ABS Magazine English Interview

English Interview

ABS Magazine

by Jean-Luc Vabres

Bob Corritore interview in English with Jean-Luc Vabres for ABS Magazine
1) WE WOULD LIKE TO KNOW YOUR PLACE OF BIRTH, IF YOU HAVE ANY SISTERS AND BROTHERS, AND IF ALSO YOUR PARENTS PLAYED MUSIC?
I was born in Chicago on September 27, 1956. My parents were Sam and Bernice Corritore, and they quickly moved to their new home in Chicago’s North Shore suburb of Wilmette, where I grew up. I was the first of two kids, and my younger brother John was born a year and three months after me. We had a good home, nothing fancy, but we always were provided everything we needed. Most importantly, we were provided with encouragement. Neither of my parents were musicians, but my mother loved musicals and my dad was fond of big-band jazz. We were encouraged in the arts. I loved to draw, and. I also took music lessons in viola and guitar before I found my way to the harmonica. Of course, the Chicago area in general was very rich in the arts, and music of all types was always around.
2) HOW DID YOU DISCOVER BLUES FOR THE FIRST TIME?
My blues awakening came when at age 12 or 13, I heard the song “Rolling Stone” by Muddy Waters on the radio. I already loved music, but when I heard this song, I knew I found the pure part of music that I had been searching for. I was never the same after hearing that. It changed my life. I was soon to buy a Muddy Waters album, and hear all that great Little Walter harmonica. Shortly after that, I would pick a harmonica and try to figure out these wild sounds. Wow! This was exciting to me. I used to buy blues records, make cassette tapes of my favorite songs, and play them in the halls of my high school in between classes. You could not get me away from this music! Though I was not old enough to get into the clubs, I could go to some of the shows around the North Shore. My first live blues was seeing the Sam Lay Blues Revival at my high school with Eddie Taylor on the guitar! I would go to the Spot Pizza in Evanston, which on Tuesdays featured Blind Jim Brewer. I got see the Memphis Blues Caravan at Northwestern University with Bukka White, Sleepy John Estes and Hammie Nixon, Memphis Piano Red, Houston Stackhouse, and Joe Willie Wilkins. I got to see Big Walter Horton with Carey Bell, Hound Dog Taylor, Eddie Clearwater, Mighty Joe Young, Luther Allison, Otis Rush, and Howlin’ Wolf. Muddy Waters even played my high school gymnasium. I wrote my junior theme on Muddy Waters. My brother John and I took the elevated train to Jazz Record Mart, where I got to meet Bob and Susan Koester, who seemed to enjoy us wide-eyed boys who where all interested in this music. We got to hear the “Best In Blues” radio program on WNUR every Saturday night, which really turned me on to so many great artists. Carey Baker hosted a show on our high school radio station called “Jazz-Blues Fusion”. So much blues was at our fingertips, and even though it was not the popular music of the day, it was not hard to find.
3) DO YOU REMEMBER YOUR FIRST TRIP IN A CHICAGO BLUES CLUB?
