2007 Archives

December 31, 2007

December 21, 2007

December 15, 2007

December 14, 2007

December 12, 2007

December 10, 2007

  • RIP Jerry Ricks – May 20, 1940 – December 10, 2007: Sad News came today from Carey Wolfson that bluesman Jerry Ricks passed away. Jerry left us at 10:05am in his hospital room in Rijeka, Croatia. Jerry and his wife Nancy had been living in Croatia since early this year. He was diagnosed in September with a brain tumor. Jerry was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and began playing guitar in Philadelphia venues in the late 1950’s. Jerry had lessons from the legendaryLonnie Johnson and embraced all styles of traditional country blues. This beloved bluesman traveled extensively, played blues festivals all around the world, and recorded a number of beautifully constructed albums. Jerry was very involved in research and education as another way of advancing the word of the blues. In 1970, Jerry moved to Western Europe where he found great acceptance and performed regularly. He would come back to the States on a frequent basis to perform at numerous festivals and concert appearances. For a complete bio on this great bluesman’s life, please check out Jerry’s website by clicking here. We are grateful to this noble man for his accomplished work in the blues and we pray that his legacy will live on.

December 7, 2007

December 4, 2007

November 14, 2007

November 1, 2007

October 18, 2007

October 11, 2007

October 8, 2007

October 2, 2007

September 30, 2007

September 26, 2007

September 24, 2007

September 19, 2007

September 13, 2007

August 30, 2007

August 28, 2007

  • Bo Diddley Suffers Heart Attack; Rock Pioneer is in Stable Condition: This just in from NME (Note that Bo Diddley recently suffered a stroke May 13, 2007):

    Bo Diddley suffered a heart attack during a medical check-up in a Florida hospital and is now in stable condition, his spokeswoman said today (August 28). The 78-year-old rock pioneer felt ill during his checkup at North Florida Regional Medical Center, and was transferred to the emergency room where the heart attack occurred. He then underwent a surgical procedure to help the blood flow to his heart, reports Reuters. Diddley, whose real name is Ellas Bates, has been ailing in recent months. He suffered a stroke in May that impaired his ability to speak, and has lost toes to diabetes. The rhythm guitar style he pioneered has influenced several major rock bands including The Rolling Stones and U2.” –NME Please check back soon to Bob Corritore’s photo pages for a new tribute page to Bo Diddley.

August 22, 2007

August 17, 2007

August 14, 2007

August 10, 2007

  • Tail Dragger Health Update: Tail Dragger is doing quite well after experiencing a mild heart attack on July 31, 2007. Bobspoke with him by phone yesterday, and Tail Dragger reports that he was just back from the hospital, where the had a second stint put in (the first was put in a week ago when he went to the emergency room). Tail Dragger was feeling good, and reported that the doctor says he will be able to resume business as usual in about two weeks. Tail Dragger was looking forward to a forthcoming tour of Europe and Australia later this year, with a great band that includes Lurrie Bell,Eddie Taylor Jr., and Martin Lange. You can send Tail Dragger get-well cards to the following address:

    James Jones 1657 N. Latrobe Chicago, IL 60639

August 1, 2007

July 31, 2007

  • Jimmy “T-99” Nelson Passes at 88: This just in from the Supporting The Blues MySpace site (this information also appears on Wikipedia):

    Jimmy “T-99” Nelson, the last of the real-deal blues shouters, died on Sunday July 29, 2007 of cancer at St. Dominic’s Nursing Home in Houston. Born in 1919, Jimmy “T-99” Nelson had a recording career that spanned over 50 years and established Jimmy as one of the true elder statesman of American music. Nelson got his start singing in church. In 1941, he saw a performance by Big Joe Turner, and realized he wanted to sing the blues. Big Joe taught Jimmy about singing, performance, and the music business. Jimmy, in turn, absorbed the shouting style of his mentor. From 1951 through 1961, Nelson released eight singles with the Bihari Brothers‘ Modern/RPM label. The biggest of these was the classic “T-99 Blues” (which refers to old Texas Highway 99), which debuted in June 1951. It stayed on the national R&B charts for twenty-one weeks, and reached #1. In 1952, Nelson had another RPM hit with “Meet Me With Your Black Dress On”. Nelson began touring and performing with bands led by Joe Liggins and Roy Milton, and playing venues, including theApollo and Howard TheatersNelson cut singles for a number of labels including KentChessMusic CityParadise, and All Boy. In 1955, Nelson met and married his Nettie (also deceased) and adopted Houston as his hometown. For the next 20 years,Nelson settled down and took a job working construction, though he continued to write songs and sit in with bands. In the 1980s, Nelson came to the wider attention of blues fans when Ace issued ten of his sides on an album. Nelson since has resumed touring and has released two albums, including 1999’s “Rockin’ And Shoutin’ The Blues” (Rounder Records) and “Take Your Pick” (Nettie Marie Records/2002). In 2004, Ace recently released “Cry Hard Luck” featuring re-issues of Nelson‘s Kent & RPM recordings from 1951-1961. After a long period of dormancy, Nelson launched a successful comeback in 1998. His late-period song “I’m Sure Going to Miss Show Business” was discovered by Elvis Costello, who played a recording of Nelson‘s version at the close of all his shows on his 2003 world tour. Nelson was a fantastic singer, the last of his kind, and one of the finest songwriters the blues has ever known.” Thanks to Rob Lehrian, of the Supporting The Blues MySpace site, for the above obituary. To see another informative Jimmy “T-99” obituary, by Andrew Dansby from Chron.com, click here.

