December 31, 2009
Dave Riley & Bob Corritore appear Friday at Rhythm Room, The Dave Riley / Bob Corritore Juke Joint Blues Band bring their Mississippi meets Chicago blues sound to the Rhythm Room on Friday, January 1st, 2010. Also in the band are Dave “Yahni” Riley, Jr., and Brian Fahey. Doors at 8pm with a 9pm show. Rack Shack BBQ will be available for sale. The Rhythm Room is located at 1019 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ 85014.
Lucky To Be Living named Star Blues 2009 “Album Of The Year”. Other L2BL News. Thanks to blues radio show host Gary Blue of Star 107 in the U.K. for proclaiming Dave Riley & Bob Corritore / Lucky To Be Living on the Blue Witch record label, the “album of the year”. Other star blues winners are Candye Kane as “artist of the year”. Delta Groove / Eclectro Groove as “label of the year”, and Ace records as “reissue label of the year”. To see the awards webpage click here. Also thanks to WordPress for including our CD among their best of 2009 (Click here to see). Also thanks to Steve Cagle of KVMR in Nevada City, CA for a recent interview and feature, and to Przemek Draheim, radio host of Glosem Blues from Ciechocinek, Poland for the recent “Bob Corritore & Friends” feature show.
The Fremonts to appear New Years Eve at the Rhythm Room! San Diego blues aces, the Fremonts, bring their Excello meets West Coast blues style to the Rhythm Room for a New Year’s eve bash, on Thursday December 31st. Doors are at 8pm, and showtime at 9pm. This show has a $15 cover, which includes party favors and a champagne toast at midnight. Rack Shack BBQ will be served.
Blues Blast 2010 Festival Lineup and Pre-party Announced! Each year the Phoenix Blues Society presents Blues Blast, a festival that combines top national talent with some of Phoenix’s homegrown talent. This year the event happens on the afternoon of Saturday Feb 27th, and the lineup includes Big James Montgomery & The Chicago Playboys, Candye Kane, The Insomniacs, The Sugar Thieves, The Jump Back Brothers, and Tom Walbank & Athur Migliazza. For more details on Blues Blast 2010 and the Phoenix Blues Society click here. The night before, on Friday February 26th, the Rhythm Room will host a pre-party with Mud Morganfield, the oldest son of Muddy Waters who voice and look really capture the style and spirit of his father. Backing Mud will be the Rhythm Room All-Stars with Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, Brian Fahey, and special guest Johnny Rapp. The Rhythm Room All-Stars featuring Big Pete Pearson will also host the Blues After-party / Celebrity Blues Jam on the night of Feb 27th.
More information of the Blind Racoon IBC Showcase. Dave Riley & Bob Corritore will appear as part of the roster of the Blind Racoon Showcase on Friday January 22nd at Kings Palace, on Beale Street in Memphis. The event takes place from 11:30 to 5pm. This showcase coincides with the International Blues Competition, where hundreds of blues bands from all around the world come to compete. In addition to all these bands, many labels, press, and blues dignitaries also attend the IBC. Click here to see the flyer with show details and the full lineup.
Tomcat Courtney to headline Santa Barbara Blues Society event! 80 year old Texas blues master, Tomcat Courtney will headline the Santa Barbara Blues Society‘s Member Appreciation night on Saturday January 9th, at the Earl Warren Showgrounds, in beautiful Santa Barbara, California. The 2008 release, Downsville Blues, on the Blue Witch Records, has given Tomcat Courtney some long overdue world-wide attention, after decades of being San Diego’s hidden blues treasure. For more information click here.
George “Harmonica” Smith on YouTube! George “Harmonica” Smith was a superb harmonica player who created a unique octave toned style of Chromatic playing that has been often copied. Here is a 1971 performance of “Leaving Chicago” with wonderful harmonica and vocals, and a tight band behind him. To watch this clip click here.
December 15, 2009
Rhythm Room All-Stars appear Friday and Saturday at the Rhythm Room! The Rhythm Room All-Stars feature Big Pete Pearson, Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey. This weekend they appear at their namesake home base. Note that Dave Riley will do a guest set both nights and that Big Pete will only appear on the Friday night of this weekend. The Rhythm Room is located at 1019 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ 85014.
Honeyboy Edwards to appear on NBC Today Show, and to receive Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award! The 94 year old delta bluesman, Honeyboy Edwards, will appear on national television with an appearance on the Today Show Sunday, December 20th. This was arranged through the efforts of Lynn Orman of Orman Music and Media Group. News has also come down the pike that Honeyboy Edwards is to receive a lifetime achievement award at the Grammy‘s, in a special private ceremony that will honor musicians and achievers from all aspects of the music industry. Honeyboy is also prominently featured in the documentary film Six Generations Of The Blues, a film by Executive Producer Michael Frank and Co-Producers Lynn Orman & Scott Shuman, which looks at the 30 year history of Chicago’s Earwig Music, and it’s founder Michael Frank. If in Chicago this Wednesday night, you can see a screening of this film at SPACE in Evanston.
Henry Gray Up For Offbeat Music Award! Andy Cornett reports that Henry Gray has been nominated for the prestigious Louisiana based Offbeat Magazine‘s “Best Of Beat’ Awards in two categories; “Best Male Blues Performer” and “Best Blues CD”. These nominations coincide with Henry’s recent Blues Music Award nomination for best blues instrumentalist in the piano category. To read more about the Offbeat awards and to vote, click here, and read more about the BMAs click here. Henry Gray, now 84 years old, is still is vibrant and growing piano force on the blues scene. He brings with him all his great Chicago Blues history as a participant in some of the greatest classic recordings by Howlin’ Wolf, Jimmy Rogers,Jimmy Reed, Billy Boy Arnold, and others. Henry represents the blues well. To see a photo page honoring Henry Gray click here.
Bob presents his annual Blues Christmas radio show this Sunday on KJZZ! Each year on the Sunday before Christmas, Bob presents a 5 hour blues Christmas special on his weekly radio show “Those Lowdown Blues” on KJZZ. In addition to Christmas blues classics by Charles Brown, Lowell Fulson, Mabel Scott, and Freddie King, will be Big Maybellesinging “Silent Night”, Chief Schabuttie Gilliame‘s “The Week Before Christmas”, Rufus Thomas‘ “I’ll Be Your Santa”, andJessie Mae Hemphill‘s “Merry Christmas Pretty Baby”, just to name a few. Bob’s blues Christmas Special can be heard this Sunday, December 20th, from 6 -11pm (Mountain Time) at 91.5 FM in Phoenix. and anywhere in the world at www.kjzz.org.
Classic Muddy Waters on YouTube! Please enjoy this film clip of Muddy Waters performing “You Cant Lose What You Never Had” with his classic 1960s band including James Cotton, Otis Spann, Pee Wee Madison, and SP Leary. Click here to see.
December 8, 2009
Blues Music Awards Nominees Announced. Louisiana Red receives five nominations! Each year, the Blues Foundation creates a wonderful forum to reflect upon the achievements of the blues community. Through a two tier nomination process, with a large pool of industry leaders as nominators, the year’s releases are narrowed down to 26 award categories, each category having 5 nominees appearing on the ballot. From there Blues Foundation members will cast their votes, and in a ceremony that takes place each year in early May, the winners are announced. This is an exciting process and those chosen as nominees and winners will enjoy a notable burst of career recognition and attention. The nominees were announced today and to see a complete list please click here. Bob was pleased to see fellow Rhythm Room All-Star, Patrick Rynn, up for Best Instrumentalist in the Bass category! In prominence this year is Louisiana Red, with 5 nominations, 2 of which are specifically for the Red CD Back To The Black Bayou on Ruf Records, which was produced by Little Victor (Bob plays on 2 tracks on this CD). The Blues Foundation will present the Blues Music Awards at the Cook Convention Center in Memphis, TN on May 6, 2010. Congratulations to all the nominees!
Louisiana Red Honored with France’s Academie Charles Cros Award! Little Victor reports that Louisiana Red / Back To The Black Bayou on Ruf Records has received France’s Academie Charles Cros Award for “Best Blues Album 2009”. Little Victor, who produced and plays on this wonderful record, describes this award as the French equivelent to the Grammy. Congratulations to Louisiana Red for this well deserved recognition. To read Victor’s post of this in Blindman’s Blues Forum, click here.
Phoenix Harmonica Showcase this Thursday at the Rhythm Room! Each year the Rhythm Room presents a harmonica showcase hosted by Bill Tarsha & The Rocket 88’s, to showcase the many fine harmonica players residing in the Phoenix area., This year the showcase will take place on Thursday, December 10th and will include Bill Tarsha, Big Nick, John Calley, Steve Passenelli, Rob Hale, Rusty Walker, Robert Jackson, Lady D, Larry Dee, Gypsy, King Gypsy, Jump Back Keith, Walkin’ Cane Mark, Jimmy Johnson, Boyd White, Blind Ronnie, Rockin Ruben, Larry Polk, Jerry Swartz, Dwight Miles, Chris Cremains, Sugar Bear, Root Doctor, Papa G., Tumbleweed, Johnny Rock, “Shakey” Joe Harless (of Shaker Harmonica Microphones), Gus Harless, Lee Poole, Bob Corritore and more! Doors open at 7pm and the show begins at 8pm. The Rhythm Room is located at 1019 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ 85014.
Dave Riley and Bob Corritore New Reviews and Press Release. Thanks to Betsie Brown of Blind Racoon Publicty for really working a great campain for Dave Riley & Bob Corritore / Lucky To Be Living on Blue Witch Records. Many new reviews have been posted on Bob’s website (click here to see). Betsie recently sent out a press release summarizing some of Dave & Bob’s recent activities and it can be viewed by clicking here. Thanks to all the radio stations, reviewers, publications, and fans for their great support of this release!
Ray Flerlage Blues Photos Posted Online. Unseen Little Walter Photos included! Ray Flerlage was an amazing Chicago based photographer, who’s many brilliant blues images from the early 1960s are considered of great historic importance. Many examples of these photos appear in Ray’s book Chicago Blues As Seen From The Inside, published in 2000. His photos have graced the covers of such Chess albums as J.B. Lenoir / Natural Man, Buddy Guy / I Was Walking Through The Woods, and Little Walter / Confessin The Blues and Delmark Records’ Junior Wells / Blues Hit The Big Town and Blues Piano Orgy (Various Artists) . Ray passed away in 2002, but his work has recently appeared on the Cache Agency website. Included are some newly unearthed Little Walter photos including a great stage shot of Johnny Young,Robert Nighthawk, and Little Walter performing together. Also included online are Ray’s photos of Howlin’ Wolf, Arvella Gray,B.B. King, Jimmy Reed, John Lee Hooker, Koko Taylor and Lightnin’ Hopkins (together), Memphis Slim, Muddy Waters,Otis Rush, Son House, Willie Dixon, and more. To see this website click here.
Now Booking 2010 Festival Season. Bob Corritore, and his numerous musical projects, are now accepting offers for the 2010 festival season. Bob performs with both the Rhythm Room All-Stars (with Big Pete Pearson, Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey), and with the Dave Riley / Bob Corritore Juke Joint Blues Band. Please note that the Rhythm Room All-stars can also offer customized revue format shows with a wide selection of guest artists available. In 2009 the Rhythm Room All-Stars performed at festivals backing Pinetop Perkins, Louisiana Red, Tomcat Courtney, Elmore James, Jr., Henry Gray, Aaron Moore, Allen Batts, and others. Also note that Chris James & Patrick Rynn, who recently won a Blues Blast Music Award, can also be booked as a seperate show. No matter what the format, each option delivers a highly entertaining, deeply rooted, traditional blues show. Please contact email@example.com for more information.
Additions and Corrections to December 4th Newsletter. We unintentionally omitted mentioning the amazing Lurrie Bell as we listed the artists who were associated with the Grammy nominated CD Chicago Blues: A Living History. Jim Themelis asks that we give credit to harmonica master Joe Filisko for the information on the recently discovered Big Walter Horton master acetate. Concerning our segment on Blues Downsizing, Jerry Davis writes: “The 2010 Quincy Area Blues Fest, in Quincy, Illinois, has been cancelled after a sixteen year run in Washington Park.”
Little Esther Phillips On YouTube! Please enjoy these clips of the amazing vocalist, Little Esther Phillips as she presents two examples of her blues balladry. She performs “Misery” with a small combo that, though uncredited, is likely Johhny Otis‘ band click here to see, and a powerhouse version of “Release Me” with the full Johnny Otis show, complete with conductor, live at the 1970 Monterey Jazz Festival, click here to see.
