John Primer & Bob Corritore – Ain’t Nothing You Can Do

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Washington Blues Society Bluesletter
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Soul Bag (France) (March 27, 2017)

Ce deuxième disque de John Primer avec Bob Corritore devrait être aussi encensé que le précédent. Qui d’autre que Bob Corritore peut mieux organiser aujourd’hui des séances d’authentique Chicago blues en le faisant sonner aussi contemporain ? Accompagné par un all-star band, le duo s’en donna à cœur joie sur un répertoire millésimé, c’est d’ailleurseurs le seul reproche, avec l’absence d’un titre vraiment lent, qu’on pourrait faire, de ne pas avoir été plus aventureux dans l’écriture. Il n’y a que trois originaux, l’instrumental de Bob Harmonica boogaloo et les titres Poor man blues et When I leave home de John. Mais Sonny Boy Williamson n˚ 1, Muddy Waters, Snooky Pryor, Johnny Temple, Magic Slim, Albert King, ou Howlin’ Wolf font très bien l’affaire quand ils sont si bien interprétés. Deux sessions ont été produites, l’une avec Big Jon Atkinson à la guitare, Henry Gray au piano, Troy Sandow à la basse, l’autre où ils et Patrick Rien. Dans les deux cas, la batterie est tenue par Brian Fahey. Le niveau musical est uniformément élevé et permet d’apprecécier le Chicago blues dans ce qu’il a de mieux, musicalité, justesse, swing, mais avec ce côté paradoxalement pesant. John Primer est en voix, sans fioritures, bien placé, un point essentiel pour réussir son blues et accrocher le cœur et les tripes des auditeurs. À l’harmonica, Bob Corritore est d’un classicisme confondant de simplicité, placement et chaleur. Joué avec une telle pureté, que seul le talent autorise, le Chicago blues est intemporel.

– Christophe Mourot


Midwest Record (March 31, 2017)

Back together after their victorious debut album, these two blues cats sound like they turned on the recorder in the back room of the Aristocrat Lounge after the jelly jar had been passed around to all crammed back there. Authentic Chicago stuff that tourists will dig even though it was made for enthusiasts, these two award winners make it as Chicago as the Chicago handshake. Killer stuff that’ll flat out have you reaching for the dark glasses and turning on the blue lights. Hot stuff throughout.

 


Don And Sheryl’s Blues Blog (April 5, 2017)

As we mark the April 4 anniversary of the birth of Muddy Waters, we are proud to present our review from two of the most excellent purveyors of that classic Chicago blues sound on the scene today, John Primer and Bob Corritore, and Ain’t Nothing You Can Do, for Delta Groove Music. John Primer won the Blues Award in 2016 for Best Traditional Male Artist, and, for those who may not be aware, he was a guitarist in the last incarnation of Muddy’s band, just prior to Muddy’s passing in 1983. As for Bob Corritore, his name is synonymous with the best in harp-driven blues, winning the Blues Award in 2011 for Historical Album of the Year for “Harmonica Blues.” Their 2013 Delta Groove debut, “Knockin’ Around These Blues,” received tremendous praise from the blues community.

For the follow-up, Ain’t Nothing You Can Do features two of John’s originals and one cool instrumental penned by Bob. These giants are joined by some of the world’s best players, including Henry Gray and Barrelhouse Chuck on piano, Big Jon Atkinson and Chris James on guitars, Patrick Rynn and Troy Sandow on bass, and Brian Fahey on drums.

Fans, this is authentic Chicago blues the way it was intended to be played. One of John’s originals kicks off, “Poor Man Blues,” finding John just wanting to “lend a helping hand” to those in need. This song, as well as all the others, are arranged to give everyone ample room to solo. “Elevate Me Mama, ’bout five or six floors on down,” is a cool nod to Chess Records via this song’s writer, Sonny Boy Williamson, and the fellows pay tribute to ‘ol Magic Slim with John’s strong vocal on those “Gambling Blues.” Bob’s solo here is dead-on, never wasting a note.
We had two favorites, too. A hell-hound slide guitar drives the slow-blues bliss of the raucous, bawdy, “Big Leg Woman,” where “people are crying for more!” And, the title cut features Henry Gray on piano on a song we first heard by Albert King back in the day, where “There Ain’t Nothing You Can Do to stop me from loving you!”

John Primer and Bob Corritore are two of not only the finest gentlemen, but also two of the finest players of classic Chicago blues to ever strike a chord. There really Ain’t Nothing You Can Do except to enjoy the hell out of this great set! Until next time…
Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.


Paris Move (France) (April 7, 2017)

Vous aimez le Chicago Blues ? Vous imaginiez donc rester planqué jusqu’à la fin de vos jours dans un espace-temps figé entre 1949 et 1983, et peuplé des ombres des géants qui arpentaient alors les clubs de la windy-city. Ce sentiment ne vous tourmentait guère, puisque vous estimiez disposer de suffisamment de cartouches pour pouvoir tenir jusqu’à cette issue fatale. Croyez bien en toute ma sympathie, mais il va néanmoins falloir réviser votre jugement, car en dépit de vos certitudes, cette musique se conjugue toujours au présent. John Primer fit certes ses classes auprès de Muddy Waters et Magic Slim, mais le bougre demeure non seulement vivant, mais fichtrement prolixe. Quant à l’harmoniciste Bob Corritore (lui aussi natif de Chicago), il figure sur plus de 90 albums à ce jour (!!). Déclinons le reste du casting : Brian Fahey (drummer des Paladins), Henry Gray et le regretté Barrelhouse Chuck au piano, Chris James et Big Jon Atkinson aux six cordes additionnelles, et deux bassistes en alternance. Les slide licks caractéristiques de McKinley Morganfield zèbrent le “Big Leg Woman” de Johnny Temple ainsi que “When I Leave Home”, où le timbre vocal de John Primer accuse la patine que requiert ce genre de piste. Les admirateurs éplorés de Muddy ploient sous l’émotion, mais redressent bientôt l’échine sous l’inflexion des shuffles “Gambling Blues” de Magic Slim et “May I Have A Talk With You” de Howlin’ Wolf. “Harmonica Boogaloo” est l’instrumental au fil duquel Bob Corritore rend brillamment hommage à deux de ses mentors, Junior Wells et James Cotton. La plage titulaire s’inscrit à nouveau dans la facture de Muddy, avec le bénéfice d’un solo 100% barrelhouse du vétéran Henry Gray (92 ans aux fraises !), augmenté de celui de Big Jon Atkinson, manifestement déterminé à s’inscrire dans le sillage des Jimmy Rogers, Pat Hare et Luther Johnson qui le précédèrent en pareil territoire. Quatre ans après leur unanimement célébré “Knockin’ Around These Blues”, nos Chicago-killers favoris récidivent donc avec brio. Comme l’indique le titre à bon escient, on ne peut tout simplement pas y résister : succombez à la tentation !

– Patrick Dallongeville


Rootsville (Belgium) (April 2017)

Het lijkt wel of ze zijn bij ‘Delta Groove Music’ uit hun winterslaap gekomen want ineens komen er zo maar twee nieuwe releases op ons af. Het betreft hier telkens een samenwerking van een duo. Het eerste album dat we onder de loop nemen is dit van John Primer & Bob Corritore. Deze brainstorm komt er niet zomaar want in 2013 brachten de beide heren als een gelijkaardig album op de markt, met als titel ‘Knockin’ Around These Blues’.

Als blues harper is Bob Corritore al sinds lange tijd aan dit huis verbonden en net als stichter Randy Chortkoff (1950-2015) is ook Bob een gewaardeerd harper bij zijn collega’s. John Primer zien we wel vaker hier op onze podia en dit is pas enkele maanden geleden. Dit nieuwe album ‘Ain’t Nothing You Can Do!’ deed ook nog andere huisnamen op de cover verschijnen zoals Chris James, Patrick Rynn en Big Jon Atkinson. Als drummer verschijnt hier niemand minder dan Brian Fahey van The Paladins.

Chicago Blues on his best waarop de heren openen met ‘Poor Man Blues’ en John Primer als jonge zeventiger een heerlijke ‘shuffle’ uit zijn gitaar laat klinken. Met Bob Corritore aan zijn zijde lijken alle nummers wel vanzelfsprekend en kunnen we genieten van no-nonsens blues zoals die bovenaan het rijtje past. Van Sonny Boy Williamson’ krijgen we daarna ‘Elevate Me Mama’. Als derde op dit album krijgen we een up-tempo boogie van Snooky Pryor met ‘Hold Me In Your Arms’.

Bob Corritore zelf levert met ‘Harmonica Boogaloo’ een instrumentaaltje af waardoor de logica boven komt waarom hij bij Delta Groove zo gewaardeerd wordt. Het is niet altijd weer ‘Going Down’ dat we van Don Nix te horen moeten krijgen want met deze ‘For The Love Of A Woman’ brengen beide heren toch een meer dan aantrekkelijke Ol’ School Chicago Blues. ‘Howlin’ Wolf mocht dan weer ‘May I Have A Talk With You’ aanleveren waarop slide centraal staat, waarna John Primer en Bob Corritore eindigen met ‘When I Leave Home’ en kijken wij al uit naar een volgend album van deze twee boegbeelden.


Professor Johnny P’s Juke Joint (April 12, 2017)

Most of the time when I am fortunate enough to receive a new CD to listen to, there’s a little gap between when I hear it and when I write a review. I do write the reviews while listening to each song, it wouldn’t be fair to trust my Swiss Cheese Memory (SCM) to be able to remember all the salient details. Sometimes though, when it’s an artist (or artists) whose work I particularly admire, I want to jump on the CD immediately, consume it, and comment on it here on this blog.

Such is the case of a package I received from Delta Groove this afternoon. After opening it, I was stoked to discover it was from the duo of John Primer and Bob Corritore, two of my favorite performers of all time, teaming up again (the last time was 2013, I believe) on an album entitled Ain’t Nothing You Can Do!
Both Primer and Corritore have been featured prominently on Time For The Blues over the years. Primer was on one of our first shows and Corritore has been featured several times, as both the featured performer and a back up player for other musicians.

Primer and Corritore are artists who are at the top of their game. Primer’s guitar playing is among the best I’ve ever heard, and so is Corritore’s harp skills. Together, they make a powerful force.

On this album, they are joined by two outstanding piano players, Henry Gray (three songs) and Barrelhouse Chuck (seven songs); two solid guitar slingers, Big Jon Atkinson (three songs) and Chris James (seven songs); Troy Sandow (three songs) and Patrick Rynn (seven songs) on bass; and Brian Fahey on drums.

I haven’t been able to confirm that these are the last recordings to feature Barrelhouse Chuck, but as he passed away at the end of 2016, they are certainly among the last sessions he ever did, and the album is dedicated to his memory.

With a lineup like this, you know they are coming out swinging. “Poor Man Blues” has some serious bounce to it and Primer is in good voice. This is that Chicago sound that grabs you and doesn’t let go. It’s high energy, the lyrics have depth, and it’s a great way to kick off what has the potential to be a great album.

The Sonny Boy Williamson number, “Elevate Me Mama”, is next. This is a slow blistering tune that continues that great sound and adds a little intensity to the proceedings. The players on this album are versed in just about every style of blues there are, so you know they can handle this song with the greatest of ease. Corritore does an outstanding job on the harp. Got to love it.

Primer and Corritore and their cadre of blues greats then tackle Snooky Pryor’s “Hold Me In Your Arms”. There’s more old-school that sounds so fresh. Anyone who loves that Chicago sound will go crazy for this album. So far, each of the songs is a strong testament to the blues. Those who weren’t fans of the genre before, just might start to find something that speaks to them. Those of us who are already members of the Church Of The Blues will raise our hands high and exhort them to keep preaching!

For the next track, “Big Leg Woman”, we’re deep into that honkytonk style that just drives a crowd wild. Primer is in terrific voice, alternating his cadence with some shouting and even though the only audience present is whomever is listening to the album, he’s working the crowd like a master.

“Gambling Blues” has a nice swing beat. It’s a fun blues number that would easily move an audience to get up and shake whatever they’ve got. It’s a solid number and could see its share of airplay. The one song on the album written by Corritore is “Harmonica Boogaloo”. As you might guess, it’s harp heavy and a swinging instrumental. Corritore, who is well versed in the Chicago Sound, also brings some West Coast chops to the mix. His breath control is amazing and as a harp aficionado, this is one of my favorite songs on the album.

The title track, “Ain’t Nothing You Can Do”, is also the longest song on the album at just over seven minutes. It’s a slower smoking number that dials up the intensity level to eleven. Primer delivers some of the best vocals on the album, while Henry Gray’s piano and Big Jon Atkinson’s guitar adds so much to the music.

They follow up with “For The Love Of A Woman”, the story of just what a man would be willing to do for the love of a woman. It’s a bouncy song (thanks in no small part to Corritore’s harp) that explores that oft visited territory.

Howlin’ Wolf’s “May I Have A Talk With You”, is next and Primer’s guitar takes the spotlight. Primer’s vocals are dead on and the song is full of Elmore James style riffs before giving way to Corritore’s harp. It’s a solid treatment of a great song.

The album comes to a close with “When I Leave Home”. This one belongs to Primer as his vocals and guitar playing leave the deepest impression. The combination of Primer with Corritore and the other players on this fine album creates one of the best albums so far of 2017.

Without a doubt, this is an album that should satisfy just about every blues lover out there. These are master players working at the highest levels. They kept the sound stripped down and it sounds just like a Chicago nightclub would have sounded at the height of the blues.

I can’t praise Ain’t Nothing You Can Do highly enough. With the demands on the time of both Primer and Corritore, I can’t imagine they will be able to get together often to tour, but it might be possible to catch them sitting in with each other somewhere down the road.

If you want to find that magic, make sure to check both of their websites at https://www.johnprimerblues.com/ and https://bobcorritore.com/.

– Professor Johnny P.


Keys And Chords (Netherlands) (April 17, 2017)

Net zoals velen van zijn mentors verhuisde ook John Primer uit het Mississippi gebied destijds naar het verstedelijkte Chicago. Primer werd geboren in Camden, MS op 03 maart 1945.

Hij speelde in Chi Town in de befaamde bluesclub Theresa’s Lounge tussen 1974-’80 en werd er sterk beïnvloed door Muddy Waters en Sammy Lawhorn, die hem slidegitaar leerde pelen.

In 1979 vervoegde Primer, The Chicago Blues All-Stars, de band rond blueslegende Willie Dixon. Niet veel later speelde hij bij de legendarische Muddy Waters en bij The Teardrops de band van Magic Slim. Tot hij een lucratief platencontract ondertekende bij het label Wolf Records. Harpvirtuoos Bob Corritore werd geboren in Chicago op 27 september 1956. Al vrij snel werd Bob ondergedompeld in de blues sound van de Windy City. In tegenstelling tot John Primer verhuisde Bob zuidwaarts naar Phoenix, Arizona en opende er de inmiddels de beroemde blues en rootsclub The Rhythm Room.