July 25, 2007

  • Bob Corritore ABS Magazine Article Now Online: Please check the amazing 11 page Bob Corritore interview / article by Jean-Luc Vabres in France’s ABS Magazine with great photos. The article is in French, but the English version is also now online. To see the article complete with great photos and graphics, click here. To see the original English e-interview before being transcribed to French, click here. Special thanks to Jean-Luc Vabres and Marcel Benedit from ABS Magazine.

July 18, 2007

  • Jessie Mae Hemphill Headstone Dedication Ceremony: This news comes to us from Olga Wilhelmine Mathus, a long-time advocate of Jessie’s music, and founder of the Jessie Mae Hemphill Foundation: On July 30, 2007, a headstone will be dedicated at the grave of blues and gospel artist Jessie Mae Hemphill, who died on July 22, 2006, and was buried a week later on July 30, 2006. Hemphill, who was born October 18, 1923, was best known as a blues guitarist, songwriter and vocalist, and in this capacity toured widely in Europe, and won several W.C. Handy Awards (later renamed Blues Music Awards) for her recordings. For many years, Jessie also performed as drummer in fife and drum bands, a long-established musical tradition in her native North Mississippi. Her grandfather was Sid Hemphill, a multi-instrumentalist who was recorded by Alan Lomax for the Library of Congress. The dedication ceremony will take place beginning at 4:45pm at the Senatobia Memorial Cemetery, which is located on Highway 51 South in Senatobia. Reverend John Wilkins, the son of early blues and gospel recording artist Robert Wilkins, will lead a prayer service, after which attendees are invited to join in a group performance of Hemphill’s “Lord Help the Poor and Needy.” The tombstone was donated in part by the Rodgers Funeral Home in Coldwater, Mississippi, with additional expenses provided by funds raised for funeral expenses following Hemphill’s death. “By erecting this tombstone, we wanted to publicly memorialize the important contributions to North Mississippi Blues traditions made by Jessie Mae”, says Olga Wilhelmine Mathus, who founded the Jessie Mae Hemphill Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of North Mississippi music. Jessie’s music was timeless, and we wanted to ensure that people can discover and learn about Jessie’s music and the musical traditions of Jessie’s family for generations to come.
  • Thanks, Blues Art Studios and Blues For Peace: Special thanks to two great online blues publications, Blues Art Studio and Blues For Peace, for reprinting this newsletter on their site. To see Blues Art Studio, click here. To see Blues For Peace, click here.

July 10, 2007

July 8, 2007

June 27, 2007

  • Big Pete Pearson Cover Story In Virus de Blues: The new issue of the French blues magazine Virus De Blues featuresBig Pete Pearson on the cover, and includes an interview with Big Pete. The interview was done by our dear friend, Jocelyn Richez last year while we in Grande-Synthe, France for our performance at the Bay-Car Blues Festival. To see this beautiful cover, click here.
  • Bob Corritore Interview In Blues MagazineThe latest issue of the French publication called Blues Magazine features a 5-page interview with Bob Corritore. This interview was also conducted last year at the Bay-Car Blues Festival in France by magazine editor Francois “Frankie Bluesy” Pfeiffer. Additional questions were answered later by email. To see the cover with a mention of Bob, click here.

