Baltimore Blues Rag
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Blues & Rhythm (UK)
Blues Art Studio (Austria)
Blues In The Northwest
Blues News (Finland)
Chicago Blues Guide
Crossroads Blues Society
Docteur Blues (France)
In A Blue Mood
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Juke Joint Soul
La Hora del Blues
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Sing Out! The Folk Song Magazine
Twoj Blues (Poland)
Rob’s Blues Blog (November 30, 2008)
Every now and again a genuine gem comes along that’s totally unexpected yet so damn good that you just can’t wait to get the word out. That’s the case with this unbelievable collection set to be released in early 2009 by Southwest Music Arts Foundation Records to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Phoenix-based KJZZ’s long running, award winning blues show,Those Lowdown Blues hosted by Bob Corritore. Bob is a well-respected blues harp player, a Grammy Nominated producer, owner of Phoenix’s famed Rhythm Room, and a true walking encyclopedia of the blues. Through his intricate knowledge and genuine passion for the music and the artists themselves, along with a record collection that’s second to none, Bob has created one of the finest blues programs on the airwaves today. The show was just a one hour pre-taped program heard on Sunday mornings back in 1984 but was soon expanded to a five-hour program and moved to Sunday nights where it has since developed a huge worldwide following. Broadcasting The Blues! contains twenty utterly essential live performances recorded on air between 1984-2008. These are rare, intimate, uninhibited performances by some of the best-known names in the blues. The highlights are many and it’s impossible to pick favorites, as every performance here is top shelf. These include stellar performances from the likes of legendary guitarist Lowell Fulson who delivers a sublime rendition of his great “Sinner’s Prayer” first cut with Lloyd Glenn back in the late ‘40s. There’s R&B greats Otis Clay and Johnny Rawls sharing vocals on the gospel gem “I Want To Be At The Meeting” and a spirited Tomcat Courtney delivers the pointed “Tell Me Where You Stayed Last Night” backed by the superb Chris James on guitar. Other highlights include the great Billy Boy Arnold who accompanies himself masterfully on a cover of John Lee Williamson’s “Shake Your Boogie” reminding us all why he’s regarded as one of the best blues harp players in the business, while Chief Schabuttie Gilliame unleashes one of the coolest versions of “When The Saints Go Marching In” that I have ever heard. Legendary Howlin’ Wolf pianist Henry Gray is utterly superb on the spellbinding “Cold Chills” and the always consistent Louisiana Red is featured in three performances including the superb “Home In The Rock” and “Look What A Wonder” both deep gospel numbers that features Red’s powerful declamatory vocals and fine guitar work. The remaining performances are no less essential and include great moments from Lazy Lester, Dave Riley, Johnny Dyer, Billy Flynn, CeDell Davis, Jerry Lawson, and the rich, soulful voice of Margo Reed that takes flight on a wonderful version of Martin & Gabriel’s classic gospel hymn “Eye On The Sparrow” that closes the album. It’s a beautiful end to one of the finest compilations that I have ever heard. Bob Corritore has done a phenomenal production job here cherry picking the very best performances of the past 24-years, offering superb sound, and seamless sequencing. This is a joy to listen to and those who enjoy the impromptu spontaneity of live blues will do no better than this exceptionally crafted Silver Anniversary collection. Long live KJZZ and Those Lowdown Blues.
– Rob Lehrian
Juke Joint Blues & Soul (France) (December 5, 2008)
Depuis 25 ans à Phoenix Bob Corritore donne rendez vous à tous les amoureux de la note bleue le dimanche soir de 18 à 23 heures sur la station KJZZ pour son émission intitulée Those Lowdown Blues. Pour fêter dignement cet anniversaire, l’ami Bob édite une nouvelle galette extraite de ses shows dont lui seul a le secret, la distribution est tout simplement étourdissante: Tomcat Courtney, Otis Clay et Johnny Rawls interprétant un spiritual, venu de son Arkansas natal CeDell Davis aux côtés de Chris James, Lowell Fulson émouvant à la six cordes acoustique sur Sinner’s Prayer, Johnny Dyer, Billy Flynn, Dave Riley, Lazy Lester et beaucoup d’autres ! Ceux qui croisent depuis des années soit à Chicago ou Phoenix, Bob Corritore possèdent déjà cette précieuse galette, pour les amateurs de Real Down Home Blues des deux côtés de l’Atlantique, ce compact vous donnera plus que des frissons. Happy Birthday Bob!
– Jean Luc Vabres
Juke Joint Soul (December 11, 2008)
Bob Corritore’s famed radio show The Lowdown Blues has been a fixture on the airwaves in Phoenix AZ for over 25 years. Spinning the best in traditional blues from Bob’s extensive music library, The Lowdown Blues is a mark of international radio success for the blues. Winner of a 2007 Keeping the Blues Alive Award and earning a membership in the prestigious French Colectif des Radios Blues in 2008, Corritore has earned his reputation of being a jack-of-all-trades in the blues community.
Along with the music he spins, Corritore has had a number of excellent in-studio performances by living legends and up and coming artists alike. This hour-long disc collects some of the highlights from those in studio performances at KJZZ from the past 25 years. Recorded between the years of 1984 and 2008, there are truly some great nuggets on this disc.
Recorded on one to two microphones in studio, the performances vary in sound quality and volume control. You won’t want to walk away from your CD player having this at one volume because you’ll find yourself moving the dial up and down to capture these stripped down acoustic settings to their fullest extent without straining your ears one way or the other. You have to remember that you’re hearing these performances like many folks in Phoenix heard them on the airwaves.
Like I said before, these songs are all stripped down to one to three instruments and vocals. For some, it’s a first exposure to hearing Lowell Fulson and Lazy Lester without full bands. The Fulson track “Sinner’s Prayer” which he gives some short background on before cutting into it in a truly golden intimate performance. Other tracks like Billy Boy Arnold doing a cut off of his John Lee “Sonny Boy” Williamson tribute with just vocals and harmonica is also top notch. Critically acclaimed right hand men to Corritore: Billy Flynn, Patrick Rynn, and Chris James appear as the accompaniment on many of the tracks to legends like Tomcat Courtney, Louisiana Red, Johnny Dyer, and Henry Gray. The Gray track “Cold Chills” is a personal favorite. It’s just good. I can’t describe it. You’ll just have to listen yourself. Another moment of pure gold are vocal legends Otis Clay and Johnny Rawls getting together for a reserved but bone chilling gospel number “I Want to Be At the Meeting”.
Traditional fans will absolutely love this record. It’s a must-have for any collector and lover of the real old school blues. No questions asked! Some new contemporary blues folks will chide it for the laid-back vibe and how some of the tracks seem to run together. You can’t please everyone sometimes, but this is a damned good document of the pure old school blues that no one can deny. Willie Dixon urges, “Keep playing the blues, Bob”. I don’t think Mr. Corritore’s success is going to stop any time soon, and I believe the blues is in his blood and this disc shows his reverence for the old school sounds he loves and lives.