Voor dit project ‘Ain’t Nothing You Can Do!’ krijgt het duo backing bij een all-stars cast van Henry Gray en Barrelhouse Chuck op piano, Big Jo Atkinson en Chris James (gitaar), Paladins drummer Brian Fahey en bassisten Troy Sandow en Patrick Rynn. Primer graaft diep in de ruwe en heavy sound die de West Side van Chicago jarenlang kenmerkte. Corritore’s harp is een echo van zijn mentors Little Walter, Junior Wells en James Cotton. Het album opent meteen met de schitterende Chicago Blues van ‘Poor Man Blues’. De blues trage ‘Elevate Me Mama’ kenmerkt de interactie tussen Corritore’s harpvaardigheden en Primers Chicago gitaarriffs. En dat is uiteraard niet anders in het geënthousiasmeerde ‘Hold Me In Your Arms’, origineel van James Pryor en de ballade ‘Big Leg Woman’. Het aanporrende ‘Gambling Blues’ is van de hand van Magic Slim. Corritore concipieert zijn absolute gading in het instrumentale ‘Harmonica Boogaloo’. De titeltrack is dan weer een fijn staaltje Chicago blues. Bij Don Nix haalde de cast nu eens ‘For The Love Of A Woman’. En van Howlin’ Wolf serverden ze ons nog het overweldigende ‘Have A Talk With You’. Als afsluiter komt Primers originele song ‘When I Leave Home’ ons meedogenloos wat verweest achter laten. Wat een album!

This traditional blues style, fueled the fire of the great Chicago heyday! Ain’t Nothing You Can Do! is the real deal! Superb album!

– Philip Verhaege (5)


Blues PowR Blog (April 19, 2017)

Blues vets Primer, Corritore reunite for Ain’t Nothing You Can Do!

Despite the current political mood, this spring seems to be one of much collaboration in the blues music world, with new joint projects out or on the way from the likes of Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’, Charlie Musselwhite and Ben Harper, Guy Davis and Fabrizio Poggi, and Michael Ledbetter and Monster Mike Welch, to name a few. We’ll have more for you on some of those other projects in the weeks ahead, but thought we’d get things started with a reunion of two bluesmen we last heard Knockin’ Around These Blues together back in 2013, in guitarist John Primer (Muddy Waters Band) and harmonica ace Bob Corritore, who’s really banged out some terrific solo and duo albums in recent years, collaborating, for example, on releases with the likes of youngblood guitarist Big Jon Atkinson, veteran pianist Henry Gray, and longtime vocalist friend Tail Dragger.

So it may not come as a big surprise that Ain’t Nothing You Can Do! (Delta Groove Music) also features a few other guest appearances. That includes both Atkinson and Gray on songs such as the swinging Chicago sound of “Hold Me in Your Arms” (Snooky Pryor) and a pair of Albert King numbers (a shuffling, almost “Crossroads”-like “For the Love of a Woman” and the gritty, steady-grooving title track), while the late Barrelhouse Chuck rides the keys on the remainder of the tracks, all of which are simply delightful and together help make for one of the most entertaining and authentic modern Chicago blues sessions you’ll have the pleasure of hearing, from the slunking instrumental original “Harmonica Boogaloo” and “Dust My Broom”-ish slide guitar riffs of “May I Have a Talk with You” (Howlin’ Wolf) to the opening, energetic “Poor Man Blues” and slow deep blues of the closing “When I Leave Home” with its soulful, B.B. King-style guitar licks, plaintive harmonica, and some fine playing from Barrelhouse Chuck, both Primer originals.

Along the way, there are also terrific takes on songs such as Sonny Boy Williamson’s “Elevate Me Mama”, Magic Slim’s “Gambling Blues”, and “Big Leg Woman” (Johnny Temple, Muddy Waters) with its memorable lyrics of “you got somethin’ down there, make a bulldog hug a hound”.

Primer, Corritore, and their guests are each masters of their instruments, with both the song selection and Primer’s vocals — which increasingly resemble those of his mentor and former bandleader Muddy Waters — helping to lend further credence to the project’s strong Chicago sound. Everything here is just superb, serving as excellent proof that Chicago blues are still very much alive and well. Ain’t Nothing You Can Do but enjoy it!

– Mike


Shinjuku Soul Distribution (Japan) (April 19, 2017)

マディ・ウォーターズのバック、マジック・スリムのティア・ドロップスのサイド・ギタリストとしてもお馴染みのJOHN PRIMERと、プレイ、プロデュース両面でも定評のあるBOB CORRITOREの2013年以来となる共演盤がDELTA GROOVEよりリリース!


Elmore Magazine (April 20, 2017)

This is pure Chicago blues as you would expect from these two traditionalists. John Primer is the reigning Blues Music Award winner for Traditional Male Blues Artist and Corritore has racked up six BMA nominations and won an award as well. The two paired on 2013’s Knockin’ Around These Blues, so, in one sense, this is an encore. One of the most rewarding aspects of this album is the two piano players featured. The late Barrelhouse Chuck appears on seven tracks with Howlin’ Wolf’s pianist, 91 year old Henry Gray, on the remaining three cuts. Corritore’s usual rhythm section of drummer Brian Fahey and bassist Patrick Rynn anchor here as they did on the 2013 release where Barrelhouse Chuck was also the pianist. Appearing on three tracks is emerging guitarist Big Jon Atkinson, with whom Corritore collaborated on this year’s nominated BMA Traditional Blues Album, House Party at Big Jon’s.

Why argue with success? The pacing and song selections here are much like the previous album, interpreting Sonny Boy Williamson (“Elevate Me Mama”), Magic Slim (“Gambling Blues”), Howlin’ Wolf (“May I have a Talk With You”) and Snooky Pryor (“Hold Me in Your Arms”). Primer and Corritore each contribute only one original among the ten selections. Most run four to five minutes but the title track and the closer “When I Leave Home” are around seven minutes long, providing ample soloing spots for the principals and the pianist.

Guitarist/vocalist Primer has a voice that is remarkably similar to Muddy Waters and he has the pedigree too; having played with Muddy until his death in 1983, preceded by long stints with Willie Dixon and Magic Slim. Corritore grew up in Chicago but has resided in Phoenix for over two decades now. He is the proprietor of that city’s most famous blues club, The Rhythm Room. As such, he has the opportunity to jam and collaborate with many blues artists. You’ll find Bob’s name on multiple albums, because he is one of the top traditional harp players and maybe even more importantly, because he has no problem leaving his ego at the door. The two play together so comfortably and seamlessly, you’ll feel transported back to the heyday of that Chess Chicago blues sound. It’s pure, refreshing, heartfelt and moving.

Score: 86

— Jim Hynes


In A Blue Mood (April 21, 2017)

Delta Groove just issued a new recording by the Chicago veteran John Primer and harmonica player Bob Corritore, who is one of the co-producers of this as well. Bring some the likes of Henry Gray or the late Barrelhouse Chuck on piano, Big John Atkinson or Chris James on guitar, Troy Sandow or Patrick Rynn on bass and Brian Fahey on drums and one has a terrific band for the traditional Chicago Blues follow-up to the acclaimed 2013 “Knockin’ Around These Blues.”

The material is a mix of strong originals and choice covers with the music evoking the late Muddy Waters (Primer was guitarist in Waters final band) with a touch of Magic Slim, with whom Primer played with for many years with the driving, insistent groove. The instrumentation here also lends this the sound of a Muddy Waters recording (with Corritore’s harp lending the feel of the Waters Band when James Cotton was in it), although I believe Waters only recorded John Lee ‘Sonny Boy’ Williamson’s “Elevate Me Mama,” which has terrific piano from the late Barrelhouse Chuck.

Originals like the topical, opening “Poor Man Blues,” who is living the best way he can, and the closing slow, closing Muddy Waters-styled “When I Leave Home,” bookend terrific renditions of Johnny Temple’s “Big Legged Woman,” with Muddy Waters’ styled slide; Snooky Pryor’s Vee-Jay classic, “Hold Me In Your Arms,” has Henry Gray on piano; Magic Slim’s chugging “Gambling Blues”; and a Corritore feature, “Harmonica Boogaloo.” The Chuck Brooks-penned title track was originally recorded by Albert King. It is a slow blues where Primer authoritatively tells his woman know that no matter what she does, nothing will stop John from loving her or drive him away. With solos from Henry Gray, Corritore Jon Atkinson and Primer himself, Primer and band conjures up the Mississippi King Bee (Muddy Waters) himself here (and elsewhere).

A rendition of Don Nix’s “For a Love of a Woman” and Howlin’ Wolf’s “May I Have Talk With You,” where Primer plays some Elmore James’s style slide on a rollicking shuffle adaptation of Wolf’s song round out a terrific recording that is as a good an evocation of classic Chicago blues (particularly the great Muddy Waters band of the late fifties through early seventies) as has been heard in the past few years.

– Ron Weinstock


Sound Guardian (Croatia) (April 21, 2017)

Upravo danas, 21. travnja, poznata kalifornijska izdavačka kuća Delta Groove Music izbacila je na tržište dva nova izdanja. “Ain’t Nothing You Can Do!” prvi je album koji ću tom prigodom predstaviti. Gitarist John Primer i harpist Bob Corritore udružili su svoje snage i snimili ovaj album, koji bi morao biti mali dio svake ozbiljnije blues kolekcije.

I ovaj put, naravno, promociju mogu zahvaliti radijskom promotoru Artu Martelu, koji je nastavio tamo gdje smo Steve Dixon i moja malenkost stali. I zato, dragi moji, pred nama je apsolutno “tvrdi” i nadasve briljantan album tradicionalnog i west-coast-bluesa izvanserijskog gitarista Johna Primera, te osebujnog, duboko tradicionalistički određenog svirača usne harmonike, naprosto briljantnog Boba Corritorea. Uzajamno uvažavanje i poštovanje duboko je odredilo ovaj odnos. Razlog je čisto ljudski, pristojnost i poštovanje, koje je apsolutno zdrava podloga za svaku suradnju, jer ako toga nema, ako to nije prisutno, onda zapravo sve pada u vodu i nema nikakvog smisla.

A Johnu Primeru (vokal, gitara) i Bobu Corritoreu (usna harmonika) pridružila se ovakva ekipa: apsolutno nevjerojatni Henry Gray (klavir), Barrelhouse Chuck (klavir), Big Jon Atkinson (gitara), Chris James (gitara), Troy Sandow (bas), Patrick Rynn (bas) i Brian Fahey (bubnjevi) – garancija ne dobrog već izvrsnog blues-tuluma. Pred nama je album od kojeg će nam krv brže kolati, od kojeg će nam nutrinu bića grijati neka posebna toplina a kostima strujiti ona poznata hladnoća, koja zapravo izaziva sveopću ugodu. Blues znalci jako dobro znaju o čemu pišem jer to nam se često događa. Ovakve reakcije ne može izazvati nešto što nije dobro, što nema ‘ono nešto’. Duboko u sebi nosim te neke znakovite vibracije, osjećaj da bi tako trebao zvučati pravi blues album. Ne znam već koliko godina pratim rad kako Primera, tako i Boba, i zapravo bilo je pitanje koliko će to sve imati odjeka. Na svu sreću, već njihov prvi album, “Knockin’ Around These Blues” (2013.) pokazao je da ovaj glazbeni žanr ima puno potencijala koje valja što prije iskoristiti i proslijediti prema publici. Kao i mnogi prije njega, Bob je dosta dugo čekao na svoju afirmaciju, a sada nakon što već gotovo puno desetljeće važi za itekako uvažavanog glazbenika, ta afirmacija samo je došla kao potvrda kvalitete i nadahnuća ovog odličnog glazbenika.

John Primer, gitarist u bendovima Juniora Wellsa, Muddyja Watersa, Willieja Dixona, Magic Slima i Jamesa Cottona, do svog samostalnog rada i djelovanja već je samo po sebi dovoljno označio sve što treba. John je siva eminencija chicago-blues scene. Njemu nasuprot stoji ‘mladi’ Bob Corritore, harpist koji je najprije samo slušao, a onda je krenuo u taj beskrajni plavičasti svijet u kojem danas ima itekako značajnu ulogu.

Bob nije samo svirač usnjaka, Bob ima svoj klub, on je radio DJ i glazbeni producent. No, ako i sve stavimo na stranu, ostaje njegova svirka usnjaka. Taj njegov prezentacijski stil u sebi snažno objedinjuje jedinstvene glazbene bravure Little Waltera, Juniora Wellsa i Jamesa Cottona. Naravno, velika stvar je upravo taj njegov vlastiti i originalni stil sviranja usnjaka. Svakako da je baš time Corritore stekao globanu afirmaciju. To je doista veliki uspjeh, kojeg treba respektirati i odati mu veliko priznanje.

S druge pak strane, ovakav sraz generacija nevjerojatno oslikava svu veličinu, snagu i raskoš prezentacijske forme samih glazbenika, ali i ovog zaista, jedinstvenog albuma. “Ain’t Nothing You Can Do!” svojim sadržajem donosi nam istinski tsunami tradicionalnog bluesa, koji najprije samo nadire i to čini polako i postupno, a onda, kada postane visok preko 30 metara, samo vas poklapa i priča je završena! Ovih deset pjesama pomest će vas svojom ekspresijom. Album se sluša u cijelosti i tih 52 minute proći će u tren. A onda “ponovi” sve od početka i tako se krug stalno otvara i zatvara. Želim biti dio tog kruga. Želim da me “poklopi” taj veliki plavičasti val koji će me zauvijek odvesti u tu “blue land” iz koje se jednostavno ne želim vratiti.

PREPORUKA:
Svakodnevno se u mojim rukama nalazi dosta albuma, ali samo neki uvijek zasjednu na ono posebno mjesto u mom biću. E upravo tu se smjestio “Ain’t Nothing You Can Do!” izuzetnih glazbenika Johna Primera i Boba Corritorea.