I went to college to study business at the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma. I was able to up my age a year by falsifying my college ID. I was 18, and the drinking age at that point was 19. So, on Thanksgiving break of 1974, I was ready to sneak into a blues club. I first went to Biddy Mulligan’s, a North Side blues club, and I saw The Bob Reidy Blues Band with Johnny Littlejohn, Carey Bell, and Eddie Clearwater. Each of these artists did a set, and it was great. Each week Biddy Mulligan’s would have a different band, so I saw Koko Taylor, Magic Slim, Mighty Joe Young, Little Mack Simmons, Fenton Robinson, J.B. Hutto, and Magic Slim & the Teardrops, who all played regularly around a circuit of North Side clubs. It was not till the summer of 75 that I ventured to the West and South Side clubs. Many of the artists lived in these neighborhoods. I remember my first experience going with my high school buddy to see the Howlin’ Wolf at his home base, The 1815 Club, located at 1815 West Roosevelt. We walked in the club and sat right by the stage as the Wolf was tuning his guitar. Soon, Wolf was joined by Hubert Sumlin on guitar, Bobby Anderson on the bass, and — I think — Robert Plunkett on the drums. The band kicked off just as a four piece, and was it great! Wolf sang with so much intensity, and it was answered by Hubert’s stinging guitar. While all this was going on, the bar’s patrons went out of their way to show us true kindness and hospitality, and made us feel so welcome. During the course of the night, Eddie Shaw and Detroit Junior would join the band, and during their set breaks, everyone from Wolf’s band came up to introduce themselves. I barely talked at all with the Wolf, because he had such a larger-than-life persona, and I was a little intimidated by him. Hubert and I became instant friends. A week later, my buddy and I would continue our adventures and go to see the Aces at their weekly “Blue Monday” Jam at Louise’s Lounge. There, we saw a who’s who of blues with the great Aces Band with Louis and Dave Myers and Fred Below on drums. They were joined during the course of that evening by many artists, including Johnny Drummer, Sunnyland Slim, Willie Mabon (who was visiting from France where he was living at that time), Sylvia Embry, Joe Carter, Johnny Junious, Magic Slim, and others.
4) WHO TAUGHT YOU TO PLAY HARP? WHEN AND WHERE DID YOU PLAY HARP IN A CLUB FOR THE FIRST TIME?
My brother gave me my first harmonica, and an instruction book by Tony “Little Sun” Glover. He taught me how to bend a note, and from that point on I played every day. That was at age 13. I would play along with records by Muddy Waters, Little Walter, James Cotton, Junior Wells, and Sonny Boy Williamson, and learn what I could. Eventually, I would get pointers and informal lessons by Big Walter Horton, Louis Myers, Bob Myers (Louis and Dave’s harmonica playing brother), Lester Davenport, Big Leon Brooks, Little Willie Anderson, Good Rockin’ Charles, Little Mack Simmons, and a younger guy called Dave Waldman, who is a great harmonica player taught by Paul Oscher. I would hang around with my best buddy, Illinois Slim, and since we were both harmonica players, we would show each other whatever we had just learned. I am still learning all the time, and have also been shown a few things by Kim Wilson, Paul Oscher, Johnny Dyer, Lazy Lester, Louisiana Red, Steve Guyger, and many others.
My first real blues performance was sitting in on Maxwell Street with the John Henry Davis Blues Band. I must have been about 17 at that time. I did my best to hold my own, and they let me stay up for quite a few numbers, so I guess I was tolerable at that early stage. Maxwell Street was quite the wild blues party back then. My first club experience was at age 19, playing with Little Mack Simmons, who had me join him onstage for a version on “Blue Lights”, and then an instrumental shuffle. I had talked to Little Mack about harmonica, and he invited me up with him. Little Mack would remain my friend until his passing. I met Lonnie Brooks that night, who was in Little Mack’s band. Lonnie was very encouraging, and for a number of years to come, he used to let me sit in full sets regularly with his band. He was very kind to me in that way. I also used to sit in regularly during my early club days with Mighty Joe Young, Eddie Taylor, and others.
5) BEFORE MOVING COMPLETELY IN THE BLUES BUSINESS, DID YOU HAVE A DAY JOB?
I have always been a hard worker, and have done what it takes to pay the bills. Right after college, I had a job in the Chicago area with Sound Unlimited, who was a big record one-stop that serviced all the city’s record stores. I have had numerous sales jobs, and a few corporate positions that I quickly discovered were not for me. For years, I played music as my main source of income, but still always held onto a part time job to make sure that bills were covered.
6) WHEN DID YOU DECIDE TO START YOUR OWN BLUES LABEL, BLUES OVER BLUES RECORDS?
7) WHAT WAS THE FIRST SESSION YOU PRODUCED? DO YOU REMEMBER THE ATMOSPHERE IN THE STUDIO?