June 22, 2007

  • Pre-sale Tickets for the Scottsdale Music Festival Now Available: Discounted pre-sale tickets for the Scottsdale Music Festival are available now until June 28, 2007. Ticket sales to the general public will start on Friday, June 29, 2007. Note that the two-day Festival will include jazz on Saturday September 22, 2007 and blues on Sunday, September 23, 2007. The blues lineup is spectacular, and will include The Robert Cray BandBlues TravelerTaj MahalKoko TaylorEric JohnsonCandye Kane, and Big Pete Pearson & The Rhythm Room All-Stars. For more information, and to order discounted pre-sale tickets, click here.
  • Sunny Funeral Information: Funeral Services for Walter “Sunny” Gaines (former Rhythm Room barbeque master) will be on Monday, June 25, 2007 at:

    Bethesda Community Baptist Church
    906 East Jones Avenue
    Phoenix, AZ 85040

    Viewing 9:00am; Service 10:00am

    On Sunday, July 1, 2007, the Rhythm Room will host a musical tribute to Sunny with many special guest artists. Doors will open at 6:30pm, and a minimum donation of $5 is asked to help Sunny’s family with funeral expenses.

  • Thank you, Jocelyn: French Blues promoter (and our dear friend) Jocelyn Richez has included a mention of our forthcoming shows in Paris on Route Du Blues, his great blues website. Click here to see his forum. Big Pete and The Rhythm Room All-Stars will appear at The Lionel Hampton Jazz Club at Hotel Le Meridien in Paris on November 6, 7, and 8, 2007, right before their appearance at the Lucerne Blues Festival in Switzerland on November 9 and 10, 2007.
  • Thank you, BluesWax: Thanks to BluesWax, the great online weekly blues magazine for their constant support and for the numerous mentions in the most recent newsletter. BluesWax is a free weekly blues publication with a broad and encouraging approach to the blues world. You can find out more about BluesWax by clicking here.
  • Thank you, Arkansas Blues & Heritage Festival: Boston Blues DJ Henri Bellows (WMWM in Salem, MA) just emailed to mention that Bob Corritore is thanked on the web-site of The Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival, which takes place this year October 4, 5, and 6, 2007 in Helena, Arkansas. Bob has a great history with this festival, having appeared there in 2003 with Louisiana Red, and in 2005 and 2006 with Dave Riley. The Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival is simply an amazing festival, in one of most important towns in the history of the blues. To see their website, click here.
  • Dave Riley/Bob Corritore Album Art Complete: You have seen the cover, but now the rest of the album art is done. For a preview of what Dave Riley / Bob Corritore Travelin’ The Dirt Road on Blue Witch Records will look like, click here. CD release party forthcoming.
  • And, Don’t Forget to See Big Pete Pearson and the Rhythm Room All-Stars Tonight and Tomorrow at the Rhythm Room! Thank you.

June 21, 2007

June 17, 2007

  • Former Rhythm Room Barbeque Master Passes: Many of you remember the great Walter “Sunny” Gaines. He was the guy with the straw hat, the big smile, the Barbeque smoker parked behind the Rhythm Room, and had a constant crowd of people around him. Quite frankly, he was a master of some of the tastiest BBQ ever crafted. He addressed everyone as “Big Time”, and created friendships with all his customers (One night he and James Harman stayed up till 5 in the morning in deep and hysterical discussion). He cooked BBQ at the Rhythm Room for over 5 years before retiring about 4 years back. We remember fondly those days, and his spectacular recipes. The current BBQ at the Rhythm Room (the Rack Shack) upholds the great tradition that Sunny started. We just received word from Mike and Aleida Howard that Sunny passed away this afternoon at 1pm. He died peacefully with family close by. We will miss you, Sunny. Funeral information forthcoming.

June 15, 2007

  • Thank you, Big City BluesThanks to Shirley Mae Owens, aka Sugar Mae, for mentioning Big Pete Pearson and Bob Corritore in her column in Big City Blues Magazine documenting her blues travels. In this column, she speaks of our inclusion (as well as the many other great artists) in the Delta Groove All-Star Blues Revue that took place on May 11, 2007, at the Gibson Beale Street Showcase in Memphis immediately after the 2007 Blues Music Awards.
  • Chief Health Update: Blues singer Chief Schabuttie Gilliame, who was hospitalized earlier this year for a heart condition, was released last week only to have to return because of an intestinal issue, which was probably as a result of his dialysis. Chief has insisted on being released home to Buckeye (a community just west of Phoenix), but the visiting nurses don’t go out there. Chief is finally accepting that he will need to move into Phoenix, or will end up staying in a hospital. Although Chief is having these health issues, Chief’s spirit is good. Chief is able to walk around with a walker (just a matter of rebuilding strength), and is writing songs and singing to other patients. Special thanks to Chief’s friend Anita Arden, who keeps us in the loop concerning Chief’s medical situation.