– Mladen Loncar


Blues X Blues (Spain) (April 21, 2017)

Un disco que se convierte en lo mejor de la semana, el mes o del año desde el momento que pinchas su tema inicial “Poor Man Blues”, la compenetración de ambos músicos es total, crean ese muro de sonido crudo y potente que siempre han distinguido a las bandas de blues de Chicago más clásicos. Y es que ellos son más clásicos que incluso cualquier clásico, espera a escuchar el tema “Elevate Mama” que hace que el mismo Muddy Waters se retuerza de placer en su tumba, por cierto, tema de Sonny boy Williamson. Al nivel de esa obra maestra grabada en el 2013, “Knockin around these blues”. Pocas uniones se me ocurren en el blues actual que den ese nivel, bueno sí, la de Lurrie Bell y Matthew Skoller estaría muy cerca. El caso es que las colaboraciones de Bob Corritore dan auténticas maravillas, escúchese los discos grabados con Henry Gray, John Atkinson, Tail Dragger o Dave Raley. Versiones inconmensurables de temas de Magic Slim como “Gamblin Blues”, “May I Have Talk With You” de Howlin Wolf o ese trallazo que es “Hold me in your arms” de Snooky Pryor. Por la banda acompañante pasan a devolver favores los nombrados anteriormente Henry Gray y Atkinson, también otras leyendas como el pianista Barrelhouse Chuck, o ese dúo estelar que son Chris James (guitarra) y Patrick Rynn (bajo). Una gozada, se me nota, no quepo en mí de gozo.


Music An Sich (Germany) (April 21, 2017)

Und schon wieder gibt es seine Blues-Platte, die diesen Namen auch verdient, wieder eine unter der Beteiligung von Bob Corritore, diesem hervorragenden Harper. Hier quillt der Blues, der Chicago Blues, förmlich aus den Boxen, ursprünglich, gehaltvoll, mit Seele, ganz aus der Tiefe derer entsprungen. Das ist wahres Bluesfeeling, dieses spezielle, das unter die Haut kriecht und sich einschleicht in diese gute Gefühl, Blues zu hören, der so wunderbar gefühlvoll ist.

Klar, hier hat John Primer, der am 3. Mai 1946 in Camden, Mississippi, geborene Gitarrist, maßgeblichen Anteil an dieser hervorragenden Platte. Die Spielfreude ist unüberhörbar und zusammen haben die Musiker einen Sound geschaffen, der mich auch diese Platte in meiner persönlichen Bestenliste für die Blues-Platte des Jahres ganz oben ansiedeln lässt.

Slow Blues, Shuffle, Stilrichtungen à la Muddy Waters mit dem Hauch Mississippi, Spuren von Elmore James, und immer wieder dieser Chicago Blues alter Schule, einfach faszinierend, dass es noch Blues-Scheiben gibt, die den Blues nicht im Rock ertränken.

Dreimal bringt der Veteran Henry Gray auch noch sein Können auf dem Piano ein, und genau wie er sind alle Beteiligten Garanten für diese mitreißende Musik.

“Knockin’ Around These Blues“, die letzte Zusammenarbeit der beiden Musiker aus dem Jahre 2013, hat einen mehr als würdigen Nachfolger gefunden!

– Wolfgang Giese


Making A Scene (April 23, 2017)

Alfonso “John” Primer was born in Camden, Mississippi but moved to Chicago where he was a regular at Theresa’s Lounge located at 48th and South Indiana Avenue. He played in Willie Dixon’s Chicago Blues All-Stars and in The Muddy Waters Band. Later Primer joined Magic Slim and The Teardrops. Primer was nominated three times for Traditional Blues Male Artist of The Year winning that Blues Music Award in 2016. Primer was also the lead vocalist and featured artist on the 2016 Grammy nominated “Muddy Waters 100” project. This is Primer’s seventeenth album.

Bob Corritore was born in Chicago and got hooked on blues harmonica when he was twelve years old. He studied and received playing tips from Carey Bell, Big Walter Horton, Junior Wells and others. At the age of twenty-five Corritore moved to Phoenix, Arizona. Ten years later he opened his own club there called The Rhythm Room. With his house band, The Rhythm Room All-Stars, he backed musicians when they came to town. Corritore has been nominated for five Blues Music Awards including one for 2017. He won a BMA in 2011 for Historical Album of The Year. This is Corritore’s twelfth album although he appears on over seventy others.
Primer and Corritore first collaborated in 2013 when they released “Knockin Around These Blues” also on Delta Groove.

The band includes Primer, guitar and vocals; Corritore, harmonica; the late Barrelhouse Chuck or Henry Gray, piano; Chris James or Big Jon Atkinson, guitar; Patrick Rynn or Troy Sandow, bass; and Brian Fahey, drums. The album is co-produced by Corritore and Clarke Rigsby and dedicated to the memory of Barrelhouse Chuck.

“Poor Man Blues” written by Primer was the title track to his 1991 album. Corritore’s harmonica is fabulous. Primer is also joined by Chuck, piano; James, guitar and Rynn, bass.

“Elevate Me Mama” from Sonny Boy Williamson was also recorded by Waters; Primer’s vocal is outstanding. “Hold Me In Your Arms” written by Snooky Pryor was also recorded by James Cotton; Gray is on piano while Atkinson is on guitar.

“Big Leg Woman” written by Johnny Temple was recorded by Waters on his 1964 “Folk Singer” album. “Gambling Blues” is from Morris Holt a.k.a. Magic Slim. The harp instrumental “Harmonica Boogaloo” is by Corritore. On these Chuck is featured on piano.

The title track “Ain’t Nothin You Can Do!” is from Malaco recording artist Chuck Brooks; this is another great vocal from Primer with Gray again on piano. “For The Love of A Woman” was written by Don Nix and once again Atkinson is featured on guitar.

“May I Have A Talk With You” written by Howlin’ Wolf, and the Primer original “When I Leave Home”, reprised from his 2012 album “Blues on Solid Ground”, are two more outstanding vocals from Primer.

Primer and Corritore are both historians. You can listen to them for hours. Primer and Corritore are perfect together.

– Richard Ludmerer


Disk Union (Japan) (April 27, 2017)
マディ・ウォータースやマジック・スリムのギタリストとしてシカゴ・ブルースの王道を歩んできたジョン・プライマーと、ルイジアナ・レッド、ロバート・ロックウッドJRらのバックを務めてきた名ハーピスト、ボブ・コリトーによる名コンビが復活!
絶賛を浴びた2013年『ノッキン・アラウンド・ジーズ・ブルース』の続編だ。ピアノには生きる伝説ヘンリー・グレイと昨年末惜しくも亡くなったバレルハウス・チャックが、ギターには売り出し中の若手ビッグ・ジョン・アトキンソンが参加し、鉄壁のヴィンテージ・サウンドを聴かせる。

ジョン・プライマーは、1945年ミシシッピ出身。63年シカゴに移住。79年にウィリー・ディクソンズ・オールスターズへの参加をきっかけにマディ・ウィータース・バンドへ加入し83年の彼の死まで活動を共にする。その後、マジック・スリム&ティアドロップスのメンバーとなり、名コンビとして13年にわたり活躍。ソロとしては91年『プア・マン・ブルース』で遅咲きのデビュー。その後は、コンスタントにアルバムを発表し、2016年にはジェームス・コットン、デレク・トラックスなど豪華ゲストを迎えたトリビュート盤『マディ・ウォータース100』でグラミーにノミネート。ブルース・ミュージック・アワードも受賞している。ボブ・コリトーは、1956年シカゴ生まれのハーピスト。ロバート・Jr・ロックウッド、ジミー・ロジャースら幾多の大物ブルースマンのバックを務め、そのブルースを探求する姿勢は高い評価を受けている。近年もヘンリー・グレイとの『Blues Won’t Let Me Take My Rest』やビッグ・ジョン・アトキンソンとの『House Party at Big Jon’s』などの好コラボ盤を発表している。


Southern Rock Brasil (Brazil) (April 27, 2017)

De um lado, John Primer, um renomado guitarrista no meio do Blues que carrega a honra de ter integrado a última banda do lendário Muddy Waters, pouco antes da morte deste, em 1983. Além disso, conta com uma sequência de vigorosos discos solos, sempre fiéis ao tradicional estilo do Blues de Chicago e guarda o Blues Award de 2016, na categoria de Best Traditional Male Artist. Do outro lado, Bob Corritore, um dos grandes gaitistas da atualidade, que também é vencedor de um Blues Award, em 2011, na categoria Historical Album, com o álbum Harmonica Blues. Para juntar o talento dos dois está, mais uma vez, a gravadora Delta Groove Music, altamente influenciada pelo som puro e tradicional do Blues da cidade do vento. Em 2013 foi o disco de estreia dessa parceria, “Knockin’ Around These Blues”. Agora o catálogo da dupla é acrescida por “Ain’t Nothing You Can Do”, no qual a dupla mantém a pegada do Blues nostálgico e original que era tocado pelos clássicos décadas atrás. O disco ainda conta com a presença do pianista de Blues Barrelhouse Chuck em sete faixas, que infelizmente nos deixou no ano passado, aos 58 anos, e ainda com Henry Gary, pianista de Howlin’ Wolf, aos incríveis 91 anos, tocando nas três outras faixas. O guitarrista Big Jon Atkinson, com quem Corritore lançou um disco no ano passado, “House Party At Big Jon’s”, também toca em três músicas.

A faixa de abertura é “Poor Man Blues”, uma aclamação para ajudarmos aqueles que estão necessitando, que não tem um prato de comida. Cada música aqui parece construída para que todos os músicos disponham de momentos de mostrarem seus talentos de forma mais livre e solta. Incrível como há momentos em que a voz de John Primer parece bastante com a de Muddy Waters. Em “Elevate Me Mama”, de Sonny Boy Williamson, a guitarra de Primer também canta demais, enquanto “Harmonica Boogalo” é simplesmente uma das melhores Jam de gaita que você escutará este ano.

Um dos destaques é a sensual “Big Legged Woman”, que prova como existem músicas que podem ser sensuais sem ser ofensivas às mulheres. Nenhum assédio, apenas admiração. “Gambling Blues”, de Magic Slim, também conta entre os destaques. É o momento da jogatina, hobby favorito dessa turma da pesada. O disco ainda conta com “May I Have a Talk With You”, de Howlin’ Wolf. O disco chega ao fim com “When I Leave Home”, em torno de sete minutos, com tempo suficiente para guitarristas, gaitista e pianistas.

A experiência de John Primer mesclada com a técnica e o vigor de Bob Corritore, contando ainda com uma ótima banda de músicos, faz com que “Ain’t Nothing You Can Do” seja um dos melhores discos de blues puro e tradicional lançados no ano.

– André Espínola


NWI Times (April 27, 2017)

John Primer and Bob Corritore have united once again to create a follow-up to their 2013 critically-acclaimed Delta Grove Records release, “Knockin’ Around These Blues.” The new album, “Ain’t Nothing You Can Do!,” is a rich collection of stompin’ shuffles and powerful slow blues that finds the duo backed by an all-star cast that includes Henry Gray, Barrelhouse Chuck, Big Jon Atkinson, Troy Sandow, Chris James, Patrick Rynn and Brian Fahey. More: DeltaGrooveMusic.com.

– Tom Lounges


Star Blues (UK) (April 30, 2017)

Ain’t Nothin’ You Can Do. Two of the very finest players on the Chicago blues scene have a new project and they are first off the blocks on tonight’s edition of Britain’s Other Blues Show, STAR BLUES, round your place at 10pm (BST) via www dot starradioonline dot com

– Gary Blue


Amazon (Germany) (April 30, 2017)

(Five stars) Bob Corritore ist ein sehr kompetenter Blues-Harmonikaspieler, der mich mit seiner Art sehr beeindruckt hat und hier bei seiner Partnerschaft mit dem Gitarrist / Sänger John Primer noch mehr zur Geltung kommt!

Zuhören auf dem Album ist die Band mit den Gitarristen Big John Atkinson und Chris James, den Pianisten Henry Grey und Barrrelhouse Chuck dem Bassisten Troy Sandow ,Patrick Ryan und Schlagzeuger Brian Fahey. Das Ergebnis dieser Backline wird vor allem West Coast Session-Spielern und Chicago’s Musiker Primer in einem sehr authentisch klingenden klassischer Chicago Blues im Stil von Muddy Waters vorgetragen.

Chess Legende Henry Grey ist 92 aber er kann immer noch wirklich spielen – sehr gut zu hören bei “Hold Me in Your arms”!

Primer ist wie immer großartig beim Gesang und mit seinem wirklich guten Chicago Blues Gitarrenstil überzeugt.Kurzum 5 Sterne für ein gutes und solides Album was wirklich authentisch klingt.
Viel Spaß wünscht euch 20DollarBill von Rorysfriends.de!

 


Blues Bytes Review #1 (April 2017)

Few carry the torch for traditional Chicago blues better than John Primer does. He has a kindred spirit in Bob Corritore and when they two of them manage to get together, the result is usually something special. Such is the case on their new disc for Delta Groove, Ain’t Nothing You Can Do. With a little help from their friends: piano legends Henry Gray and Barrelhouse Chuck; Big Jon Atkinson and Chris James on guitars, Patrick Rynn sharing bass duties with Troy Sandow, and Brian Fahey on the drum kit, Primer and Corritore create their own flavor of Chicago’s best traditional blues.

John counts the band in and we’re off with the first track, “Poor Man Blues,” and here we find him down on his fortune and luck. “Well, I’m a poor man…live the best way I can…yes, I need me some money…so I can lend a helping hand.” John’s motives here are pure, if he had some extra money in his pockets, he would do what he could to ease the lives of his friends and family. Bob and Chris James trade licks and I love the ease at which these old friends play of each other in the tune.

Barrelhouse Chuck is on the keyboards as they tackle the next track, “Elevate Me Mama.” Here John is looking for Mama to elevate him and you can figure out the double entendre from there, “Everybody tells me…must be the elevatingest woman in town.” Chuck’s piano run is beautiful and I’m reminded of the fact that we’ve lost another great Chicago bluesman too soon. Big Jon picks the intro for “Hold Me in Your Arms,” and here John is definitely looking for love. “I want you to hold me…want you to hold me, baby…hold me in your arms.” Henry Gray kicks in with a keyboard solo here and the synchronicity of the band is just a delight to listen to.

“Big Leg Woman” finds John extolling the virtues of loving such a woman while Bob’s harp fills in the details in the background. “Roll your belly…like you roll your dough…people there are crying…they want some more.” And according to John, she shares her goods, “and if you don’t believe me…ask everybody in the neighborhood.” We go from loving to gambling as John explains his woes in “Gambling Blues.” “I done pawn my watch…even pawned my diamond ring…I went looking for my baby…I didn’t have a god darn thing.” John’s never going to get back to anywhere close to even so the gambling has got to go. Brian hits the intro to “Harmonica Boogaloo” and Bob’s got his opportunity to shine on this instrumental with the band. The intricacy of Chuck’s work on the keyboards is a welcomed voice in my ear and the band really nails this track on the disc.