– Ben the Harpman
Twoj Blues (Poland) (Winter 2008 / 2009)
Bob Corritore to pochodzący z Phoenix w stanie Arizona harmonijkarz, producent nominowanych do Blues Music Awards i nagród Grammy płyt, dziennikarz, właściciel klubu bluesowego Rhythm Room i prezenter radiowy.
Jest chyba najbarddziej znaną bluesową postacią w swoim stanie. Regularnie też od 25 lat prowadzi swój autorski, niedzelny program „Those Lowdown Blues” w lokalnym radio KJZZ, do udziału w którym zaprasza artystów występujących w jego klubie. Przybywają nie tylko aby z nimi porozmawiać o blusie, ale też żeby mogli zilustrować swoje słowa grą, nie zawsze w tym momencie planowaną, często inspirowaną atmosferą chwili i tokiem prowadzonej na antenie rozmowy. I tak oto mamy jedyny w sobie zestaw utworów zagranych przez plejadę znakomitości z udziałem akustycznej gitary i harmonijki. Kogóż tu nie ma!
Dla mnie zdecydowaną perełką nr 1 jest duet Otis Clay/Johnny Rawls wspaniale wykonujący I Want To Be At The Meeting. Poziomem emocji nie ustępują mu też inne studyjne pary, jak Tomcat Courtney i Chris James w The World Is Mad, grający na harmonijce Billy Flynn z gitarą Chrisa Jamesa w Billy’s Bounce. Zdarzało się nierzadko, że grało w studio więcej muzyków, i tak możemy tu posłluchać wspólnej gry Johnny’ego Dyera, Chrisa Jamesa i Billy’ego Flynna w utworze Johnny’s Crazy Blues, Chiefa Schabuttie Gilliame, Johnny’ego Rappa i Mario Moreno w efektownej wersjiWhen The Saints Go Marchin’ In czy Henry’ego Gray’a w towarzystwie Billy’ego Flynna i Chrisa Jamesa.
Mocnym punktem płyty jest stary spiritual I Need You Bad zaśpiewany z ogniem przez Cedella Davisa, a już prawdziwymi rarytasami są: rozpoczynający płytę Sinner’s Prayer w interpretacji Lowella Fulsona, brawurowo zaśpiewany przez Billy’ego Boy’a Arnolda Shake Your Boogie. Grający z podobną dawką emocji Lazy Lester wykonuje O.J. Shuffle, a Louisiana Red – gospel Look What A Wonder. Żarliwie zaśpiewany a capella przez Margo Reed inny gospel Eye On The Sparrow zamyka tę interesującą, jedyną w sobie kompilację radiowych gości Boba.
Bob, życzę Ci co najmniej kolejnych 25 takich lat!
– Andrzej Matysik
Music City Blues (Nashville, TN) (January 2009)
Bob Corritore, born in Chicago in that very good year of 1956, became hooked on the harp and blues in general as an adolescent after hearing Muddy Waters for the first time. Since that time, he has become synonymous with the blues, as a first-rate harp player in his own right, a Grammy-nominated producer, and owner of the Rhythm Room Concert Club in Phoenix, AZ. He also has hosted a weekly blues show, Those Lowdown Blues, on station KJZZ in Phoenix, since February 1984. In honor of his show’s twenty-fifth “birthday”, Bob has teamed with the Southwest Musical Arts Foundation to release Broadcasting The Blues, a stellar compilation of live, acoustic performances from artists who have graced his studio over the last two-and-a-half decades. Bob has had the great pleasure to have had some of the blues world’s most renowned talent on his show, and this set lets them shine.
There is, indeed, a virtual “who’s who” of the blues included herein. The set kicks off with a 1984 performance by Lowell Fulson, doing “Sinner’s Prayer”. Lazy Lester turns in a fine read of two of his compositions, “Out On The Road”, and the galloping instrumental, “O. J. Shuffle”. Jerry Lawson of the Persuasions offers up a humorous, a cappella “Who Stole The Chicken?” Perennial Phoenix stalwarts Chris James on guitar and Patrick Rynn on bass back West coast harpslinger Johnny Dyer on the slow-burnin’ “Johnny’s Crazy Blues”. Chris again backs Louisiana Red on “The World Is Awful”, the tale of a man anxiously awaiting his “discharge from this Korean Army” only to get home and “find another man in my back yard!” Chris and harpist Billy Flynn rock the joint on the swingin’ instrumental, “Billy’s Bounce”.
Many of these blues artists also have gospel roots, and that genre’ is well represented, too. Louisiana Red shines on “Home In The Rock”, while soul men Otis Clay and Johnny Rawls join forces on “I Want To Be At The Meeting”. The set closes with Margo Reed and “Eye On The Sparrow”.
We had two favorites, too. Chief Schabuttie Gilliame joins Johnny Rapp and Mario Moreno for a lively and somewhat-irreverent take on “When The Saints Go Marching In”, while Billy Boy Arnold gives a cool a cappella read with just himself and his harp on “Shake Your Boogie”.
Willie Dixon himself offers a spoken-word sound bite, urging Bob to “keep on playin’ Those Lowdown Blues”, and withBroadcasting The Blues, here’s to looking forward to the next twenty-five years!
– Sheryl and Don Crow
Rootstime (Belgium) (January 1, 2009)
De echte diehard bluesfans kennen hem natuurlijk al, de archivaris en deejay van traditionele bluesmuziek die met zijn show “The Lowdown Blues” in Phoenix Arizona op KJZZ gedurende 25 jaar, zorgde voor het in leven houden van de bluescultuur. Meer dan verdiend ontving hij dan ook de “Keeping The Blues Alive” award in 2007. Niet alleen draait hij zeldzame en unieke bluesopnames uit zijn privé collectie, hij haalt ook levende legendes en jong opkomend talent naar zijn studio. Daarbij is hij ook nog de eigenaar van de befaamde “Rhythm Room”, een blues club met faam. Om nu dat 25 jarig bestaan van zijn bluesprogramma te vieren, is deze “Broadcasting The Blues” uitgebracht, een verzamelaar met de beste live opnames van optredens tijdens het programma vanaf 1984 tot nu. Wil je de uitzending ook eens horen, door de wondere wereld van het internet kan dit, ik luister er zelfs momenteel naar, want het is zondag, en zondag is bluesdag op KJZZ. Al wat je moet doen is surfen naar en luister naar de live stream van “The Lowdown Blues”, je kiest gewoon je speler en je kan luisteren (alleen even ‘t tijdsverschil in ‘t oog houden). Zelf speelt Bob een behoorlijk stukje bluesharp en in die hoedanigheid maakte hij dan ook al enkele cd’s, zoals vorig jaar die met gitarist/zanger Dave Riley. Hier laat hij het werk aan de anderen, de echte legendarische bluesgrootheden, zoals Lowell Fulson, Billy Boy Arnold, Otis Clay en Willie Dixon. Veel van de nummers zijn jams van artiesten die speciaal voor dit programma met elkaar optreden, zo is er onder meer een prachtcombinatie van Johnny Dyer met Chris James en Patrick Rynn “Johnny’s Crazy Blues” of Tomcat Courtney & Chris James met “The World Is Mad” allemaal prachtmomenten uit deze legendarische bluesuitzendingen. Hoogtepunt blijft voor mij echter “I Need You Bad” van Cedell Davis, echte juke joint Mississippi Delta blues zoals hij gebracht moet worden, al is het dan hier vanuit de rolstoel. Ik hou van dit soort opnames, hier hoor je nog de echte blues door de laatste vertegenwoordigers van “old bluesmen”. We kunnen dan ook niet beter afsluiten dan met het citaat van de grote Willie Dixon dat ook op deze cd staat: “Bob, Keep On Playing The Blues!”