December 4, 2009
Blues Events This Weekend at the Rhythm Room. The Rhythm Room features a great blues lineup this weekend. On Friday Dec 4th Phoenix R&B legend George Bowman celebrates his birthday. On Saturday Dec 5th there are two great shows; first an early show called Women Of Boogie Woogie Piano Blowout with Lisa Otey, Wendy DeWitt, Dona Oxford, and Sue Palmer (4pm doors 5pm to 7pm show), then it’s the amazing Kim Wilson with an all-star Blues Band that includes Billy Flynn, Barrelhouse Chuck, Larry Taylor, and Richard Innes. For more information about the Rhythm Room and these events click here.
Dave Riley & Bob Corritore and Chris James & Patrick Rynn nominated for Independent Music Award.This great news just came in; Dave Riley & Bob Corritore are nominated for Best Blues Song for “Lucky To Be Living“, the title track of their new CD on the Blue Witch label. Also in the same category are Chris James & Patrick Rynn for “Mr. Coffee”, a song which also features Bob Corritore on harmonica. To see the website and to vote please click here. This is a wonderful honor!
Blues Grammy Nominations Announced! The National Academy Of Recording Arts & Sciences recently announced nominations for the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards. Here are the blues nominees:
Best Traditional Blues Album (Vocal or Instrumental.) – Category 66:
A Stranger Here – Ramblin’ Jack Elliott (Anti)
Blue Again – The Mick Fleetwood Blues Band Featuring Rick Vito (429 Records)
Rough & Tough – John Hammond (Chesky Records)
Stomp! The Blues Tonight – Duke Robillard (Stony Plain Records)
Chicago Blues: A Living History – Various Artists including Billy Boy Arnold, John Primer, Billy Branch, Carlos Johnson,Matthew Skoller, Billy Flynn, and Felton Crews (Raisin’ Music)
Best Contemporary Blues Album (Vocal or Instrumental.) – Category 67:
This Time – The Robert Cray Band (Nozzle Records / Vanguard)
The Truth According To Ruthie Foster – Ruthie Foster (Blue Corn Music)
Live: Hope At The Hideout – Mavis Staples (Anti)
Back To The River – Susan Tedeschi (Verve Forecast)
Already Free – The Derek Trucks Band (Victor Records)
Outside of the blues categories we see that Buckwheat Zydeco earned a nomination for Lay Your Burden Down (Alligator) under the category of Best Zydeco Or Cajun Music Album. The Soundtrack for Cadillac Records earned a nomination for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for Television, Visual Arts, or Motion Picture. This soundtrack features Beyoncé (performing Etta James Songs), Kim Wilson, Billy Flynn (two of Billy’s projects got Grammy nods!), Barrelhouse Chuck, Eddie Taylor Jr., Larry Taylor and others. Beyoncé also earns a nomination in the category of Best Traditional R&B Performance for her take on Etta James‘ “At Last.” The legendary organist Booker T. Jones (of Booker T & the MGs fame) earns two nods for his album Potato Hole this year, one in the Best Pop Instrumental Album and one of the composition “Warped Sister” in Best Rock Instrumental Performance.
A really exciting Grammy nod is that of Little Walter Jacobs / The Chess Masters (1950-1967) under the category of Best Historical Album. This 5 CD set was produced by Andy McKaie, compiled by Scott Dirks and Andy, and features an extensive look at one of the blues most important figures. Little Walter is, of course, the blues harmonica player who’s genius created a groundbreaking approach to amplified harmonica, that all blues harmonica players after him owe a debt to. Happy to see that these amazing Little Walter recordings are still making history 5 decades later.
Congratulations to all the nominees. The 52nd Annual Grammy Awards will be held on Sunday, January 31, 2010 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, and televised on CBS. Please note the blues awards are announced in the afternoon ceremony which is not televised, though they will briefly flash all afternoon winners throughout the televised broadcast. Thanks to Ben “The Harpman” Cox of Juke Joint Soul for some of this information.
Previously Unknown Big Walter Acetate discovered! This exciting information from Jim Themelis about an acetate recording of Big Walter Horton from Memphis / early 50’s that has appeared on an Ebay auction. Here is what the auction listing says:
“Up for auction is a 10 inch acetate with custom labels on both sides that say “Memphis Recording and Sound Service“. Typed in at the bottom of the label on one side it says “Tell Me Mary Lou” Mumbles Horton (dub). On the other side it says: “What’s Wrong with You” Mumbles Horton (dub). I purchased it at a Goodwill Store in Eugene, Oregon in September, 2004. It was in an album of 78’s that included several Modern Records 78 singles. I’ve tried to research this record and was able to find out that Sam Phillips recorded Big Walter Horton a number of times in the early ’50’s. For some reason he recorded him under the name “Mumbles” Horton and sent the acetates to Modern Records which released some, but not all of them. So far, I’ve been unable to find out anything about “Tell Me Mary Lou” (maybe it wasn’t released). A song called “Baby, What’s Wrong with You?” is available on an Ace Records (U.K.) CD which has a number of Big Walter Horton songs on it that were recorded at the Memphis Recording Service. I would grade the “Baby, What’s Wrong with You?” side a VG-; it has several light scuffs and very light scratches on it. It plays without any loud pops, repetitive clicks or skips and has a little light surface sound. The “Tell Me, Mary Lou” side grades a G+ with a few more light scuffs and very light scratches on it. It also plays without any loud pops, repetitive clicks or skips and also plays with a little surface sound (a little louder than the other side). There are no numbers or letters on either side in the trail-off. The red and white labels both have dark brown stains on them, but all of the typed in words are easily legible. To me, this record is significant because Big Walter Horton was one of the greatest blues harmonica players of all time and this record reveals him in his prime.”
XM Radio features Dave Riley & Bob Corritore as B.B. King’s Picks to Click! Thank you to Bill Wax, blues programmer of Bluesville on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio channel 74 for programming Dave Riley & Bob Corritore / Lucky To Be Living as #9 on B.B. King’s Picks to Click for the Week of November 16th. Thanks Bill for all the support.
Dave Riley and Bob Corritore featured on Aspen Public Radio! Thanks to blues DJ Cheryll “Bluebird” Koehne of KBCO 97.3FM out of Boulder Colorado for featuring Dave Riley & Bob Corritore / Lucky To Be Living on her program “Blue Horizon”. To hear this program as a podcast, click here.
Recession Forces Blues Downsizing in the US Midwest region. The hard hit US economy is taking it’s toll on the presentation of the blues, as is highlighted by recent announcements from Illinois and Iowa. The trend became apparent with the announcement earlier this year that the 2009 Chicago Blues Fest would be reduced from 4 days to 3 days and would discontinue 2 of the smaller stages. Then Bill’s Blues in Evanston was forced to shut it’s doors in October. We recently got word that Blue Chicago will close the smaller of it’s two location. And recently Matt Eimer sent out an email blast that his cherished Simply The Blues Festival in Fort Smith, Iowa would be discontinued due to rising expenses. Though the blues is alive and well as a music form, the presentation of blues, which requires a business justification, is having a rough year. We hope that the economy will soon recover, and with it, the blues consumption needed to support venues, festivals, artists, and labels. To read Time Out Chicago‘s article on these recent occurrences click here.
Bear Family to release complete Christine Kittrell recordings! Once again Germany’s Bear Family Label has compiled an amazing look at the complete recorded works of a great blues artist. Christine Kittrell / Call Her Name; The Complete Recordings 1951 – 1965 (BCD 16942) will be released February 2nd, 2010 as a single disc digi-pack with a 40 page booklet. Christine Kittrell had a strong, smooth voice, and recorded consistently fantastic sides for labels such as Tennessee,Champion, King / Federal, and Vee-Jay. To learn more about Christine and to hear her wonderful music, check out her myspace page by clicking here.
Jimmie Lee Robinson on You Tube! Please enjoy this 1965 performance of Jimmie Lee Robinson at his spellbinding best. This film was made as part of the American Folk Blues Festival and features Jimmie Lee playing guitar and singing with Fred Below accompanying him on the drums. Click here to see.
November 17, 2009
RIP Sarah Moore 9/20/1935 – 10/30/2009. This information comes via Roger Stolle. Sarah Moore, best known as the proprietor of the popular restaurant and music venue Sarah’s Kitchen in Clarksdale, died on Oct 30th as a result of a car accident. She was 74. The list of blues musicians that graced Miss Sarah’s stage through the years includes Robert “Bilbo” Walker, T-Model Ford, Lightnin’ Malcolm, The Deep Cuts, Super Chikan, Louisiana Red, various Burnsides / Kimbroughs,Sam Carr, Dave Riley, Mississippi Marvel, Terry “Big T” Williams, Wesley “Junebug” Jefferson, David Lee Durham, Pat Thomas, KM Williams, Rev Peyton’s Big Damn Band, “Mr. Johnnie” Billington, Big Pete Pearson, etc etc. Miss Sarah was as well-known for her delicious soul food plate lunches as she was her festival weekend blues blowouts. The Delta Blues Education Fund also held regular blues classes for local kids at Sarah’s Kitchen for several years. She will truly be missed as both a beautiful person and an integral part of the blues community in Clarksdale.
RIP Big John Evans, deceased 11/9/2009 Sacramento master blues drummer Big John Evans passed away on Monday, November 9, 2009. Big John had suffered from a stoke in September of this year. Best known for his many years of work with Johnny Heartsman, Evans also worked with Little Junior Parker and recorded with Heartsman, Tiny Powell, and Charlie Musselwhite. Big John was recognized with a West Coast Blues Hall Of Fame induction in 2007. Sadly, no biographical information is available at this time.
RIP Alvin Short, 12/15/50 – 11/15/09. This email just in from Johnny Drummer; “Sorry to inform you and fans of the passing of Alvin Short, also known as Al Guitar, lead guitar player for the last eight years in my band; Johnny Drummer & The Starlighters. Al played with many greats such as Howlin Wolf, Earl Hooker, Otis Rush, and Bobby Rush. Al also played on my last Earwig CD, Rockin’ In The Juke Joint. Alvin passed away at 11:30 am, Sunday , November 15th. He had a massive stroke in June and he never came out of a coma.” Alvin Short was 58. Johnny also reports that Alvin was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi. No other biographical information is available currently.
Blues Blast Music Awards Reflections. 2nd Annual Blues Blast Music Awards, held at Buddy Guy’s Legends on Thursday, October 29th, 2009, was a spectacular blues party. Here are some of the articles covering this great event: Juke Joint Soul by Ben “The Harpman” Cox click here. Chicago Blues Guide by Linda Cain with photos by Michael Kurgansky, Constance Kenny, and Jennifer Wheeler click here.
Dave Riley & Bob Corritore / Lucky To Be Living up for a House of Blues award. Please vote now. Bob and Dave’s new CD Lucky To Be Living is being considered for a House Of Blues Radio‘s Record Of The Year. Note that this record is in the company of many other fine blues new releases. We would ask our friends to consider voting for us. To place your vote click here.
Numero Record Label releases 70s Chicago Blues Compilation! The Numero Record label specializes in wonderful reissue compilations that thematically bring to light obscure but wonderful labels and music. Their new release is called Light: On The South Side, and it captures the wonderful vibe of the 45s coming out Chicago during the 70s. Included are songs by Little Mack, Willie Williams, Arlean Brown, Lady Margo, Syl Johnson, Andrew Brown, Bobby Rush, Artie White, Lucille Spann, and many others. This release comes out as a 2 LP set with a book filled with images and information from that wonderful, but often overlooked period in Chicago Blues. To read more about this release click here. They also have released a set of photo trading cards as a companion to this release. To read about the trading cards, click here. Thanks to Rusty Zinn for the tip on this new release.
Bill’s Blues In Evanston, IL Closes. A sad sign of the U.S. recession are the many businesses across the board who are not able to make it. The latest casualty in the blues world is Bill’s Blues In Evanston, owned by Bill Gilmore, who shut down on Tuesday, November 9th. Bill Gilmore is a seasoned blues club proprietor having been involved in Elsewhere, then Elsewhere on Lincoln, then B.L.U.E. S., B.L.U.E.S. Et Cetera, and Chicago Blues before opening Bill’s Blues in the college town of Evanston, best known for Northwestern University. To read the Pioneer Press story on this occurence click here . Thanks Bill for your years of great service to the blues!