8) HOW ABOUT BIG LEON BROOKS, SAMMY LAWHORN, FRED BELOW? TELL US ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THESE MUSICIANS.
9) WHAT IS YOUR BEST AND WORST SOUVENIR DURING THESE RECORDING SESSIONS?
Let me answer all these questions together, as they seem like they are all part of the same story. While working for Sound Unlimited, I was living at my parents’ home, and I had minimal expenses, so I was able to save a little money. I got the idea of starting a label to record some great but obscure harmonica players. Little Willie Anderson was an obvious choice, because he was such a wild and wonderful player, and he really captured the spirit of Little Walter. Willie had been Walter’s friend and valet, and he worshipped everything about Little Walter. Odie Payne would tell me that looking at Little Willie was like looking at Walter, because Willie would act just like him. Louis Myers said that when Little Walter got shot in the leg, then Little Willie started limping also. I contacted Little Willie, and we set a plan in motion. I was pretty fearless, in that I had never produced a record before, but I had an idea in my mind of what I wanted and how I would go about getting it. One of the things I understood was that in order to pull this one off, I would have to get great players who were understanding of the fine points of the Little Walter style. I guess I did pretty good, because in the end, and with some help from Little Willie, I assembled a band that consisted of Robert Lockwood, Jr., Fred Below, Sammy Lawhorn, Jimmie Lee Robinson, and Willie Black, who had all at one point and time played with Little Walter. Robert, Jr. was added on at the last minute, as he was in town for Lee Jackson’s funeral. So here I was at age 22, producing my first record with all these great players. At the end of this session, Little Willie was listening to the playback of Big Fat Mama (the last song recorded at the session), and he was dancing around with excitement, shouting “Yeah”, and jumping up and down like a victorious prize fighter. Then, of course, it was exciting preparing the release and seeing the reviews come in. But, I learned quickly that this is not an easy business, and that being a label owner meant you were dependent on your distributors, who did not always want to pay you. Despite this, the record did OK; and I eventually made my money back and even came out a little ahead.
My next project was Big Leon Brooks, and on this I teamed up with Steve Wisner, who was a mentor to me with his Mr. Blues Label (which released records by Good Rockin’ Charles, Eddie C. Campbell and Mojo Buford). We both agreed that Big Leon Brooks needed to be recorded, and we pooled our money together to do this project. We went to see Big Leon at his regular Sunday night gig at the Golden Slipper with Tail Dragger and Eddie Taylor, and we found out that Leon had been hospitalized with a heart condition. Steve and I went to the hospital to visit Leon, and we said “Leon, please get better, because we want to record a record by you.” Leon was not looking good. He had all these tubes in his arm and nose, but somehow he put it all together, and in a few months, he was recovered and ready to record. On this one, we asked Leon who he wanted on his session, and he said Louis Myers, Bob Stroger, and Odie Payne, and so it was! I also added my friends Junior Pettis, Big Moose Walker, and Pinetop Perkins, and we eventually did a second session that included Eddie Taylor and Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson. Where the Little Willie session was all about blowing, the Big Leon was all about songs. This was the nature of both of these artists, and each record reflected these individual qualities. One of my great joys was after mixing this album, I brought Leon to my apartment, which at the time was in Elmhurst (a west suburb), and I played him the finished songs through my fancy stereo. I remember him thanking me, saying that he would never have believed that he could make music that would sound as good as this. I helped him realize his dream, and that made me feel very happy. Through the whole process, I became very close with Big Leon, and we spent a lot of time together. I would go to his apartment and play guitar behind him playing harmonica, or sometimes we would just play harmonica together. He lived on Pulaski and Van Buren, and folks in that neighborhood got to know me, because I was at Leon’s apartment so much.