June 12, 2007

June 3, 2007

May 20, 2007

May 17, 2007

  • Bo Diddley Health Update: This just in from the Associated Press, 7:30 pm Thursday, May 17, 2007: OMAHA, Neb. (AP) Four days after suffering a stroke, Bo Diddley walked around the intensive-care unit at Creighton University Medical Center, and doctors were encouraged that the singer-song writer-guitarist would be able to perform again, his manager said. The 78-year-old Diddley told his audience that he wasn’t feeling well during a show in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Saturday night. Diddley’s manager, Margo Lewis, said she had The Rock And Roll Hall Of Famer taken to the hospital by ambulance when he appeared disoriented at the Omaha airport on Sunday. Though Diddley’s speech is impaired, he’s made significant progress.

May 17, 2007

  • Bo Diddley Hospitalized: This just in: Blues and Rock & Roll legend Bo Diddley is in intensive care after suffering a stroke, following a performance in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The AOL entertainment site has this information posted as of this morning:

    “Veteran singer and songwriter Bo Diddley is in intensive care after suffering a stroke. The 78-year-old guitarist and Rock And Roll Hall Of Famer was said to be in a “guarded” condition at Creighton University Medical Centre in Omaha, Nebraska, said Susan Clary, a publicist for the musician’s management team. Diddley, who has a history of hypertension and diabetes, was taken to hospital on Sunday following a concert in Council Bluffs, Iowa, in which he became disoriented, she said. Tests indicated that the stroke affected the left side of his brain, impairing his speech and speech recognition. Clary said she has no other details on Diddley’s condition, or how long he would be in intensive care. Diddley, with his black glasses and low-slung guitar, has been an icon in the music industry since he topped the R&B charts with “Bo Diddley” in 1955. His other hits include “Who Do You Love”, “Before You Accuse Me”, “Mona” and “I’m a Man”.Diddley was inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1987, and was given a lifetime achievement Grammy in 1998.” Bo Diddley’s impact on the world of blues and rock and roll cannot be overstated. Bob Corritore has had a long history withBo DiddleyBob regularly organized back-up bands for and performed with Bo when he was coming into Phoenix for concert dates during the 80s and 90s. Bo Diddley also made a guest appearance on Bob Corritore’s All-Star Blues Sessions on HighTone Records (a 1999 CD release), where Bo contributed a zesty remake of his classic “Little Girl”. Let’s hope and pray for a speedy and full recovery for this musical icon whose famous songs are so close to our hearts. To access Bo Diddley’s website, click here. Here are some links to some photos of Bo that are on Bob’s website: Bo Diddley and Bob in the studio: click here Bo in Performance: click here Bo and Bob performing at the Mason Jar in 1990: click here Bo Diddley in session (without hat): click here

May 15, 2007

May 7, 2007

May 1, 2007

April 22, 2007

April 19, 2007

  • Chief Schabuttie Gilliame Hospitalized: Chief Schabuttie Gilliame was hospitalized today with a heart condition. He is currently in the Critical Care Unit at Phoenix Baptist Hospital. You can send get-well cards to this address:

    Schabuttie Gilliame / Patient
    Phoenix Baptist Hospital
    2000 W. Bethany Home Rd.
    Phoenix, AZ 85015

    Chief seemed fairly brisk this afternoon, but seemed to have some complications with his asthma as the day progressed.Chief, who has unconventional religious leanings, says that he is praying to the Gods of Voodoo and to Allah Jesus that he will be okay. More updates on Chief’s situation as we know more. Blues fans will know Chief Schabuttie Gilliame from his brilliant album, Snakes Crawls at Night, on the Random Chancerecord label. Here is Chief’s story from the liner notes of that record: “I loves to sing and I loves peoples.” Around Phoenix we affectionately call Schabuttie Gilliame by “The Chief”. He resides in a small community just west of town called Buckeye and plays regularly in Phoenix and around California. Born in Egypt on September 15, 1925, Chief was blues schooled in Arkansas and Louisiana before bringing his unique musical perspective to Arizona some 25 years ago. A stout, jolly man who calls voodoo his religion, Chief is a lover of big-legged women and he claims to have 7 wives and 17 children. He speaks with a heavy African accent, writes from right to left, and sings with a gravelly voice that has been likened to Howlin’ Wolf. A natural on the stage or in the studio, Chief entrances himself in his singing while delivering his message with great passion. I have been a fan, sideman, and friend to Chief since I moved to Phoenix in 1981. Here, at last, is an example of Chief’s fine work in 10 exciting performances of his original songs, with a top notch lineup of backing musicians. When it comes to writing, singing, and entertaining the blues, Schabuttie Gilliame is definitely “The Chief” around these parts. –Bob Corritore

    The Rhythm Room will host a benefit for Chief on Sunday, May 132007, hosted by Nightshift featuring Tommy Grills, whoChief has been playing with recently. Many special guests to be announced will also play. Doors open at 6pm, a minimum donation of $5 is asked to cover Chief’s medical expenses.