Lucerne Blues Festival Recap Forthcoming. Off To France! After spending the last 11 days in Switzerland attending and performing at the Lucerne Blues Festival and its satellite events, Bob Corritore heads to France today to perform two weeks of gigs including the Blues sur Seine Festival, Nuit du Blues, the Beautiful Swamp Blues Festival, Blues Station, Rat Pack Club, La Mamiselle, a couple schools and a prison. Bob performed at the 2009 Lucerne Blues Festival, doing sets withDave Riley, Tomcat Courtney, and Chris James & Patrick Rynn. It is a festival of top shelf blues combined with great hospitality and presentation. Bob will recap this major blues event shortly.
KBA Recipients Announced! This just in from Jay Seilman: Each year, The Blues Foundation recognizes excellence in Blues Music by non-performers by presenting the Keeping the Blues Alive Awards. The 2009 Keeping the Blues Alive recipients are:
- Art and Photography: Michael Maness, Memphis, TN
- Blues Club: Bradfordville Blues Club, Tallahassee, FL
- Blues Organization: Connecticut Blues Society
- Education: Spencer Bohren, New Orleans, LA
- Festival: Heritage Music Blues Festival, Wheeling, WV
- Festival International: Piazza Blues, Bellinzona, Switzerland
- Historical Preservation: Eric Leblanc, British Columbia, Canada
- International: Finnish Blues Association, Helsinki, Finland
- Journalism: David Fricke, Rolling Stone, New York, NY
- Literature: Crossroads, The Life and Afterlife of Blues Legend Robert Johnson Tom Graves, Memphis, TN
- Manager/Agent: Pat Morgan, Kailua-Kona, HI
- Print Media: Block, Almelo, Netherlands
- Producer: Andy McKaie, Universal Music Enterprises, Santa Monica, CA
- Promoter: Pozitif Productions, Istanbul, Turkey
- Publicist: Richard Flohil, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- Radio Commercial: Charles Evers, Jackson, MS
- Radio Public: Rick Galusha, Omaha, NE
- Record Label: Crosscut Records, Bremen, Germany
- Visual Broadcast: Film, Television and Video: Pocket Full of Soul, Houston, TXThe 2010 KBA awards will be presented Saturday, January 23, 2010 at the Double Tree Hotel in Memphis TN as part of the 2010 International Blues Challenge.
Henry Townsend on YouTube! Please enjoy this mesmerizing clip of St. Louis Bluesman Henry Townsend from 1976 playing some hypnotic piano and singing his always poignant lyrics. Click here to see.
November 2, 2009
- A One Month European Tour for Dave Riley, Bob Corritore & Tomcat Courtney! During the month of November Bob Corritore will be doing a series of concerts and festivals in Switzerland and France with Dave Riley and Tomcat Courtney! Most of these shows will be done as a duo or trio but on November 14th the Rhythm Room All-Stars will gather for a full band presentation for Tomcat Courtney‘s set at the Lucerne Blues Festival. Here is the schedule:Nov 6th through Nov 15th – Lucerne Blues Festival, Lucerne, Switzerland. Note that Dave Riley and Bob Corritore perform a number of private festival events throughout the week and then open the festival on Thursday, Nov 12th. Then on Saturday November 14th, Tomcat Courtney will appear with the Rhythm Room All-Stars (Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn and Brian Fahey). Also appearing will be Dorothy Moore, Lurrie Bell with Eddie Shaw, Mud Morganfield, Mark Hummel & The Blues Survivors with Rusty Zinn, Bryan Lee & The Blues Power Band, Eugene “Hideaway” Bridges, B.B. and The Blues Shacks, J.W. Jones, Marcia Ball, C.J. Chenier & The Red Hot Louisiana Band, Elias Bernet & Friends.Then it is off to France where Dave, Bob, and Tomcat will perform as a trio for a two week series of shows:Nov 18th – Poissy Prison, near Paris, France .
Nov 19th – School appearance near Mantes, France
Nov 20th – School appearance near Mantes, France
Nov 20th – Blues sur Seine Festival, France. Also appearing are James Hunter, Lucky Peterson, Zac Harmon, Bob Walsh, Black Diamond Heavies, C.J. Chenier & The Red Hot Louisiana Band, Peaches Staten, and many others
Nov 21st – Nuit du Blues, Montfort sur Meu, France
Nov 22nd – Blues Station, Tournon d’Agenais France
Nov 23rd – Meeting in Tournon d’Agenais France with press and students
Nov 24th – Rat Pack Club, Clermont Ferrand, France
Nov 26th – La Mamiselle in Saubrigues, France
Nov 28th – Beautiful Swamp Blues Festival in Calais, France. Also performing are Eddie C. Campbell, Zac Harmon, Diunna Greenleaf,Finis Tasby & Alex Schultz, Blues Conspiracy, Carl Weathersby & Nora Jean Bruso, and Malted Milk.Special thanks to The Lucerne Blues Festival, Blue Witch Records, and Denis Leblonde of Tempo Spectacle for making this tour possible. We are looking forward to being reunited with our many European friends!
- Blues Blast Music Award Winners! Chris James & Patrick Rynn win Best Artist Debut! Simply a spectacular time in Chicago on Thursday at the 2nd Annual Blues Blast Music Awards, held at Buddy Guy’s Legends! This show brought in performers from all around the country and blues fans from all around the globe. With a huge lineup of performing artists and presenters, the show went perfectly on schedule with each artist given a 10 minute slot. It created a fast pace program that never felt bogged down. Each of the 25 or so performance segments were well played and warmly received. What attendees got was an amazing sampling of many of today’s most active blues performers. There was a great vibe throughout the night with fans, media, labels, artists, and blues folks in general coming together to reflect on the activities and successes of the current blues world. The 2009 Blues Blast Music Award Winners are:Best Contemporary Blues Recording: The Insomniacs / At Least I’m Not With You
Best Traditional Blues Recording: Various Artists / Chicago Blues: A Living History
Best Blues Song: Albert Castiglia / “Bad Year Blues”
Best Blues Band: Nick Moss & The Flip Tops
Best Male Artist: Elvin Bishop
Best Female Artist: Robin Rogers
Best New Artist Debut Recording: Chris James & Patrick Rynn / Stop And Think About It
Sean Costello Rising Star Award: Kilborn Alley Blues Band
Lifetime Achievement Award: Koko TaylorThanks to Bob Kieser and everyone at Illinois Blues and Blues Blast Magazine for this spectacular recognition of achievement in the industry and for throwing a “must attend” blues party with warmth and hospitality. To enjoy the Illinois Blues website click here. To see the latest issue of Blues Blast Magazine, which has an article reflecting on this great event click here.
- RIP Norton Buffalo 9/28/51 – 10/31/09. Harmonica virtuoso Norton Buffalo passed away on Oct 31st, 2009 after a battle with cancer. Best known outside of blues circles for his work with rock luminaries such as Steve Miller and Bonnie Raitt, Buffalo also worked within the blues field with Elvin Bishop and Roy Rogers. He was a spectacular player who created a very unique style which often did not follow the traditional blues harmonica sound. This might be exemplified by Buffalo’s wild solo on Bonnie Raitt‘s hit remake of Del Shannon’s “Runaway”. For a complete Norton Buffalo obit by Ben “The Harpman” Cox in Juke Joint Soul click here.
Southwest Musical Arts Foundation to release a compilation of Phoenix Blues from the 1950s and 60s! Though Phoenix is not often celebrated as a town with a rich blues history, there was and is currently a substantial black community and great music scene happening. Southwest Musical Arts Foundation will release a testament to that fact with a limited edition, collectors issue titled Flyin’ High, A Collection Of Phoenix Blues, Rhythm, and Spirit from the 1950’s and 60’s. The CD’s 27 tracks include Big Pete Pearson‘s first recordings, Reverend Louis Overstreet, J.C. Arline, The Lone Wolf, Duke Draper, Maxine Johnson, John “Oklahoma Zeke” Lewis, Dumas King, Roosevelt Nettles, Budd Spudd & The Sprouts, Jimmy Knight, Baby Jean, the Curtis Gray Combo, and more. Look for this release in early 2010. To see the cover art for Flyin’ High, click here, and to read the extensive liner notes by John Dixon, click here.
Harmonica “Down Home Shakedown” on YouTube! Please enjoy this wonderful musical gathering with Big Mama Thornton, Big Walter Horton, J.B. Lenoir, Dr. Ross, and John Lee Hooker, all taking turns at harmonica on a rockin’ show closer that Big Mama declares “The Down Home Shakedown”. It is great to see all those rich musical personalities on stage together and it is unique to hear J.B. Lenoir and John Lee Hooker performing as harmonica players. This was filmed in 1965 in Germany as part of the American Folk Blues Festival. To see this clip click here.
October 27, 2009
Off to Chicago for the Blues Blast Music Awards! Bob heads back to his hometown to participate in the 2nd annual Blues Blast Music Awards, hosted by Illinois Blues. The BBMAs happen on Thursday, October 29, 7pm at Buddy Guy’s Legends, 754 S. Wabash Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605. Bob will be playing harmonica with Chris James & Patrick Rynn who’s successful CD Stop And Think About It on the Earwig Record Label has earned two nominations: “Best New Artist Debut” for the CD Stop And Think About It on the Earwig Music label and “Best Blues Song” for the song “Mr. Coffee”. The great lineup for the show includes Kenny Neal, Nick Moss & The Flip Tops, Lurrie Bell, Billy Branch, Shirley Johnson, Albert Castiglia, John Primer, Billy Boy Arnold, Matthew Skollar, Carlos Johnson, Eden Brent, Cedric Burnside & Lightnin Malcom,Chris James & Patrick Rynn, Bob Corritore, Kilborn Alley Blues Band, Robin Rogers, The Insomniacs, Dave Herrero, Guy King, and Dave Gross. For more information on this event click here. Thanks to Illinois Blues for bringing people together to reflect on this year’s blues releases and achievements through this awards ceremony. For more information of the Blues Blast Music Awards, and to sign up for the Blues Blast newsletter, click here.
Earwig 30 year anniversary show documentary to be televised! This information is copied verbatim from Betsie Brown‘s press release:
Blues Legends David “Honeyboy” Edwards, Johnny Drummer, Big Jack Johnson, John Primer, and Aron Burton will come to national television on MHz Worldview this holiday season. On November 27, 2009 the 2-hour broadcast premier entitled “Earwig Music Presents Six Generations of the Blues From Mississippi to Chicago” takes an in depth look at contemporary Chicago Blues and traces it’s roots to rural Mississippi. Interviews with the artists follow the 30-year history of the Chicago based Earwig Records and offers a unique perspective on the Chicago Blues scene. The two-hour special is produced by the award winning roots music television production group www.frontrowmusic.tv and features live performance footage from the 2nd annual Blues on the North Shore concert. The show hosted by Sirius XM Radio‘s Bill Wax presents the best of theEarwig artists in this beautifully edited footage from the Delta to Chicago. FrontRowMusic.tv celebrates the amazing journey of the Earwig Label with rare incendiary performances of Chicago Blues masters and passionate storytelling by Johnny Drummer, Aron Burton, and David “Honeyboy” Edwards. For blues fans this is a “must see” show that will be distributed byMHz Worldview to public broadcast affiliates nationally.
Grammy Award winning producer, Scott Shuman, Blues On the North Shore founder/presenter, Lynn Orman and Earwig Music President Michael Frank are the creators of this 2 hour broadcast premier. The television show captured a historic gathering of blues legends – Big Jack Johnson, John Primer, Honeyboy Edwards, & Willie “Big Eyes” Smith. It also features the new generation of Earwig Music artists, Chris James, Patrick Rynn and Rob Stone, with guest appearances by Bob Corritore, Allen Batts, Kenny ‘Beedy Eyes’ Smith, Tom Crivellone, Rodney Brown and more.
The broadcast premier is part of an ongoing production of blues music programming and content created by the online TV network www.frontrowmusic.tv, which is just now emerging on the national scene. The small but dedicated production group presents performances by blues mavericks such as Zac Harmon, Michael Burks, Bugs Henderson and The Bel Airs, as well as the legendary Chicago artists such as Johnny Drummer and Honeyboy Edwards. The website, www.frontrowmusic.tv, offers free views and downloads of hundreds of incredible performances shot in Sony HD and provides a virtual stage for artists that fans can visit. To see previews of the 2-hour concert event and to find air dates for the B.B. King’s Bluesville radio interview & concert preview with Sirius XM Radio‘s Bill Wax and television listings for the November 27 broadcast click here .