I was friends with so many of these great Chicago bluesmen. I used to hang around Louis Myers all the time. I knew Freddy Below, but not as well. He was a humorous guy, while being a very serious musician. He and Little Willie were very close, so I was connected that way too. Below and I played together a few times, but never in a formal gig — just sitting in. In the later years, he was not in great health. He had cataract surgery, which seemed like it set a chain reaction of health issues in motion. Mrs. Chapman, who was Memphis Slim’s widow, did a great job of looking after Freddie towards the later part of his life. I knew Sammy Lawhorn from seeing him play at Theresa’s, and from the session with Little Willie Anderson. I got to do one gig with him in Willie Buck’s band. Louis Myers and Sammy were the guitar players that night. Pretty amazing! I drove Sammy home to his apartment that night after the gig. At that time, the Chicago blues scene was a wonderful family, and in that family were artists like Floyd Jones, John Brim, Eddie Taylor, Left Handed Frank, James Scott, Necktie Nate, Mojo Elem, Big Time Sarah, Jimmy Johnson, Bob Stroger, Erwin Helfer, S.P. Leary, Big Walter Horton, Smokey Smothers, Hip Linkchain, Sunnyland Slim, Eddie Taylor, Lacey Gibson, Kansas City Red, Bob Stroger, Magic Slim, Good Rockin’ Charles, Billy Branch, W.W. Williams, Tail Dragger, Willie Buck, Byther Smith, Prez Kenneth, Chico Chism, Steve Cushing, Little Arthur Duncan, Illinois Slim, Louis and Dave Myers, Moose Walker, Twist Turner, and so many others. I knew them all, and was a part of that family in my small way.
10) WHEN & WHY YOU LEFT CHICAGO FOR PHOENIX?
Leaving for Phoenix was supposed to only be for one year. I loved Chicago with all my heart, but I was at a crossroads. I needed a little break to ponder what I was supposed to do in my life. I could not figure out how to make a living with the blues. I was doing some great gigs with great artists, but most of them were on the South and West Sides, and some of these places I would play were pretty rough joints, and they did not pay enough to make the bills. I was in between jobs, my brother had moved to Phoenix, and he invited me to come out and live there for a while. I moved right after my 25th birthday, which I spent watching Smokey Smothers then Big Walter and then sitting in with Tail Dragger and Eddie Taylor at the Golden Slipper or Mary’s and Big Leon was on that show. Well it wasn’t but a month or so in Phoenix before Louisiana Red, who I had recently met and played with at the Delta Fish Market, called me. I had given him my card in Chicago, and he called it and got the forwarding number. I told Red that I had moved to Phoenix, and he mentioned that he knew Eunice Davis, who lived there, and that he wanted to come out to visit her. I said great, and if you do let’s get some gigs together. Next thing I know, Louisiana Red is in town staying with Eunice. They had done a European tour and a record together, and they were aiming at getting together romantically. Well, about a week later, I get a call from Eunice who says, “You better come pick up Red. I just threw him outdoors.” So I go to pick up Red, and there he is rocking on the front porch of Eunice’s house with his guitar and his trunk. The next thing I know is that I have a roommate. Red and I played together that year almost every day, and we became best of friends. I just love the man. I just called him today in Germany to tell him about Robert, Jr. being in the hospital. So, from that point forward, I became rooted in Phoenix. After Red left, I would play in the bands of Big Pete Pearson, Tommy Dukes, Chief Gilliame, Janiva Magness, Chico Chism, Buddy Reed, and others. My parents moved to Phoenix in 1983. In 1984, I started my blues radio show, and in 1991, I started my nightclub (the Rhythm Room). I have to say Phoenix has been good to me.
11) YOU SOLD THE BLUES OVER BLUES MASTERS TO MICHAEL FRANK, THE OWNER OF THE EARWIG LABEL. WHY?