WVKR-fm (Poughkeepsie, NY) (December 2008)
This is a unique set of live recordings, all culled from in-studio visits to Bob Corritore’s radio show, These Lowdown Blues, on KJZZ in Phoenix. Mostly acoustic, and mostly solo or with just one accompanist, these recordings have a very intimate and personal feel quite unlike recordings from clubs or auditoriums. It’s hard to pick favorites, but I have found myself gravitating to the bouncy No More Doggin’ (4) from Chief Schabuttie Gillame, and the archetypal Johnny’s Crazy Blues (14) from Johnny Dyer. A little electricity is provided in CeDell Davis’ I Need You Bad (16), while Jerry Lawson’s a capella Who Stole the Chicken (8) provides some levity.
– Nick Delay, Blues Director
Blues Bytes (January 2009)
Bob Corritore has played a very active role in the development and promotion of the blues over the past couple of decades. He’s promoted blues shows in the Phoenix area and produced blues records that have been nominated for Grammys, Handys, and BMA awards. He’s also a highly acclaimed musician, ranking as one of the finest harmonica players in the blues today. For the past 25 years (beginning in February 1984), Corritore has also hosted Those Lowdown Blues on KJZZ 91.5 FM in Phoenix. The show won the “Keeping the Blues Alive” award from the Blues Foundation in 2007, and has featured a playlist of traditional blues (most from Corritore’s massive personal library of recordings) as well as interviews with many of the major players in the blues world during that time span. Most of those guests were persuaded to perform while on the show and Corritore has collected twenty of the best performances on Broadcasting The Blues, released on Southwest Musical Arts Foundation Records.
Broadcasting The Blues captures a varied set of artists in an intimate setting, similar to the 1950’s origins of most of the tracks. It’s a pretty fair mix of those who are no longer with us (Lowell Fulson does a sensitive reading of “Sinner’s Prayer”, while Willie Dixon does a spoken word tribute to Corritore for continuing to bring the world the blues), living legends still going strong (Lazy Lester with two numbers; the swampy “Out On The Road”, and a guitar track called “O.J. Shuffle”; Billy Boy Arnold with a lively version of “Shake Your Boogie”; Henry Gray, and the ever-reliable Louisiana Red on a trio of tracks), and artists who recently surfaced on the national scene (Dave Riley with a typically intense “My Baby’s Gone”, and Tomcat Courtney).
Besides the blues tracks, there’s a healthy dose of gospel, including a nice track by Otis Clay and Johnny Rawls (“I Want To Be At The Meeting”), Louisiana Red (“Home In The Rock”), and the moving closing track, “Eye On The Sparrow”, featuring Margo Reed. Lending valuable support on many of the tracks are guitarists Chris James and Billy Flynn.
For fans of the vintage sound of 1950’s era blues and gospel, Broadcasting The Blues does an outstanding job of presenting them as close as possible to the way they actually were. Here’s hoping that Corritore and These Lowdown Blues are successful for another quarter of a century in their effort to keep the blues alive.
– Graham Clarke
BluesVan.hu (Hungary) (January 18, 2009)
Bob Corritore sokoldalú zenész. Napjaink egyik legjobb szájharmonikásának játékát számtalan lemezen hallhatjuk, producerként közreműködött Grammy, W.C. Handy és BMA díjra jelölt lemezek létrejötténél. Mindemellett tulajdonosa a phoenix-i The Rhythm Room klubnak és műsorvezető a KJZZ rádióállomásnál. Műsora, a Those Lowdown Blues 2007-ben a Blues Foundation-tól megkapta a Keeping The Blues Alive díjat.
Bob rádió műsorvezető pályafutása 25 éve, 1984 februárjában kezdődött. Az eltelt évek során számtalan blues nagyság megfordult a stúdióban, és ha már ott voltak, gyakran zenéltek is. Ezekből a felvételekből először az öt éve megjelent Blues On My Radio című lemez nyújtott válogatást. Idén a Southwest Musical Arts Foundation-nak köszönhetően újabb, a műsorban elhangzott dalok kerültek kiadásra Broadcasting The Blues címmel.
A felvételek egy vagy két mikrofonnal kerültek rögzítésre, a pillanat spontaneitását középpontba helyezve. Hangminőség szempontjából meglehetősen változatosak, zenei szempontból viszont számtalan csúcspontot tartogatnak. Lehengerlő Otis Clay és Johnny Rawls duetje az I Want To Be At The Meeting című gospelben, Billy Boy Arnold éneke, szájharmonika játéka a Shake Your Boogie-ban, Sonny Boy Williamson-ra emlékezve. Megbabonázza a hallgatót Howlin Wolf legendás zongoristája, Henry Gray, Billy Flynn-el és Chris James-szel kiegészülve a Cold Chills-ben. De a többi felvétel is tartalmaz finomságokat.
A CD-n található 20 dal melegen ajánlott a tradicionális blues rajongóinak.
Crossroads Blues Society (January 19, 2009)
This release celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Those Lowdown Blues program heard every Sunday evening on radio station KJZZ in Phoenix. Bob Corritore, who could be considered a Blues renaissance man, hosts this award-winning program. Bob is renowned blues harmonica player, a record producer, live concert promoter and the owner of the Rhythm Room, the premier Blues club in the Phoenix area.
For this disc, Corritore gathered together some of the best tracks cut live in the radio station’s studio during on-air broadcasts over the last two decades. The line-up features better known performers like Billy Boy Arnold and Louisiana Red along with musicians who deserve more attention like Tomcat Courtney. Most of the tracks feature striped-down arrangements – mostly a guitar or two while others feature the harmonica. The sound quality is consistently strong throughout, with a sense of immediacy in the performances that is the hallmark of a live session.
Lowell Fulson leads things off with “Sinner’s Prayer” – just Lowell’s strong vocal accompanied by his guitar. Courtney displays his mastery of the deep blues feeling on “Tell Where You Stayed Last Night” with Chris James helping out on guitar. The duo continues their magic on “The World is Mad” with another energetic vocal from Courtney. Arnold dedicates “Shake Your Boogie” to John Lee Williamson, the original Sonny Boy, punctuating his vocal with some masterful harp playing.