April 8, 2007

  • Paris James and Bob Corritore Perform this Wednesday! When Paris James and Bob Corritore get together, it is always a back porch blues party. Paris and Bob perform together in a duo setting this Wednesday, April 11, 2007, at the Rhythm Room. Doors open at 8pm, cover charge is $3. Barbecue will be available for purchase. This will be a patio smoking only event, no indoor smoking will be allowed. This night will also be a birthday party for our dear friend Daniel Swadener, a great photographer whose work is interspersed among the photo pages of www.bobcorritore.com.
  • New Aces Photo Page! The Aces were considered the top Blues backing unit in Chicago. Its basic lineup included brothers Louis and Dave Myers, and in its definitive form, Fred Below on drums, though at times there would be other drummers. What made The Aces so special is that they seemed to fit into any Chicago Blues lineup, and raised the musicianship to that genre’s apex. Formed initially with Junior Wells as their singer/harmonica player, this band became most famous when Little Walter left Muddy Waters and struck out on his own, choosing The Aces for his backup band. The recordings made with Little Walter and The Aces would define the direction of the Chicago Blues harmonica band format, and are considered evergreen classics. Throughout the 1950s, up until the 1970s, The Aces would appear on a multitude of recording sessions, both as a standalone band and a crack backing unit. Click here for some memorable vintage photos and clippings of The Aces and their associates. The majority of these photos come from Scott Dirks, who scanned them from Dave’s personal collection. Scott Dirks is a fine harmonica player, and the co-author of the book Blues With A Feeling: The Little Walter Story, which, by the way, will be inducted into the Blues Foundation’s Blues Hall Of Fame, in a special awards dinner in Memphis May 9, 2007 (the night before the Blues Music Awards). Thank you, Scott Dirks, for these photos and for all you do for the blues.
  • New Koko Taylor Out On Alligator: It is always cause for celebration when the queen of Chicago blues releases a new CD. This album is called Old School, and features Koko’s amazing vocals on each of the 12 songs, 5 of which are new Koko Taylor originals. Special guests include Bob Margolin and Billy Branch (our friends), who lend their musical expertise to the proceedings. The brilliant cover and back photos by Marc Norberg perfectly capture the glorious sweetness of this great blues woman. Also included on the inside is a mid 1950’s photo of Koko, friends, and family at Slyvio’s, with theMuddy Waters band playing in the background. We have added these photos to our Koko Taylor photo page courtesy of Tim Kolleth of Alligator Records. Click here to see this photo page.
  • Sam Lay and Carol Fran Health Updates: Bob talked this week to his good friend Sam Lay, who had a recent health scare with what was ultimately diagnosed as Bell’s Palsy. Sam has regained about 95% of his speaking ability, and appears in good spirits, but states that it will be a little while yet before he will be resuming gigs. Carol Fran’s friend Robin Overton reports the following about Carol, who recently suffered a stroke: “I spoke to Carol and she sounded great, her speech is back, and more important, her memory is well intact. We talked about many inside jokes, with her reminding me of some of the funniest ones. We are planning a benefit her at the Mojo Lounge in Fremont, California on May 13, 2007 (Mothers’ Day), as Carol has been such an influence with so many, she is the mother figure for many musicians.” Glad to have some good news regarding these two precious blues artists.

April 1, 2007

  • New Dave Riley and Bob Corritore MySpace Page! Those who have attended any of Dave Riley and Bob Corritore’s performances at the Arkansas Blues & Heritage Festival (formerly known as the King Biscuit Blues Festival) or at the Rhythm Room know that when these two players combine forces, it is a down home blues explosion. Visit their MySpace site and check out the story of these two, along with some photos and some sound clips from their forthcoming CD called Travelin’ The Dirt Road.

March 28, 2007

March 22, 2007

March 18, 2007

  • Sam Lay Update: Corky Siegel reports this morning that Sam Lay’s test results indicate Bell’s Palsy, which is a virus and not a stroke. This is a much easier recovery and we are relieved.