The broadcast will air in its entirety on November 27, 2009 at 9 p.m. EST with an encore performance at 11 p.m. EST and in February 2010 in celebration of Black History Month. For airtime in your city please visit MHz Worldview by clicking here.
Sunnyland Slim on YouTube! Please enjoy this stellar performance by a true blues piano master. Sunnyland Slim was a crucial figure in the development of Chicago Blues and even introduced Muddy Waters to the Chess Brothers! Sunnyland is shown alone at the piano, and his deeply rooted style is really highlighted on the song “You Put That Thing On Me”. To see this clip click here
Recap of Arkansas Blues & Heritage Trip. There is nothing quite like the Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival (AKA the King Biscuit Blues Festival) in Helena, Arkansas. This is Sonny Boy Williamson II country and the great blues legacy of this region is always well represented by the fest. Southern hospitality is the order of the day and the blues audiences at the festival are there for the real deal blues. This year festival entertainment coordinator Jerry Pillow retired and turned over the booking to Sterling Billingsley, a fine musician who understands the fine points of the festival’s great tradition. Over it’s three day program, the festival presents a wonderful sampling of earthy, real deal blues which attracts musicians and fans from near and far.
Dave Riley and I arrived in Helena on Tuesday, a couple days in front of the festival to promote and tighten up details for our Saturday CD Release party at the Delta Cultural Center annex and Dave’s Friday memorial tribute set to his former musical partner Sam Carr. This was the first out of state blues event I have attended since my recent break up with my beautiful, long time companion Kim Danielson (she is preparing for her doctorate in education and is moving in the direction of that career). So the first days of my festival experience were filled with questions from mutual friends about her very noticeable absence. She was missed by many people, especially myself. But the job at hand was to enjoy the rich experience of this festival, both as a performer and a fan. After checking in at Bubba’s Blues Corner and The Delta Cultural Center on Wednesday, I met up with Dave Riley at an informal pre-fest jam held at Bunky’s where we played a few together with Carla Robinson, Big Red, Mose Taylor, Loren Seeley, his daughter Jennifer, Diamond Jack Holzworth, and others.
Thursday’s activities began with Dave and I appearing on Sonny Payne‘s legendary King Biscuit Time radio show at KFFA. Sonny is a true radio icon who has been on the air for some 60 years, including the pioneering broadcasts with Sonny Boy Williamson II. After Sonny‘s traditional opening greeting “Pass the biscuits please, it’s King Biscuit Time” followed by the customary Tommy Dorsey Boogie Woogie, he played some Robert Lockwood, Jr., had a guest appearance by acoustic blues artist Donna Herula, and then ended the show with an interview and live performance with Dave, myself and Tom Coulson. From there it was to the festival to enjoy sets by Charlotte Taylor, Johnny Billington (great down home set!), and J.P. Soars (2009 IBC winners). I ran into many friends as the blues family gathered. I had my second interview of the day with blues DJ Cheryll “Bluebird” Koehne of KBCO 97.3FM out of Boulder Colorado. I left the festival early to head to Clarksdale to attend Broke and Hungry Records CD release party for Jimmy “Duck” Holmes / Ain’t It Lonesome, at Red’s. I am a big fan of this artist, and label owner Jeff Konkel had emailed me a personal invitation earlier in the week. Jimmy’s set was spellbinding and the echo of his powerful performance was my company on the ride back to Helena that night.
On Friday I got to be just a fan and enjoy the Festival. It was a rainy and cold day, and some of the acts on the smaller stage were apparently shut down due to the weather conditions. I arrived during a great set on the main stage by Harmonica Shaw from Detroit. His band that day featured Little Boogie Boy from the Netherlands on guitar. I had never seen Shaw perform before and it was raw and powerful in the best of ways. We were introduced after his set by Electro-Fi label chief Andrew Galloway, and Shaw and I became immediate friends. Shaw, Arthur Williams and I enjoyed clowning around with our harmonicas and taking photos together while Kevin Naquin performed a solid set of Zydeco. Dave Riley came on after that for his highly anticipated memorial set honoring the late Sam Carr, who died just a couple weeks before. Each year at the festival, Dave was the featured frontman in Sam’s band, The Delta Jukes, so this set was symbolic for both artist and audience alike. Dave was joined by Big Jack Johnson for a truly touching memorial featuring two of Sam Carr‘s closest musical collaborators. The next set was by jazz saxophonist Red Holloway, a Helena native, who performed a strong swinging, jazz/blues repertoire. During part of Red’s set I was interviewed on film by Lon Michaelson of Twin City Blues . I ran into my dear friend RJ Mischo and his wife Heidi who now live in Arkansas. RJ had appeared the night before as a guest of the Cate Brothers. RJ and I spent quite a bit of time hanging out at the fest and we went over to the smaller stage to check out St. Louis harmonica wizard, Arthur Williams. In Arthur’s band was the spectacular, 18 year old blues guitar great,Marquise Knox, who I had befriended 2 years prior at the Paul Butterfield Conference in Clarksdale. I caught most of their great set before heading back to the main stage to see Willie “Big Eyes” Smith and Hubert Sumlin perform a stellar program of classic Chicago blues. Willie and Hubert’s band included Bob Stroger, Little Frank Kakowski, and Jimmy Mayes. The Chicago blues continued in fine form with Billy Boy Arnold‘s perfect set featuring Billy Flynn on guitar. Though sets by Michael Burks and Bobby Rush were to follow I had dealt with enough rain and cold and decided to save myself for the next day’s activities.
Saturday’s main focus was the CD release party at the Delta Cultural Center Annex celebrating Dave Riley and my new release Lucky To Be Living, on the Blue Witch Record label. Our band included Dave, myself, Dave “Yahni” Riley, Jr. on bass and Tom Coulson on drums. It was great to showcase our musical chemistry and perform songs from the new CD to a full house of enthusiastic blues fans. Special thanks to Delta Cultural Center chief Terry Buckalew for setting this show up and for lending me his great Fender Vibrolux amp. After the CD release party was wrapped up, I went to the smaller stage to play a set with my friend Mississippi Spoonman with special guest Big Jack Johnson. Spoonman had called me that morning to invite me and I was honored to accept. After Spoonman‘s rowdy party blues set, I headed back to main stage and briefly got to say hello to John Hammond while catching Anson Funderburgh‘s dynamic show that featured the great vocals and harmonica of Lee McBee (what a great combination!). That set was followed by Pinetop Perkins & Bob Margolin with Bob Stroger on bass and Willie “Big Eyes” Smith on drums. Bob invited 3 harmonica players; Billy Boy Arnold, Billy Flynn and myself to join the band at various parts of the show. Of the two songs I played with Bob, one was a touching tribute to Sam Carr, which I was proud to participate in. Pinetop was in unbelievable form that day and rocked extra hard. At 96 years old he is a modern miracle! During parts of this show I was in the backstage trailer hanging with Billy Boy Arnold who was being quizzed by the young Clay Swafford about the meaning of words used in some of the classic blues recordings of the 1950s and before. Billy Boy graciously and articulately answered his young student’s questions. I enjoyed West Coast harmonica ace, Mitch Kashmar‘s show before calling it a day. I missed the fest closer of Jackie Payne and Steve Edmondson who I understand put on a dynamic set of their trademark soul and uptown blues.
Sunday it was off to Clarksdale for the annual Pinetop Perkins homecoming at Hopson’s Plantation which is always on the Sunday after the Biscuit. I arrived in Clarksdale early and decided to stop by Cathead and Blues Source. The main street, Delta Avenue, was filled blues fans with a big congregation in front of Cathead, which had live music performing in front of the store. I stopped in to say hi to Roger Stolle and “Tator”, and to browse at the great selection of CDs, blues magazines and folk art offered by the store. I then stopped in to say hello to Gary Miller at Blues Source, another great blues record store just down the street with its own spectacular presentation. Then off to Hopson where Dave and I were the first scheduled performance at the Pinetop Perkins‘ Homecoming. It was wonderful to play in front of so many blues musicians and dignitaries. While Dave and I performed our version of the Frank Frost song “Ride With Your Daddy Tonight”, Arthur Williams who played harmonica on the original recording came up to the stage to signal his approval. Our publicist, Betsie Brown was on hand to cheer us on. It was an honor to kick off this event, which then featured great sets by Willie “Big Eyes” Smith and his band, Bob Margolin with Peter Dammann and Clay Swafford, Guitar Mikey (who we mistakenly listed as Little Mikey in a prior newsletter), Super Chikan, Michael Burks, Little Boogie Boy, Blue Mother Tupelo, King Edward, Jimmy Mayes, Jacob Hiser of the Hiser Brothers,and many others. Guitar Mikey did a notable job coordinating the many guest artists that appeared that day. By having an early performance, Dave Riley and I were able to really enjoy all the other musicians and blues people at the event. I was interviewed by Shelia Hardwell of the Associated Press who were doing a piece on Pinetop and the event. The Blues Foundation set up a tent just outside of the commissary and were recruiting membership. Bob Margolin and I had the rare opportunity to sit on the front porch and hang out for a good half hour. Special Thanks to Patricia Morgan who lovingly puts the event together. In addition to being Pinetop and Willie “Big Eyes” Smith‘s manager, Patricia is also the newly elected president of the Blues Foundation. Many people were headed to Red’s later that night for more live blues but as things were winding down at Hopson, I made the trip back to Helena to prepare for the next day’s travel back to Phoenix.
Some of the many people that I saw during this trip were Jay Sieleman, Priscilla Hernandez, and Joe & Sara Whitmer of the Blues Foundation, Charles and Lori Ragsdale, Robert Jr. Whitall and Shirley Mae Owens of Big City Blues Magazine, the Carr family, Tom Foley, Kimbeaux Welsh, Billy T, Jimmy Prichard, Patrick Recob, Adam Gussow, David Berntson (Crossroads Learning Experience), Jimmy Markham and his wife, Barry Nowlin, Leigh Portwood (Mississippi Blues Trail Markers), Dorothy Hill (thanks Dorothy for the nice article and slideshow in Blues Source), Bob Kieser (Illinois Blues), Cricket (Baton Rouge Blues Society), Greg Cook (Delta Cultural Center), Amy Brat, Lois Clark, Keith Robb, Dirk Wissbaum (Blues Source), Jocelyn Richez, Andre Cochepin-Mingarro, Dusty Scott of Dusty Blues, Bruce Iglauer of Alligator Records, Dave Beardsley of STL Blues, Blues Sister Jeanie, Rayne Gordon, Deanna & Charles Montgomery, Charlie Johnson (Omaha Blues Society), Billy “T”, Don Buroker, Jim Jones, Jean-Pierre Urbain (ABS Magazine), Michel Hofkens and Paul Vissers of Goorblues.com, Terry Allen, Henry J. Provost, Kim Mason, Charlie Johnson, 19th Street Red, Jim Mills, Deak Harp (who reports that he is now with Kilborn Alley Blues Band), Carl Foster, John Fewkes, Monte Adkison, Sandy Salings (Mark Salings’s widow), Mad Dog Dave (president of the Windy City Blues Society), Jurgen & Liz Lottmann, Pat Kelso (KUAF 91.3 FM), Dainne Bruce Dunklau (photographer), Brian Sivils, Maile Alday (Los Angeles Blues Society), Manu Frangeul, Jay Sheffield, Heidi Knochenhauer, Dave Wright (WEFT 90.1 FM), Ellen Pfieffer Agnew, George Roberts, Tammie King , Belinda Foster, Shuffle Shoes & Skyy Dobro (WKCC 91.1 FM), Gene Tomko , Nanny Kajuiter and Onno Wink (Blueswereld), Robin Collins, Hurricane David, Monte Adkinson of the Suncoast Blues Society, Dietmar Hoscher of Concerto Magazine in Austria, Tommy Potter, Janella Harbison from Bubba’s Blues Corner, Teddy of Teddy’s Juke Joint,Pam Linton of the Baton Rouge Blues Society, my friends at the Foxglove Bed and Breakfast (John Butkiewicz, Wes & Linda Moore, Henri Bellows, Robin Cash, Mark Davierizo, David Schnur, Paul Parker, Francie Flower, John & Lisa Groff), Fred Williamson, Lorey Maurer (VP of the Los Angeles Blues Society), Gary Stutts, Kim Welsh, David Hanks Dunavent, Junkyard Dog, Chris Frey, Otha Collins, James Helfrich, Rod Gilstrap, Pat Warford (President of Blues Society Of The Ozarks), Joe Middleton, Liz Sander, Pamela McMillan (Guitar Mikey‘s lovely lady), Guy Malvezzi, Bear Longman, George & Kathie Lorah, CJ Jenkins, Sue Roper, Sam Hobart, Mary Rogers, John Darkhorse of KSMU 91.1 FM, J Hughey Burchfield, Bobby Rush, and Mike & Gwynn Hatfield, Dennis Brooks, Diedra, and Michelle Moore. Please forgive me for the many names I could not remember to include. In summary, this was a wonderful visit to an area so important to the blues, where fans gathered to celebrate their love and respect of this music and its traditions. The Arkansas Blues & Heritage Festival has a keen understanding of this sacred ritual and facilitates the proceedings with grace and dignity. In addition to honoring Sam Carr this year, many also reminisced other fallen blues heroes which were part of the festival tradition; Robert Lockwood, Jr., Frank Frost, John Weston, Sam Myers, and Willie King. The additional satellite activities happening around Helena and in nearby Clarksdale were also a big part of this rich experience. A heartfelt thank you to the Arkansas Blues & Heritage Festival for upholding and reinforcing the glory of the blues tradition, and for offering this gathering place for those of like mind.