It was at a time that I really needed the money, and I thought that Michael’s label would be a good home for them. Michael Frank and I started our record label adventures at about the same time. I figured out quickly that I loved producing the music, but I disliked the business of owning a record label. Michael toughed it out, and in the process became a beautiful Chicago Blues record label with a fantastic catalog. Michael has a big heart when it comes to the blues, and he always had an emotional attachment to those records. Also in that sale was Louisiana Red’s “Sitting Here Wondering”, which introduced Red to that label and restarted Red’s U.S touring and recording career. Michael is now my booking agent for the gigs in the US that I do with Red.
12) LOUISIANA RED WAS LIVING IN YOUR HOME IN PHOENIX, YOU HELPED HIM A LOT, AND HE WAS DOWN AND OUT BEFORE HE MOVED TO EUROPE, TELL US THE WHOLE STORY.
It seemed that Red was a drifter. I did not know Red that well before he came to Arizona, but he needed to believe in somebody, and I am glad he found me, because I could be there for him. He was looking for a place to belong, so I believe I gave him that. He gave me back the joy of his friendship and his music. In a way, I think Red did more for me than I could ever return back. He is a true friend, and we have a joy and a sense of purpose when we are playing together. I am so happy that he found his loving wife, Dora, who always looks out for Red. During our time in Phoenix, we stuck together to make ends meet. Red made a beautiful record (Sittin’ Here Wondering), that I think to this day is his most intense. Red funneled his heartache into those songs, and on a few of them, he actually broke into tears. Red had been hurt by so many women that he loved, and by so many untrue friends. He was seeing a woman in Phoenix named Lois, who convinced him to come up with money so that she could get a divorce from her husband. Red gave her the money, and she ran off and left him. He was devastated. Thank God, he is in a good and safe place now.
13) YOU ALSO HAVE A SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP WITH THE DRUMMER CHICO CHISM?
I met Chico Chism at the 1815 Club in the spring of 1976, when he was drumming with Howlin’ Wolf. It was Wolf’s final band lineup, and I think Chico was in the band a little over a year. The band was Wolf, Hubert, Chico, Eddie Shaw, Shorty Gilbert, and Detroit Junior. Chico came up to me on a break and introduced himself. He wanted to see what I was about, and at the same time tell me about himself. I did not know on that night that Chico would have such an impact on my life. After Wolf passed, I would go to see the Wolf Gang regularly. After moving to Arizona, I lost touch with Chico, but in 1986, on suggestion by Dick Shurman, I recruited Chico to come to Phoenix to start a band. He agreed to try it out for 6 months, and we formed a band called Chico Chism and the Chiztones, which was met with great local success. Chico is such a great singer and entertainer, and one of the greatest blues drummers around. He charmed Phoenix, and, in return, he found a home here. Some famous Chico sayings are “Same old gravy warmed over”, “Bob, I am saving that for my book”, “Open up your dresser baby. I want to ramble through your drawers”, “I am the house rocker and the show stopper, the woman’s pet and the man’s threat – I’m Chico, the boogie man”. When the Rhythm Room opened in 1991, I was bringing lots of the old school bluesmen in for shows, and Chico Chism and the Rhythm Room All-Stars would be the backing band. While they were in town, I would record them. Chico was my drummer for almost all these sessions, and he would lay down that distinctive beat and put his touch to each session. We recorded with Big Jack Johnson, R.L. Burnside, Jimmy Rogers, Carol Fran, John Brim, Nappy Brown, Henry Gray, Smokey Wilson, Lil’ Ed, Robert “Bilbo” Walker, David “Pecan” Porter, Al Garrett, Louisiana Red, Pinetop Perkins, Robert Lockwood Jr., Little Milton, Bo Diddley, and others. Seems like we were in the studio at least once a month. Many of these sessions are yet unreleased, but they will eventually all be issued. In 2002, Chico suffered from a stroke that has limited his ability to perform. Chico still will get up a sing a few, and remains a beloved celebrity, but his health is pretty frail these days.
14) HOW ABOUT DINO SPELLS WHO DESERVES RECOGNITION?