Louisiana Red appears on three tracks, getting help from Chris James on “The World is Awful”, the two guitars establishing a driving rhythm. Red goes solo on two gospel tunes – laying down some mesmerizing slide guitar on “Home in the Rock” and shoutin’ down the rafters on “Look What a Wonder”. The pairing of Otis Clay and Johnny Rawls delivers a take of “I Want to be at the Meeting” that impresses with its subdued intensity.
Other highlights include Chief Schabuttie Gilliame’s strong vocal on a driving take of “No More Doggin’”, Billy Flynn using the instrumental “Billy’s Bounce” to display his prodigious talent on the harp and Johnny Dyer capturing the classic Chicago style on “Johnny’s Crazy Blues” with help from James on guitar and Patrick Rynn on bass. Margo Reed may not be a household name but you will certainly remember her heartfelt a cappella rendition of “Eye on the Sparrow” that closes the disc.
Corritore has put together a wonderful collection that serves as a tribute to his radio program as well as the various musicians who have joined him on the air over the years. Every performer digs deep into the well of emotion, each generating that extra spark that is unique to the live setting. After you hear this release, you just might consider moving out west. Congratulations to Bob and KJZZ radio – best wishes for another 25 years of great blues!!!
– Mark Thompson
Baltimore Blues Rag (February 1, 2009)
Like moths to a flame, bluesmen are continually drawn to Phoenix on Sunday nights. Remarkably, the westward migration has occurred for 25 years– and counting. The lure is a shot to appear on Those Lowdown Blues, the award-winning radio show beaming out over KJZZ 9.15 FM. To grandly celebrate the Arizona program’s silver anniversary, host Bob Corritore generously digs deep into the station’s vaults for on-air performances spread between Lowell Fulson’s 1984 solo recitation of “Sinner’s Prayer” right up to the present. Except for the sporadic accompanist, everyone else also fends for himself. And the downhome lineup of bawlers, guitar-beaters, and harmonicats does its darnedest to adhere to the broadcast’s descriptive name. So “lowdown” becomes the operative word behind the pungency in Lazy Lester’s squealing harp, the beautiful messiness of CeDell Davis’s overdriven butter-knife slide, Chief Schabuttie Gilliame’s razor-gargled singing, and the pure forcefulness of Dave Riley’s bawl ‘n’ boogie. Henry Gray even delivers a rare piano-less “Cold Chills” in near field-holler mode. Some, however, try a little tenderness. That’s how Louisiana Red bottlenecks out “Home In The Rock” with the feathery lightness of angel wings or soulmen Otis Clay and Johnny Rawls churchfully croon in impromptu duet over another moving spiritual. Prime cases of have-blues-will-travel: from Billy Boy Arnold to Tomcat Courtney.
– Dennis Rozanski
Bloomington Alternative (January 25, 2009)
Bob Corritore, DJ/host of the award-winning Those Lowdown Blues program on radio station KJZZ, 91.5 FM, Tempe and Mesa, Ariz., wears many distinguished blues hats: owner of the Rhythm Room blues club in Phoenix, avid blues record collector, noted blues harp player and record producer, and author/publisher of the online Bob Corritore Blues Newsletter.
“These 15 artists represent a roster of accomplishment that embraces both better-known and lesser-known but equally talented African American blues players”.
He’s been hosting Those Lowdown Blues now for 25 years, and Broadcasting the Blues! is a 20-track CD of artists he’s recorded live for his show right there in the studio. The performances here were recorded spontaneously between 1984 and 2008, using only one or two microphones, so that the tracks onBroadcasting the Blues! capture the down-home traditional blues in a setting that’s the closest thing to the blues’ natural environment.
Of these 20 tracks, one is of Willie Dixon giving a plug for Corritore’s show, which leaves 19 tracks of music featuring 13 different leading artists and one duet, with only one or two accompanying musicians for each artist, with an elemental blues accompaniment of acoustic and electric guitars. These 15 artists represent a roster of accomplishment that embraces both better-known and lesser-known but equally talented African American blues players.
Those better-known featured on this CD include the legendary Lowell Fulson, Billy Boy Arnold, Louisiana “swamp blues” maestro Lazy Lester, Louisiana Red, Tomcat Courtney and Henry Gray. The accompanying musicians are among the finer young players: guitarists Johnny Rapp and Mario Moreno accompany African-born Arizona Blues Hall of Fame inductee Chief Schabuttie Gilliame (whose CD,Snakes Crawls at Night, was reviewed in the Sept. 26, 2007 “Blues and More”); guitarist Chris James accompanies several artists; guitarist Billy Flynn joins James in accompanying Henry Gray; and harpman Patrick Rynn joins James in accompanying Johnny Dyer.
The down-home blues represent a variety of vocal and guitar styles and thematic content, and that variety is well displayed on Broadcasting the Blues! While most of the tracks are guitar-accompanied, Jerry Lawson’s humorous “Who Stole The Chicken” is sung a cappella. Lazy Lester sings “Out On The Road”, accompanying himself on acoustic guitar with foot-driven percussion, and plays neck-rack solo harmonica. Tomcat Courtney sings one bad-woman blues, “Tell Me Where You Stayed Last Night”, while Dave Riley sings another, “My Baby’s Gone”.
“The down-home blues represent a variety of vocal and guitar styles and thematic content, and that variety is well displayed on Broadcasting the Blues!”
Johnny Dyer sings a blues of what good love can do to a man, “Johnny’s Crazy Blues”; CeDell Davis another, “I Need You Bad”; and Henry Gray a third, “Cold Chills”. Tomcat Courtney gives forth with social commentary on “The World Is Mad”. Louisiana Red plays a semi-gospel number he wrote for and performed in the play “Juneteenth” with Odetta, “Look What A Wonder”. (Juneteenth was the date of the freeing of the slaves in Texas.)
Venerable classics are here as well. Lowell Fulson does “Sinner’s Prayer”, a song he first recorded with Lloyd Glenn in the late 1940s, while Louisiana Red does a number he wrote while in the Army and recorded in Detroit in the late 1940s, “The World Is Awful”. Billy Boy Arnold accompanies himself on solo harp on Sonny Boy Williamson’s (John Lee Williamson) “Shake Your Boogie”, which he later covered; and Chief Schabuttie Gilliame does his version of Rosco Gordon’s 1952 “No More Doggin'”.
There are also two instrumentals on the CD. Billy Flynn plays lead harp to Chris James’s guitar accompaniment on the original “Billy’s Bounce”, while Lazy Lester plays guitar and foot-pedal percussion on “O.J. Shuffle”.
Fittingly enough, Broadcasting the Blues! features four spirituals as well. Chicago soul master Otis Clay and Johnny Rawls do “I Want To Be At The Meeting”, while Louisiana Red accompanies himself on slide guitar as he sings “Home In The Rock”. Chief Schabuttie Gilliame does “When The Saints Go Marching In”, and the sole woman performer here, Margo Reed, sings “Eye On The Sparrow” a cappella.
The sleeve jacket to Broadcasting the Blues! unfolds to give a pictorial panorama of the various artists who’ve appeared on Those Lowdown Blues, and the sleeve notes by Jennifer Waters, KJZZ Blues Production Assistant, give a brief history of the first 25 years of the show.