Persistency is the game for the day as John explains his passion for the woman he loves in “Ain’t Nothing You Can Do.” “There ain’t nothing you can do little girl…to stop me from loving you…ain’t nothing you can say little girl…to drive me away.” No matter what tact she takes to try to get rid of John, he’s always going to wind his way back around and stay in her life. Our theme of love continues with “For the Love of a Woman,” and again we find John telling a universal truth. “For the love of a woman…man would do most anything…turn his back on his best buddy…make him spend his last dime.” It’s the natural order of things and John’s human like the rest of us.

“May I Have a Talk with You” finds John continuing to explore the mysteries of love in his life. “Tell me baby…may I have a talk with you…for it won’t be too long…and our true love will be through.” Communication is the key to any successful relationship and John would like to save the one he’s in if she’ll just take a minute and listen to what he has to say. All we can do is wish him the best and hope it works out here.

The last cut on the disc, “When I Leave Home,” finds John comforting the woman he loves before he has to leave the house. “Don’t cry, pretty baby…when I leave home…I’ll be right back…honey, hope it won’t take too long.” John’s woman is an inquisitive sort and she misses her man when he’s gone. Hopefully, John’s comforting words will quell her fears until he returns. Bob’s blowing a mean harp fill here and I’m again impressed by the ease and familiarity that all of the members of the band play with. It’s a testament to their history as friends and performers of traditional Chicago blues that has stood the test of time.

Ain’t Nothing You Can Do is another classic record from John Primer and Bob Corritore in true Chicago style. Surrounded by friends and performers they’ve played with for years, the duo captures the true essence of their musical vision with relative ease. Kudos to Delta Groove for bringing another great disc to fruition. Probably the easiest place to grab a copy is on their website at deltagroovemusic.com. Well done, John and Bob, well done indeed.

– Kyle Deibler


Blues Magazine NL (Netherlands) (May 1, 2017)

In 2013 deden ancien John Primer en bluesharpist Bob Corritore ons met hun ‘Knockin’ Around These Blues’ wanen in een Chicago van ver in de vorige eeuw. Dat er na vier jaar met ‘Ain’t Nothing You Can Do!’ eindelijk een vervolg van deze plaat komt, is meer dan gerechtvaardigd.

Zomaar wat feitjes; Primer speelde met Willie Dixon en Muddy Waters, werkte voor het album ‘Muddy Waters 100’ met mannen als Johnny Winter en Derek Trucks, en sleepte vorig jaar een Blues Music Award voor Traditional Blues Male Artist of the Year in de wacht – niet gek voor een zeventiger.

Corritore is een meer dan gerespecteerd bluesharpist die al talloze collaboraties op zijn naam heeft staan – Bo Diddley en Ike Turner vormen slechts een fractie van namen waarmee hij samenwerkte –, en hij nam al meerdere awards mee naar huis, zoals in 2012 de Living Blues award for Most Outstanding Musician. Afijn, voor de niet-kenners; laat deze twee namen samen een album maken en u weet een beetje wat u kunt verwachten.

Tien nummers, acht covers, en dus – net als op hun vorige album – slechts twee originele bijdragen. Dat klinkt misschien negatief, maar als je ziet dat op de plaat vertolkingen prijken van onder meer Sonny Boy Williamson, Howlin’ Wolf en Magic Slim is het dat alleszins niet – beter goed gejat dan slecht bedacht, zullen we maar zeggen.

Het album brengt de luisteraar andermaal mee naar Windy City Chicago, de stad die zoveel blues voortbracht. De zware stem van John Primer doet denken aan die van zijn voormalig voorman en grootheid Muddy Waters zelf en de muzikale begeleiding is fenomenaal; dat mannen als Henry Gray (91 jaar en voormalig pianist bij Howlin’ Wolf) en Barrelhouse Chuck (in december 2016 helaas overleden) hun bijdragen leveren, maakt dat dat geen verdere uitleg behoeft. De mondharmonica van Corritore is geenszins in overdaad aanwezig en perfect in balans met de toetsen en de gitaarsolo’s op de tracks. Er is afwisseling in tempo – van het trage Big Leg Woman tot het veel rappere May I Have A Talk With You van Howlin’ Wolf – en dat zorgt er mede voor dat de plaat geen moment verveelt.

Een hommage aan de Chicago Blues, zo had ‘Ain’t Nothing You Can Do!’ net zo goed kunnen heten. Voor de puristen een heus genot. Opdat Primer en Corritore nog eens de studio intrekken met zijn tweeën!

– Daan Sindelka


Docteur Blues (France) (May 1, 2017)

Voici Le dernier opus du duo John Primer & Bob Corritore. Aucun risque de mauvaise surprise avec John Primer. Après la disparition des grands noms du Chicago Blues, c’est lui qui tient les rênes de cette musique qu’est le Chicago Blues perpétuant sur scène et en studio les traditions . Depuis son départ de l’orchestre de Magic Slim, le guitariste mène sa carrière de main de maître. Le duo est encore accompagné par ce qui se fait de mieux actuellement le bon vieux Henry Gray avec 92 printemps au piano sur 3 titres, les autres c’est Brian Fahey et le regretté Barrelhouse Chuck mort en Décembre 2016 d’officier, Big Jon Atkinson et Chris James pour la partie guitare tandis qu’on retrouve Troy Sandow et Patrick Rynn à la basse.

Le répertoire est constitué de 7 reprises (Howlin Wolf, Johnny Temple, Snooky Pryor, Sonny Boy Williamson, Magic Slim, etc) et 3 compos. Dès la première écoute, on sent que l’on va baigner dans du Chicago Blues solide comme du roc comme on entend dans les clubs de la Windy City, le tonitruant « Poor Man Blues » interprété façon Magic Slim jusqu’aux intonations de voix, ouvre les hostilités de la meilleur manière, on sent que ça ronronne à merveille, « Elevate Me Mama » de Sony Boy Williamson se situe dans la même mouvance pour une version très personnelle dans laquelle l’harmonica de Bob Corritore brille de mille feux, nos compères se lancent avec « Hold Me In Your Arms » dans un blues plus axé vers les années 50/60 qui swingue de toutes parts avec la participation du vétéran Henry Gray au piano donnant un cocktail détonant.

Le duo rend un hommage fort appuyer à son ancien mentor Magic Slim avec « Gambling Blues » qui mieux que John Primer pouvait exécuter ce titre, sur lequel Bob Corritore nous assène un solo dont lui seul a le secret, prouvant qu’il est probablement le meilleur harmoniciste actuel, la conjugaison des deux solistes est absolument magique.

Bob Corritore prend le lead pour exécuter de façon magistrale « Harmonica Boogaloo », Chris James y prend également ses responsabilités avec un son de guitare fantastique, un instrumental de toute beauté.

John Primer est également à l’aise dans les pièces sensibles comme en atteste le superbe blues lent « Ain’t Nothing You Can Do ».

L’album se termine de façon magique avec l’intimiste « When I Leave Home » qui est un blues lent d’une beauté incroyable, dégageant une émotion sans borne, avec un tel disque on ne peut qu’hurler Vive le Chicago Blues ! Le duo Primer/Corritore frappe encore trés fort. Ils nous délivrent une œuvre sans aucune faille, ciselée tant au niveau de la production que du répertoire. Avec un tel produit, le Chicago Blues a encore de beaux jours devant lui, un album indispensable !!!

– Henri Mayoux


Reflections In Blue (May 2, 2017)

With the quick changing of the guard as it were, those who were not so long ago the “young lions” are now the elder statesmen of the blues. While it seems but a short while, for those like John Primer & Bob Corritore it has been a long, and often, unpleasant road. These cats have paid their dues…and then some. This is Chicago Blues, deep and pure with no fancy gimmicks, no games and no attempts to morph it into something it’s not. This album features a line-up of the best musicians the blues world has to offer. That line-up includes John Primer on guitar & vocals, Bob Corritore on harmonica, the legendary Henry Gray on piano (3, 7 & 8), Barrelhouse Chuck on piano (1, 2, 4-6, 9 & 10), Big John Atkinson and Chris James on guitars (assorted cuts), Troy Sandow & Patrick Rynn on bass (assorted cuts) and Brian Fahey on drums. If you have a love for blues in the traditional style, this is one album that will undoubtedly satisfy your needs. This is traditional Chicago blues, played with power, passion and an undying love. Delta Groove Music has earned a reputation for delivering some of the finest blues and roots music in the world…and Ain’t Nothing You Can Do certainly upholds that standard. With the traditional styled becoming more and more rare, albums like this are a real treasure. I recommend it highly. It doesn’t get any better than this.

– Bill Wilson


Historias Del Blues (Columbia) (May 4, 2017)

Si hay alguen que pueda llevar la llama del blues clásico de Chicago en la actualidad, ese es John Primer, curtido ya en la escena gracias no solo a su trabajo como solista sino también por su labor en la última banda de Muddy Waters. Si a Primer le sumamos la compañía del intérprete de armónica Bob Corritore, el resultado será un disco con un sonido que parece hecho en la mejor época de la meca del blues. Luego de reunirse en 2013 para grabar “Knockin’ Around These Blues”, esta eléctrica pareja llega con “Ain’t Nothing You Can Do”, otro ejemplo de ese poder que tiene el blues de Chicago, con el respaldo de figuras como Henry Gray, Barrelhouse Chuck, Big Jon Atkinson, Troy Sandow, Chris James, Patrick Rynn y Brian Fahey. Primer y Corritore lideran a esta banda toreada en diferentes plazas, a lo largo de shuffles, canciones de baile y blues lentos. Hay un descaro elegante y una uniformidad no declarada, lo cual solo se puede lograr cuando se tiene el fondo suficiente de haber tocado en Chicago. “Ain’t Nothing You Can Do” es exactamente lo que uno esperaría de dos grandes figuras de la escena de la Ciudad del viento.

– Diego Luis


Rootstime (Belgium) (May 8, 2017)

John Primer, geboren in Camden in 1945, MS, is een Chicago blues zanger en gitarist. John groeide op met de muziek van Muddy Waters en Elmore James. Als jonge knaap zingt hij spirituals in het plaatselijke kerkkoor en op zijn negende, leert hij gitaar spelen. In 1963 verhuist John naar Chicago en richt er zijn eigen groep The Maintainers op. De “eigen” stijl van de groep was gebaseerd op de ervaringen uit de Mississippi Delta en de Chicago West Side. Door John’s vlekkeloos gitaarspel en zijn goede zangkwaliteiten, werd hij in 1974 lid van de huisband van de Theresa’s Lounge (een blues en roots club in Chicago). Hier ontmoet hij Sammy Lawhorn, de ex gitarist van Muddy Waters, iemand die veel invloed zal hebben op zijn stijl. In 1979 wordt John gevraagd om mee te spelen met de Willie Dixon’s Chicago Blues All Stars en in 1980 werd hij de leider van de Muddy Waters Band. Hierin speelt hij tot in 1983, wanneer Muddy Waters sterft. John wordt daarna de leider van Magic Slim & The Teardrops. Samen touren ze meer dan dertien jaar. Met genoeg ervaring op zak, begint John hierna opnieuw te spelen met een eigen band. In 2008 brengt hij onder zijn eigen Blues House Production label een nieuw album ‘All Original’ uit. John kreeg in 2009 een Grammy Award en in 2013 de ‘Acoustic Album of the Year’ en de ‘Traditional Blues Male Artist of the Year’ Blues Music Awards.

Bob Corritore geboren in Chicago in 1956, hoorde toen hij twaalf was, voor het eerst Muddy Waters op de radio. Dit veranderde zijn leven. Hij leert mondharmonica spelen en volgt de plaatselijke blues scene op de voet. Hier leert hij grote mondharmonicaspelers als Big Walter Horton, Little Mack Simmons, Louis Myers, Jr. Wells, Carey Bell… kennen. Corritore werkte samen met Tail Dragger, Big Moose Walker, Willie Buck, Eddie Taylor… In 1981 verhuist hij naar Phoenix, Arizona. Hier speelt hij een jaar samen met Louisiana Red. In de volgende jaren werkt hij samen met Big Pete Pearson, Buddy Reed, Chief Shabuttie, Janiva Magness… Van 1986 tot 2007 werkt hij samen met Chico Chism, de ex drummer van Howlin’ Wolf. In 1991 opent Bob de Rhythm Room Club. Hier worden vele opnames met grote artiesten als Bo Didley, Pinetop Perkins, Honeyboy Edwards, Ike Turner, Lil’ Ed, R.L. Burnside… gemaakt. In 1999 neemt Bob zijn eigen eerste album ‘All Star Blues Sessions’ op. In 2005 treedt Bob in Italië op met de Rhythm Room All Stars (feat. Big Pete Pearson). In 2007 ontvangt Bob Corritore de ‘Keeping the Blues Alive’ Award van de Blues Foundation. Corritore maakte verder ook naam als radio DJ en platen producer.

De blues wegen van John Primer en Bob Corritore liepen lang parallel en een samenwerking moest er eens van komen. In 1970, toen John nog in de Theresa’s Club in Chicago speelde, was de jonge Corritore al een trouwe luisteraar. Hun samenwerking als Chicago muzikanten werd pas in 2012 een feit. Het album ’nockin’ Around These Blues’ verzamelt het beste van beide muzikanten. De nummers zijn zorgvuldig gekozen uit de song books van Little Walter, Robert Lockwood Jr., Willie Dixon, Jimmy Reed en Lightnin’ Hopkins. De begeleidingsband is een verzameling van top muzikanten zoals de gitaristen Billy Flynn en Chris James, pianist Barrelhouse Chuck, bassisent Bob Stroger en Patrick Rynn en drummers Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith en Brian Fahey. Het album is een album met traditionele blues nummers.

‘Ain’t Nothing You Can Do’ is het vervolg op de samenwerking van Primer & Corritore. Het album, uitgegeven bij Delta Groove Music (opgericht door Randy Chortkoff), is opgenomen samen met pianisten Henry Gray & Barrelhouse Chuck, gitaristen Chris James & Big Jon Atkinson, bassisten Troy Sandow & Patrick Rynn en drummer Brian Fahey (the Paladins).

Het album opent met “Poor Man Blues”, een shuffle, die “Elevate Me Mama” vooraf gaat. “Hold Me In Your Arms”, een uptempo boogie van James “Snooky” Pryor met Henry Gray achter de piano, is een nummer dat gezien de zang, op het lijf van Primer lijkt geschreven te zijn. “Big Leg Woman” is een slow blues en “Harmonica Boogaloo” een eigen instrumental van Corritore, die de harmonica meester zelf in de schijnwerpers zet. Chuck Brooks schreef de slow blues “Ain’t Nothing You Can Do” en van Don Nix kozen de heren “For the Love Of a Woman”. Met Howlin’ Wolf’s “May I Have a Talk With You” gaat het tempo opnieuw de hoogte in en rollen de slides uit de boxen. Voor de afsluiter “When I Leave Home” is het Barrelhouse Chuck die achter de piano zit, Chris James die de gitaar omgehangen heeft en bassist Patrick Rynn die hen begeleidt.

