues, full of love and loss and infectious joy. There is a big dose of Jelly Roll King music here–four of the songs here are by Frank Frost. Riley’s guitar and vocals and Corritore’s harp are all perfectly together like one three-part musical monster–that guitar, those deep as a well vocals, and the harp all fit together seamlessly, every part helps tell the story. Other members of the Rhythm Room All Stars Chris James (guitar), Henry Gray (piano), and Patrick Rynn (bass), guest on various tracks, but the whole disc feels like Riley and Corritore just sitting on the front porch and playing. It’s MUSIC, friends–good real music.
If you want to make yourself deeply happy, get both this CD and The Jelly Roll Kings CD “Rockin’ the Juke Joint Down.” You will not regret it. A wonderful treat.The CD release show for this disc is October 10 at the Arkansas Blues and Heritage festival in Helena, Arkansas at the Delta Cultural Center.
The CD is on Blue Witch Records, and you can buy it at Blue Witch Records
Blues Magazine (Netherlands) (September 25, 2009)
Blue Witch Records presenteert nieuwe schijf van het succes volle duo Dave Riley en Bob Corritore. Dit zijn 2 grootmachten in een pakket, en het is eigenlijk een soortement van deel 2 op hun vorige projekt. het album is o.m. opgedragen aan the late Frank Fost, waar hier dan ook een aantal songs van vertolkt worden in vooral de beste traditie. Dit is The real thing, ofwel een album voor de echte Blues purist denk ik. Dit duo kent elkaar al heel wat jaartjes.
Dave werd geboren in de Missisippi en groeide op met veel Gospel en veel Chicago Blues
klanken van weleer. Zingt met een rauwe stem en speelt heftige gruizige licks op zijn gitaar. In dienst presteerde hij het om het noodzakelijke t e combineren met muziek, door
in Big bands en jazz gezelscahppen plaats te nemen. Speelde in de jaren 90 met velel legendes van de Bluesmuziek. mensen als Frank Frost, Sam Car waren regelmatig in zijn buurt te vinden. Dave heeft zelf ook een prima solo album afgeleverd genaamd Whiskey Money And Women.
Bob Corritore: geboren in Chicago, speelt harmonica, en had als invloeden mensen als de
great Walter Horton en ook Louis Meyers. Speelde met de aller grootse blueslegendes uit de Chicago Blues en heeft maar liefst een rol op 32 albums als muzikant. Een zeer hoogwaardig solo album van hem is “All Star Blues Sessions”. Verder is Bob ook een impresario van de Chicago Blues, en brengt veel nieuws op websites e.d Te samen brengen zij Delta en Chicago Blues van de bovenste plank, en dan ook nog met steun van mensen als Henry Gray-piano en ook Chris James-gitaar. Deze mensen zijn natuurlijk zelf weergaloos op hun instrument, dus dit is Bues op en top. De tracks zijn op zich vol van variatie, voor zover dat kan in de Chicago en Delta blues. Klasse gewoon, maar wel voor de liefhebber- Hoogstandjes zijn onbetwist: Sharecroppers Blues en ook de Titeltrack mag er wezen en is ook nog helaas van grote waarheid voorzien, want inderdaad mogen zij blij zijn dat ze er nog zijn, en wij met hun, want Dave heeft al een aantal keren ternauwernood aan het einde kunnen ontsnappen gelukkig. Genieten dus!
-Frank van Engelen
Blogcritics Music #2 (September 23, 2009)
The blues, restricted to a twelve-bar format, can be awfully formulaic and uninspired in the hands of the unimaginative. That’s definitely not the case here, though, as guitarist Riley and harmonica player Bob Corritore bring joyous enthusiasm and serious chops to a collection of hard-core yet fresh-sounding tracks fairly bursting with life.
Both Riley and Corritore bring solid credentials to the table. Born in Mississippi, Riley moved to Chicago in his early teens – a pretty standard migration pattern for bluesmen. He honed his chops in military bands before returning to his roots after meeting Sam Carr, Frank Frost, and John Weston, better known as delta legends The Jelly Roll Kings. Corritore grew up in the Windy City before establishing himself as a one-man blues preservation society in Phoenix, where he’s run the famed Rhythm Room for years while contributing harp to well over thirty recordings.
Lucky To Be Living is Riley and Corritore’s second outing, a fine follow-up to 2007’sTravelin’ The Dirt Road. There’s a full backing band on most tracks, with instrumental contributions from the likes of legendary pianist Henry Gray, bassists Dave ‘Yahni’ Riley Jr. (yes, he’s the elder Riley’s son) and Patrick Rynn, while three drummers take turns behind the kit. But while the grooves are both deep and lively, it’s the intuitive interplay between the co-leaders that’s absolutely revelatory.
Riley wrote four of the tunes and adapted another four by the aforementioned Frost. His guitar work is fleet, and his gruffly assertive vocals are supremely confident and thoroughly authoritative. And Corritore’s harmonica is nothing short of brilliant. A limited instrument by definition, Corritore coaxes an astonishing array of howls and growls from the tiny tin sandwich, mirroring and compliment melodic and vocal lines to dazzling effect. It’s obviously apparent on the two duo tracks – the driving “Country Rules” and the deep, dark “Sharecropper Blues” (written by Weston), a stark canvas that gives Corritore lots of room to show how the harmonica, the only instrument in Western music that permits both blowing and drawing air, is arguably also the closest to the cry of the human voice.
Band members are all old hands, providing easy-going backing, shuffling with unhurried ease through unobtrusive arrangements that put voice and harp front and centre. Everything’s well within twelve-bar convention, yet there’s both obvious love for and a profound understanding of the blues and it’s emotional impact on display here. No one overplays, relying on taste and tone to get the message across, yet each tune is brimming with the sheer joy of making music. Fun is a palpable presence.
When they’re played as well as this, with this much energy and imagination, the blues really are a timeless musical form. Lucky To Be Living is an instant classic … very highly recommended!
Rock and Blues Music Examiner (September 21, 2009)
The blues has many forms- rock, bluesy jazz, electric Chicago blues and certainly Delta Blues. A few weeks ago, Hattiesburg-born bluesman Dave Riley released a CD with his musical partner of some five years, harmonica player Bob Corritore ( who pretty much owns the Phoenix blues scene as a radio host, club owner and musician). Lucky To Be Living is pair’s second release, a unique blending of Riley’s acoustic guitar and gravelly Delta voice with Corritore’s spare, direct harmonica. The title track was written by the late Arkansas harmonica legend Frank Frost (1 of 4 Frost tunes on the disc).