If you like down-home blues played down-home, then you’re going to love Broadcasting the Blues!
– George Fish
Exclaim! (Canada) (February 2009)
Celebrating 25 years of Those Lowdown Blues on Phoenix’s KJZZ, the harp playing, record producing, club owning and concert promoting host, Bob Corritore, has dug deeply into the show’s archives, creating this collection of 20 live-in-the-studio performances. Given that it was during radio interviews that the artists were recorded, most cuts feature them performing solo, occasionally with guitar accompaniment. The performers are a mixture of elders and newer names, standouts being Chicago’s Billy Flynn blowing harmonica on “Billy’s Blues”, a tribute to his mentor, Billy Boy Arnold, who’s included performing “Shake Your Boogie”. Top vocals are the Persuasions’ Jerry Lawson laying out a droll a cappella version of “Who Stole The Chicken” and Phoenix’s own Chief Schabuttie Gilliame’s strained singing giving the workhorse “No More Doggin'” a cutting edge. The most memorable performances are by Louisiana Red, whose storytelling adds a nice flavour to the mix on three cuts, including the spiritual “Look What a Wonder”.
– David Barnard
Blues Art Studio (Austria) (February 2009)
For the last forty years Bob has been and still continues to be intrigued and transfixed by the blues; from first having heard Muddy Waters playing the blues on the radio at the age of twelve to later in his teens seeing Muddy perform at concert held in the gymnasium of his Chicago high school.
He took to playing the harmonica and for quite a time he sat in with John Henry Davis on Maxwell Street. During his teens he would stealthily visit blues clubs to see and hear his idols perform on stage, he became a regular visitor to the clubs and after a time befriend a number of the legendary harmonica players in Chicago, who happily gave him hints, tips and encouragement which in turn enabled him to become an established harmonica player in his own right. In the late seventies, he began a career as a producer alongside his thriving playing career.
In nineteen eighty-one Bob moved to Phoenix, Arizona; since then he has truly become a blues renaissance man, for three years later in conjunction with his other interests, Bob began yet another change of direction in his diverse career, that of hosting a blues radio show for KJZZ entitled ‘Those Lowdown Blues.’ A programme which featured live studio performances of visiting bluesmen, some legendary and some not so, but nonetheless each and every one of them, providing huge enjoyment to the listening audience.
In nineteen ninety-one he opened and began promoting The Blues and Roots Concert Club, The Rhythm Room. This was yet another of Bobs’ projects to keep the faith with the blues and to bring together any and everyone that was even remotely interested. He often performed there with his own band the Rhythm Room All-Stars.
Now some twenty-five years later, some of those precious live studio recordings that were made on his show have now been released as a twenty-track compilation album for all to enjoy. In retrospect we now know how important these recordings have become; not just for our own listening pleasure but for many future generations of blues lovers who would never have the opportunity to hear let alone see these artists in their raw acoustic element displaying their wonderful god given talents without the aid of any studio enhancements or in some cases any backing.
The likes of; Lowell Fulson, Billy ‘Boy’ Arnold, Lazy Lester along with Louisiana Red are featured with ‘Tomcat’ Courtney, Otis Clay, Johnny Rawls also performing , Margo Reed provides the inspired and spine-tingling last number “Eye on the Sparrow.”
The performances are; earthy, direct, emotional, and honest; some of the artists open their hearts to us in their music. You might think they are somewhat quirky but you would be wrong; for they are simply raw unadulterated blues.
Enjoyable, Historical, Essential!
– Brian Harman
Big City Blues (February 2009)
One of the newest CDs due out in 2009 features a long play list of 20 tracks compiled by Rhythm Room proprietor Bob Corritore taken from the last 25 years of broadcasting his blues show Those Lowdown Blues from KJZZ in Phoenix . It’s a great compilation indeed, as Bob put forth several performers with whom he has either recorded with or hosted at his club. Originally from Chicago, Bob has affiliations with most of these performers as a club owner, harmonica player, and friend. There are plenty of tunes to explore on this project, which features more than 20 blues musicians from on-air broadcasting since 1984, when he started with the radio station. His show has been celebrated with award winning recognition from organizations such as The Blues Foundation and local Phoenix luminaries to blues lovers as far away as France.
Lowell Fulson starts things off with the soulful “Sinner’s Prayer”, and Otis Clay & Johnny Rawls team up for the gospel number “I Want To Be At the Meeting”. Tomcat Courtney’s powerful vocals intertwine with Chris James guitar on “The World is Mad” , and “Tell Me Where You Stayed Last Night”. James is one of the Rhythm Room All-Stars and plays guitar with several performers here. Jerry Lawson plays a little ditty called “Who Stole the Chicken”, and Dave Riley’s raspy vocals are heard on “My Baby’s Gone”. “Billy’s Bounce” is a short instrumental featuring Billy Flynn, who is an up and coming harp player to be reckoned with. Louisiana Red has three songs here with one of his old originals “The World Is Awful” from the 1950s when he was in the Army.
He also sings and plays a beautiful gospel on guitar titled “Home On the Rock”. The slow and blues drenched “Out On the Road” , and “O.J. Shuffle” gives us a taste of the blues of Lazy Lester, and Bob managed to get Willie Dixon to say a short spiel about his show back when he was alive. Johnny Dyer plays yet another great blues with “Johnny’s Crazy Blues”, and Chief Schabuttie-Gilliame plays his rendition of “When The Saints Go Marching In”, both using some of Bob’s All-Star house band from his club. CeDell Davis plays his style of blues in the heart rending “I Need You Bad”, and Henry Gray is here with “Cold Chills”. Margo Reed finishes up with her gospel “Eye on the Sparrow”. Bob always seems to deliver great music on whatever endeavor he portrays, and this new CD is no exception.
– Dirk Wissbaum
Blues & Rhythm UK
On Sunday nights at 6 pm, blues fans in the Phoenix area know it’s time to turn their dials to 91.5 FM, because, for the last 25 years, Bob Corritore has hosted the highly regarded KJZZ radio programme, Those Lowdown Blues.
This issue consists of tracks recorded for the radio shows over that period, and to be quite honest, a simple description of the release is that it’s really enjoyable, the beauty of it being in the quite relaxed way that Corritore has managed to coax the best from virtually all the artists showcased by this release, very few of which are major stars (and some I’d not even heard of before). Few details are given of the recording dates, but clearly as the likes of Lowell Fulson are featured, the span of these recordings must be quite wide. It’s quite remarkable that such basically unstructured music, unfettered by a producer’s hands, can be produced in such a naturally balanced and favourable way, but believe me, it is, a release that initially suggested rather boring, stereotyped music, really has me reaching for the repeat button on my remote – something I even struggle to reach these days.