Het tweede album van John Primer & Bob Corritore is opnieuw een schot in de roos (van Delta Groove). Beide top muzikanten bevestigen hun status en laten horen dat hun eerste ontmoeting géén toeval was!

– Eric Schuurmans


Chicago Blues Guide (May 11, 2017)

This CD is the second cooperative effort between John Primer and Bob Corritore. Their first recording came out in 2013 under the title Knockin’ Around These Blues (Delta Groove Music, DGPCD159). It received a well-deserved worldwide critical acclaim, including the prestigious #1 spot on the Living Blues Radio Charts (April 2013). Ain’t Nothing You Can Do! is but a natural follow-up to their wonderful 2013 release.

When you pair John Primer and Bob Corritore together, there is only one possible musical outcome that could come out of that association: vintage post-war Chicago Blues. The 10 songs selected here is what traditional blues lovers would expect. You find tunes à la Muddy Waters, Magic Slim, Jimmy Reed, Elmore James and the like. Add a Don Nix’s funk tune as well (“For The Love Of a Woman”). The title track “Ain’t Nothing You Can Do” – made famous by Albert King and Malaco Records’ Chuck Brooks, among others – takes here a distinctive post-war Chicago Blues feel.

This is not surprising, as the principal players – Primer, Corritore, Henry Gray, Chris James, Patrick Rynn and Barrelhouse Chuck originally hail from Chicago. Guitarist Big Jon Atkinson, a young traditionalist from California, sounds just like he’s from Chicago. All but Primer and the late Barrelhouse Chuck moved away from Chi-town. So when the stars align for a Chicago blues reunion of this magnitude, Arizona’s Corritore is never one to pass up an opportunity to head to Clarke Rigsby’s studio in Tempe.

On this 2017 outing you hear the two masters working seamlessly again and playing in a charming, quasi-unrehearsed style. What you get here is nothing but straight-ahead traditional Chicago blues. And they do it so well. To top it all, the mixing and mastering is vibrant throughout (a Delta Groove trademark).

John Primer – a two-time Grammy nominated singer/guitar player and a winner of the 2016 Blues Music Award’s Traditional Blues Male Artist of the Year — is in great form, both vocally and on his unmistakable and delightful reverb-tinged guitar playing (check his bottleneck work on “May I Have a Talk With You” for instance!).

There are plenty of solos coming from the protagonists. Add four separate solos from the late piano master Barrelhouse Chuck (he plays on seven songs). Complement that with legendary 92-year-old Henry Gray also guest-starring on piano (three tracks, and one solo on the title track), and you have a winning blues album.

It should be noted that Ain’t Nothing You Can Do was one of the last recordings made by Charles Goering (a.k.a. Barrelhouse Chuck). After a long battle with cancer, he died on December 12, 2016 at age 58. Goering was the only Chicago blues pianist to have studied with: Sunnyland Slim, Pinetop Perkins, Blind John Davis, Detroit Junior, Little Brother Montgomery and Erwin Helfer.

Corritore explained that Goering’s contribution to the album was immeasurable. “You could never make this record again. Chuck brought it home for us; he brought that Muddy Waters quality to it. He plays with that same passion that John (who was Muddy Waters’ guitarist) and I do.” Corritore says he sent the master to Chuck to hear in late 2016. “He said he loved the record. And two weeks later he died. We never knew he was sick. He never said anything. So it was at least gratifying to know he got to hear the album while he was alive.”

Over the years, I continue to marvel at Corritore’s harp style; he is as masterful at accompanying a band as he is at leading with his tasty soloing. He is a complete player. Six-time Blues Music Award Nominee, and 2011 Blues Music Award winner for his recording Harmonica Blues (Historical Album of the Year), Corritore brings in his captivating instrumental “Harmonica Boogaloo”, and Primer brings two original gems: “Poor Man Blues” and “When I Leave Home” (the first and the last songs on the CD).

The stellar rhythm section comprises of Brian Fahey (10 tracks) and Patrick Rynn (7 tracks) or Troy Sandow (3 tracks) on bass, Henry Gray (3 cuts) or Barrelhouse Chuck (7 tracks) on piano, and Chris James (7 tracks) or Big Jon Atkinson (3 tracks) on guitars.

The CD is a complete immersion into the post-war Chicago Blues genre. Ain’t Nothing You Can Do! may present covers from old masters – 7 out of 10 songs in fact – but they are here reinterpreted with fervor, freshness and passion. The result is a wonderful traditional album. If you like impromptu Chicago blues, then this CD is perfect for you.

5 STARS * * * * *


Sound Waves (May 2017)

This is the second collaboration for John Primer and Bob Corritore. Ain’t Nothing You Can Do features an impressive line-up that includes Henry Gray (tracks 3, 7 & 8) and Barrelhouse Chuck (tracks 1,2, 4-6 & 9, 10) on piano, Big John Atkinson (tracks 3, 7 & 8) and Chris James (tracks 1,2, 4-6 & 9, 10) on guitar. The foundation of this rhythm section features Troy Sandow (tracks 3, 7 & 8) and Patrick Rynn (tracks 1,2, 4-6 & 9, 10) on bass and Brian Fahey on drums. What you hear on this disc are artists who have skillfully gleaned styles from their blues forefathers and made it their own. These cats are keeping the blues alive!

There are ten tracks on this recording; tracks one and ten were penned by Primer and track six by Corritore. The remaining seven tunes are well chosen covers. Track one, “Poor Man Blues” is an up-tempo shuffle and not what you might have expected from the title, but it is rather an altruistic outlook. Primer expresses, “Need me some money so I can loan a helping hand…they need food, clothes, water and shelter; help them through the day and night. And everyone would be so happy; everything would be alright!” Corritore plays 3rd position blues harp, giving his solo some unusual harmonies. Track two, “Elevate Me Mama” (Sonny Boy Williamson) is a playful tune filled with double entendre. If you think this song is about elevators, guess again! Primer’s guitar riffs are reminiscent of former band mate, Muddy Waters. The third cut, “Hold Me In Your Arms” is an up-tempo shuffle with solos from Gray on piano, Corritore on blues harp and Primer respectively. Primer’s vocals are enthusiastic! Track four, “Big Leg Woman” is a familiar theme to the blues. This slow blues echoes classic blues lines like, “…you got somethin’ down there, make a bull dog hug a hound!” The slide guitar intro and solo are, once again, reminiscent of Waters’ style. Track five, “Gambling Blues” is an up-town shuffle. Corritore delivers a wailing harp solo followed by Primer answering on guitar.

The sixth cut; “Harmonica Boogaloo” is a single chord funky blues, and not surprisingly features Corritore on harmonica who penned this song. Corritore is not the only musician to shine on this track, though. Primer provides some funk of his own, with Gray, James, Rynn and Fahey laying down a solid rhythm section. The seventh cut is the title track; “Ain’t Nothing You Can Do” and is a moderate tempo twelve bar blues. Gray starts the solos, followed by Corritore once again playing 3rd position harp. This tune is also graced with the only guitar solo from Big John Atkinson on this disc! Track eight; “For The Love Of A Woman,” is a funky twelve bar blues, followed by an up-tempo twelve bar shuffle, track nine, “May I Have A talk With You.” Primer goes in rotation in the solo sections, playing slide guitar in his solo, followed by Barrelhouse Chuck on piano, and Primer returns with a robust slide solo!

The final cut is the other tune penned by Primer, “When I Leave Home.” From the very beginning of this tune until the end, you hear the tradition of blues kept alive and well! Primer’s lyrics attempt to soothe his woman that, “He’ll be right back” and that she needn’t worry about him cheating on her because, “…a second hand (lover) ain’t nothin’ but trouble, it’ll put you in misery!” Corritore, Primer, and Barrelhouse Chuck all have their say in the solo section with total respect of the blues! If you are a blues lover, I highly recommend this CD!

– Ms Marci


ABS Magazine (France) (June 2017)

En 2013, ce duo explosif avait déjà gravé un album marquant, pour la même compagnie. Ils viennent de remettre le couvert et on peut dire que c’est une belle réussite personnelle, même si les invités y sont aussi pour quelque chose. Au piano, on a Henry Gray dans trois faces et Barrelhouse Chuck dans les sept autres. Ajoutons-y Big Jon Atkinson à la guitare avec Troy Sandow à la basse dans trois faces et Chris James (guitare) avec Patrick Rynn (basse) dans les sept autres, sans oublier le batteur Brian Fahey partout, et on a une sorte de dream team qui répond aux attentes. On pourrait citer les qualités de chaque titre car il n’y a ici pas de temps faible et tout est excellent de bout en bout. Mais pointons quand même Hold Me In Your Arms, syncopé (de et avec Henry Gray), May I have A Talk With You enlevé (de Howlin’ Wolf), avec Barrelhouse Chuck et Chris James. À noter les deux compos de John Primer, avec un goût de revenez-y, Poor Man Blues et When I Leave Home et celle de Bob Corritore, l’instrumental Harmonica Boogaloo. Quant aux sept reprises, elles sont bien choisies, comme celles déjà citées, mais aussi Elevate Me Mama (de Sonny Boy Williamson) ou Big Leg Woman en slow de Johnnie Temple. Tout le reste est à l’avenant.

– Robert Sacré


Southland Blues (June 8, 2017)

When singer/guitarist John Primer and harmonica artist Bob Corritore got together for this studio session they had Chicago Blues on their mind. Along with several original songs, they interpret classic covers by Sonny Boy Williamson I, Snooky Pryor, Magic Slim, Howlin’ Wolf and others in a mood that recalls the heyday of 1950’s Chicago Blues where Muddy Watersand a whole bunch of great bluesmen ruled the world.

Primer played guitar in Chicago with Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon and on and on. Corritore came up in Chicago the same way with a different generation of blues legends; he is 11 years younger than Primer and just as seasoned a veteran. Together they play it the way you want Chicago Blues to appear. With the album’s title track they launch into a seven-minute blues tribute that evokes the kind of sorrow that everybody feels at one time or other. Primer sings about perseverance and how much true love can keep a person going on when times are tough. Elsewhere, Corritore takes the reins with his “Harmonica Boogaloo,” which includes plenty of hot instrumental discussion to strut the blues comfortably and with passion.

Throughout the session the duo is backed capably by piano, bass and drums as Chicago Blues is presented with respect and the kind of natural empathy that marries the listener’s soul with the blues artist’s faithful perception.

– Jim Santella


Living Blues Magazine (June 2017)

Guitarist and singer John Primer’s blues pedigree runs through tenures in the bands of Willie Dixon’s Chicago Blues All Stars, Muddy Waters and Magic Slim and the Teardrops. Beyond a doubt, it was his time supporting Waters that left the biggest imprint on his sound and style, and it was fitting that Primer took the lead role on the Muddy Waters 100 tribute from 2015. Teaming up with harmonica player Bob Corritore for a follow up to their Knockin’ Around These Blues (2013), Primer once again asserts his position as the foremost torchbearer of McKinley Morganfield’s musical legacy with Ain’t Nothing You Can Do!

It is hard to imagine that anyone today could make a better sounding recording of postwar, electric Chicago blues than what Primer and Corritore have done on this CD. The musical rapport between the guitarist and harp player is dynamic and telepathic and is clearly intended to evoke Waters’ interactions with the likes of Little Walter, Junior Wells, James Cotton and George Smith. Primer has to be one of the most fluid blues guitar men around; it seems like the instrument is not a separate entity but rather an extension of his very being. The cast of sidemen, including the late pianist Barrelhouse Chuck Goering, drummer Brian Fahey, second guitarist Chris James and bassist Patrick Rynn, is immersed in the idiom and imbue the proceedings with hard-driving grooves and buoyant energy. An added treat comes when venerable pianist Henry Gray, young gun guitarist Big Jon Atkinson and bassist Troy Sandow join Primer, Corritore and Fahey on three tracks – Snooky Pryor’s Hold Me In Your Arms and two tunes associated with Albert King, Don Nix’s For The Love Of A Woman and Chuck Brooks’ Ain’t Nothing You Can Do.

One of the most striking aspects of the recording is the way Primer, Corritore and company achieve, like Waters’ groups, such a cohesive band sound. Everybody knows what they are supposed to do, and they execute flawlessly, working together like a well-oiled machine, all in the service of knocking these songs out with a maximum finesse and intensity. From the opening shuffle, Primer’s Poor Man Blues, they charge into the material, simultaneously evoking the sounds of mid-1950s South Side Chicago and exhibiting a contemporary vibrancy. Barrelhouse Chuck gets to showcase his mastery of Chicago blues piano on Sonny Boy Williamson’s Elevate Me Mama and Magic Slim’s Gambling Blues. Corritore pulls out all the stops with the slow, swinging grind of his original instrumental showcase Harmonica Boogaloo, which features an inspired interplay between the harp man, Primer’s guitar and Barrelhouse Chuck’s piano. Primer breaks out his slide for some Elmore James-inspired fireworks on Howlin’ Wolf’s May I Have A Talk With You. The title track is the program’s tour de force; stretching out over seven minutes, it features Gray’s rollicking piano lines underpinning captivating solos by Atkinson, Corritore and Primer. The program closes with Primer’s homage to Waters, the slow, searing When I Leave Home. Ain’t Nothing You Can Do! bears witness to John Primer’s position as the standard bearer for classic postwar Chicago blues.

– Robert H. Cataliotti


Coast to Coast (Netherlands) (June 2017)

John Primer en Bob Corritore zijn terug met deze briljante follow-up van hun debuut op Delta Groove uit 2013.

‘Ain’t Nothing You Can Do!’ is nog een schitterend voorbeeld van de kracht van pure Chicago blues.
Ondersteuning van een all-star cast, waaronder Henry Gray, Barrelhouse Chuck, Big Jon Atkinson, Troy Sandow, Chris James, Patrick Rynn en Brian Fahey, leiden Primer en Corritore hun ervaren sessiepartners door een hardwerkend programma van stompin shuffles, dansvloerpakkers en verraderlijk langzame blues.

Deze plaat is precies wat je zou verwachten van deze twee Chicago blues coryfeeën!