Dino is a great blues talent who plays a number of different instruments. He used to play sax with Albert Collins, but he also plays guitar, fiddle, harmonica, and auto-harp. I have done 2 sessions with him. On a now out-of-print compilation called “Blue Saguaro”, Dino does a rousing version of “Going to Chicago” in which he plays rowdy blues auto-harp, which is unlike anything you have ever heard before. A second session produced “Jennie Bea”, which appears on my All-Star Blues Sessions CD. Dino comes in and out of town, and does these gigs where he plays over programmed music. It is kind of a bizarre presentation, but it keeps him working.
15) TELL US ABOUT ROBERT LOCKWOOD WHO YOU MET IN THE SEVENTIES. HOW ABOUT HIM?
As I write this to you, Robert is in the hospital recovering from a broken blood vessel in his brain, and we do not know how he will be, so I have been thinking a lot about him today. I first became aware of Robert while discovering the records of Little Walter and Sonny Boy Williamson. His guitar work added such character to these songs. I met Robert in 1977 at the Paradise club in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he played a couple nights. I went to see him perform and to meet him, and he called me up both nights to play with him. Right away, he had the role of a teacher, and I, his student. He commanded respect, and I gave it to him. I next saw him in 1979, when I would take him into the studio to play guitar on Little Willie Anderson / Swinging The Blues. After that, Robert seemed to come to Chicago to visit Sunnyland Slim every year or so, and we would always hang out when he was in town. Then, when I moved to Phoenix, I called on him to do a show in 1984, which reunited him with his brother Sylvester Shannon, who lived in Phoenix. We went in the studio and cut “Naptown Blues”, which appears on my All-Star Blues Sessions CD. I brought him in the studio again in 1999 to do a session with Henry Gray, in which Robert sang a brilliant version of “That’s Alright” which Robert claims to have written for Jimmy Rogers. This session is not yet released. I produced his 2004 CD “The Legend Live”, and one of his cuts recorded at KJZZ appears on the Blues On My Radio Compilation. Robert can seem mean to those that do not know him, but when he lets you be his friend, he is one of kindest around. Prayers to him that he has a swift and full recovery.
16) YOU’RE ALSO A BLUES DJ, TELL US ABOUT THE PROGRAM YOU HOST ON KJZZ?
I have been blessed to be able to do a 5-hour, weekly traditional blues radio program since 1984. The show is called “Those Lowdown Blues”. Each week I get to share my favorite songs from my blues record collection. You can hear it in Europe on the internet (Real time MST Sundays 6-11pm; this is Mondays 2-7am BST or Mondays 3-8am CEST) by going to http://www.kjzz.org.
17) YOU ARE A BUSY MAN, YOU ALSO HAVE YOUR OWN CLUB IN PHOENIX. WHEN DID YOU OPEN IT? DO YOU RECEIVE THE LOCAL BLUES SCENE? WE WOULD LIKE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE MUSICIANS WHO LIVE IN YOUR AREA.
I opened the club in 1991. We have always supported both national and local blues talent as best we can. We are a concert club that features all types of music, with blues being our cornerstone. We save our Friday and Saturday nights for nothing but the blues, and do many blues events during the week. The Phoenix blues scene is kind of hidden from the rest of the world, but slowly but surely, some of this city’s great blues talent is getting out there. You have already mentioned Chico Chism and Dino Spells, but other great blues veterans living in town are Big Pete Pearson, Long John Hunter, Chief Schabuttie Gilliame, Ronnie Whitehead, Tommy Dukes (who actually lives in Winslow, Arizona), and Larry Reed. Dave Riley has relatives here, visits Phoenix regularly, and is considering buying a winter home here. Some nice harmonicas players live here, Bill Tarsha and Johnny Tanner. A guy to look out for is Paris James, who has a nice down home style of playing guitar and a sweet voice. Phoenix is also a great soul music town, with roots in Dyke and the Blazers (who made the original “Funky Broadway” about Broadway Street in Phoenix), Eddie and Ernie, Roosevelt Nettles, and others. Going back further to the 1950s, we had a great pressing plant here with Wakefield Manufacturers, and a great studio with Audio Recorders, which had the famous block-long reverb tank heard on all those Duane Eddy recordings. An artist or band could come into town, book morning studio time, record a couple songs, take them to Wakefield, and leave that day with a trunk full of 45s. Ray Sharpe recorded “Linda Lu” at Audio Recorders in Phoenix. There are also some great unreleased Dennis Binder cuts that were recorded here in the late 50s or early 60s. Reverend Louis Overstreet was famous for his blues-based gospel, and that album on Arhoolie was recorded in Phoenix. Louis Jordan lived here during the 1950s, and is fondly remembered by his former neighbors. Lowell Fulson had a relative (cousin, I think) that had a nightclub here (The R & J Showcase), and he would perform regularly over the years in Phoenix. The late Duke Draper was a great blues singer who was famous in this area, and cut a few sides, including some as the lead singer of a vocal group called The Tads. Lots of blues history in this town.