The great Lowell Fulson starts proceedings with a delicate version of one of his classic numbers and this contribution is followed by a delicious gospel-ish and soul-ish number from Clay and Rawls. Courtney and James then provide the first of their two contributions, the first, a down-home Hopkins’ styled blues combination, and then “Mad”, a reflective number, even more in a Hopkins mode. One of “my” unknowns, “Chief Gilliame”, from the Phoenix region, follows with a Wolf-like impression on, guess what, a Wolf styled number, “No More Doggin’”, and his other number is a nice country guitar-picking treatment of “Saints”. Louisiana Red, whilst still, at least as far as I know, based in Europe, gives us a really down-home cut with “World”, and two further gospel tinged numbers, both very pleasant and quite poignant. Billy Boy is one of the more renowned artists on show, and his “Boogie” is a well-intentioned clone of one of his mentor’s recordings. Riley’s cut is another modern-ish take of Hopkins-styled material, nothing wrong with that, but Lawson’s narrative is purely that, as is, really, the final track from Margo Reed, an unaccompanied gospel-talking cut. Dixon’s spot is also a simple, thirteen second, dedication and plea to Corritore; as per its title.
On “Billy’s Bounce”, (Billy) Flynn presumably plays harp, a terrific early Little Walter-styled showcase (see, he plays harp as well, every bit as well, as guitar!), both Lazy Lester’s brace are nice country based blues, why didn’t he do these sort of numbers in Europe instead of frequent country numbers, which never (within reason) suited him? Johnny Dyer’s track is a lovely and classic styled take on an early fifties Chicago blues, crisp and mellow, it has the benefit of a beautiful laid-back guitar break from James. CeDell Davis’s cut is . . . well, a CeDell Davis cut, he’s a one off, I’ve never heard a bad track from him, and finally to consider is the old soldier Henry Gray, for once not playing piano, just singing effortlessly, with again, more superb, but laid-back and lowdown, backing from James.
Along with Corritore’s production values and encouragement of these featured blues artists, special praise also has to be given to Chris James; he really is a first class accompanying guitar player. I suppose this isn’t what can be called an essential release, but it’s nonetheless a very rewarding listen, I don’t think any readers would be disappointed with it, and most would appreciate the warmth and integrity with which it’s made.
– Byron Foulger
Docteur Blues (France) (March 2009)
2009 Chaque dimanche depuis 25 ans, Bob Corritore anime de 18h à 23h son émission de radio “Those Lowdown Blues” sur KJZZ 91.5 FM sur Phoenix, Arizona. C’est justement pour célébrer comme il convient ce 25e anniversaire qu’est sorti le CD “Broadcasting the blues”, une compilation regroupant des extraits musicaux enregistrés en direct pendant l’émission avec une pléiade d’invités, tous plus prestigieux les uns que les autres. Il nous avait déjà fait le coup il y a 5 ans à l’occasion du 20e anniversaire avec la sortie du cd “Blues on my radio” déjà excellent, mais pour moi, celui du 25e anniversaire est encore meilleur. Il faut d’emblée préciser que cette émission est devenue une référence mondialement reconnue en matière de blues, qu’elle a reçu en 2007 le “Keeping the blues alive” award décerné par la Blues foundation, et que depuis le 26 juillet 2008, Bob Corritore est devenu officiellement à la fois parrain et membre d’honneur de notre “Collectif des radios blues” français. Un trophée lui a été remis à l’occasion d’un de ses concerts avec Dave Riley au festival “Cognac blues passions”. Précisons aussi que Bob Corritore est une personnalité majeure dans le milieu blues, un personnage qui possède plusieurs casquettes, animateur radio mais aussi musicien (plus précisément harmoniciste), propriétaire de club – le fameux Rhythm room à Phoenix dont il assure lui même la programmation -, producteur de nombreux cd et aussi collectionneur.
Mais revenons au CD, un CD fait par un passionné pour des passionnés. Si j’excepte le titre de Willie Dixon qui est en fait un jingle parlé, chacun des 19 titres de ce CD est une petite merveille. A l’écoute de ce cd, je suis comme un chercheur d’or qui aurait trouvé un gisement exceptionnel, des pépites à profusion ! De quoi de plus savoir où donner de la tête (plus précisément de l’oreille). Il est absolument impossible de ressortir un ou deux morceaux, tellement ce cd est dense et d’une qualité exceptionnelle. Bien sûr, on y trouve que des inédits, des morceaux enregistrés en petite formation, solo ou duo (même 2 trios), dans un esprit acoustique. C’est dépouillé à souhait, du blues à l’état brut, sans fioriture mais plein d’émotion, du blues, vraiment que du blues ! (avec quand même une petite pointe de gospel) du blues traditionnel car je ne l’ai pas précisé mais Bob Corritore est surtout amateur de blues traditionnel. Si vous aimez les sons modernes ou les grosses guitares, ce cd n’est pas pour vous.
Alors, j’imagine que vous êtes impatients de savoir quels artistes on trouve dans cette compilation ? d’emblée et pour maintenir le suspens, j’indique que Bob Corritore ne joue sur aucun morceau même si parfois à la fin d’un titre, on peut deviner sa voix. On y trouve la plupart des amis de Bob, Louisiana Red, Tomcat Courtney, Chris James et Patrick Rynn, Johnny Rapp, Chief Schabuttie Gilliame, Dave Riley, Henri Gray etc, il ne manque guère que Big Pete Pearson.
Il y a d’abord deux titres A cappella absolument irrésistibles “Who stole the chicken” par Jerry Lawson (des persuasions) et “Eye on a sparrow” (gospel) par Margo Reed. Autre gospel “I want to be at the meeting” chanté cette fois à deux voix (Otis Clay et Johnny Rawl) avec un léger accompagnement de guitare. J’adore la reprise dépouillée de “shake your boogie” (de Sonny boy Williamson) par Billy Boy Arnold avec juste sa voix et son harmo. Encore plus brut de décoffrage, il y a le titre de Cedell Davis “I need you bad”. Son jeu de guitare rugueux, énergique et parfois dissonant ne manque pas de charme. Je précise qu’il joue de sa guitare avec la lame d’un couteau ! Les deux titres chantés par le Chief Schabuttie Gilliame (figure haute en couleur et attachante de la scène blues de Phoenix) sont véritablement poignants. Sa voix rapeuse et son chant intense et chargé d’émotion associé à un accompagnement sobre et pertinent de Johnny Rapp et Mario Moreno magnifient ces deux titres; bouleversant et formidable !
Tout aussi formidables, les deux titres chantés par Tomcat Courtney parfaitement secondé par Chris James. Tomcat en plus d’être un super chanteur / guitariste est un véritable songwriter. Il raconte des histoires simples du quotidien avec une certaine philosophie. Ces deux titres acoustiques “Tell me where you stayed last night” et “the world is mad” en sont la parfaite illustration. Il est sans doute l’un des derniers représentants de ce Texas blues dans la lignée de Sam “Lightnin’” Hopkins. Autre belle surprise du cd, l’instrumental “Billy’s bounce” où on retrouve Billy Flynn impérial à l’harmonica, accompagné de Chris James à la guitare. Lazy Lester joue de l’harmonica sur “out on the road” et de la guitare sur un shuffle instrumental entraînant “OJ shuffle” accompagné juste d’un washboard (sans doute Fred Reif). Henry Gray ne joue pas de piano ici (il n’y en avait sans pas dans le studio) mais il est remarquable au chant. La performance très spontanée de Louisiana Red au chant sur “Look what a wonder” est tout aussi remarquable. C’est vraiment un Louisiana Red au sommet de sa forme qu’on trouve ici. Il faut dire qu’il a toujours eu une grande complicité avec Bob Corritore et ça se ressent. J’aime aussi la grosse voix rauque de Dave Riley, autre complice de Bob récemment installé à Phoenix sur le titre “My baby’s gone”, son interprétation émouvante sur un thème classique et récurrent du blues.