March 18, 2007

March 14, 2007

  • Carol Fran Health Update: This relieving news comes from Carol’s friend, Robin Overton. Robin tells us:  “I spoke with Carol this morning (13 March, 2007). She is in a rehab center until going home next week. She is doing well. She has her speech back, and is getting up and walking. She has promised to stay on her medications. She is having trouble swallowing, but she has for some time. The doctors want her on silence for a while, which is hard for her. They think it will be about three months. I am sure she will be back stronger than ever. I will keep you updated, but all news is good for now. Carol’s nephew is staying with her, and I will be going out to give him a break.”  Thank you, Robin, for this update.
  • Leroy Brown Correction: Jon McDonald wrote in to correct us that Leroy Brown passed away on Sunday, 11 March, 2007, and not Monday, 12 March, 2007, as was previously reported. Thank you, Jon.
  • Upcoming Press: These media items are in the pipeline, so please look out for them:  1) A feature article/interview on Bob Corritore in the next issue of ABS Magazine from France. This article comes with many photos of Bob’s past, and a complete discography of Bob as a player and producer. You can read more about this issue and ABS Magazine by clicking here.  2) A Middle Walter article in the next issue Juke Blues, featuring photos and show posters from Bob’s collection, and quotes from Bob on his friend. In case you have not heard of Middle Walter, he was a fine Gary-based harmonica player that Bob was friends with while still living in Chicago.  3) A review of Big Pete Pearson‘s new CD I’m Here Baby on Blue Witch Records (produced by Bob Corritore) by Eric Thom in the next issue of Blues Revue.  4) An interview with Big Pete Pearson about his new CD I’m Here Baby on Blue Witch Records (produced by Bob Corritore) on Voice Of America radio.
  • Thank You, Bill Wax: Much appreciation to Bill Wax, of XM Satellite Radio’s Bluesville Station for his heavy rotation ofBig Pete Pearson‘s new CD I’m Here Baby on Blue Witch Records (produced by Bob Corritore). We are glad that you like the record. Thanks for your support.
  • St. Patrick’s Day Blues Party with the Fremonts This Saturday: Check out San Diego’s roots-blues champions The Fremonts this Saturday, March 17, 2007, at the Rhythm Room. This band features Mighty Joe Milsap on vocals, and a strong group of players that specialize in the Excello Records swamp-blues sound. Cover charge is $6, and drink specials will be available throughout the night. Doors open at 8pm. Barbecue will be available for purchase. This will be a patio smoking only event, no indoor smoking will be allowed.

March 12, 2007

  • Carol Fran Suffered a Stroke: Georgette Jolivette (King Karl’s widow) called today to report that Carol Fran just suffered a stroke. Georgette had no details, but just that news. Carol has been residing recently in Lafayette, Louisiana. She recorded classic sides for the Excello and Goldband record labels during the late 1950s and early 1960s, and then made more recent recordings for the Black Top and JSP record labels in partnership with her late husband, guitar great Clarence Hollimon (the JSP record was lovingly produced by Jimmy Morello). Carol has spent a lot of time in Phoenix, and Bob Corritore has produced 2 sessions by her of some yet-unreleased material (not enough for a full record). Carol is one of the greatest living female blues singers, and a sweet and loving person. Prayers to our friend. You can see Carol’s MySpace page with song clips by clicking here.
  • Leroy Brown Passes: Scott Meyer (former bass player with the Eddy Clearwater band) reports that Leroy Brown has passed away today (3/12/07), after a long battle with cancer. Leroy got his start in the Doo-Wop music genre. He is best known to blues fans for his association with Eddy Clearwater. Leroy was a part of Eddy’s stage show during the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, and is best known for the duet he sang with Eddy, “A Little Bit Of Blues And A Little Bit Of Rock And Roll.” Leroy was a trusted friend to Eddy Clearwater, and served as a manager at Eddy’s short-lived nightclub, Reservation Blues. Leroy was an integral part of the Chicago blues scene, and will be remembered fondly.