Riley and Corritore’s own style fits perfectly atop a Chicago-style rhythm section, featuring another legend, former Howlin’ Wolf pianist Henry Gray. Since leaving Wolf’s band in 1968, Gray returned home to the Baton Rouge area and made his living as a roofer for a school district while continuing to play the blues. Gray plays frequently at Tabby’s Blues Box in Baton Rouge, owned by local blues great Tabby Thomas, father of another blues great, Chris Thomas King. With Corritore’s band punching the rhythms, Riley and Corritore’s Delta-styled approach melds the songs. Above all, Dave Riley’s voice stands out, from the weariness of a man who spent most of his life working as a farmhand and later as an Illinois prison guard to bemused songs of relationships like “Ride With Your Daddy Tonight” . 60s years has not worn down Riley’s voice, just seasoned it well for a welcome CD of straight-ahead blues. The lack of of an electric guitar in Riley’s hands suits for this music. His acoustic playing gives this blues a better direction than the endless releases of electric guitar technical masters who go for the flash and not the feel.
Finding this CD by chance is one of those moments reminding a person they’re indeed Lucky To Be Living.
Bluesvan.hu (Hungary) (September 20, 2009)
Dave Riley és Bob Corritore elso közös lemezét, a Travelin’ The Dirt Road-ot a kritikusok és a közönség egyöntetuen pozitív szavakkal illette, melynek ékes bizonyítéka az album Acoustic Album Of The Year (Blues Music Award) és a Best Traditional Blues Recording (Blues Blast Music Award) címekre történo jelölése. A megkezdett sikersorozat folytatásaként második közös lemezük a napokban jelent meg.
A Lucky To Be Living az elodjéhez hasonló színvonalú anyag, olyan, a mufaj krémjéhez tartozó vendégzenészek közremuködésével, mint Henry Gray – zongora, Chris James – gitár és Patrick Rynn – basszusgitár, de öt felvételen Dave Riley fia, Dave „Yahni” Riley jr. (basszusgitár) is szerepel.
Dave Riley gitárjátéka sallangmentes, míg az eroteljes és rekedt, élettol megfáradt hangja jelzi, nem akármilyen évek vannak a háta mögött – bluest eloször a chicagói Maxwell Streeten hallott, majd a középiskola befejezését követoen Vietnámban szolgált. Börtönorként közel 25 évig dolgozott, és a súlyos drog és alkoholfüggoségét is sikerült legyoznie.
Bob Corritore-t tisztelettudó, mégis határozott, rendkívül technikás szájharmonika játék jellemzi a tole megszokott színvonalon.
A CD-n található tíz down home blues stílusú dal a legendás Jelly Roll Kings tagjainak, Frank Frostnak, John Westonnak és Fred Jamesnek a szerzeményei, kiegészítve négy Dave Riley kompozícióval.
A zenében a „leg”-ek általában szubjektív kategóriák, mégis azt kell mondanom (vagyis inkább írnom), hogy kedvenc szájharmonikásom, Bob Corritore Dave Riley-vel közös lemeze az egyik legjobb anyag, amit az idei újdonságok közül hallottam.
Nashville Blues Society (September 18, 2009)
Delta guitarist Dave Riley and Chicago harpmeister Bob Corritore have teamed up once again to release Lucky To Be Living, the follow-up to their highly-acclaimed 2007 debut,Travelin’ The Dirt Road. It’s another brilliant excursion down deep in the delta by two guys who are indeed masters of their craft. They play that down-home, acoustic blues steeped in the traditions of the areas in which they grew up. That is one of the underlying threads of this album – it keeps intact the message and tradition of guys like Frank Frost, John Weston, and Sam Carr. It was Frost himself who gave Dave his first music-business gig, playing with the legendary Jelly Roll Kings. Dave reaches out to these friends and mentors, many of whom have, sadly, passed on, in his re-working of Frost’s “Jelly Roll King”, which kicks things off.
There are four Dave Riley originals and six covers, all of which maintain that honest, hardscsrabble feel of growing up in hard times. One listen to “Country Rules” and “Sharecropper’s Blues”, with its tale of having “two pairs of overalls” and “one pair of brogan shoes” will attest to this fact. Dave and Bob added bluesy lyrics to an old gospel tune for “On My Way”, while “Back Down The Dirt Road” revisits their debut with humorous added lyrics and studio chatter.
We had three favorites, too. “Lucky To Be Living” is their ode to the many friends they’ve made as a result of the music business who are no longer living. They get piano help from Henry Gray on a fine cover of a Fred James tune, “Automobile”, where, without one, “the girls won’t give you a second look!” Mr. Gray shows up again along with guitarist Chris James on a sweet “Ride With Your Daddy Tonight”!
One thing that is noticeable about Dave Riley and Bob Corritore is that they never “get in each other’s way”. Bob’s harp is always there for a fill or a lead at just the right time, and Dave’s guitar work is dead on target throughout. Also, you can tell that they are genuinely having fun playing this music, and, so will you when you listen to Lucky To Be Living.
-Sheryl and Don Crow
Blues Blast Magazine #1 (September 10, 2009)
Man: Hey Baby, check me out.
Woman: Ooh, you dressed so fine, and I like the way you walk.
Man: I like your style, too. Let’s me and you go do something.
Woman: Well, maybe. Where’s your car?
Man: Honey, I ain’t got no car.
Woman: What? You must think I’m a fool. See you later, Chump!
The moral of this story: Even “a raggedy ride beats a sharp stride, every single day of the year!”
This made up dialogue is based on, “Automobile,” the last song on Dave Riley and Bob Corritore’s new CD, Lucky to Be Living. I have smiled every time I have heard Dave Riley play this song live. Written by his friend Fred James, it was recorded on Riley’s solo CDLiving on Borrowed Time in 2000, (now hard to find), but this version with Bob Corritore on harmonica and high quality, in-studio recording is the finest. It is typical of the first rate traditional Blues found on the entire CD.