– Bob Corritore
October 21, 2009
RIP Dennis Brooks 3/28/50 – 10/20/09 – Dennis Brooks is best known as the founder and former president of Memphis’ Beale Street Blues Society. He passed away on Tuesday, October 20th of a sudden heart attack. He was 59. Dennis was known by all as a tireless friend and supporter of the blues. He saw that blues artists would always have an airport pickup or a place to stay. Born and raised in Memphis, Dennis embraced his hometown music. He helped along and booked many artists including Blind Mississippi Morris, Richard Johnston, Super Chikan, Slick Ballinger and Jessie Mae Hemphill. He did extensive volunteer work for the Blues Foundation, Memphis in May and Blues Ball, produced the first Jug Band festival in Memphis, and he was a contributor to this newsletter. Dennis was also very involved in Memphis’ Jewish community. Just minutes before his heart attack he was enjoying a deep discussion on the blues with his friend Heidi Knochenhauer. Rest in peace Dennis, you served the blues well. Thanks to Charley Burch, Bruce Iglauer and Joe Whitmer for providing this information.
Rhythm Room All-Stars Appear Friday and Saturday at their Home Base: Come see The Rhythm Room All-Stars this weekend at the Rhythm Room! The Rhythm Room All-Stars lineup consists of Big Pete Pearson, Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey. They appear this Friday and Saturday, October 23rd and 24th, 2009 at their home base of the Rhythm Room. The Rhythm Room is located at 1019 E. Indian School Rd. in Phoenix. Doors open at 8pm, cover charge is $7. These nights will be patio smoking only events; no indoor smoking will be permitted. Rack Shack Barbecue will be available at these events.
Rootstime interview with Bob Corritore online! Bob Corritore was interviewed by Rootstime in May at the Spring Blues Festival in Belgium. To see this interview including photos click here then go to interviews. Thanks to Freddy Celis and everyone at Rootstime for this honor!
Dave Riley & Bob Corritore #1 on Collectif Des Radios Blues! Thanks to all the blues radio hosts in Europe and Canada who helped to make Dave Riley & Bob Corritore #1 on the CRB charts! Click here and scroll down the page to see the the Blues Radio Airplay section. Note also that Dave & Bob’s CD Lucky To Be Living on the Blue Witch Record label is #2 on the Power Blues charts (also listed on same page).
2009 inductions into the Arizona Blues Hall Of Fame! Congratulations to Long John Hunter, Tom Walbank, Scotty Spenner, and Big Nick & The Gila Monsters for their recent induction into the Arizona Blues Hall Of Fame. To see the ABHOF Website and the full list of ABHOF inductees click here.
Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival Recap coming soon! A complete recap of the amazing Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival, and Pinetop’s Homecoming at Hopson’s Plantation will be included in next week’s newsletter.
Bukka White on You Tube! Since Bukka White was recently honored with 2 new Mississippi Blues Trail Markers, it seems appropriate to share some nice film clips of this true blues master. Bukka’s trail markers were unveiled on October 14th in Aberdeen and Houston, Mississippi. Please enjoy Bukka performing “Mama Dont Allow” (click here), and “Poor Boy A long Away From Home” (click here).
October 19, 2009
RIP Johnny Jones 8/17/36-10/16/09 Nashville blues and soul singer/guitarist Johnny Jones passed away on Friday Oct 16th. He was 73. Born in Edes, Tennessee and raised in a gospel oriented family, Jones became influenced by the blues of Memphis and Chicago and picked up guitar along the way. He moved to Chicago in the 1950s and worked gigs with Junior Wells and Freddie King. He moved to Nashville in the 60s and worked as a session guitarist and cut a few singles under his own name. He appeared on the Beat TV show as a second guitarist in Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown’s Band. In later years, Jones owned and operated a Soul Food restaurant but was rediscovered through the efforts of Fred James and European festival bookers. This led to festival appearances, a new European interest in this seasoned veteran, and some CDs. A wonderful guitarist with a warm and passionate voice, Johnny Jones will be remembered as a great blues artist to those lucky enough to have known him. Please note that this artist should not be confused with the blues artist of same name, who was famous for his piano work with Elmore James. For the complete story click here.
October 13, 2009
RIP Freddie Robinson 2/24/39 – 10/8/09 Guitarist/vocalist Freddie Robinson, who would later become known as Abu Talib, passed away at a hospital in Lancaster, California on Thursday, Oct 8th at age 70 after a battle with cancer. A spectacular guitarist with leanings in both blues and jazz, he was highly respected among his peers. Born in Memphis on February 24th, 1939, and raised in various towns in Arkansas, Robinson would move to Chicago in 1956. His first recorded work was later that year backing Birmingham Jr. (AKA Birmingham Jones) on the Ebony single “Birmingham ‘s Late Hours” b/w “Your Too Bad”. He then did some great session work for the Chess label, backing Little Walter, Jimmy Rogers, and Howlin’ Wolf on a number of classic sides. He first recorded as a leader during the 1960s for the Queen, Raries, Limelight and One-derful record labels. During the late 1960’s he settled in California where he joined Ray Charles band for a period before re-emerging as a band leader. He went on to cut many spectacular albums, most notably At The Drive-In with the song “Bluesology” which is a spoken story with musical examples of the memorable times at Theresa’s basement blues bar in Chicago’s south side. Robinson’s discography includes records with Harold Burrage, Bobby Bland, Louis Myers, Big Leon Brooks, Lee Shot Williams, Stanley Turrentine, Blue Mitchell, Jimmy McCracklin, Monk Higgins, John Mayall, Shakey Jake, Gary Sloan, and Mitch Kashmar. In 1975 he embraced the Islam religion and a few years later changed his name to Abu Talib, though he sometimes used his established moniker when recording. Freddie Robinson was simply a cool guy;always perfectly dressed in the most soulful of clothes, always articulate in his speech, and always brilliant in his playing. To see a detailed Freddie Robinson discography (with some omissions) click here. Thanks for all the great music Freddie. We will remember you always.
October 6, 2009
Off to the Biscuit. Dave Riley / Bob Corritore CD Release Party Saturday at the Delta Cultural Center. The Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival, formerly known as the King Biscuit Festival, presents a three day run of great blues music from Thursday October 8, to Saturday Oct 10, in beautiful Helena, Arkansas. Helena is a town rich in blues history, and is most famous for the influential Sonny Boy Williamson II live blues broadcasts on the King Biscuit Time radio show on KFFA which was heard throughout the south. This year the festival will feel the absence of the recently deceased Sam Carr who’s legend was celebrated each year with a regular performance. Dave Riley, who played regularly with Carr will honor his late friend with a memorial set at 2:35 on Friday on the main stage. Other acts appearing in this years lineup are Hubert Sumlin, Willie Big “Eyes” Smith, Pinetop Perkins, Bob Margolin, Bobby Rush, Billy Boy Arnold, Lil’ Dave Thompson, John Primer, The Cate Brothers, Harmonica Shaw, Red Holloway, Michael Burks, Jackie Payne & Steve Edmondson, Mitch Kashmar, Arthur Williams, Eddie Cusic, Robert Belfour, Lonnie Shields, Super Chikan, Bill “Howlin’ Madd” Perry, Big Jack Johnson, Anson Funderburgh & The Rockets, John Hammond, Reba Russell. Hamilton Loomis and much, much more. To see the complete schedule and to see the fest’s wonderful website click here. In addition to the proper festival acts, Cherry Street will be filled with vendors and street musicians, Bubba’s Blues Corner (one of the coolest blues record stores in the universe) will be open extra hours and the Delta Cultural Center will host (open to the public) broadcasts by legendary blues DJ Sonny Payne on KFFA As a satellite event of the festival, the Delta Cultural Center will also present a Dave Riley & Bob Corritore CD Release party for their new CD Lucky To Be Living on the Blue Witch record label. The Party starts at 3:00PM on Saturday, October 10th at the Delta Cultural Center Annex, 223 Cherry Street, Helena, AR, 72342 (a few storefronts down from the Delta Cultural Center). Please join Dave Riley & Bob Corritore along with Dave Riley Jr. on bass and Tom Coulson on drums for a performance of straight down home blues. Thanks to Terry Buckalew and Carla Robinson for setting up the CD release party!
Pinetop’s Homecoming. Each year on the Sunday after the blues fest, the unofficial after party is the Pinetop Perkins. homecoming bash at Hopson’s Plantation in Clarksdale, Mississippi. So on Sunday, October 11th, beginning at 2pm, the party will start. The sheer number of musicians that perform at this event each year is simply beyond belief. The musicians listed to appear so far are Bob Margolin, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Bob Stroger, Guitar Mikey, Dave Riley & Bob Corritore,Frank Krakowski, Kenny Smith, Clay Swafford, Hubert Sumlin, Halldor Bragason (from Iceland), and Blue Mother Tupelo. Special thanks to Patricia Morgan, the newly elected president of the Blues Foundation, and is the manager of Pinetop Perkins and Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, who promotes this event each year. Pat is a simply amazing woman, who, in addition to the demands of looking out for Pinetop, makes sure that this event is flawlessly organized; kudos to Pat
Big Pete Pearson / Finger In Your Eye in preliminary list for Grammy nomination! The Grammy process starts by a label submitting possible entries to the academy, a committee reviewing those submissions, a preliminary “long list” which is voted on my NARAS members, and then the final 5 or 6 that make to the ballot from which the winner is decided by a second more formal vote. An actual Grammy “nominee” would properly be that final 5 or 6 in the short list. It is however an honor to make it to the point of the long list and Big Pete Pearson / Finger In Your Eye has made it to that list in the category of “Best Traditional Blues Album”. The “Trad Blues” long list this year has a total of 34 titles being considered, and along with Big Pete’s are CDs by our friends, Henry Gray, Duke Robillard, David Gross, Rick Estrin, Julien Brunetaud,Byther Smith, Nick Moss, Big Bill Morganfield, Johnnie Bassett, Koerner & Glover, Big Bill Morganfield, Saffire the Uppity Blues Woman, Chicago Blues / A Living History, John Hammond, Terry Hanck, Zakiya Hooker, Luther Kent, and more! It is an honor to have made it this far and in such good company. On a sad note, it appears that blues no longer has a category of it’s own on the Grammy ballot. Now blues and other types of music are lumped together in a category called “American Roots” which contains Traditional Blues Album and Contemporary Blues Album, along with other subcategories of Folk, Bluegrass, Americana, Hawaiian, Zydeco and Native American Music.
Dave Riley & Bob Corritore #5 on September Living Blues Chart plus new reviews! A big thank you to all the blues DJ’s who have given spins to Dave Riley & Bob Corritore / Lucky To Be Living on the Blue Witch record label. Jim McGrath reports that L2BL was # 5 on the Living Blues radio chart for the month of September! Also please check out all the new wonderful reviews we have posted (click here to see). L2BL is also “album of the month” on The Blues Connection out of The Netherlands, and #10 on the Roots Music Report blues chart of 9/25/09! A heartfelt thanks for all the support! Much appreciation to Betsie Brown of Blind Raccoon for orchestrating a great campaign for this release.