Bref, vous l’aurez compris, ce cd “Broadcasting the blues” est réellement indispensable pour tout passionné de blues qui se respecte !
Et vivement le 30e anniversaire…
– Jocelyn Richez
Chicago Blues Guide (April 23, 2009)
Bob Corritore’s contributions to the blues cannot be measured. He is a well-respected and often-recorded blues harp player, a Grammy®-nominated producer, owner of Phoenix, Arizona’s Rhythm Room club, and the host of a popular blues radio show. His blues newsletter is the place to find out what’s going on in the world of blues. Broadcasting The Blues celebrates the 25th anniversary of Corritore’s long running, award-winning blues show, Those Lowdown Blues.It can be heard Sunday nights from 6 -11p.m. (Mountain Time) on KJZZ 91.5 FM in Phoenix. Over the course of 25 years, many guests stopped by the station to be interviewed and/or to perform on the show. Via a collection of live performances that originally aired on the radio, this CD presents a selection of highlights from the show. These acoustic songs were recorded between 1984 and 2008 at KJZZ studios using one or two microphones. If you prefer electric blues, check out one of Corritore’s excellent Rhythm Room compilations or his All-Star Blues Sessions.
Like most things that Corritore is involved with, Broadcasting The Blues is not about him. It’s all about the more than 15 artists who appear on the 60-minute disc. Corritore’s sole contribution is as producer, so don’t expect to hear him performing harp. By providing unordinary support on six tracks, guitarist Chris James plays the crucial role of consummate sideman. James is a member of the Rhythm Room All Stars, who are the house band of Corritore’s club.
Spontaneity best describes these recordings, which range in length from one minute to six minutes. These 20 tracks are important for their historical value, but they cannot be considered as being essential. Although it contains an audible hiss, the late Lowell Fulson’s classic “Sinner’s Prayer”, from the ’40s, is one of the best songs. Another gem is Louisiana Red’s “The World Is Awful”, which he describes as being “from the ’40s when I was in the army”. With vintage sounding guitar work and lyrics that depict an oppressive situation, this sounds like blues as it should be performed and listened to. Yes, Red does scream past the point of distortion, but the song is still a highlight. Many will be familiar with Billy Flynn’s guitar prowess. He is also a gifted harmonicist, as you’ll hear on the startling instrumental “Billy’s Bounce”. Tomcat Courtney’s vocals are wizened on “Tell Me Where You Stayed Last Night”, and the content is far too stereotypical. However, the guitar work is admirable. He redeems himself later on “The World Is Mad”. Dave Riley’s mean and gruff sounding voice tends to overpower his compassionate sounding guitar. Jerry Lawson’s story-telling blues testify like an evangelical minister. Lazy Lester’s “Out On The Road” sounds similar to “When My First Wife Quit Me”. CeDell Davis’ guitar sounds so rough, you’ll think he is cutting into his guitar strings with the knife he uses to play the instrument.
Born September 27, 1956 in Chicago, Corritore first heard Muddy Waters on the radio at age 12. It led Bob to become immersed in the Chicago blues scene, where he was mentored by many of the city’s masters. In 1981, Bob relocated to Phoenix. This CD is another example of Corritore’s exceptional dedication to gain wider recognition for the blues and its artists. When Willie Dixon told him, “Bob, keep on playing the blues”, Corritore took it to heart, and the blues world became a better place.
Broadcasting The Blues can be purchased via the following secure site
For information about Bob Corritore and his Those Lowdown Blues radio program, please go to www.bobcorritore.com and www.kjzz.org
– Tim Holek
In A Blue Mood: Blogspot (April 6, 2009)
I became first aware of Bob Corritore in the ’70s when he issued some blues albums by lesser known, but hardly lesser, Chicago artists Little Willie Anderson and Big Leon Brooks. Subsequently he relocated to Phoenix Arizona where he has become a multiple blues-threat, running a blues venue, The Rhythm Room; hosting for twenty-five years a blues show, Those Lowdown Blues, on KJZZ 91.5 on Sunday Nights (from 7:00PM to Midnight Phoenix Time); being a blues harmonica player of some note; and being a producer of many fine blues records.
Recently, Southwest Musical Arts Foundation Records has issued Broadcasting the Blues, a 25th Anniversary Celebration of Bob’s excellent Those Lowdown Blues program. It includes some relaxed informal performances by such blues artists as Billy Boy Arnold, Billy Flynn, CeDell Davis, Dave Riley, Henry Gray, Johnny Dyer, Lazy Lester, Louisiana Red, Lowell Fulson, and Tomcat Courtney, that were done during Bob’s show. While one would not call this essential, there are some very memorable moments such Lowell Fulson reprising “Sinner’s Prayer,” Billy Boy Arnold’s solo version of “Shake Your Boogie, “Tomcat Courtney’s “The World is Mad,” Louisiana Red’s gospel number (with nice slide) “Home in the Rock,” Henry Gray’s “Cold Chills,” and Lazy Lester’s “Out on the Road.”
This is available from KJZZ (http://kjzz.org/music/blues) which gets proceeds from the sales as well as Bluebeat Music (www.bluebeatmusic.com). Having listened over the net to Bob’s program, my only regret is that it is not on earlier as he plays nothing but the blues. May Bob have another 25 years of playing the real lowdown blues. Bob’s own website is http://www.bobcorritore.com, and is a valuable resource in its own right. As the late Willie Dixon is heard, “Bob, keep on playing the blues.” I will keep on listening.
– Ron W.
La Hora del Blues (Fall 2009)
Magistral selección la que ha realizado Bob Corritore para celebrar esos veinticinco años de radio, pues no podía haber escogido mejor ni las canciones, ni los interpretes aquí representados. Those Lowdown Blues es un programa legendario en el 91’5 FM de la KJZZ de Phoenix, Arizona y su presentador Bob Corritore una de las personalidades que más trabajan por los blues en todas sus vertientes posibles. Nos llevaría muchas líneas hablar sobre Bob, por lo que nos ceñiremos exclusivamente a este álbum. Broadcasting The Blues contiene veinte canciones grabadas en directo para su programa de radio entre los años 1984 y el 2008. Los intérpretes incluídos son Lowell Fulson, Otis Clay & Johnny Rawls, Tomcat Courtney & Chris James, Chief Schabuttie Gilliame, Johnny Rapp & Mario Moreno, Louisiana Red & Chris James, Billy Boy Arnold, Dave Riley, Jerry Lawson, Billy Flynn & Chris James, Lazy Lester, Willie Dixon, Johnny Dyer, Chris James & Patrick Rynn, CeDell Davis, Henry Gray & Billy Flynn y, finalmente, Margo Reed. Como podeís ver un verdadero elenco de personalidades interpretando blues de bella factura, auténticos y muy pasionales. Un cd que no tiene desperdicio y que engrandece todavía más la figura de la persona que está detrás de todo esto, Bob Corritore naturalmente. MUY BUENO.