Lucky to Be Living is basically a joyous Volume 2 of this duo’s wonderful 2007 release,Travelin’ the Dirt Road, which received both BBMA and BMA nominations. Produced by Chicago raised, but now Phoenix-based, Bob Corritore, a prolific, Grammy-nominated producer in addition to club owner and radio host, Lucky to Be Living features four original songs by Riley, who handles guitar and vocals. Besides James’ “Automobile”, five other songs were created by the late Jelly Roll Kings Frank Frost and John Weston, Riley’s friends and former band mates. Studio guests are Riley’s son Dave Jr. and Patrick Rynn on bass, Chris James on second guitar, Henry Gray – piano, and Tom Coulson, Eddie Kobek, and Frank Rossi – drums.
Lucky to Be Living is a thoroughly enjoyable album of Mississippi to Chicago styled blues – a purist’s delight. The songs feature Riley’s wonderfully gruff and powerful, world-weary voice and an understated but tone-rich guitar style. Corritore matches Riley with experience-inspired harp played over, under, around, and through Riley’s guitar and vocals.
Born in 1949 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Riley brings real-deal experiences to his art: picking cotton, Chicago habitation near Maxwell Street, combat duty in Vietnam, working as a Joliet prison guard in the “tombs” segregation unit of death row, and alcohol and substance abuse and recovery.
Three of Riley’s experiences provide the title and title track for the CD, Lucky to Be Living. Riley is telling the truth when he sings that he is “lucky to be living” as he has been “shot with a pistol and had his neck broke twice” (near fatal car wrecks).
In addition to the two above mentioned songs, other standouts are the piano laced romp, “Let’s Get Together”, the virtuosic harmonica on “The Things You Do”, and the slow Blues trip through ugly history, “Sharecropper Blues”.
This CD and its predecessor reveal that Riley and Corritore’s formula of knowledge, experience, mischievous fun, and respect for the deep roots and traditional Blues music is a winning one. Their power and zeal is now loved internationally, turning them a hot commodity. A visit to tour schedules on their websites reveals gigs in Spain, France, Switzerland, California, Southern States, and the upcoming Arkansas Blues & Heritage Festival (formerly King Biscuit) in Helena, October 9 -10.
They’re “Lucky to Be Living,” and we’re lucky to be listening.
-James “Skyy Dobro” Walker
The Arizona Republic (September 9, 2009)
For their second CD, Phoenix harmonica player Corritore and Mississippi-born singer-guitarist Riley hone their mix of gritty Chicago blues and rootsy Southern sounds.
At 60, Riley has plenty of character in his voice, which is at home with the lusty storytelling of “Jelly Roll King”, the upbeat flirtation of “Let’s Get Together”, the folksy “On My Way” and the old-school blues of the title track. Riley hits a sweet spot on the easygoing boogie of the self-penned “Country Rules” as he looks back on tough childhood days picking cotton.
Corritore does a great job of adjusting his harmonica playing to fit the lighter touch of the Southern tracks and the edgier Chicago style. He wails on “Jelly Roll King” and skips to happy, high notes for the dance-inducing “The Things You Do”. Henry Gray adds class and drive to the shuffling “Ride With Your Daddy Tonight”, and members of Corritore’s other project, the Rhythm Room All-Stars, spice up such tunes as the smooth “Automobile”. But the main ingredient for this pair is fun.
Rhapsody (September 5, 2009)
Twenty-first century blues music that knows where it came from, but is perfectly happy to be living in the present.
Rootstime (Belgium) (September 4, 2009)
De muziek van Dave Riley laat zich niet makkelijk omschrijven. Dave bewaart de traditie van de blues maar voegt er nieuwe dimensies aan toe. Zijn unieke stijl, krachtig, intens en emotioneel, slaat een brug tussen The Dixiehummingbirds, Jimmy Reed en Jimi Hendrix ! Dave Riley werd geboren in Hattiesburg, Mississippi waar gospel deel uitmaakte van ieders leven. Op zijn negende maakte hij zich al snel de gitaar eigen. Hij zong en speelde gospel tot 1967 toen hij het leger inging. Tijdens zijn legerdienst raakte hij in de ban van Jimi Hendrix. Hij kwam ook in contact met Albert King, Howlin’ Wolf, Jimmy Reed en Wes Montgomery en startte blues te spelen. Dave leidde een band die opende voor o.a. Bob Hope en James Brown bij gelegenheid van USO shows in Azië. In 1973 trok hij zich terug uit de muziek om zich te wijden aan de opvoeding van zijn zoon en ging werken als cipier in de Joliet State Penitentiary. In 1997 liet hij zich door de legendarische Frank Frost overhalen om weer in een bluesband te gaan spelen.
Bob Corritore nog voorstellen na zijn optreden tijdens het Spring Blues Festival van dit jaar met zijn Rhythm All-stars Band is misschien overbodig (zie ook interview). Als harmonicaspeler, radiomaker, producer en eigenaar van de befaamde Rhythm Room club in Phoenix, Arizona zorgt Corritore voor het in leven houden van de bluescultuur al meer dan 30 jaar.
Hij startte als twintiger zijn eigen platenlabel “Blues Over Blues” en produceerde sessies van obscure harmonicameesters zoals: Big Leon Brooks en Little Willie Anderson. Deze sessies brachten speciale aandacht aan Chicago’s meest bekende bluesmannen, waaronder Robert Jr. Lockwood, Fred Below, Eddie Taylor en Pinetop Perkins. In 1981 verhuisde Bob naar Phoenix. Hij overrede Louisiana Red hetzelfde te doen, een band te vormen en songs op te nemen. Zo nam Bob de productie op zich van het album Sittin’ Here Wonderin’, door Louisana Red maar het zou tot 1996 duren voor het album werd uitgebracht op het Earwig label met als gevolg dat het album genomineerd werd voor een W.C. Handy Award. Hij speelde met de meest bekende bluesbands waaronder Big Pete Pearson & the Detroit Blues Band, Chico Chism & the Chiztones en Buddy Reed & the Rip It Ups. Daarbij runt hij een wekelijkse radio show op KJZZ , en dit al gedurende 25 jaar. De “Keeping The Blues Alive” award die hij in 2007 ontving was dan ook meer dan verdient.