Arizona Blues Showdown Winner Announced! Congratulations to Arizona Showdown winner, The Sugar Thieves, formerly known as the Mikel Lander / Meredith Moore Band. The Sugar Thieves will represent Phoenix at the 2010International Blues Challenge put on by the Blues Foundation in Memphis on January 20, 21 and 22. This will be a return IBC appearance for the band as they competed last year also. Thanks to Kyle Diebler and the Phoenix Blues Society for another well run Arizona Blues Showdown.
Blues Blast Music Awards Lineup. The Blues Blast Music Awards, put on by Illinois Blues and Blues Blast Magazine, happens on Thursday, October 29, 7pm at Buddy Guy’s Legends The lineup for the show includes Kenny Neal, Nick Moss & The Flip Tops, Lurrie Bell, Billy Branch, Shirley Johnson, Albert Castiglia, John Primer, Billy Boy Arnold, Matthew Skollar,Carlos Johnson, Eden Brent, Cedric Burnside & Lightnin Malcom, Chris James & Patrick Rynn, Bob Corritore, Kilborn Alley Blues Band, Robin Rogers, The Insomniacs, Dave Herrero, Guy King, and Dave Gross. For more information on this event click here . Thanks to Illinois Blues for bringing people together to reflect on this year’s blues releases and achievements through this awards ceremony. For more information of the Blues Blast Music Awards, and to sign up for the Blues Blast newsletter, click here.
More Info On The Devils Music TV Series. More light on the filming of the televised BBC blues series called The Devils Music has come in from Alan Balfour from the UK. This fills in some information on the story told in the newsletter of Sept 24th (Click here to see). Alan reports: “They were filming/recording in various parts of Mississippi, Memphis, Chicago, New York and St Louis from January 20th through to February 3rd, 1976. There were 5 half hour programs all shown at the ungodly hour of 11.15pm on November 14th, 21st, 28th, and December 5th and 12th, 1976,” Thanks Alan.
RIP Alex “Easy Baby” Randle 8/3/1934 – 9/25/2009 : This sad news from Chicago area bassist and record producer Karl Meyer about the passing of Chicago blues harmonica great Easy Baby: Alex Randle, known to the world as “Easy Baby”, passed away Friday, September 25, 2009 after suffering from pneumonia. He was 75 years old. Alex “Easy Baby” Randle was born 1934 in Memphis, Tennessee. For the first seven years of his life, he lived in Michigan City, Mississippi, with his grandmother and uncle, before moving back to Memphis to attend school. His grandmother and uncle were harmonica players; so, it was natural for Easy Baby to pick up the harmonica. In the early 1950’s, when Easy Baby was still a teenager, he began playing professionally around Memphis while working a variety of odd jobs, including installing floors and shining shoes. While playing in the juke joints and gambling houses in Memphis, he befriended Howlin’ Wolf, James Cotton, and Joe Hill Louis, among others. In 1956, Easy Baby moved to Chicago. Throughout the 1950’s, 1960’s, and 1970’s Easy Baby sang and played all over Chicago, while working as a mechanic. He worked a long stint at the Rat Trap Inn in Chicago during the 1970s and made appearances at the Chicago Blues Festival in 1998, 2000, and 2003. Easy Baby released 2 records under his own name: Sweet Home Chicago Blues on the Barrelhouse label and If It Isn’t One Thing It’s Another on the Wolf record label. Additionally he had cuts on 3 harmonica anthologies: Bring Me Another Half-A-Pint on Barrelhouse, Low Blows on Rooster, and Blues Harmonica Orgy on Random Chance. Unreleased sides exist recorded for Steve Wisner during the 1970s which will someday see the light of day. Easy Baby had a beautiful high register voice and a sparse harmonica style (specializing in Chromatic and third position). He was a kind and gentle man and was one of a dwindling number of the old school Chicago blues harmonica masters. Click here to see Karl Meyer’s tribute page to Easy Baby.
RIP Terry Scott. 10/3/1948-10/1/2009 – Terry Scott is best known as the Vice President of the Phoenix Blues Society where he served the blues community with great dedication. Terry will be remembered as well for his work with Child Protective Services. He passed away Thursday, October 1st, after a long battle with cancer. He was 60. He will be greatly missed by all that knew him.
John Lee Hooker on You Tube. Please enjoy this 1960’s film clip of John Lee Hooker performing a solo version of his classic “Boom Boom”. Hearing this song without a band makes you realize the forcefulness of John Lee Hooker’s guitar. To see the clip click here.
September 24, 2009
- This Friday Tempe Center For The Arts presents Bob Corritore and His Blues Associates for the Lakeshore Jazz Series: On Friday, September 25, 2009, the Tempe Center For the Arts presents Bob Corritore’s Blues Bash as part of its Lakeshore Jazz Series. Bob will bring some of his closest musical associates with him: Tomcat Courtney, Dave Riley, Big Pete Pearson, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey. This is a rare opportunity to see blues in a state of the art performance center. The room that the performance will be held in will feature cabaret seating, and the stage will have a backdrop of a picture window with an amazing nighttime view overlooking Tempe Town Lake. Another special thing about this show is that it is all ages, which is hard to find in most blues presentations. Special thanks to series coordinator Woody Wilson for the honor of being included in this innovative series at such a beautiful venue! To find out more about this event and to purchase tickets, click here. To see some photos of Tempe Center For the Arts, click here, and to find out more about the Lakeshore Producer’s Jazz Series, click here.
- Bob Corritore’s Birthday Party this Saturday at the Rhythm Room! Bob will celebrate his 53rd birthday on Saturday, September 26, 2009, with a blues gala at the Rhythm Room, 1019 E. Indian School Rd. in Phoenix. Included in the lineup are The Rhythm Room All-Stars (Big Pete Pearson, Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey), Dave Riley, Long John Hunter, and some surprise guests! Doors open at 8pm, and the party starts immediately! Bob requests that no gifts be brought. To see the flier for this event, click here.
- More Great Spins & Reviews for Dave Riley & Bob Corritore / Lucky To Be Living! Thanks to everyone who came to support the CD release party at the Rhythm Room on September 12, 2009. It was a capacity crowd with great performances and much love in the room. Thanks to Larry Rodgers of the Arizona Republic for the elaborate article that week. Thanks to Terry Ward at KJZZ for the radio piece previewing the event. Thanks to Craig Outhier of the Phoenix New Times for the great article and to David Marshall Pryce of Phoenix VIP Events for the promotional push. Thanks to Roy Prescott for the recent live phone interview with Dave and Bob on Blues Summit, WMWV 93.5FM, Conway, NH. Thanks to publicist Betsie Brown of Blind Raccoon for her tireless efforts in promoting this CD, and special thanks to Blue Witch Records for the new banner ads at The Blues Foundation site and great ads in Blues Revue, Living Blues, and Big City Blues, and for believing in this CD. Thanks to Roots Music Report as Lucky To Be Living charted at #16 for the week of September 11, 2009. Thanks to the Blues Festival Guide and Blues Blast Magazine for featuring this CD in recent editions of their newsletters. To see the reviews so far, including a few new ones, click here Thanks to all the radio stations around the world for the spins. In addition to the three extensive lists of stations we have included in past newsletters, we have become aware that the following stations have also added Lucky To Be Living into rotation:B.B. King’s Bluesville , Sirius/XM Satellite Radio (Bill Wax)Blues And Folk, Hamburger Lokalradio, Hamburg, Germany (Ursula Goretzky)Rock ‘n Blues Today, Radio RCC, Umbertide, Italy (Simone Bargelli) Virus de Blues, MDM Radio 101.1FM, L’Isle d’Abeau, France (Jean-Pierre Savouyaud)Closing Time, Radio Primitive, Reims, France (Gérald Aubepart)CR Blues, Radio Canut 102.2FM, Lyon, France (Michel Filiod)Rollin’ With The Blues, KMXT 101.1FM, Kodiak, AK (Fred Hawley)
Let The Good Times Roll, CIUT-FM 89.5, Toronto, Canada (John Valenteyn)
Le Blues Vous va si Bien, Radio Trouble Fete 95.4, Limoges, France (Serge Levet)
Smokestack Lightnin’, Various Stations across the USA, (Paul Newnum)
Smokin’ Bluz, WRFX 99.7FM, Charlotte, NC (Rick Bellew)
Highway 61, Radio Voce Spazio, Allesandria, Italy (Massimo Ferro)
Crossroads, Radio Grille Ouverte, Ales, France (Bobby Hiebler)
Take Names Later Blues, KUNR 88.7FM, Reno, NV (Roger Slugg)
The Fish Fry, KCUR 89.3FM, Kansas City, MO (Charles Haddix)
Triple R Blues Radio, Live360.com, Pannigen, The Netherlands (Ton Wanten)
Blues At Sunrise, KRVX 91.7FM, Austin, TX (DJ Smokehouse Brown)
Marty Kool’s Blues Review, KXCI 91.3FM, Tucson, AZ (Marty Kool)
Back Alley Blues Show, KSPQ 94FM, Springfield, MO (Robert Lynn)
Hot Time, Couleurs FM 97.1FM, L’Isle d’Abeau. France (Francis Rateau)
Good Morning Blues, WRFG 89.3FM, Atlanta, GA (Bill & Pat Hudson)
Juz Bluz, 3WAY-FM 103.7, Warrnambool, Australia (Martin “Lester” Dunstan)
The Blues Highway, KLBC 1610AM, Long Beach, CA (Pat Graham)
Sidestream, Station 4 Red 99.7FM, Brisbane, Australia (Arthur Elliott)
Headless Chickens, 3WAY-FM, Warrnambool, Australia (Garry Dalton)
89.1 Jazz, WEMU 89.1FM, Ypsilanti, MI (Linda Yohn)
Nothing But The Blues, Podcast, Loughborough, England (Cliff Libsyn)
WYCE 88.1FM, Grand Rapids, MI (general station programming)
Blues Time, South Australian Roots and Blues, Podcast, Tea Tree Gully, Australia (David Stroeket)
Blues Highway, KLBC 1610AM Long Beach, CA (Pat Graham)
- Photographer Ray Flerlage’s Blues Photos Appear in New Folk Music Book! Robert Riesman reports the following: “I’m writing because the publisher ECW has released Chicago Folk, the new book of Ray Flerlage’s photos of the Chicago folk scene of the 1960’s. I’ve co-edited the book, along with folk music historian Ron Cohen, and the performers include blues artists such as Son House, Mississippi John Hurt, Big Joe Williams, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Johnny Shines,Washboard Sam, and Luther Allison. You might also be interested in knowing that ECW is also simultaneously reissuing Chicago Blues, the previously-released book of Ray’s exceptional blues photos”. Thanks, Robert, for this good news!
- Thank you, Phoenix New Times! A big thanks to the Phoenix New Times for highlighting Bob Corritore in the just out annual “Best Of Phoenix” issue. Bob was dubbed “Best Blues Man” by this issue for his contributions to the Phoenix music scene. To see this article, click here. The New Times also gave the Readers’ Choice Award to the Rhythm Room as best “Blues or Jazz Club”.
- Sam Carr Funeral Information: Funeral services for legendary blues drummer Sam Carr will be held this Saturday, September 26, 2009, 11am at the Century Funeral Home, 506 Ashton Ave., Clarksdale, MS 38614-5638, (662)627-4182. Sam passed away on September 21, 2009 at age 83. Sam was a pivotal figure in the southern blues scene, and will be greatly missed by all blues fans.
- Arizona Blues Showdown: The Phoenix Blues Society hosts the annual Arizona Blues Showdown preliminary rounds at the Rhythm Room this Sunday, September 27, 2009. The competitors will vie for slots at the final rounds the following week, and the winners enjoy the privilege of competing at The Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge in February 2010 in Memphis. Best of luck to all the competitors, and what a great night of blues for all the fans! Doors open at 6:30pm, cover charge is $6. The Rhythm Room is located at 1019 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85014.
- Henry Gray Grammy® Nomination Information: Henry Gray, Louisiana’s oldest active legendary traditional blues pianist and vocalist, whose career spans over seven decades, has the honor of having his new CD Times Are Gettin’ Hard listed as an entry for consideration for a Grammy® nomination. Henry worked with many of the greatest traditional blues legends – Howlin’ Wolf (1956-1968), Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Elmore James, Jimmy Reed, Jimmy Rogers, Big Maceo Merriweather, Dusty Brown, and Robert Lockwood, Jr. to name a few. So, if you are a voting member of NARAS, Henry would appreciate your consideration of his project, Henry Gray & The Cats / Times Are Gettin’ Hard – as a choice for a nomination. If you are not a voting member, please pass this on to others who may be voting members.