Disco Club (Italy) (June 22, 2017)

Il marchio dell’etichetta Delta Groove ormai è una garanzia nell’ambito blues e zone limitrofe, e questo nuovo album dell’accoppiata John Primer & Bob Corritore (come un altro titolo di cui avete letto a parte) ne è la riprova. Si tratta del secondo disco che i due registrano insieme, il primo, ottimo, Knockin’ Around These Blues, era uscito nel 2013, e se amate il classico Chicago Blues, elettrico e vibrante, ve lo consiglio vivamente. Ma pure questo nuovo Ain’t Nothing You Can Do si mantiene su livelli elevati. John Primer, nel frattempo, è stato alla guida di quel progetto collettivo Muddy Waters At 100, che celebrava il centenario della nascita di una delle pietre miliari del Blues. Musicista e uomo con il quale Primer aveva condiviso i palchi negli ultimi tre anni di carriera, da fine 1979 al 1983, apparendo anche nel Live At Checkerboard Lounge, la famosa serata con gli Stones, registrata nel locale di Chicago nel 1981, e uscita postuma nel 2012 in DVD, e in questi giorni pubblicata anche in CD. Poi Primer ha suonato per 14 anni con Magic Slim & The Teardrops, prima di avviare la sua carriera solista nel 1995 con The Real Deal.

E in effetti Alfonso “John” Primer è uno degli ultimi “veri affari” del blues di Chicago, pur essendo nato, come molti altri, nei pressi della zona del Delta, in quel di Camden, Mississippi, quindi nella patria delle 12 battute. Il nostro amico è uno degli ultimi “originali” della scena nata intorno a quei locali di Maxwell Street, Theresa’s, Checkerboard e Rosa’s Lounges, sviluppando uno stile che oggi è quanto di più vicino a come suonerebbe e canterebbe Muddy Waters (se non avesse 100 anni ovviamente, o forse sì): una voce ancora forte e decisa, ricca di grinta, uno stile chitarristico di buona fattura alla solista tradizionale e di grande spessore alla slide, e la capacità di circondarsi di buoni musicisti nei propri dischi. Anche Bob Corritore all’armonica, per quanto ultimamente una sorta di “prezzemolino” nei dischi di genere, non si può negare sia uno dei migliori che il mercato offra. Ma nel disco troviamo anche Henry Gray, al piano in tre brani, Barrelhouse Chuck, anche lui al piano, nei restanti pezzi, scomparso lo scorso dicembre e ricordato nelle note dell’album, Big John Atkinson e Chris James, alle chitarre, a rinforzare il sound del disco, che se non sfocia mai nel rock, ha comunque la forza ed elettricità tipiche del miglior blues urbano, insomma forse le chitarre non ruggiscono mai alla Buddy Guy, o come i tre King, ma sono comunque ben presenti nell’economia del suono, e anche la sezione ritmica con Troy Sandow e Patrick Rynn che si alternano al basso e Brian Fahey alla batteria, ha comunque la brillante “presenza” delle incisioni targate Delta Groove.

La prima e l’ultima canzone portano la firma di Alfonso Primer, ma non differiscono comunque nelle intenzioni da tutti gli altri classici presenti nell’album: il primo pezzo Poor Man Blues, è quasi più Muddy Waters dell’originale, sia per il groove dello shuffle come per la voce e l’uso di chitarre ed armonica, assomiglia in modo impressionante al Maestro, ed Elevate Me Mama un pezzo di Sonny Boy Williamson, ma anche questo nel repertorio di Waters, gode inoltre di uno splendido lavoro di Corritore e di Barrelhouse Chuck al piano, oltre che di John Primer che primeggia alla slide. Hold Me In Your Arms è un brano di Snooky Pryor, ma l’atmosfera è sempre quella del Chicago Blues, sia pure con una decisa vena R&R in questo pezzo, più mosso di quanto lo precede nel CD e con Henry Gray che può scatenare il suo piano in un brillante solo; ma si torna subito al repertorio di Muddy con un super slow di grande intensità come Big Leg Woman dove Primer brilla di nuovo a voce e bottleneck guitar, con gli altri solisti comunque in bella evidenza.

Gambling Blues è l’omaggio ad un altro dei vecchi datori di lavoro di Primer, ossia Magic Slim, un altro classico shuffle eseguito in grande scioltezza; poi è la volta di Bob Corritore, alle prese con un suo brano strumentale Harmonica Boogaloo, dove si apprezza la grande tecnica del musicista di Chicago (ma anche il resto della band non scherza), comunque in evidenza in tutto il disco. Ain’t Nothing You Can Do non è il famoso brano di Bobby “Blue” Bland ma un pezzo omonimo di Albert King, un lungo “lentone” dove i veri bluesmen soffrono e il nostro John non si esime, ben spalleggiato da Gray; anche la successiva For The Love Of A Woman era di King, uno dei suoi classici funky blues del periodo Stax, prodotto all’epoca da Don Nix che è anche l’autore del brano. Mancava un bel pezzo di Howlin’ Wolf ed allora ecco arrivare a tutta slide una poderosa May I Have A Talk With You che mostra anche l’influenza di Elmore James, mentre a chiudere il cerchio l’altro brano firmato da Primer, When I Leave Home, un altro intenso slow che avrebbe fatto un figurone sui vecchi album Chess di Muddy Waters, come peraltro tutto il contenuto di questo eccellente album.

– Bruno Conti


Il Manifesto (Italy) (June 17, 2017)

Seconda indicazione per due vecchie volpi come John Primer & Bob Corritore che danno vita a Ain’t Nothing You Can Do! (Delta Groove Music), dove in dieci incisioni sciorinano la loro abilità nel riproporre un sound Chicago blues al 100%. Niente di innovativo, ma gradevole, particolarmente in Elevate Me Mama.


Jazz & Blues Report (June 2017)

Delta Groove just issued a new recording by the Chicago veteran John Primer and harmonica player Bob Corritore, who is one of the co-producers of this as well. Bring in the likes of Henry Gray or the late Barrelhouse Chuck on piano, Big John Atkinson or Chris James on guitar, Troy Sandow or Patrick Rynn on bass and Brian Fahey on drums and one has a terri c band for the traditional Chicago Blues follow-up to the acclaimed 2013 “Knockin’ Around These Blues.”

The material is a mix of strong originals and choice covers with the music evoking the late Muddy Waters (Primer was guitarist in Waters’ nal band) with a touch of Magic Slim, with whom Primer played with for many years with the driving, insistent groove. The instrumentation here also lends this the sound of a Muddy Waters record- ing (with Corritore’s harp lending the feel of the Waters Band when James Cotton was in it), although I believe Waters only recorded John Lee ‘Sonny Boy’ Williamson’s “Elevate Me Mama,” with terri c piano from Barrelhouse Chuck in addition to harp.

Originals like the topical, opening “Poor Man Blues,” who is living the best way he can, and the closing slow, Muddy Waters-styled “When I Leave Home,” bookend ter- ri c renditions of Johnny Temple’s “Big Legged Woman,” with Muddy Waters’ styled slide; Snooky Pryor’s Vee-Jay classic, “Hold Me In Your Arms,” has Henry Gray on piano; Magic Slim’s chugging “Gambling Blues”; and a Corritore feature, “Harmonica Boogaloo.” The Chuck Brooks- penned title track was originally recorded by Albert King. It is a slow blues where Primer authoritatively tells his woman to know that no matter what she does, nothing will stop John from loving her or drive him away. With solos from Henry Gray, Corritore Jon Atkinson and Primer himself, Primer and band conjures up the Mississippi King Bee (Muddy Waters) himself here (and elsewhere here).

A rendition of Don Nix’s “For a Love of a Woman” and “May I Have Talk With You,” where Primer plays some El- more James’ style slide on a rollicking shuf e adaptation of a Howlin’ Wolf number, round out this terri c recording that is as a good an evocation of classic Chicago blues (particularly the great Muddy Waters band of the late fifties through early seventies) as has been heard in the past few years.

– Ron Weinstock


IL Blues (Italy) (June 2017)

Finalmente un album di Chicago Blues come Dio comanda, suonato come va suonato, con lo spirito giusto e senza entrare in quella competizione interna tra musicisti che fa solo male alla musica. Nulla di nuovo all’orizzonte sia chiaro, ma volutamente, sia chiaro pure questo. Muddy Waters e Magic Slim possono riposare serenamente, magari gongolare e ballare sulle soffici nuvole del blues sulle note di questa seconda collaborazione tra il neo settantaduenne John Primer, da Camden (Mississippi) e Bob Corritore, sessantunenne armonicista chicagoano. Dopo la felicissima prova del 2013 con “Knockin’ Around These Blues” (Il Blues n. 123), eccoli tornare con questo “Ain’t Nothing You Can Do!, dove le prime cose che emergono sono la coesione del suono e quell’atmosfera che fa tanto anni d’oro quando, cioè, il blues della Windy City dettava legge. Primer è un cantante sopraffino, con un ottimo controllo della sua chitarra sia in standard che in open tuning quando utilizza il bottleneck. Di quelli che il blues lo conoscono bene. Eccome. Corritore – pur essendo un ottimo armonicista, capace di lavorare di fino sulle scale dello strumento – ha l’intelligenza di non esagerare come spesso (troppo) fanno tanti suoi colleghi, appesantendo il risultato finale. Questo album – oltre ad essere suonato proprio bene – ha la giusta leggerezza che lo eleva sopra lo standard attuale. Aggiungete che il duo si avvale di musicisti come i pianisti Henry Gray e Barrelhouse Chuck, di Chris James e Big Jon Atkinson che si alternano alla chitarra e la precisa sezione ritmica che vede Brian Fahey seduto dietro la batteria e al basso Patrick Rynn oppure Troy Sandow e il gioco è fatto. Dieci ottime tracce in questo CD, registrato ai Tempest Recording sotto la produzione esecutiva di Jeff Scott Fleenor, che alternano cover a brani nuovi – tra shuffles e slow – che ci riportano ai tempi quando
Primer si esibiva nelle band di Willie Dixon o Muddy Waters. Molto belle l’iniziale “Poor Man Blues”, già nel repertorio del bluesman mississippiano, e il seguente omaggio a Sonny Boy Williamson con “Elevate Me Mama”. Di Johnny Temple ecco “Big Leg Woman”, che se chiudi gli occhi ti sembra di tornare al Muddy dei sixties, forse quella che preferisco dell’intero album. E pensare che questa canzone ha 80 anni; Cavoli, come li porta bene. Da non sottovalutare nemmeno “For The Love Of A Woman” di Don Nix, figura chiave anche se nascosta del Memphis Sound, e la conclusiva “When I Leave Home” con tutta la sua carica emotiva. “Ain’t Nothing You Can Do!” è un album che non può mancare nella collezione degli amanti del genere, ma ottimo anche per tutti coloro che vogliono avvicinarsi al blues sincero e senza fronzoli che aveva fatto diventare magica la Capitale dell’Illinois.

– Antonio Boschi


Blues & Rhythm (UK) (June 2017)

This is the much-anticipated follow up to Primer and Corritore’s 2013 Delta Groove debut, ‘Knockin’ Around These Blues’. ‘Ain’t Nothing You Can Do’ features two Primer originals and one Corritore instrumental. Backing is provided by Henry Gray and the late Barrelhouse Chuck on piano, Big Jon Atkinson and Chris James on guitars, Patrick Rynn and Troy Sandow on bass, and Brian Fahey on drums.

The opener, Primer’s composition ‘Poor Man Blues’ is followed by a lovely version of Sonny Boy Williamson’s classic number ‘Elevate Me Mama’. Next up is a jumpy, nervous take on Snooky Pryor’s ‘Hold Me In Your Arms’, featuring Henry Gray on piano. Johnny Temple is not a name you hear too often these days, his ‘Big Leg Woman’ opens with a Muddy-style riff, Barrelhouse provides sublime piano and Primer’s vocal is spot on.

‘Gambling Blues’ is a thumping shuffle penned by Primer’s old boss Magic Slim, ‘Harmonica Boogaloo’ is what it says on the tin, ‘Ain’t Nothing You Can Do’ is a Chuck Brooks song that Albert King recorded, Henry is featured on piano on a version that puts me in mind of the classic Jimmy Rogers sound. ‘For The Love Of A Woman’ is a solid blues that was penned by Don Nix and appeared on his 1979 ‘Skyrider’ release, Primer digs deep on his vocal performance on this cut and plays a perfectly understated chorus, nice one! ‘May I Have A Talk With You’ opens with an Elmore slide riff over a hard charging rhythm section, Rynn and Fahey thump along on bass and drums and Barrelhouse Chuck hauls off mighty fine piano. The closer, ‘When I Leave Home’ is a slow blues, penned by Primer; ‘Don’t cry pretty baby, baby when I leave home; I’ll be right back, honey I hope it don’t take too long’. Corritore blows sweet, fat chords in support and Chuck is once more on the money.

Primer plays and sings superbly throughout, Corritore is excellent also, I can’t find fault with anything. If you have the earlier Delta Groove release, then you will need to get this one. The gang in the snug bar of The Sturgeon And Salmond gave a unanimous thumbs up to this bad boy!

– Phil Wight (B&R320)


Blues In Britain (UK) (June/July 2017)

Think Peppers Lounge, Chicago in the mid to late 50s with Muddy Waters and Little Walter “cutting heads” as they lay down the raw, primal blues that were to change the face of popular music forever. Then move forward 60 years – the music is the same; still bristling with machismo, unbridled sexual intensity and raw emotions – only this time the musicians are different … John Primer and Bob Corritore … and instead of Peppers, you can hear, experience and feel it in the luxury of your own personal juke joint, sipping Southern Comfort instead of “Corn Likker” … courtesy of DeltaGroove.

To add to the pleasure you can also experience the deep blues piano of Henry Gray – a stalwart of that era himself – and the “Spannesque” artistry of the late great Barrelhouse Chuck .. plus the talents of a plethora of other doyens of the Chicago Blues.