Inmiddels is de voorganger van deze heren, Travelin’ The Dirt Road, ook uiterst positief ontvangen en kunnen we nu twee jaar later wederom genieten van hun nieuwste album:Lucky To Be Living. Riley trok begin jaren ’90 veel op met Frank Frost en John Weston, de artiesten die in Chicago zijn carrière meer vorm gaven. Lucky To Be Living, mogen we dan ook een beetje beschouwen als eerbetoon, waardoor we van beide heren een vijftal songs terugvinden op deze plaat. De andere zijn dan ook van de hand van Riley zelf. Het resultaat is een genietbare en zeer gevarieerde mix van stemmingen, waardoor het album de luisteraar voortdurend blijft boeien. Nu is virtuositeit niet alles, want vooral in dit genre moet je ook in staat zijn de luisteraar in het hart te raken. Met de indringende zang van Riley lukt dat bijzonder goed. Hij heeft een rustig klinkende stem waarmee hij u keer op keer weet te raken.
De opener “Jelly Roll King” en “Ride With Your Daddy Tonight” zijn meteen twee composities van Frank Frost, waarvan de teksten min of meer zijn veranderd, songs die bij hun live optredens bijna altijd worden uitgevoerd door Dave en Bob. Met “On My Way” gaan we wel degelijk de gospel tour op, een idee van Corritore, om met dit nummer deze concerten te openen. Bob’s harpspel is het grootst in “The Things You Do”, een klassieke shuffle van Frank Frost, die in deze vernieuwde versie veel krachtiger overkomt. Afsluiter “Automobile” een nummer van Fred James, is misschien niet zo goed gekozen als afsluiter, maar Patrick Rynn verschijnt op deze track en dit maakt dan weer veel goed, want wie erbij was tijdens het Spring Blues Festival weet onmiddellijk wat een talent ook deze vriendelijke artiest is.
Er staan geen zwakke songs op dit album, maar de meest opvallende tracks zijn wel, het reeds vernoemde “The Things You Do” en de titeltrack omwille van het prachtige harpspel van Bob Corritore. De blues die hier gespeeld wordt is echt om te genieten. De arrangementen zijn dan weer, geheel zoals je van een plaat van het label Blue Witch kunt verwachten, subtiel en geraffineerd en ze rekken de grenzen van de blues op een flexibele manier iets op, zonder overigens het echte rauwe bluesgevoel te verliezen.Lucky To Be Living is gewoon een prima album van Dave Riley & Bob Corritore, een duo dat wisselvallig ook van een zevental andere artiesten kon rekenen. Voor zowel de Chicago Blues als de rootsliefhebber een aanrader en dus alle reden om dit album aan te schaffen. Lucky To Be Living is het resultaat van hun muzikale vriendschap en behoort tot het betere werk in zijn deelgenre.
Blogcritics Music #1 (September 4, 2009)
It used to be the most common combination for a duo in blues music, but nowadays it seems to be getting harder and harder to find the old harmonica-and-guitar mix that dominated the scene for so long. Sure there are still some really good harp players out there, but more and more the genre is becoming dominated by the guitarists. Off the top of my head I can only think of three or four harp players who are even band leaders anymore, and none of them are the household names that people like Sonny Boy Williamson (either the original or the copy) or Carey Bell once were among blues fans.
One of the reasons for there being fewer and fewer harp players is the fact that while it’s a fairly easy instrument to just pick up and start blowing, to really master its intricacies a player must be willing to dedicate themselves to years of daily practice. I remember reading of one harmonica player telling how he’d spend up to eight hours a day in front of a mirror practicing to ensure that his technique was as good as it possibly could be. How many people do you think are going to be willing to put that kind of effort into learning an instrument which really doesn’t offer the opportunities for fame and glory that the guitar does?
Thankfully that doesn’t seem to have completely stopped people from picking up the harmonica and learning how to play; and I don’t doubt there are plenty toiling away in obscurity in bars and honky-tonks around the world.
One of those who deserves far more recognition then he likely gets already is Bob Corritore, who is one half of a great guitar-and-harmonica duo. The guitar half, Dave Riley, was born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and moved to Chicago when barely a teenager. He was living near Maxwell Street when he was drafted and sent off to Vietnam, and there he eventually ended up in a military band that toured bases and opened for USO shows. Those are the types of life experiences that are bound to give you the blues, but it wasn’t until the mid-1990’s that Riley returned to his Mississippi roots and the music of the Delta full-time.
Lucky To Be Living on Blue Witch Records is the duo’s second recording and will be released on September 9. Their first disc together, Travelin’ The Dirt Road, was nominated for a Blues Music Award as Best Acoustic Album in 2008, and there’s no reason why this new disc shouldn’t receive the same consideration. This collection of ten songs, four of them originals written by Riley, covers a lot of territory musically as it mixes the slow, drawn-out deep blues that carries with it echoes of the slaves whom the music sprung from originally, with the up-tempo swing of the juke joints that dot the byways and highways of the South. While their sound is filled out by bass and drums on most tracks – and piano and an extra guitar helping out on tracks two, six and ten—the focus remains solidly on the two leads throughout.
I don’t think it would matter whether or not they had a multi-piece band accompanying them all the time or if it was just the two of them playing, your focus would remain fixed on them. They are each dynamic enough performers in their own rights to hold down center stage, so taken together they form a formidable combination difficult to ignore. Riley’s guitar work and vocals tell the stories, while Corritore’s harmonica provides an emotional accent that takes the music to another level. Whether it’s the laid-back sounds of “Country Rules”, the deep pathos of “Sharecropper Blues” or the fun of “Jelly Roll King”, they compliment each other’s sound so well that you could almost think it was a solo performance.
Of course that’s not possible as no one can sing and play harmonica at the same time – or at least to my knowledge they can’t – but the interplay between these two guys is so seamless that you’re hard-pressed to tell them apart. What makes them most effective as a duo is the fact that they both serve as conduits for the music instead of using the material as opportunities to show off. Listen to any of the songs on this disc and you’ll see what I mean, for instead of either of them playing elaborate leads or adding in any of the extra flourishes that so many players use, they take the approach that simplest is best. As a result, their music is filled with the emotional power of the songs they play and that’s what stays with listeners, not anything that either of them did in particular with their playing.