- 1976 BBC Blues Filming on YouTube! This set of videos come with a story, as I had the coincidental privilege of being at their filming. I believe that these were done in 1976, but I cannot recall the exact date. The filming took place at Eddie’s Place, also known as The 1815 Club, located at 1815 West Roosevelt on the West Side of Chicago. I was no stranger to this club, as I had gone to see Howlin’ Wolf there many times, as well as other bands such as Mighty Joe Young, Otis Rush, Johnny Littlejohn, and Eddie Shaw and the Wolf Gang (Howlin’ Wolf’s band who went on after Wolf died). I once saw Freddie King hanging out there with his old friend Eddie Shaw. I called the 1815 Club one night during the week to see who would be playing over the weekend. The woman who answered the phone asked if I was coming down tonight, since they were having a BBC blues filming. So off I went to see what was up, not even knowing what artists would be playing. Since this filming was early in the week on a Tuesday or Wednesday (if I recall correctly), there were very few people at the club. Mainly the artists performing, the bar staff, the film crew, a few band friends and club patrons were there. This show was not advertised anywhere, and seemed to be on the QT. When I walked in, The Aces were playing, and later in the set, various artists would join them one at a time: Billy Boy Arnold, Good Rockin’ Charles, and Joe Carter. Note that The Aces (best known as Little Walter’s band in the early stages of his solo career for Chess) were one of the most respected blues groups in Chicago, and were often featured as a prime backing band for numerous sessions and musical occasions. The Aces featured Louis Myers on guitar (sometimes harmonica) and vocals, Louis’s brother Dave Myers on the bass, and Fred Below on the drums. After The Aces performed an easy rockin’ version of the Robert Lockwood, Jr. classic “Take A Little Walk With Me“, each of the guest artists called up would do just a song or two with The Aces as their backing band. At that time, film was very expensive, so there were no retakes and very little time between songs. After The Aces and guests completed their part of the program, Fenton Robinson and his band took the stage and did a few numbers. The night seemed to be over after around an hour of filming. I seem to recall that Andrew “Big Voice” Odom was there, but did not perform. I understand that these films were later edited and aired on Alexis Korner’s BBC television special called The Devil’s Music, shown only in the UK. Years later the audio from this night came out on a Red Lightning LP called by the same name as the TV show. That album lists a late January filming date, which I think might not be exactly correct. Anyway, I hope this little background story will add to your enjoyment of these wonderful clips.The Aces – ”Take A Little Walk With Me”, click hereGood Rockin’ Charles – ”Don’t Start Me To Talkin’”, click hereFenton Robinson – ”Somebody Loan Me A Dime”, click hereFenton Robinson – ”Don’t Know What Love Is”, click hereBilly Boy Arnold – ”She Fooled Me”, click here
September 21, 2009
- RIP Sam Carr 4/17/1926-9/21/2009: This terrible news just in from Dave Riley: beloved Mississippi blues drummer and band leader Sam Carr has passed away. He was 83. Sam was born into legend as the son of guitarist / vocalist Robert Nighthawk. Sam is best known for his longtime association with Frank Frost & The Jelly Roll Kings. He was considered one of the greatest blues drummers of all time, and was annually nominated for a Blues Music Award (AKA Handy Award) in the drummer category. He had been struggling with health issues over the last few years, and recently lost his longtime wife Doris, which forced him to live in a nursing facility. For a complete Sam Carr bio by Scott Barretta, click here.
September 11, 2009
- Dave Riley & Bob Corritore CD Release Party on Saturday, September 12, 2009 at the Rhythm Room: The new Dave Riley & Bob Corritore CD Lucky To Be Living was officially released on Tuesday, September 8, 2009. A CD release party happens this Saturday, September 12, 2009 at the Rhythm Room, 1019 E. Indian School Road in Phoenix with music by the Dave Riley / Bob Corritore Juke Joint Blues Band (Dave, Bob, Dave Riley, Jr., and Brian Fahey). The CD has been released with much fanfare, and you can see the accumulating reviews the CD has received by clicking here. Come by Saturday night to enjoy the festivities and pick up a CD.
- Tucson CD Release Party for Big Pete Pearson / Finger In Your Eye on Friday, September 18, 2009! Big Pete Pearson’s new album Finger In Your Eye will be celebrated on Friday, September 18, 2009 with a CD release party at Old Town Artisans in Tucson as part of Jonathan Holden’s famed Rhythm And Roots series. The Rhythm Room All-Stars (Big Pete Pearson, Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey) will perform and CDs will be available. Old Town Artisans is located at 201 N. Court, Tucson, AZ 85701 in the downtown Tucson area. To find out more about this event and the Rhythm And Roots series, click here. Thanks to blues DJ Marty Kool of Tucson’s KXCI for featuring Finger In Your Eye on his radio show.
- Bisbee Blues Festival on Saturday, September 19, 2009! Rhythm Room All-Stars to Perform and Back Up Pinetop Perkins! The small but mighty Bisbee Blues Festival will enjoy its fifth annual addition on Saturday, September 19, 2009. The beautiful and historic border town of Bisbee keeps expanding the festival, and this year they have moved the festival from the downtown area to the Warren Ball field to accommodate the growing popularity of the event. The lineup this year includes The Tommy Castro Band, Pinetop Perkins, The Rhythm Room All-Stars, Train Wreck, The Sugar Thieves (Formerly known as Mikel Lander / Meridith Moore Band), and The King Bees. For more information about the Bisbee Blues Festival and to order tickets, click here.
- Lightnin’ Book Announced! This information from Alan Balfour about a forthcoming book: Lightnin’ Hopkins: His Life and Blues by Alan Govenar, Chicago Review Press, to be released May 2010. This biography delves into Hopkins‘ early years, debunking the myths surrounding his meetings with Blind Lemon Jefferson and Texas Alexander, his time on a chain gang, his women, and his life-long appetite for gambling and drinking. Hopkins didn’t begin recording until 1946, when he was dubbed “Lightnin’” during his first session, and he soon joined Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker on the national charts. But by the time he was “rediscovered” by Mack McCormick and Sam Charters in 1959, his popularity had begun to wane. A second career emerged – now Lightnin’ was pitched to white audiences, not black ones, and he became immensely successful, singing about his country roots and the injustices that informed the civil rights era with a searing emotive power. More than a decade in the making, this biography is based on scores of interviews with Lightnin’s relatives, friends, lovers, producers, accompanists, managers, and fans.
- September 11th Blues: We take time out on this day to reflect on the tragic events of 8 years ago, and if there ever was a blues moment, September 11th is it. Louisiana Red wrote and recorded his tribute song, “September 11th Blues” in memoriam to the loss of life on September 11, 2001. This song appears on Red’s CD No No Turn On Red, and can be heard on Red’s MySpace.
- Bob’s Birthday Party Announced! Bob Corritore will celebrate his 53rd birthday with a blues party on Saturday September 26, 2009 at the Rhythm Room, 1019 E. Indian School Rd. in Phoenix. Appearing that night will be The Rhythm Room All-Stars (Big Pete Pearson, Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, Brian Fahey), Dave Riley, and some surprise guests! To see the flier for this event, click here.
- Memphis Slim on YouTube! Please enjoy this film clip of blues piano master Memphis Slim playing blues and boogie in a series of 4 songs. Click here to see.
September 3, 2009
- The Rhythm Room’s Down Home Blues Fest This Weekend To Feature Henry Gray, Elmore James, Jr., Rhythm Room All-Stars, and Dave Riley & Bob Corritore! The Rhythm Room combines a stunning combination of great traditional blues talent to make up the lineup for this Sunday’s annual Down Home Blues Festival. Henry Gray is one of the greatest living piano legends from the postwar Chicago era. Though Pinetop Perkins is, of course, considered the greatest living blues piano player, and is Henry’s elder, Henry actually performed on more classic Chicago sides in the 1950s including songs with Jimmy Rogers, Billy Boy Arnold, Little Walter, Jimmy Reed, Morris Pejoe, Dusty Brown, and of course, Howlin’ Wolf. Elmore James, Jr. is the son of Elmore James, and is a great vocalist and slide guitarist in his father’s style. Though an elder statesmen of the blues, Elmore Jr. has just recently come into international attention for his fine 2008 debut album Daddy Gave Me The Blues on JSP Records (lovingly produced by Cadillac Zack), which won a Living Blues Award for “Best New Recording”. Look for a forthcoming Elmore James, Jr. CD on the Wolf record label. The Rhythm Room All-Stars with Big Pete Pearson, Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey will both serve as the house band, and perform their own music. Dave Riley and Bob Corritore will reunite after a summer apart, and will kick off the proceedings with a duet set including selections from their forthcoming CD Lucky To Be Living. Nothing but good old fashioned down home blues all night! The show takes place on Sunday, September 6, 2009, with a 7pm doors open and 8pm showtime. The Rhythm Room is located at 1019 E. Indian School Rd. in Phoenix.
- Papa Lightfoot to be Honored with Mississippi Blues Trail Marker: George “Papa” Lightfoot was a spectacular harmonica player with a style all his own. He recorded some simply wild blues sides during the 1950s that are now considered standard-bearers of the blues harmonica. To hear some of his songs including his wild, rockin’ harmonica-led version of “When The Saints Go Marching In“, check out his MySpace by clicking here. On Friday, September 4, 2009, the State of Mississippi will sponsor the unveiling ceremony of the new Mississippi Blues Trail Marker for Papa Lightfoot in his hometown of Natchez, MS. The event happens at Jack Waite Park on McCabe Street at 6:30pm. Thank you to the state of Mississippi Division of Tourism and consultant Jim O’Neal for recognizing this great talent. To find out more about the Mississippi Blues Trail Marker project, click here.
- Blues On The North Shore Video Clips Posted: On June 12th of this year, an event called Blues On The North Shore honored the 30th anniversary of Michael Frank’s famed Earwig Music record label This event was filmed and will be aired later this year on a feature documentary (more information forthcoming on that). To see some recently posted film clips of performances by Honeyboy Edwards, Big Jack Johnson, Chris James & Patrick Rynn, Johnny Drummer, and John Primer, click here. We are especially proud of the clip of Chris James & Patrick Rynn from that night, performing their highly recognized song “Mister Coffee” with a great band that includes Bob Corritore, Allen Batts, and Willie “Big Eyes” Smith! Click here to see.
- New Reviews and Airplay for Forthcoming Dave Riley & Bob Corritore CD: The early reaction to Dave Riley & Bob Corritore’s new CD Lucky To Be Living, due out September 8, 2009 on the Blue Witch record label has been just great! Betsie Brown’s promotion campaign and this CD seem to be a good combination. To contact Betsie Brown of Blind Raccoon, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. One great bit of news is that House Of Blues Radio Hour, a nationally syndicated blues show with great mainstream appeal will feature the song “On My Way” as Elwood Blues (AKA Dan Akroyd)’s favorite new song. This segment will air the weekend of Oct 24, 2009 on numerous stations throughout the US and Canada (click here to see the list of stations House Of Blues Radio Hour is aired on. Lucky To Be Living has debuted at # 42 for its first week on the Roots Music Report. We also have some great new reviews posted and the following stations have let us know they are giving Lucky To Be Living spins!Nothing But The Blues, KUNV 91.5FM, Las Vegas, NV (Brian “The Blues Doctor” Spencer)The Wind Of The Blues, Sur Radio Quartz 105FM, Mons, Belgium (Urbain Tanguy)Blues With A Feeling, KZSU 90.1FM, Stanford CA (Byrd Hale)Dan’s Blues Room, WRBC 91.5FM Lewiston, ME (Dan LaCasse)Bluespower, Radio Wesser TV, 90.7FM or 96.95 on cable, Bremerhaven, Germany (Erhard Albrecht)Cross’blues, Radio Alpine Meilleure 93.7FM Grenoble, France (Michel Faton)KK’s Blues Radio, 2SER 107.3FM Sydney, Australia (Colin Briscoe)
Blues And Beyond, WMRW 95.1FM Warren, VT (Ben Sanders)
Blues On The Move, KPFT 90.1FM Houston, TX (Mr. and Mrs. V.)