The band open with the shuffle sounds of Primer’s ‘Poor Man Blues’, guitar, harp and piano melding to recreate the classic ensemble sounds of the era. ‘Elevate Me Mama’ brings John Lee “Sonny Boy” Williamson’s harp into the late 50’s with Muddy inflected vocals and guitar that melds the influences of both Muddy and Broonzy. Snooky Pryor’s ‘Hold Me In Your Arms’, is played with a Jimmy Reed styled rhythm replete with piano that is permeated with both span and Johnny Jones plus Corritore’s moody harp. ‘Gambling Blues’ recalls Primer’s stint with Magic Slim, serving as a fitting tribute to the great man – Corritore’s ‘Harmonica Boogaloo’ shows the depth and creativity of his playing sounding like a latter day instrumental version of “Rollin’ and Tumblin’’

Add in an Elmore James inspired rendition of Wolf’s ‘May I have A Talk With You’ and the “Muddyesque” ‘When I Leave Home’ and you have a celebration of vintage Chicago blues by two modern day masters of the genre. (www.deltagroovemusic.com)

– Mick Rainsford


Big City Blues (June/July 2017)

Throughout their individual illustrious careers, Bob Corritore and John Primer have both earnestly exhibited their musical sympathies regarding the fundamental roots of the Chicago blues idiom. Ain’t Nothing is a most welcome follow-up to the duo’s well-received 2013 Delta Groove debut Knocking Around These Blues, with its selfsame nifty mix of covers and originals—comprising “stompin’ shuffles, rowdy dance floor packers and treacherous slow blues” as brief liners author Drew Verbis colorfully puts it. And did I mention the all-star supporting cast that boasts either Henry Gray or Barrelhouse Chuck on the piano bench, either Big Jon Atkinson or Chris James on guitar, either Troy Sandow or Patrick Rynn on bass and drumming dynamo Brian Fahey? Done. Pack-the punchers begin with great recalls of both Howlin’ Wolf’s “May I Have A Talk With You” and Sonny Boy Williamson’s “Elevate Me Mama” and continue with Primer’s timely “Poor Man Blues,” a raw version of Johnny Temple’s descriptive “Big Leg Woman,” a hard-driving Corritore original called “Harmonica Boogaloo” and a Jimmy Reed-styled recall of Snooky Pryor’s incisive “Hold Me In Your Arms.” Two thumbs up! —Gary von Tersch


Wasser Prawda (Germany) (July 6, 2017)

Wer den klassischen Chicagoblues in der Tradition von Muddy Waters liebt, für den ist John Primer seit Jahren einer der Musiker, auf die man achten muss. Und auch Harpspieler Bob Corritore hat diese Leidenschaft seit Jahren in sich. Schön, dass 2017 das zweite gemeinsame Album der beiden Musiker veröffentlicht wurde.

Als 2013 “Knockin‘ Around These Blues” bei Delta Groove erschien, waren sich Fans und Kritiker einig in ihrem Lob. Bob Corritore und John Primer sind und waren ein unschlagbares Paar, wenn es um klassischen Chicagoblues geht. Und genau den bekommt man auch auf “Ain’t Nothing You Can Do” zu hören. Erinnerungen werden wach an Muddy Waters und seine Zeitgenossen.

Eingeladen haben sie sich für ihr neues Album unter anderem den leider bereits verstorbenen Pianisten Barrelhouse Chuck, dessen letzte Aufnahmen hier zu hören sind. Bei anderen Nummern saß der bereits 92 Jahre alte Henry Gray am Klavier. Aus Kalifornien kommt der aufstrebende Gitarrist Big Jon Atkinson.

Auf dem Programm standen neben einigen eigenen Songs natürlich auch die Klassiker aus dem Repertoire etwa von Sonny Boy Williamson (“Elevate Me Mama”), Albert King (“Ain’t Nothing You Can Do”) oder Magic Slim (“Gambling Blues”). Und wer in der Interpretation irgendwelche Hinweise auf die Jetztzeit erwartet: Hier ist historische Aufführungspraxis zu erleben! Aktualität und Faszination ergeben sich aus der Hingabe und Leidenschaft, mit der diese Musiker den Blues regelrecht zelebrieren. Das macht einen ob der Brillianz der versammelten Musiker fast sprachlos. Einfach wunderbar und gleichzeitig wunderbar altmodisch!


Blues Blast Magazine (July 13, 2017)

Presiding Dean of Chicago Blues guitar John Primer, pairs with quite possibly the hardest working harp man in the Blues business, Bob Corritore, for this outing. It is their second date as co-leaders and the accolades continue to pour forth for the both of them including being nominated for this years best Traditional Blues Album on the Blue Blast Magazine ballot.

Primer of course, made his mark in the bands of Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters and Magic Slim before launching his heralded solo career which has garnered him two Grammy nominations, as well as the 2016 Blues Music award for Best Traditional Male Artist.

Along with his heavily conked, I mean coiffed pompadour, Blues Renaissance man Bob Corritore wears many hats; club owner and promoter, record producer, songwriter, radio personality, journalist and editor. Corritore is a prolific cat with a discography seemingly longer than a radio signal in outer space.

Simply stated, Ain’t Nothing You Can Do is fine Chicago Blues. Song titles are culled from the repertoires of Sonny Boy Williamson I, Snooky Pryor, Johnny Temple, Magic Slim, Chuck Brooks, Don Nix, Howlin’ Wolf as well as the songbooks of Primer and Corritore.

This reviewers favorite track is the John Primer penned track 10 “When I Leave Home.” A slow burning grinder that teleports the listener to the dance floor at Theresa’s or the Checkerboard Lounge on Chicago’s South Side.

Kudos of course to the legendary Henry Gray and the late Barrelhouse Chuck for relentlessly driving this rollicking studio band. The 92 year old Gray pounds on tracks 3, 7 and 8 and Chuck is credited on the remaining seven. Supplemental guitar work is provided by Big John Atkinson, also on tracks 3, 7 and 8 with Chris James on the rest. Similarly Troy Sandow handles bass on track 3, 7 and 8, while Patrick Ryan trolls the bottom on tracks 1, 2, 4-6, 9 and 10. Brian Fahey is the drummer throughout.

John Primer’s appointed time in Chicago began in 1963. He is known not only for his tasteful lead guitar licks, but also for his slide guitar technique, distilled from the likes of Sammy Lawhorn, Muddy Waters, Johnny Winters and a sprinkling of Elmore James. This Cd is further testament to his artistry, long known by his peers in the music business and his still growing global fan base.

Corritore’s harmonica riffs are compact and understated, never overpowering the band as some harp players are prone to do. And yes, this recording was done live in the studio with the full band at all times. Touchingly, Barrelhouse Chuck was able to hear the finished product shortly before he passed away on December 12, 2016. He told Bob Corritore he loved the record a week and a half before he checked out.

CyberSoulMan Tee Watts is music director at KPFZ 88.1 fm in Lakeport, California. His radio show, The CyberSoulMan Review airs Tuesday afternoons from 3-5 PST. He is road manager for Sugar Pie DeSanto, the last Queen standing from the glory years of Chess Records.


Blues Music Magazine (July 2017)

Is Chicago blues ever going to seem stale? Not when musicians like this play it like this. Both principals are well known practitioners of the Windy City style, having spent their formative years there, where Primer still resides. Former guitarist with Muddy Waters and Magic Slim, with a long and shiny resume including a Blues Music Award as Traditional Male Blues Artist of 2016, Primer remains one of the current blues scene’s exemplary guitarists. Corritore, also a BMA winner, took his harmonica expertise to Phoenix several decades ago, where he has established himself as informal impresario of the blues in the Southwest.

This album is a sequel to their 2013 collaboration, Knockin’ Around These Blues, which was a set of ten covers featuring the skills of Primer and Corritore backed by an all-star ensemble of terrific session musicians. Many of those musicians are present here. Chris James (guitars), Patrick Rynn (bass), Brian Fahey (drums), and Barrelhouse Chuck (Chuck Goering), who pased away in 2016, posthumously on seven of the ten tracks on the new CD, on piano. Keys on three songs are commandeered by nonagenarian Howlin’ Wolf alumnus Henry Gray, whose talent is undiminished by age. Big Jon Atkinson (Guitar) and Troy Sandow (bass) round out the ensemble.

What we get here is almost a full hour of songs, each at least four minutes long, mining the twelve bar tradition. Primer handles the vocals with aplomb and grit; his singing has been compared with the pipes of Waters, but I also hear echoes of Magic Slim and the late Johnny Dyer. (Primer may also have penned two of the cuts, which are attributed to “Alfonso Primer,” a moniker I cannot verify is John’s or a relative’s of his.) His guitar leads are consistently juicy, and his interplay with James and Atkinson seamless.

Meanwhile, Corritore confirms that he is one of the premier harp blowers around. Never one to favor flash over foundation, he provides both panache and gristle. His original composition, “Harmonica Boogaloo,” establishes an insistent groove abetted by Chuck’s tinkly piano. It’s one of my favorite numbers of the set, but there are no mis-hits anywhere. “Poor Man Blues,” the opener, is a topically relevant mid-tempo shuffle distinguished by Primer’s evocative vocal. Double entendre provides amusement in the cover of Sonny Boy Williamson’s “Elevate Me Mama,” the classic “Big Leg Woman” gets a Muddy Waters treatment with fine greasy slide guitar, and “Gambling Blues” is a worthy tribute to its composer, Morris Holt (Magic Slim). As is often the case, the longest track, the slow blues title cut, is a highlight, allowing for several nasty solos.

Ain’t Nothing You Can Do is expert musicians delivering no frills electric Chicago blues at its best.

– Dan Stevens


Washington Blues Society Bluesletter (July 2017)

In my opinion, John Primer, on vocals and guitar, is possibly one of the most under rated blues musicians. Paired with the incredible talents of Bob Corritore on blues harp and an All-Star cast that includes Henry Gray, Chris James and Patrick Rynn, the late Barrelhouse Chuck, Big Jon Atkinson and more with Ain’t Nothing You Can Do you have yourself a sure winner. This follows Primer and Corritore’s highly acclaimed 2013 Delta Groove Music release Knocking Around These Blues and I expect more in the future from this pairing of blues masters. The 10 tracks include a pair enned by Primer and an instrumental by Corritore plus songs by John Lee “Sonny Boy” Williamson, Howlin’ Wolf, Snooky Pryor and Magic Slim among others. Ain’t Nothing You Can Do opens with Primer’s “Poor Man Blues,” a medium paced shuffle with a heavy dose of Corritore’s harp and a solid guitar solo. Sonny Boy’s “Elevate Me Mama” features some rollicking piano by Chuck and some nasty slide work. Magic Slim’s “Gambling Blues” finds itself in sure hands and the title track, a song Albert King recorded, is one of the standouts and features Big John on guitar and Henry Gray on piano. Wolf’s “May I Have A Talk With You” is punctuated with wicked slide guitar, wailing harp and Barrelhouse Chuck’s stomping piano. Ain’t Nothing You Can Do is straight up blues played with feeling. Very highly recommended.

– Malcolm Kennedy


Back To The Roots (Belgium) (July 2017)

John Primer en Bob Corritore vormen al langer een succesvol duo. Vier jaar geleden schitterden ze samen al op hun Delta Groove-debuut “Knockin’ Around These Blues.” De inmiddels 72-jarige Primer kwam uit Camden, Mississippi naar Chicago. De West Side werd zijn muzikale thuis. Daar ontmoette hij in de jaren 70 voor het eerst Chicagoan en bluesharpvirtuoos Bob Corritore. Gesteund door een all-star-cast van de 92-jarige Henry Gray en “the late great” Barrelhouse Chuck op piano, Big Jon Atkinson en Chris James (gitaren), Troy Sandow en Patrick Rynn (bas) en Paladins-drummer Brian Fahey is dit album een lang uitgerekte bluesjamsessie. Primer is uitstekend bij stem en het tempo vlakt vrijwel nergens terug. Primers originele opener “Poor Man Blues,” “Elevate Me Mama” en “Big Leg Woman” zijn meteen een kruisbestuiving tussen zijn Chicago-geënthousiasmeerde gitaarriffs en Bobs harmonicatalent. De titeltrack neigt dan weer even naar Primers mentor Muddy Waters. Henry Gray spreidt zijn soepele vingerzettingen uit in het opwindende “Hold Me In Your Arms.” Corritore eert op zijn beurt zijn mentors Junior Wells en James Cotton in het overweldigende instrumentale “Harmonica Boogaloo.” Dit is Chicagoblues zoals in de echte juke-joints. En die zijn er uiteraard nog wel te vinden, al neem je best een taxi en zorg je dat je een degelijk afspraak maakt om terug downtown te komen. Bezwijk aan al die verleidingen! Want ook dit album is een albsolute must voor je collectie!

– Philip Vrehaege


Rockerilla (Italy) (July 2017)

Tornano a registrare un album insieme dopo quattro anni i due maestri del Chicago Blues, vererani del suono elettrico di Muddy Waters. Il chitarrista John Primer (che con Muddy ha suonato) e l’armonicista Bob Corritore avevano entusiasmato pubblico e critica con la prima collaborazione discografica, che si è guadagnata vari riconoscimenti, e dopo aver proseguito le rispettive carriere soliste, bissano ora con un altro capolavoro che ci ricorda l’incredibile potenza viscerale di quello che è il fondamento di tutto il rock: il blues. Dieci brani tra originali e rivisitazioni con il supporto di una band di bluesmen di primo piano. Fuoriclasse.

– Rossana Morriello

 


Blues Bytes Review #2 (July 2017)

John Primer and Bob Corritore’s last collaboration, 2013’s Knockin’ Around The Blues, was a winner all around. Critics and fans alike loved it and the album finished #5 in Living Blues’ Radio Chart’s Top 50 Blues Albums for the year, actually debuting at #1. Both artists have spent their entire careers literally singing the praises of the Chicago Blues, and that release was as good a modern example of the genre as there’s been in a while — until their latest project, Ain’t Nothin’ You Can Do! (Delta Groove Music).

Though Primer’s opening shuffle, “Poor Man Blues,” and Slim’s own “Gambling Blues” will have Muddy Waters smiling up in Blues Heaven, most of the remaining tracks magnificently recall the glory days of the late guitarist. Primer and Corritore have a magnificent rapport and that rapport extends to the accompanying musicians as well. The term “well-oiled machine” may be cliché, but it certainly applies here. In addition to the late pianist Barrelhouse Chuck, the impressive backing band includes another piano legend, Henry Gray, on three tracks, plus bassists Patrick Rynn and Troy Sandow, drummer Brian Fahey, and guitarists Chris James and Big John Atkinson.

Traditional blues fans will recognize many of the songs here — Sonny Boy Williamson’s “Elevate Me Mama,” Snooky Pryor’s “Hold Me In Your Arms,” Johnny Temple’s “Big Leg Woman,” Howlin’ Wolf’s “May I Have A Talk With You.” Primer and Corritore do a masterful job in recreating them. The title track, covered by a host of blues men over the years, is just superb. Corritore also contributes a slick instrumental, “Harmonica Boogaloo,” which showcases some sparkling musicianship between the harmonica wizard, Primer on guitar, and Barrelhouse Chuck. In addition to the opener, Primer also penned the splendid slow burning closer, “When I Leave Home.”

Ain’t Nothing You Can Do! manages to recapture the sound of the classic post-war Chicago blues as well as any modern-day blues release possibly could, thanks to John Primer and Bob Corritore, two of the finest current masters of the genre.