That’s not to say they aren’t talented musicians and don’t know their way ’round their instruments; it just means they are confident enough in their abilities and the music they’re playing to focus on making sure what they do serves the music rather than themselves. Riley’s guitar work, for instance, somehow combines the smoothness of a jazz player with the rough and raw edge required for the blues. However, what I notice the most about it is how clean it sounds with each not ringing out distinct from the others and being allowed to have it’s say in the song. In contrast, his voice is rough hewn and road weary and the sounds of the Delta come through loud and clear with every word he sings. It’s easy to be impressive on the harmonica by playing a lot of notes and blowing your head off to fast songs. What’s hard to do is draw notes out of the instrument in such a way that they take on the character and the spirit of the song. Corritore can blow as wicked and mean as anybody out there, but at the same time he can draw out a note in such a way you feel its weight tumbling out of the speakers. It’s like he picks emotions out of the air and then funnels them through the reeds in his harmonica to give them voice. It’s been a long time since someone has managed to send shivers up my spine with their harp playing but Corritore did on this disc.
If you’ve missed listening to the old-fashioned duo of guitar and harmonica playing the blues, but have no patience for those who have forgotten the blues are supposed to be about life and not the past, you’ll not want to miss Lucky To Be Living by Dave Riley and Bob Corritore. Not only are they gifted players who have the sensitivity to let the music take center stage, they also imbue it with the necessary passion to bring it alive. This is twenty-first century blues music that knows where it came from, but is perfectly happy to be living in the present.
Wichita Blues Society (September 2009)
Are you ready for good old blues? You have it here with Lucky to Be Alive. Riley and Corritore are serving up down home blues deeply rooted in Chicago and Mississippi styles that represent their upbringings. Riley is from Mississippi, while Corritore is from Chicago. My, oh, My, do they bring new twists to classic old blues.
The CD opens with Frank Frost tune, “Jelly Roll Kings” which first heard in the 90’s when he made with Jelly Roll Kings. He has reworked the lyrics to talk about Kings and he tribute to them in a grand style. “Ride with Your Daddy Tonight” another Frost Song has the added benefit of Henry Gray on Piano. Corritore’s harp playing is outstanding as it is all through this CD. There are many Frank Frost tunes all along this CD, which clearly show their love for him. I find that replaying his songs will expand the audience for the Jelly Roll Kings.
“Let’s Get Together” is bouncy romp with blues, Corritore has fun with this, while Henry Gray lends his fingers on the keys. Riley is having fun on this. Toward the end of the CD, comes the deep blues of John Weston’s “Sharecropper Blues.” I am talking about down in the soul feel my pain slow blues, you can hear in the lyrics and Riley’s vocal. This is a keeper. Find it.
Pittsburgh Post Gazette / Blue Notes (September 2009)
A fair amount of CDs that are slipped through the BlueNotes doggy door seem to stretch the idea of “blues” a little more than even than he can stand (and BN’s low standards are legendary).
But one recent release has given me hope that there are still some blues out there worth finding and hearing. In this case it’s a new CD by Dave Riley and Bob Corritore titled “Lucky to be Living” (Blue Witch Records — a fine new blues label, by the way).
Corritore is a Phoenix, Ariz, harpman with a real feel for old Chicago blues, and Dave Riley is a tough old guitar-playing blues singer whose music rings true with blues feeling.
I doubt that Phoenix will ever replace Chicago in the blues pantheon, but the city seems to have an active blues life, with players like these. They’ve released an excellent CD here, full of rich blues, riding on Corritore’s swampy harp and Riley’s deep and gritty vocals. In addition to all the fine musicians here, 85-year-old pianoman Henry Gray works the keyboards with down-home vigor on three tracks.
Everyone involved grinds out a fine, slow-burning blues set. Corritore’s harp swoops and soars around Riley’s voice, and together they treat you to a hearty helping of some of the tastiest blues I’ve heard for a while.
– Jim White
Blues Bytes (September 2009)
Dave Riley and Bob Corritore have enjoyed a five-year friendship and musical partnership that culminated in 2007’s Travelin’ The Dirt Road, which was nominated for a Blues Music Award for Acoustic Album of the Year and was considered one of the best releases of that year. The combination of Riley’s Mississippi Delta blues and Corritore’s great Chicago harmonica style, plus their wonderful rapport made for entertaining listening.
Their sophomore effort, on Blue Witch Records, is entitled Lucky To Be Living, and continues in the same vein as its predecessor, sounding for all the world like it could have been recorded during the heyday of those great down-home Frank Frost/Sam Carr/Big Jack Johnson recordings from the 60’s. In fact, the duo covers four Frank Frost compositions. “Jelly Roll King” is reworked into a tribute of sorts to some of Riley’s close friends, including Frost (who gave Riley his start as a professional musician), Carr, Carr’s wife Doris, and John Weston.
The title track is appropriate as the pair has seen many fellow musicians and friends pass away in recent years (including three of the four subjects of the opening track as well as Robert Jr. Lockwood and Chico Chism) and feel fortunate to still be around. The other Frost covers are “Ride with Your Daddy Tonight,” featuring Henry Gray on piano and Chris James on guitar, and “The Things You Do,” a Delta shuffle so authentic you can feel the humidity.
Additional cover tunes include John Weston’s “Sharecropper Blues,” which features great interplay between Riley and Corritore, and an unplugged remake of Fred James’ “Automobile,” which Riley originally performed on the Cannonball Record’s Blues Across America anthology collection’s disc on the Helena scene. Riley also contributes several songs, including the gospel-inflected “On My Way,” the loose-limbed “Back Down The Dirt Road,” and the all-acoustic “Country Rules.”
It was a great day when these guys decided to record together. It’s obvious that they had a ball making this music and you will have a ball listening to it. Lucky To Be Living will definitely please fans of pure, unvarnished, undiluted down-home blues.