March 8, 2007

  • Paul DeLay Passes: This unfortunate news comes to us from the Oregonian, of Paul deLay’s passing. Below is the obituary they ran:Paul deLay, the larger-than-life Portland bluesman who redefined the harmonica and its musical potential, died this morning at Providence Portland Medical Center from end-stage leukemia diagnosed just days before. He was 55. “He was the most inventive harmonica player in the history of the planet,” says John Mazzocco, who played bass with deLay for several years in the 1990s. “He was gifted — he had incredible tone, but more important, he could look at things differently than any other harmonica player. He was the best in the world.” “He was the best harmonica player in the blues world,” says bassist Jimmy Lloyd Rea, from Baker City. “His big body — mind, heart and soul — was in every note he ever played.” DeLay recorded a dozen albums in his four-decade career, won several music awards and was nominated for a W.C. Handy Award. He and his band toured constantly, and his last show was just last Saturday — a benefit show at Klamath Fall’s Ross Ragland Theater. “What amazes me is the energy he brought to the show,” says guitarist Pete Dammann, who played in deLay’s bands for the past two decades. “He wasn’t pirouetting onstage, but he was joking and yakking with the crowd, and he played hard. We did two long sets, and nobody had any idea anything like this was going on.” Neither did deLay. After that show, Dammann says, deLay felt under the weather, presumably from bronchitis he’d suffered on the band’s recent jaunt to Mexico for several benefit shows. But doctors found that deLay was suffering from leukemia so advanced that his organs began shutting down and he lapsed into a coma from which he apparently never recovered. Paul Joseph deLay was born Jan. 31, 1952 in Portland, where he lived all his life. In the early 1970, he and then-drummer Lloyd Jones and guitarist Jim Mesi formed an electric blues band called Brown Sugar and played to eager crowds up and down the West Coast. They laid the foundation for Portland’s reputation as one of the country’s great blues towns. Nineteen seventy-six saw the formation of the Paul deLay Blues Band, which toured hard for more than a decade. At the same time, deLay suffered from alcohol and cocaine problems. In January of 1990, deLay was busted for cocaine trafficking and eventually served time in the federal prison in Sheridan. But before that sentence, deLay cleaned up and started writing and recording his own music with a new band. While deLay was in prison, his band played on as the No Delay Band, and it was waiting when he got out. They went on to record ground-breaking albums such as “Ocean of Tears” and “Nice and Strong,” and Evidence Records released his two post-bust albums – evidence that whoever said there are no second acts to American lives had never heard of Paul deLay.

March 2, 2007

Bob’s Scheduled Performances In March:

February 20, 2007

February 12, 2007

February 5, 2007

January 29, 2007

January 28, 2007

January 28, 2007

January 24, 2007

January 23, 2007

  • Chico Chism health update: Chico Chism, best known as Howlin’ Wolf’s last drummer, has had ongoing health issues for the last few years. Chico suffered a stroke in 2002 at age 73, and his health has been gradually deteriorating since. In the last 24 hours, Chico’s condition has taken a turn for the worse. He is bedridden and very weak. He has lost a lot of weight, and is now below 100 pounds and must receive oxygen. His daughter, Audrey, has been in town since Thursday, but unfortunately has to return to Chicago today. If you would like to contact or visit Chico, now is definitely the time.Here is Chico’s contact information: Chico Chism Kivel Campus of Care 3020 N. 36th Street Phoenix, Arizona, 85018 Tel. (602)956-3110 Plans continue for a Chico Chism Appreciation Night concert at the Rhythm Room on January 30th, we will keep you informed of Chico’s condition. Prayers to Chico.
  • RIP Susan Greenberg: Susan Greenberg, Lurrie Bell’s life companion, passed away from complications from Lymphoma on Saturday, January 20, 2007. Susan was responsible for Lurrie Bell’s personal comeback. She was also a respected photographer, and a beloved member of the Chicago blues community. Prayers to Lurrie and Susan’s family.