– Graham Clarke


Blues Rag (Summer 2017)

That diehard communion between guitarist and harpist has long been valued on the hardened streets of Chicago: Muddy Waters and Little Walter. Eddie Taylor and Jimmy Reed. Then Buddy Guy and Junior Wells. With Ain’t Nothing You Can Do!, John Primer and Bob Corritore cement their run at the hometown title, signaling that 2013’s Knockin’ Around These Blues as not just a one-off chart-topping whim, but actually the official kickoff of a productive partnership. Their classic streetwise chops bond again over alley music in which each is fluent: Primer’s guitar prominently buttressed Muddy Waters for a handful of years before doing so for Magic Slim (for 13), before breaking solo. Corritore’s harp has roared around a million blues idols from both South and West Side leagues. In fact, the scent of ‘old school’ wafts so heavily from this session that fellow hardliners like pianists Henry Gray and the late Barrelhouse Chuck followed the trail to help feast upon meaty shuffles and sinewy grinders. The resulting ensemble does justice to brick-and-steel works by Snooky Prior and Sonny Boy Williamson as well as Primer (the goodwill plea of “Poor Man Blues”) and Corritore (the “Harmonica Boogaloo” slink). Without knowing who was sinking that full-bodied slide into such a viscous Mississippi-via-Chicago drawl, you’d swear Muddy himself was the one dishing out “Big Leg Woman” and the equally impure “Elevate Me Mama,” instead of Primer. That’s how bona fide these meat-and-potato blues are.

– Dennis Rozanski


Fra Noi (September 2017)

John Primer and Bob Corritore both spent portions of their careers in Chicago, with Primer playing with Willie Dixon’s All-Stars and Muddy Wa- ters’ last touring band. On “Ain’t Noth- ing You Can Do,” they pay homage not only to the material and style of Waters and Dixon, but also to a time before the extended guitar solo came to dominate the genre.

Instead, they harken back to the 1950s, when blues bands played as ensembles. It helps that they have assembled a cast of characters worthy of the great bands of old. Henry Gray, now 92 years young and a veteran of the glory days of Chess Records, performs on three songs. Chicago’s late boogie-woogie pianist, “Barrelhouse Chuck” Goering, also appears, as do Brain Fahey on drums, and Chris James and Patrick Ryan on rhythm and bass guitar.

Standout tracks include Primer’s homage to Waters’ inflections and style on “Elevate Me Mama” and “Poor Man’s Blues,” as well as his slide guitar on the shuffle “May I Have a Talk With You.” Corritore’s long, howling notes and swing bursts illuminate “Harmonica Bugaloo.” And this old-school tour de force is rounded out with “When I Leave Home,” a long, slow number that shows us why Primer, Corritore and the band are considered keepers of the blues flame.

– David Witter


La Hora De Blues (Spain) (September 2017)

Dos de los nombres más legendarios, clásicos y ortodoxos allí donde los haya del panorama actual del blues de Chicago, como son el cantante y guitarrista John Primer y el armonicista Bob Corritore, han unido sus fuerzas para grabar este álbum de puro, duro y explosivo ‘Chicago South Side Blues’. Para ello han contado con la colaboración de unos músicos y amigos de excepción como son los pianistas Henry Gray y el tristemente desaparecido Barrelhouse Chuck, los guitarristas Big Jon Atkinson y Chris James, los bajistas Troy Sandow y Patrick Rynn y finalmente el batería Brian Fahey. Con todo este increíble plantel de instrumentistas de primera línea, todos ellos magníficos conocedores del género que nos ocupa, el resultado no podía ser otro que un álbum brillante, intenso y lleno de magníficas sorpresas. Con un sonido sobrio, seguro, grueso y contundente que atrapa al oyente desde las primeras notas de “Poor Man Blues”, tema con el que se abre esta gran ceremonia litúrgica del blues, hasta “When I Leave Home” con el que se cierra el disco, toda la grabación se convierte en un delicioso paseo donde los músicos se recrean con suficiencia, elegancia y distinción. Un álbum trufado de shuffles, low down dirty blues y Chicago grooves que van desfilando sin cesar a lo largo del álbum con un tremendo duende, magia y mucho swing. Un disco que no debe faltar en ninguna colección que se precie, así como en la de todos aquellos que quieran preservar la verdadera historia del blues eléctrico desde sus inicios a finales de los años cuarenta hasta la actualidad. IMPRESCINDIBLE. Two of the most legendary, classic and orthodox names of actual Chicago blues scene, like singer and guitar player John Primer and harmonica player Bob Corritore, have joined forces to do an album of pure, powerful and really explosive Chicago south side blues. They have counted with the valuable collaboration of exceptional musicians and good friends like piano players Henry Gray and the late and always missed Barrelhouse Chuck, guitar players Big Jon Atkinson and Chris James, bass players Troy Sandow and Patrick Rynn and finally drummer Brian Fahey. With this incredible first class line up and real masters of the style, the result could not be other than a bright, intense album, full of delightful surprises. With a temperate, convincing, fat and strong sound that will captivate listeners from the first notes of “Poor Man Blues” that opens this great liturgical blues ceremony, till “When I Leave Home” that closes the cd, all the recording becomes a delicious walk all musicians involved enjoy and play with an amazing skill, elegance and good taste. Along the whole recording you will find incredible shuffles, low down dirty blues and Chicago grooves performed with a tremendous charming, magic and tons of swing. An album that deserves an outstanding place in any record collection and, of course, in the ones of all those people who are willing to preserve the history of the electric blues from its beginning at the end of the 40’s to the present times. ESSENTIAL.


Blues News Finland Review #1 (Finland) (October 12, 2017)

Aidon bluesin tyylikkäät sponsorit John Primer – Bob Corritore -kaksikon viimeisin yhteisponnistus ”Ain’t Nothing You Can Do!” elävöittää rikasta perinnettä. Levy on omistettu pianosuuruus Barrelhouse Chuckille.

Bluesmaailman tapahtumia seuratessa ei voi välttää näkemästä ja kuulemasta nimiä John Primer ja Bob Corritore. Siksi tiuhaan heidät mainitaan alan lehdissä ja konserttien vetonauloina. Tämän tästä herrat tuntuvat olevan myös ehdolla palkinnon saajiksi yhdessä jos toisessakin perinnebluesia koskevassa äänestyksessä tai kilvassa.

Primer ja Corritore ovat tehneet yhteistyötä Delta Groove -levy-yhtiön leivissä jo vuosia. Viiimeistä edellinen yhteistyön tulos on kuultavissa levyllä ”Knocking Around These Blues”, vuodelta 2013.

Nyt on kehissä vähän edellistä raskaampaa materiaalia. Bluesissa toki edelleen pysytään. Uusimmalla levyllä esitellään klassista Chicago- bluesia ja nimenomaan sen luojia ja kehittäjiä. ”Ain’t Nothing You Can Do!” on omistettu pianisti Barrelhouse Chuckin muistolle. Levy jäi hänen joutsenlaulukseen. Hän on mukana melkein jokaisella kappaleella.

John Primer on niitä iättömiä muusikoita, jotka ovat säilyttäneet vireytensä elämän ja musiikin suhteen. Edelleen 71-vuotiaanakin hän säteilee energiaa ja virtuositeettia, jollaisia nuoremmat saavat vain hämmästellä. Primer nähtiin viimeksi Suomessa ”Chicago Blues – A Living History” -kiertueen mukana kesällä 2014.

Bob Corritore vaikuttaa nykyisin Phoenixissa, Arizonassa. Hän omistaa siellä live- musiikille pyhitetyn bluesklubin nimeltä The Rhythm Room. Hänellä on oma radio- ohjelma, ja hän toimii myös levytuottajana. Bob Corritore kävi viimeksi Suomessa vuonna 2012, jolloin hän esiintyi yhdessä Tail Draggerin kanssa ”Stompin’ at Savoy”-tapahtumassa Helsingissä.

John Primer vastaa albumin lauluosuuksista ja hoitaa kitarasooloista pääasiallisesti slideosaston. Big Jon Atkinson ja Chris James vuorottelevat toisessa kitarassa. Corritore säestää tai sooloilee huuliharpistina kautta linjan. Mitään huimia kitarasooloja tai muuta brassailua ei tällä levyllä kuulla.

Kappaleiden tekijänimien takaa löytyy melkoinen joukko bluesin pioneereja. Kun kerran ollaan juurilla, kappaleiden sanoitukset ovat myös alkuperäisiä. Muutamien laulujen (”Elevate Me Mama”, ”Big Leg Woman”) perusteella tajuaa, mistä bluesin alikoinaan kantama synnillisen musiikin leima on lähtöisin.

Primerin ”Poor Man Blues” kuljettaa tyyliin sopivaa ”Dust My Broom” -riffiä. Kappale ottaa kantaa uusköyhyyteen ja julistaa lähimmäisenrakkauden sanomaa. Laulu on kenties tarkoituksella valittu sopimaan juuri tähän aikaan ja paikkaan. ”Elevate Me Mama” on Sonny Boy Williamsonin hidas blues. Laulu kertoo kaupungin parhaasta hissitytöstä, joka nostatteleekin vallan jotain muuta kuin hissiä. ”Turn on your elevator, take me more than 15 floors”, laulaa Primer ihan pokerinaamalla. Huuliharppu, slidekitara ja piano tulevat korostetusti esiin.

Snooky Pryorin uptempo-blues ”Hold Me in Your Arms” on sanoitukseltaan töksähtävän suorasukainen: ”Näytät kalkkarokäärmeeltä, mutta osaat rakastaa.” Piano ja huuliharppu eksyvät välillä omille teilleen, mutta lopussa palataan taas yhteen. Kaksoismerkityksiä vilisee Johnny Templelle kreditoitu ”Big Leg Woman”. Naisten hameiden pitäisi muka olla pitempiä, mutta silti niiden alla piilee jotain miestä ikuisesti kiehtovaa. Slidekitaraa ja huuliharppua vingutetaan samaan malliin kuin Muddy Waters Band parhaina päivinään.

”Gambling Blues” on kaiken nielevästä pelihimosta kertova kappale. Lopulta kaikki menee, myös tyttöystävä. Tekijänä on Morris Holt eli Magic Slim, viisi vuotta sitten edesmennyt bluesin jättiläinen. Luomisvoimaisen, uudistumiskykyisen artistin aktiiviura koki uuden nousun hänen viime vuosinaan. Bob Corritoren voimallinen huuliharppusoolo ja Chris Jamesin jutteleva kitara kumartavat kunnioittavasti hänen muistolleen.

Corritoren ”Harmonica Boogaloo” on korvaa hivelevä, moderni instrumentaali. Patrick Rynnin säestävää, melodista bassoa kelpaa kuunnella. Brian Faheyn hillityt rummut täydentävät kokonaisuuden. ”Ain’t Nothing You Can Do” ja ”For the Love of a Woman” ovat monelle parhaiten tuttuja Albert Kingin versioina. Primerin karhea laulutyyli ja vokaalien venyttely ovat ”se jokin”, joka tekee lauluista persoonallisia. Big Jon Atkinson saa kunnian olla mukana Albertin roolissa.

”May I have a Talk with You” -kappaleen säveltäjä on itse Chester Burnett eli Howlin’ Wolf. Pirtsakka slidekitara maustaa jälleen kerran energisen ”Dust My Broom” -version. ”When I Leave Home”, Primerin oma, hidas perusblues sisältää vakuuttavaa laulamista ja Barrelhouse Chuckin upean pianosoolon . ”I’ll be right back” Primer toistelee hypnoottisesti. Ainahan reissulta tullaan takaisin – vai tullaanko sittenkään ihan samana ihmisenä?

Bob Corritore on tunnettu siitä, että hän nostaa suuren yleisön tietoisuuteen usein virtuoosimaisia, unohdettuja bluesmuusikoita. Nämä muusikot ovat vaikuttaneet bluesin kehitykseen omalla panoksellaan saavuttamatta koskaan suurta julkisuutta. Primer taas on erikoistunut pitämään vanhoja lauluja ja soittotyylejä hengissä. Jokainen bluesin tekijä ansaitsee paikkansa ketjussa ja myös sen mukaisen arvostuksen – se on parivaljakon sanoma. Aito blues, miten se sitten määritelläänkään, ei ehkä vielä ole uhanalaista, mutta se tarvitsee suojelijansa ja sponsorinsa. Primer ja Corritore bändeineen hoitavat oman osuutensa tyylillä.

– ANNAMARI LAUSALA


Blues News Finland Review #2 (Finland) (November 2017)

Musiikin jakaminen genreihin ja alagenreihin on usein veteen piirretty viiva. Bluesin ollessa kysessä toinen maailmansota on monen harrastajan mielissä merkkipaalu, kun jaetaan artistit ja levytykset prewar-ja postwar-bluesiin. Vielä yleisemmin tyylisuuntia määritellään maantieteellisesti. Tämä levy edustaa sodan jälkeen syntynyttä sähköistä Chicago-bluesia tyylikkäästi ilman kummempia spekulointeja oikeaoppisuudesta. Kitaristi-laulaja John Primer on elossa olevista tuulisen kaupungin artisteista legendaarisimpia ja cv on mittava, mukaan lukien jäsenyys Muddy Waters in yhtyeessä.

Huuliharpisti Bob Corritore on samoin Chicagon kasvatti ja on ansioitunut niin levytyksissä, kiertueilla kuin alan palkinnoilla. Parivaljakko julkaisi neljä vuotta sitten mainion albumin “Knockin’ Around These Blues”, joka saa laadukasta jatkoa tällä pitkäsoitolla.

Mukana on muita alan huippuja. Osassa kappaleita pianoa soittaa loistava Henry Gray ja osassa edesmennyt Barrelhouse Chuck. Kitaristiosasto Primerin tukena on Big Jon Atkinson ja Chris James, bassoa soittavat vuorotellen Troy Sandow ja Patrick Rynn. Brian Fahey on rumpalina kaikilla raidoilla. Parhaita mahdollisia taitureita.

Avausraita Poor Man Blues ja levyn viimeinen kappale When I Leave Home ovat Primerin omia sävellyksiä ja toimivat hienosti. Corritoren oma kappale Harmonica Boogaloo on odotusten mukaan huuliharpun juhlaa. Loput ovat lainakamaa ja hyvin valittuja. Snooky Pryoria, Howlin’ Wolfia ja monia muita. Erityisen ilahduttavia ovat John Primerin slide-kitaraosuudet ja laulu sekä Bob Corritoren harpputyöskentely, joka on koko ajan läsnä mutta ei pyri hallitsemaan vaan täydentää kokonaisuutta. Mainitsemisen arvoinen on myös 93-vuotiaan Henry Grayn pianonsoitto.

Surullista on, että Barrelhouse Chuck menehtyi juuri levyn valmistuttua. Hän ehti kuulla raakakopion ja oli tyytyväinen kuulemaansa. Tämä on hieno albumi, joka kansitekstien mukaan on omistettu Chuckille.

– Harri Haka