In A Blue Mood (September 2009)
Blues at base can be a very simple music. Simple guitar riffs and crying harmonica accompaniment for heartfelt vocals can get to the listener’s heart. This forms the heart of the music by the duo of Dave Riley and Bob Corritore. A Mississippi native, Riley actually grew up in Chicago, played in a family gospel group and showed stuff on guitar by Pops Staples and after serving in Vietnam and playing in soul circles, met Jimmy Reed who helped shaped his musical outlook. But it was meeting Frank Frost after moving back down south, and then started playing with Frost and Sam Carr as well as having associations with John Weston, Pinetop Perkins and Arthur Williams. This post-war delta style forms the basis of his music joined by his partner, Bob Corritore, a solid harmonica player who has been a blues hero as a record producer, blues radio announcer, concert promoter (at Phoenix’s The Rhythm Room) and a extremely adeptharp player. The duo has a new CD on Blue Witch, “Lucky to Be Living,” which displays the duo’s strong blues rooted in the simple Jimmy Reed boogie grooves and solid juke joint sounds that Frost pioneered with the Nighthawks (later known as the Jelly Roll Kings).
Dave Riley Jr joins on bass on half the selections, while guitarist Chris James adds his idiomatic playing for three selections with former Howlin’ Wolf pianist, Henry Gray.Several songs are by the late Frank Frost, including the opening “Jelly Roll King,” which Riley makes into a tribute about Frost, Carr and Weston. “Lets Get Together,” is a solid shuffle by Riley with Gray pounding outs some nice boogie piano as part of the driving accompaniment, while Gray also enlivens another Frost blues, the rocking “Ride With Your Daddy Tonight,” which also has a lively rocking solo from guitarist James. Frank Frost also wrote the title track, a stone Muddy Waters styled slow blues with Riley contributing some nice guitar fills and Corritore wailing on hap in support of Riley’s singing. Riley’s straightforward, somewhat hoarse singing is direct and if lacking in subtlety, it compensate with his honest delivery, while Corritore shifts from a full Little Walter styled harp tone to a more crying Rice Miller attack as appropriate. There is nothing new here but Riley and Corritore have produced a set of honest Delta to Chicago blues that should delight many.
Bluebeat Music (September 2009)
Another killer down home release from this blues due. Strong Delta Blues sounds with killer harmonica!
– Charlie Lange
Blues In Britain (August 31, 2009)
“Juke joint blues – downhome blues – gutbucket blues? Call it what you will – I love it – and so will you! “That’s how I finished my review of the last collaboration between these two fine artists – and it seems an appropriate way to start this one, as it is more of the same
On their previous CD Riley and Corritore were Travelin’ The Dirt Road and this time they going “Back Down The Dirt Road” – vintage Muddy style. Accompanying them on the journey are Henry Gray, Chris James (guitar) with Dave Riley, Jr. and Patrick Rynn (bass), and an assortment of drummers, with two tracks performed as just a duo.
The set is obviously intended as a tribute to The Jelly Roll Kings and The Delta Jukes with the duo covering tracks written by Frank Frost and John Weston as well as four Riley originals and one Fred James song.
The set opens with Frost’s “Jelly Roll King” which comes over as a “Jelly Roll Sneakers” with Riley’s gravely vocals recalling Sam Carr, Frost and Weston accompanied by Corritore’s wailing harp. Another Frost number, “Ride With your Daddy Tonight” is pure “Jelly Roll” accentuated by clanging guitar and stomping piano with wonderful gutbucket harp. “On My Way” updates (slightly) the sounds of Muddy’s plantation recordings with train-like percussion and chugging harp – “Lucky To Be Living” (Frost again) has a vintage 50’s Muddy feel (think “Standing Round Crying”), as does a brooding version of Weston’s “Sharecropper Blues” – whilst Frost’s “The Things You Do” has a loping Jimmy Reed feel with fine high register harp.
That leaves the rambling blues “Country Rules” which has a distinct Harmonica Slim feel – whilst “Let’s Get Together” is a Jelly Roll romp with gutbucket piano and harp, the whole permeated with shades of Magic Slim.
“Juke joint blues – downhome blues ……”
WFHB / Cathi’s Blues Reviews (August 30, 2009)
Mississippi-bred guitarist Riley started out in Gospel and hit Chicago where he played awhile before stepping away from music. After a stint in the service he teamed up with harper Bob Corritore – best known as manager/owner of the Rhythm Room in Phoenix, AZ (a real stop on the blues road these days). Corritore, also a popular SWestern DJ, produced several albums (Henry Gray, Chief Schabuttie Gilliame, Janiva Magness, etc.), guesting on many of them. Recently he’s stepping more into the playing limelight, winning kudos for the excellent disc featuring Chris James and Patrick Rynn (who step in to support a few of these tunes). Here he does an acoustic based duo..paying tribute to Sam Carr, Frank Frost and other heroes. This is one of the last discs on which Henry Gray plays piano. Nice porch blues feel.
(Editor’s Note – Henry Gray is still alive. Though Bob was a member of Janiva Magness & The Mojomatics in the mid 1980s, he cannot take production credit for any of Janiva’s albums.)
The Monk’s Jazz and Blues (August 28, 2009)
Dave Riley is from Hattiesburg (Mississippi) and took his first steps in the gospel, but moved quickly toward Chicago, where he was in the vicinity of Maxwell Street where the blues began to deepen. Dave drew a lot from Sam Carr, Frank Frost, and John Weston, making his career in the early 90s. Through his friendship with the trio, he also studied the Delta Blues, and then put a mix of Delta and Chicago blues on the CD Whiskey, Money and Women.
Bob Corritore’s roots were already in Chicago and learned the blues harp at thirteen, examples include playing with Walter Horton. In the early ’80s, Bob was drawn toward Arizona, and began working with Big Pete Pearson, Robert Lockwood, Jr., Jimmy Rogers, Janiva Magness, and others. He is now heard on his radio show on KJZZ in Phoenix, and is also the owner of the Rhythm Room. To mark his 25 years on Those Lowdown Blueson KJZZ, he recently released an anthology of 25 years’ guest appearances such as Louisiana Red, Lazy Lester, Tomcat Courtney, Billy Boy Arnold, Otis Clay, Lowell Fulson, and of course, Dave Riley.
This latest CD, Lucky To Be Living, may also be considered a “tribute” to Frank Frost and John Weston, covering work from these gentlemen on this album. On this CD are 10 tracks, which include some of the songwriting of Dave Riley.
The opener “Jelly Roll King” is by Frank Frost, but for this edition, the “lyrics” by Dave are altered a bit to include Sam Carr. Also “Ride With Your Daddy Tonight” was covered and almost always played at live performances by Dave and Bob.