January 16, 2007

January 10, 2007

  • Big Pete Pearson CD Release Party this Friday and Saturday at the Rhythm Room: Big Pete Pearson‘s long awaited first national release, I’m Here Baby, on Blue Witch Records, will be celebrated this Friday and Saturday night at theRhythm Room. CDs will be available for the very first time at this party. Music will be provided by Big Pete Pearson & TheRhythm Room All-Stars which includes Big Pete on vocals, Chris James on guitar and vocals, Bob Corritore  on harmonica, Johnny Rapp on guitar, Patrick Rynn on bass, and Brian Fahey on drums. Doors open at 8pm, cover charge is$6. This will be a patio smoking only event, no indoor smoking will be allowed.
  • Big Pete and the All-Stars sign with national booking agency: This just in – Big Pete Pearson and The Rhythm Room All-Stars to be on the talent roster for Harry Turner’s new national booking agency: H.L. Turner Company. Also on this roster are Jimmy ThackeryThe Cate BrothersPaul Rishell & Annie RainesReba Russell, and others. We look to this as a great opportunity to get on some national festivals and spread the word about Big Pete and this great band. Harry Turner is a notable figure in blues and roots booking, having worked in the past with Blue Mountain Artists and Savoy Music, as well as being a festival producer and club talent buyer. Harry is a great man, and we really look forward to working with him. This, along with Blue Witch Records‘ efforts including national publicist Karen Leipziger, magazine ads, and an aggressive radio campaign, should help in our efforts to gain national profile. Big Pete Pearson has been Phoenix’s best-kept secret for too long!
  • Patrick and Chris of the Rhythm Room All-Stars to appear on Dennis Binder’s new CD: Blues piano veteran Dennis “Long Man” Binder’s new CD Hole In That Jug (Earwig #4952) will be released next week on Earwig. It will include backing by Rhythm Room All-Stars‘ Chris James on guitar, and Patrick Rynn on bass. The majority of this CD will be from a session recorded in Chicago last year right after the Chicago Blues FestivalChris and Patrick’s excellent playing is featured on all but two of the tracks. Also on this CD will be two previously unreleased cuts will be from a 1960 session. These vintage songs, “Love Call” and “Don’t Want Nobody Messin’ Around With Me” were done at Phoenix’s Audio Recorders with Dennis’ touring band of the time and feature some great sax work by A.C. ReedBob was aware of the existence of these cuts, and was able to put Michael Frank of Earwig Music and John “Johnny D” Dixon (the owner of these cuts) together. It is great that these tracks will finally see the light of day. This exciting new release is available next week.
  • Chico Chism in poor health but holding steady: Our friend Chico Chism is still facing some serious health problems. He sometimes makes it out to the clubs, but he is very weak and barely able to even sing one song. Click here for a recent photo by David Blake of Chico singing a number at his December 22, 2006 Christmas party. Please keep Chico in your prayers. He is allowed visitors, and would really love for you to stop by and say hi. If you would like to visit, or send Chico a card or letter, here is the address:Chico Chism Kivel Campus of Care 3020 N. 36th Street Phoenix, Arizona, 85018 Tel. (602)956-3110

January 7, 2007

  • Tonight on Bob’s radio show on KJZZ: First, a feature on B.B. King, who is playing at the Dodge Theatre tonight. Then,Big Pete Pearson will spend an hour with Bob talking about his new release I’m Here Baby. (Big Pete’s CD release party happens Friday and Saturday, January 12 and 13 at the Rhythm Room.) Phoenix music expert Johnny D. will come in as we do a memorial to Phoenix R&B singer Roosevelt Nettles, who passed away December 27, 2006. Roosevelt Nettles recorded great Louisiana-influenced sides in Phoenix released on the Chess, Mascot, and Bamboo labels, as well as having a more pop-oriented single on Capital. We will play Roosevelt’s R&B material, including his great version of theCookie & The Cupcakes‘ song “Mathilda”. Finally, the show will end with a tribute to the late James Brown during the 10:00 hour (and various James Brown songs earlier in the show). Plus, lots of deep blues and vintage sides as you expect to hear on Bob’s show. Listeners may hear Bob’s radio program, Those Lowdown Blues, anywhere in the world (real time)via web streaming by clicking here, or on KJZZ at 91.5 FM in Phoenix, 89.5 FM in Cottonwood, 90.1 FM in Prescott, 98.9 FM in Tucson, and 99.1 FM in Kingman.
  • Bob making a guest appearance with Paris James this Tuesday: Bob will play a set with Paris James at the Rhythm Room this Tuesday, January 9, 2007. Doors open at 7pm, cover charge is $5.

January 3, 2007

  • Rhythm Room Live Anthology to be released in May on Blue Witch Records: A deal was just finalized today, that a new anthology of live blues recorded over the years at the Rhythm Room will be released on Blue Witch Records. The title is yet to be determined, but the disc will include cuts by The Fabulous ThunderbirdsRobert Lockwood, Jr.Louisiana RedThe Mannish Boys featuring Finis TasbyPaul OscherLong John HunterBig Pete Pearson & the Rhythm Room All-Stars (with Bob on harp, of course), Floyd DixonHenry GrayKid RamosJohnny DyerChief Schabuttie Gilliame,Sonny Rhodes, and more. This disc, due out May 8, 2007 will feature the following cuts:1. Fabulous Thunderbirds – Goin’ Away Baby 2. Mannish Boys featuring Finis Tasby – Lonesome Bedroom 3. Long John Hunter – Long John’s Country Blues 4. Floyd Dixon – Don’t Leave Me Baby 5. Big Pete Pearson & The Rhythm Room All-Stars – That’s All Right 6. Henry Gray with Kid Ramos – Henry’s Houserocker 7. Fabulous Thunderbirds – Rich Woman 8. Sonny Rhodes – My Bleeding Heart 9. Paul Oscher – That’s It 10. Chief Schabuttie Gilliame with Johnny Dyer and Henry Gray- Monkey Meat 11. Robert Lockwood Jr. – C.C. Rider 12. Fabulous Thunderbirds – Horsin’ Around 13. Louisiana Red – Time Will Tell

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