18) WHAT ARE YOUR UPCOMING PROJECTS?
I have lots of masters in the vaults that I hope to eventually get out. Some of the next ones you will see are as follows:
BIG PETE PEARSON/I’M HERE BABY – The official release of this CD will be out on Blue Witch Records in February of 2007. Big Pete is simply an amazing vocalist, who is just beginning to get recognized outside of his Phoenix home base. Big Pete recently played the Bay-Car Blues Festival in France, and he hopes to be seeing more of Europe with this new release. This CD features backing by The Rhythm Room All-Stars (Chris James, Johnny Rapp, Patrick Rynn, Brian Fahey, and myself), plus special guests Ike Turner, Johnny Dyer, Kid Ramos, Chico Chism, Joey DeFrancesco, Leon Blue, and Big Pete’s younger cousin, W.C. Clark.
RHYTHM ROOM LIVE COMPILATION with Robert Lockwood Jr., Floyd Dixon, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Long John Hunter, Paul Oscher, Sonny Rhodes, The Mannish Boys, Big Pete Pearson & The Rhythm Room All-Stars, Louisiana Red, Henry Gray, Chief Shabuttie Gilliame, Johnny Dyer, and more!
A SECOND BOB CORRITORE CD, that will be similar in concept as the All-Star Blues Sessions CD, with sides by Robert Jr. Lockwood, Henry Gray, Carol Fran, King Karl, Smokey Wilson, Big Pete Pearson, Little Milton, and more. I am working on this now.
PAUL OSCHER LIVE AT THE RHYTHM ROOM. A great solo album by this master of deep blues. This will be out in 2007 on Paul’s Blues Fidelity Record label. Paul and I co-produced this.
FABULOUS THUNDERBIRDS LIVE AT THE RHYTHM ROOM. We will be recording the band’s new lineup January 26 and 27, 2007, and the idea is that we will combine this with two previous live at the Rhythm Room sessions with past lineups.
DAVE RILEY & BOB CORRITORE / GOIN’ DOWN THAT DIRT ROAD. Studio sessions both as a duet and with full band. Dave is a great down home blues singer, and guitarist that was born in Mississippi, raised in Helena, and now lives in Chicago. This one will surprise you with its power.
HENRY GRAY/LET’S GET HIGH. A great set of studio recordings, similar in approach to Henry Gray Plays Chicago Blues. The title track reprises a song he cut in the 1950s with Morris Pejoe.
I also am sitting on masters for a great Sam Lay album, as well as an anthology of masters produced in Chicago during the 1970s by Steve Wisner, with Big Red, Easy Baby, J.C. Heard, Kansas City Red, Lucky Lopez, and more. I also hope to reissue “Low Blows: An Anthology Of Chicago Blues Harmonica” that was released on Rooster Blues, and has been out of print for a number of years. I have another radio CD in mind for the show’s 25th anniversary in 2009.
Lots of other things to put out as time and focus allow.

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