With “On My Way” we go up on a gospel tour, and it was actually the idea of Corritore to use this number, and Dave is totally going at the “rhythm guitar”. With “Back Down The Dirt Road” Dave and Bob expand their debut album Travelin’ The Dirt Road further. With “The Things You Do” they take back a “classic” by Frank Frost, a “shuffle” where Bob pulls out all the stops on his blues harp, doing them quite a little “lazy” with the track, “Automobile” (of Fred James), Patrick Rynn makes a guest appearance on that number.
Lucky To Be Living is a successful sequel to their debut CD in 2007, and we should be lucky to prize this record in our collection…till number three…
Blues Art Studio (August 24, 2009)
This is the second album from Dave & Bob, two bluesmen who have discovered their lifelong love of the blues by travelling their separate and winding roads through life meeting, learning, playing with a good number of blues legends. When their paths eventually crossed, it was the blues that which they love so much, and which has also occupied most of their lives, became the kernel of an idea to form a partnership to continue to recording and performing the old style Delta and Chicago blues.
This album is not only a refreshing and vibrant slice of finger-snapping and toe-tapping music; it is also a remembrance and tribute to Sam Carr, Frank Frost, John Weston, and Fred James; unfortunately only Sam Carr is still with us to appreciate this offering. The ten numbers featured here are a mixture of lovingly reworked Frank Frost numbers, such as; “Jelly Roll king”, “The Things You Do”, and “Ride With Your Daddy Tonight”, coupled with wonderful sounding standards, “Lucky To Be Living”, John Weston’s “Sharecropper Blues” and Fred James’s “Automobile”. Each number delivers its imbued zest for life, fun, and frolics so much so that “Back Down The Dirt Road” is the uncut and mischievously funny rehearsal version.
The guest musicians backing Dave; guitar, vocals and Bob; harmonica, are; Henry Gray, piano, Chris James; guitar, Dave ”Yahni” Riley Jr. and Patrick Rynn; bass, Tom Coulson, Eddie Kobek, and Frank Rossi; drums. Together they create a relaxingly languorous, lazy, and laid-back feel, whilst at the same time relentlessly urging you on to roll back the carpet and let those feet fly! It goes without saying, though, I suppose I should say, that Bobs’ harmonica is impeccably spot-on throughout, and backed with Dave’s raunchy and equally sublime guitar work, they together, seamlessly create an endearingly timeless sound.
Well worth the Shilling!
Juke Joint Soul (August 21, 2009)
2007 was a good year for Dave Riley & Bob Corritore. They received numerous accolades and nominations for their first collaboration Travelin’ the Dirt Road. Old school from the word “go,” these guys are no-nonsense, hardcore tradition, and it’s moving people all over the world. One of the most highly anticipated releases for traditionalists this year, Lucky to Be Living presents these two torchbearers in more of a band setting compared to their previous release.
Employing much of the same formula as Travelin’, the roots of this disc is found at the heart and soul of its players. Corritore and Riley’s deft knowledge in the Mississippi to Chicago stylings is hard to beat amongst many of their peers. Corritore’s less is more juke joint harmonica playing is neither overbearing, nor is it without emotion and evocative blues power. Riley is not a technician guitar player, but rather a groove-smith. His true power is found in his road and life-tested voice. He’s a true veteran and purveyor of his influences. Riley’s influences are all over this disc writing-credit-wise. Frank Frost and John Weston (Jelly Roll Kings) supply over half the tracks here. As stated, this is more of a band affair than the last disc. Corritore’s partners in crime from the Blue Four – Chris James and Patrick Rynn (BMA-nominated artists in their own right) appear on three tracks, and are rock-solid, as expected. Riley’s son, Dave “Yahni” Riley, Jr. is the bassman on half of the album’s tracks, and shows as much poise as his papa. Legendary pianist Henry Gray gives some beautiful coloring in the traditional Chicago blues band landscape on three pieces, as well. To say this is a traditional blues fan’s dream is an understatement.
Riley and Corritore don’t deviate too much from the I-IV-V chord patterns of things, and the disc gets a little healthy on the Delta shuffles. Two or three of the tracks run a little long for my taste, but Bob Corritore (who’s also the album’s producer) is a sage to the school of three minute songs. In other words, the disc isn’t short on economy and spacing. It’s undoubtedly hard to not notice the joy that the players put into the material, as most of the disc bubbles with a fine undercurrent of fun as well as respect. This travel back down the dirt road is a fine testament that traditional blues has a lot of potency and potential when it’s in very capable hands.
-Ben “The Harpman” Cox
Juke Joint Blues & Soul (France) (August 19, 2009)
Inutile d être un spécialiste des arts divinatoires pour annoncer que le disque de chevet des amateurs de “Down Home Blues” de cette rentrée 2009 se trouve sur le labelBluewitch Records ! Cette nouvelle production réunissant à nouveau Dave Riley et Bob Corritore est des plus réussie. 10 titres sont réunies, la complicité des deux amis faisant naturellement des merveilles. La première composition est un hommage vibrant à Frank Frost ainsi qu’au regretté John Weston . Dans cette belle aventure nous retrouvons également le pianiste Henry Gray, les complices Chris James et Patrick Rynn, la famille quoi …! Sortie Officielle début Septembre.
Midwest Record (August 17, 2009)
The last time out was no fluke, this pair is a fun bunch of guys. A Chicago kid and a Mississippi kid that love the blues followed the dictate to do what you love and (hopefully) the money will follow and they seem to be doing just that. With an auspicious debut behind them that everyone took note of, they seem powered and empowered to do it again without serving us more of the same. A killer contemporary take on traditional blues that jaded ears need so bad.
ABS Magazine (France)
Pas besoin de don d’ubiquité pour announcer que Le disque de chevet Des amateurs de down home blues de cette rentrée 2009 se trouve sur Le label Bluewitch Records! Cette nouvelle production réunissant Dave Riley et Bob Corritore, EST indéniablement très réussie. Dix admirables compositions sont ici réunies, la complicité Des deux amis faisant Des merveilles. La première composition EST un hommage vibrant à Frank Frost ainsi qu’au regretté John Weston; ces deux bluesmen Ont fortement marqué de leur empreinte nombre de musiciens. Dans cette belle aventure, nous retrouvons également Le vétéran Henry Gray qui n’a rien perdu de sa vivacité au clavier, mais aussi les complices de l’ami Bob, les inséparables Chris James et Patrick Rynn qui sont, comme d’habitude, à leur aise dans tous les registres du duoze mesures. Bob Corritore et Dave Riley aux côtés de Tomcat Courtney seront en tournée en Suisse et en France dès Le mois de novembre prochain. Ne les manquez pas!