Bob Corritore has done a mastery selection to celebrate his 25 years of radio and he could not have chosen better songs or better musicians to this celebration. Those Lowdown Blues is a legendary blues radio show at 91.5FM KJZZ, Phoenix, Arizona and host Bob Corritore is one of the most important figures who does a hard work in many different fields of the blues world. It would take a long time to mention all the blues activities he does, so let us now limit to the album. Broadcasting The Blues gathers twenty songs recorded live from his radio show between 1984 and 2008. Artists included are Lowell Fulson, Otis Clay & Johnny Rawls, Tomcat Courtney & Chris James, Chief Schabuttie Gilliame, Johnny Rapp & Mario Moreno, Louisiana Red & Chris James, Billy Boy Arnold, Dave Riley, Jerry Lawson, Billy Flynn & Chris James, Lazy Lester, Willie Dixon, Johnny Dyer, Chris James & Patrick Rynn, CeDell Davis, Henry Gray & Billy Flynn and, finally, Margo Reed. A true list of personalities, all them playing excellent made blues with great feeling and passion. A CD with not a single bad track on it, that contributes to grow up the figure of the man who is behind all that, Mr. Bob Corritore. GREAT.
– Vicente Zumel
Sing Out! The Folk Song Magazine (Summer 2009)
Traditional blues aficionados in the Phoenix, Arizona, area know that on Sunday nights at 6 p.m. it’s time to switch their radio dial to 91.5 FM because, for the last quarter century, blues harmonica player and local entrepreneur Bob Corritore has hosted his acclaimed program, “Those Lowdown Blues,” on KJZZ. This 20-track compilation features material recorded on-air over that period, using only one or two microphones, and warmly reflects the laidback spontaneity of the moment.
Well-known bluesmen like Lowell Fulson (who opens affairs with a vibrant revival of one of his early successes, “Sinner’s Prayer”), Otis Clay, Tomcat Courtney, Lazy Lester (with a pair of great, Crescent City-flavored numbers) and Louisiana Red alternate with local favorites and relative unknowns such as Chief Schabuttie Gilliame (who channels Howlin’ Wolf on “No More Doggin'” and countrifies “When The Saints Go Marching In”), Lightnin’ Hopkins-influenced Dave Riley, Jerry Lawson (whose talking blues asks that eternal question, “Who Stole The Chicken?”) and gospel soloist Margo Reed for one of those well-produced, aurally rewarding projects that are all too rare these days.
Accompanying guitarist on a half dozen tracks, Chris James, also deserves mention; he works particularly well with harmonica ace Billy Flynn on the Little Walter-styled instrumental jumper “Billy’s Bounce,” as well as on Johnny Dyers’ slice of early Chicago blues titled “Johnny’s Crazy Blues” and Henry Gray’s “Cold Chills.” One of those albums that’s over before you know it and leaves one wondering what else is in the can. Recommended.
– Gary von Tersch
Blues News (Finland) (January 2010)
Bob Corritore on loistava huuliharpisti, joka on taustoittanut lukuisia kokoonpanoja. Tapasin hänet Sveitsissä Lucerne Blues Festivalissa ja hän sanoi, että harpisti joka ei itse laula jää muusikkona vähemmälle huomiolle. Tämä on varmaan totta mutta Bob on kiistattoman harpputaidon lisäksi maailman johtavia blues-radiotiskijukkia. Hän on pyörittänyt yli neljännesvuosisadan Phoenixissa Those Lowdown Blues –nimistä ohjelmaa asemalla KJZZ taajuudella 91.5 FM.
Tämä CD on Bobin itse tuottama kooste live-esityksistä, jotka ovat soineet hänen ohjelmassaan. Kaikki ovat suoria live-ottoja ja antavat aitouden tunteen. Pääosin mennään soolona ja akustisesti, mikä sopii hyvin tähän konseptiin. Live-esiintymiset olivat luonnollisesti täydennystä ajankohtaisten blueslevytysten soittamiselle. Onpahan myös Helge Tallqvistin ja Tomi Leinon levyjä soitettu muiden mukana Corritoren ohjelmassa.
Lowell Fulsonin avaus on upea akustinen soolo-otto. Samaan henkeen jatketaan ja bluesin lisäksi gospel-sävyjä on mukana jo kakkoskappaleesta alkaen. Levyn ehdottomaan parhaimmistoon kuuluu Billy Boy Arnoldin versio Sonny Boy ykkösen klassikosta Shake Your Boogie. Myös Johnny Dyerin ja kumppaneiden Johnny’s Crazy Blues on erikseen mainitsemisen arvoinen. Muuten tällä levyllä on ehkä eniten historiallista arvoa. Kaikki kunnia Bob Corritorelle, että on pyörittänyt näin pitkään laadukasta radioshowta. Harmi vain, ettei hän itse esitä erinomaista harppuosaamistaan yhdelläkään levyn raidalla.
– Harri Haka
Blues In The Northwest (December 2009)
Bob Corritore is one of the Blues’ good guys – producer, label boss, harmonica player, composer, and tireless champion for the music. This set – released by the Southwest Musical Arts Foundation – finds him mainly in the latter role, containing material recorded between 1984 and 2008 for his Phoenix, Arizona based radio show ‘Those Lowdown Blues’. The list of artists who have appeared on the show is staggering, and these sessions are by such local artists as Chief Schabuttie Gilliame or the (finally) up-and-coming name Tomcat Courtney, highly-respected figures of the modern blues world like Billy Flynn and Chris James, and those of international repute, the latter category including Lowell Fulson, Louisiana Red, Henry Gray, Otis Clay, Billy Boy Arnold and Lazy Lester (Willie Dixon’s track is unfortunately only a short spoken endorsement for Bob and the show).
The results generally sound like intimate, informal get-togethers, recorded in someone’s front-room – maybe that’s what the studio looks like but it is ironic that for some of these artists, they were playing for audiences of tens of thousands, I presume. Because of the ambiance, the artists frequently make little asides, giving details about the tracks that might otherwise remain unknown, and meaning that some of this material is of even greater value. There are several small combo blues (try Johnny Dyer or Henry Gray, for good examples), ranging down to the solo down-home guitar and vocal of the woefully under-recorded Arkansas-bluesman Cedell Davis and the unaccompanied jive vocal of Jerry Lawson. Louisiana Red is in wonderful shape and his three tracks find him in some of the best form he has been in over the last couple of decades.
Thanks then Bob – and to everyone concerned.
– Norman Darwen