– Jean-Luc Vabres
Blue Ink / Blues Lovers United of San Diego
Music is about communication. Blues music is about communicating feeling. That’s one of the reasons I like blues music so much. That’s also one of the reasons I like this CD. The arrangements are simple. The instrumentation is standard; guitar, harmonica, bass, drums and a smattering of piano by Henry Gray. The songs serve as a platform for Dave Riley’s gritty, well-worn voice and understated guitar and Bob Corritore’s big fat Chicago harmonica sound.
Dave Riley starts the CD by remembering his”JellyRoll King” buddies, John Weston, Frank Frost and Sam Carr (who passed away on September 21).
For my money “Back Down the Dirt Road” is the standout track. The improvised vocals at the end of the song convey the “hang loose and let ‘er fly” atmosphere that seems to permeate the recording studio. The musicians are taking us on a journey with them and so, we get to share in the joy and excitement of the adventure.
There’s a San Diego connection too. Chris James amd Patrick Rynn of the Blue Four lend their considerable talents on several songs. If you haven’t heard Dave Riley before this CD makes a fine introduction
Blues Magazine N°54
Après leur Travelin’ The DirtRoad de l’an dernier, loué unanimementpar la critique, le duoétait attendu au tournant. Paritenu pour le guitariste noir Dave Riley, originaire de Hattiesburg, Mississippi et l’harmoniciste blanc Bob Corritore, né à Chicago. Ils se sont rencontrés il y a trois ans et se sont de suite aperçus qu’ils étaient faits pour jouer ensemble. Frank Frost, dernier représentantdu Blues à enregistrer pour Sam Phillips (sur Phillips International, en 1962), une des influences de Dave, est particulièrement à l’honneur sur ce CD, puisqu’on y retrouve 4 de ses titres, dont une version tonitruante du célébrissime Jelly Roll King ouvrant le bal. Le reste n’est que du bonheur, du Rockin’n Rollin’ Blues grand cru, sans une seule faute de goût. Les tout meilleurs moments sont, pour moi, On My Way, Let’s Get Together, Country Rules et The Things You Do, mais on peut en préférer d’autres. Et lorsque retentissent les dernières notes de Automobile, on regrette que ce soit déjà fini. Nos amis suisses pourront les voir en novembre à Lucerne, puis ils seront à Mantesla- Jolie au festival Blues sur Seine, à Montfort sur Meuse et à Calais. Si vous êtes dans le coin, ne les manquez surtout pas…
Rock N Roll Revue (France)
Après leur Travelin’ The Dirt Road de l’an dernier, loué unanimement par la critique, le duo était attendu au tournant. Pari tenu pour le guitariste noir Dave Riley, originaire de Hattiesburg, Mississippi, et l’harmoniciste blanc Bob Corritore, né à Chicago, qui se sont rencontrés il y a trois ans et de suite aperçus qu’ils étaient faits pour jouer ensemble. Frank Frost, dernier représentant du Blues à enregistrer pour Sam Phillips (sur Phillips International, en 1962), une des influences de Dave, est particulièrement à l’honneur sur ce CD, puisqu’on y retrouve 4 de ses titres, dont une version tonitruante du célébrissime “Jelly Roll King” ouvre le bal. Le reste n’est que du bonheur, du rockin’n’rollin’ Blues grand cru, sans une seule faute de goût. Les tout meilleurs moments sont, pour moi “On My Way”, “Let’s Get Together”, “Country Rules” et “The Things You Do”, mais on peut en préférer d’autres. Et lorsque retentissent les dernières notes de “Automobile”, on regrette que ce soit déjà fini. Nos amis suisses pourront les voir en novembre à Lucerne, puis ils seront à Mantes-la-Jolie au festival Blues sur Seine, à Montfort sur Meuse et à Calais. Si vous êtes dans le coin, ne les manquez surtout pas…
Blues & Rhythm
If you like no nonsense, down-home blues then look no further than Lucky To Be Living. Guitarist/singer Riley and harp player Corritore have cut ten tracks of unadorned, in the pocket blues music with no hint of rock influences. My only complaint is at ten tracks and 41 minutes, playing time is a tad light.
Lucky To Be Living is the duo’s sophomore effort, their first disc together, Travelin’ The Dirt Road, was nominated in 2008 for a Blues Music Award as Best Acoustic Album. This collection of ten songs, four of them Riley originals mixes the deep, down-home blues with the urgent, up-tempo rhythms still to heard in Southern juke joints. The sound is filled out by bass and drums on most tracks, with piano (Henry Gray) and second guitar (Chris James) added on tracks two, six and ten, however the focus remains solidly on Riley and Corritore.
Frank Frost’s “Jelly Roll King” is the first cut, sympathetic to the original Frost and the Nighthawks sound, it’s a straight ahead blues with unadorned guitar from Riley and solid blowing from Bob C. Next up is “Ride With Your Daddy Tonight”, with Gray on piano filling out the sound palette on a charging reading of another Frank Frost composition. Lucky To Be Living relates a tale of a dangerous lifestyle: “I’m lucky to be living . . . I’ve been shot with a pistol, neck’s been broke twice”.
Next up is a brace of Riley compositions; “Let’s Get Together” is a Jimmy Reed influenced boogie, “Country Rules” is a duo of Riley and Bob C. on a gently swinging acoustic number. “The Things You Do” is also influenced by the Jimmy Reed approach; Corritore really is a master of the laid back, lazy harp style. “Sharecropper Blues” (John Weston) is a Louisiana style slowie with just guitar and harp, and the final cut, “Automobile” (penned by B&R’s old friend Fred James), is in the same vein as Billy “The Kid” Emerson’s “Crazy ‘Bout Automobiles”. Once more Henry Gray is added on piano to fill out the ensemble sound.
Riley is a warm, if undemonstrative singer, and Corritore provides a sympathetic backing without going over the top. “Lucky To Be Living” really is a super set, pity it’s on the short side, but I enjoyed I a lot.