Top Blues, Blues Internet Radio Live365.com (Terry O’)
Star Blues, Star Radio 107FM, Cambridge/Ely, UK (Gary Blue)
Blue Mondays, KRTS 93.5FM Marfa, TX (Mark Pollock)
Blues At Sunrise, KVRX 91.7FM Austin, TX (DJ Smokehouse Brown)
The Big Blue Kitchen, WVKR 91.3FM Poughkeepsie, NY (Nick Delay)
Bad Dog Blues, WITR 89.7FM Rochester, NY (Gary Reinhard)
Nothing But The Blues, KUNV 91.5FM, Las Vegas, NV (Brian “The Blues Doctor” Spencer)
Roadhouse Twang, KWMR, Point Reyes Station, CA (Kay Clements)
Blues In The Dark, CRFO 102.7FM, Vancouver, Canada (Ron Simmonds)
The Voice Of The Blues (Glosem Bluesa), Radio Sefra 102.2FM, Torun, Poland (Przemek Draheim)
Por los Senderos del Blues, Horizonte 107.9FM, Mexico City, Mexico (Raúl de la Rosa)
Blues Train, Dublin City Radio 103.2FM Dublin, Ireland (Charlie Hussey)
Restless Mornings, KGNU 88.5FM Boulder, CO (Roger Wise)
AJ’s Kitchen/Good Morning Blues, WRFG 89.3FM Atlanta, GA (AJ)
Mojo Blues, O2 Radio 91.3FM, Cenon, France (Joëlle Maraton)
Friends Of The Blues Radio Show, WKCC 91.1FM, Kankakee, IL (Shuffle Shoes, The Blues Guru & Dr. Skyy Dobro)
Bluestimen, Radio Ung 106.9FM, Kristiansand, Norway (Bjørn Wiksaas)
Tecka’s Tracks, HOTFM 106.7FM, Victoria, Australia (Terry Iredale)
Jazz & Blue Tour, Alphen Stad FM 105.4FM, Alphen aan den Rijn, Netherlands (Joost van Steen)
The Juke Joint, WCMU, Pleasant, MI (Robert Barclay)
Boom Boom, Equinox Radio/Frequency Plus, Beez, Belgium (Olivier Anciaux)
Green Revival & Medicine Show, KGLP 91.7FM, Gallup, NM (Tom Funk)
Pulsion 70, Radio Aria, France (Michel Ruer)
Route 66, Colmar, Radio Libre 103.5FM France (David Baerst)
Case Of The Monday Blues, WMHB 89.7FM, Waterville, ME (Jeff)
Saturday Night Blues Party, KRWP 107.7FM, Stockton, MO (Brian Sullivan)
If you add the above to the stations we listed over the last 2 weeks’ newsletters, you have quite a great radio response. Thanks to everyone who has played this record and apologies to anyone who we did not yet mention.
- Big Pete Pearson/Finger In your Eye Gets More Great Reviews! Big Pete’s recent VizzTone release Finger In Your Eye continues to rack up great reviews, which can be seen by clicking here. Finger In Your Eye also just came in as #12 on the August Living Blues Radio Charts (it was also #12 in the July charts). Thanks to VizzTone for their great support, and for the beautiful ad in the recent issue of Blues Revue. Big Pete will have a Tucson release party for this CD on September 18, 2009 at Old Town Artisans, located at 201 N. Court, Tucson, AZ 85701 in the downtown Tucson area. To find out more about this event and the Rhythm And Roots series, click here.
- Steve Cushing’s Historic Blues Interviews to Become a New Book! Steve Cushing is the host and producer of the syndicated radio program Blues Before Sunrise, which is one of the greatest historically minded blues programs in the world. Over the show’s 29 years, Steve has had in-depth interviews with great artists and producers, and many of these will appear in a new book called Blues Before Sunrise: The Interviews. Included are interviews with Jody Williams, John & Grace Brim, Johnny Williams, Little Hudson, Yank Rachell, Alberta Hunter, Jesse Thomas, Grey Ghost, Ralph Bass, Cadillac Baby, Tommy Brown, and more! Look for this book to be released in January, published by University of Illinois Press.
- Cisco Ottawa Blues Festival reviewed in Bluessource! The online blues magazine Bluessource has reviewed the amazing Cisco Ottawa Blues Festival in both words and photos. Check out the article by Bill Barclay by clicking here, and a slide show by Bill (click here), and a slide show by Bob Worral (click here). Included are photos of Hubert Sumlin, Diunna Greenleaf, Cedric Burnside & Lightnin’ Malcolm, The Rhythm Room All-Stars, Louisiana Red, Daddy Mack, Henry Butler, Eden Brent, David Maxwell, Paul Reddick, Bharath Rajakumar, Junior Watson, Craig Horton, Ann Rabson, Sugar Blue,Buckwheat Zydeco, Zac Harmon, Larry Garner, and many others.
- Sleepy John Estes On YouTube! Please enjoy this wonderful film clip of Sleepy John Estes with Yank Rachell from 1966. John had such an expressive voice, and his subtle guitar, while unadorned, always set up some great accompaniment. The interaction between Sleepy John Estes‘ voice and guitar with Yank Rachell’s spellbinding mandolin is just beautiful on this great version of “Mailman Blues“. Click here to see.
August 31, 2009
- RIP Gospel Legend Marie Knight 6/1/1925-8/30/2009: This sad news just in from M.C. Records; this is their announcement verbatim: With heavy hearts, M.C. Records announces the death of gospel legend Marie Knight. She died in New York City on August 30, 2009 due to complications from pneumonia. Marie first came to prominence in 1946 when she met and started working with Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Together they would be one of the most popular gospel artists of the 1940’s, and make music history through a string of gospel hits including “Didn’t It Rain“, “Up Above My Head“, and the gorgeous “Beams of Heaven“. Marie Knight and Sister Rosetta Tharpe would tour frequently together through the 1950’s. In the 1960’s, Marie had several R&B hits, but in 1970’s Marie rededicated herself to gospel music and became a minister at the Gates of Prayer Church in New York City.Marie Knight’s recent comeback began in 2002 when producer and M.C. Records owner Mark Carpentieri invited Marie to record on Shout, Sister, Shout!: A Tribute To Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Mark recalls the phone call. “Gayle Wald, who was writing the liner notes for the project, asked me if I had contacted Marie Knight about participating in the project. I didn’t know she was still alive! I called Marie, and she sounded so vibrant that I arranged studio time, and we’ve been working together ever since.”After the release of Shout, Sister, Shout!: A Tribute To Sister Rosetta Tharpe (MC-0050), tour work came in regularly for Marie Knight. In 2007, Mark Carpentieri put together Marie Knight’s first full-length album in over 25 years, Let Us Get Together. The project was a tribute to Rev. Gary Davis, and was co-produced with Larry Campbell (Bob Dylan, Ollabelle,Levon Helm). The record was a critical success, with great reviews from The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and many more.You can listen to a live recorded concert featuring Marie via The Woodsongs Radio Hour recorded in February 2008, and click on show number 470.Here are some YouTube links to check out: video 1, video 2, and video 3.
August 31, 2009
- RIP Jesse Fortune 2/28/1930-8/31/2009: Word just in from Susan Koester that blues vocalist Jesse Fortune passed away early this morning after collapsing onstage during his performance at the Playmate Lounge. He was 79. Jesse Fortune was a blues singer of the highest order. He was born in Macon, Mississippi in 1930, and grew up around Hattiesburg. He was greatly influenced by the vocals of B.B. King. In 1952, he relocated to Chicago, and became a highly respected singer on the windy city blues circuit. His first recording session was arranged and produced by Willie Dixon for the USA record label in 1963. The session featured Buddy Guy and Big Walter Horton as sidemen, and yielded 4 brilliant songs, including theDixon-penned “Too Many Cooks”, for which Fortune is best known. “Too Many Cooks” would later be recorded by Robert Cray, and it has become a highly-covered number among blues bands. After a period of musical inactivity during the 70s and 80s where Jesse supported himself as a barber, his musical career was reactivated with a spectacular 1993 release,Fortune Tellin’ Man, on the Delmark record label, featuring great backing from Dave Specter and his band. Jesse’s recent appearances around Chicago showcased an artist of great ability. He left us doing what he loved, and we will always love him for the great blues he brought us. To read the Chicago Tribune obituary, click here.
August 28, 2009
- Dave Riley & Bob Corritore First Reviews, Media Reaction, & More Airplay: Dave Riley & Bob Corritore’s new album, Lucky To Be Living will be released on September 8, 2009 on the Blue Witch Record Label. We are very excited about the exceptional reaction that this CD is receiving by the media. Check out the first 4 reviews of this CD, which we have posted online (click here to read). Lucky To Be Living has debuted at #20 on the Real Blues Magazine top 100 chart! Radio stations continue to add us to their playlist. In addition to the ones we posted in last week’s newsletter, these blues shows from near and far have let us know that we are in rotation:Highway Blues, KZUM 89.3FM, Lincoln, NE (Al Lundy)Soul Stew, WEVL 89.9FM, Memphis, TN (Brett Fleming)Blues Power, WOAB 104.9FM, Dothan, AL (Gil Anthony)Sweet Home Chicago, Radio 66 99.1FM, Bonnemaison, France (Marc Loison)Blues Summit, WMWV 93.5FM, Conway, NH (Roy Prescott)Antique Blues, WPKN 88.7FM, Bridgeport, CT (Bill Nolan)Blues, WBFO 88.7FM, Buffalo, NY (Jim Santella, Anita West, and Debbie Sims)
Blues Review, KXCI 91.3FM. Tucson, AZ (Marty Kool)
Chicken Shack Alley, KDHX 88.1FM, St. Louis, MO (Rich Barta)
Radio Blues Intense, 104.4 FM/98.2FM Avergne-Limousin, France (Luc Brunot)
Juke Joint Blues & Soul, Radio France Bleu Drome Ardeche, 87.9FM, Valence, France (Jean-Luc Vabres)
Radio Baker Street, Radio Menergy, Albi, France (Xavier Boulanger)
Jazz & Blues Tour Radio, ICT Network, Zuid-Holland, NL (Joost Van Steen)
Saturday Night Blues Party, WFPK 91.9FM, Louisville, KY (Kevin Yazell)
Canal Blues, Radio Canal Bleu, Objat, France (Serge Warin)
Edged In Blue, KKFI 90.1FM, Kansas City, MO (Wendy Neutzler)
Town and Country Radio, 783 KHzAM, Wellington, New Zealand (Eddie O’Strange)
Thursday’s R&B Revue, WMUA 91.1FM, Amherst, MA (Katie Wright and David Hart)
The South Side, KHUM 104.3 and 104.7FM, Humboldt County, CA (Chas Lewis)
The Roadhouse Podcast (Roadhouse Tony)
Bluespower, Radio Wesser TV, 90.7FM or 96.95 on cable, Bremerhaven, Germany (Erhard Albrecht)
La Hora Del Blues, Radio Pica, 96.6FM, Barcelona Spain (Vicente “Harmonica” Zumel)
Du Blues Sinon Rien, Radio Béton, Tours, France (Jean-Louis Poirier)
Red Hot And Cool, BayFM 99.9, Byron Bay, Australia (Anthony Moulay)
Maxwell Street Internet Radio, Echillais, France (Alain Enjalbert)
D’Auteuil, CKRL 89.1FM Quebec City, Canada (Michel Dubois)
Blue Soul, Radio Holstebro 97.4FM and 89.0 Cable, Holstebro, Denmark (Kjell Andreassen)
Doc’s Juke Joint, WGMC 90.1FM, Rochester, NY (Greg “Doc” Lefebre)
Hammered By The Blues, KOWZ 1170AM, Owatonna, MN (John “Blueshammer” Hammer)
Mystery Train, PNR 96.4FM, Novi Ligure, Italy (Roberto Rossi)
At the Crossroads, a syndicated show with various stations throughout Canada (Brant Zwicker)
Bluesgroove Shuffle internet radio plus BBB FM 89.1, Tanunda, South Australia (Tess Coleman)
Eight To The Bar With Tarr, KMFB 92.7 96.7FM Mendocino, CA (Les Tarr)
Dave’s Blues Mix, Star FM Radio, Tasmania, Australia (Dave Barker)
House Of Blues Radio Hour, a syndicated program aired on many stations (Elwood Blues AKA Dan Akroyd)
Jim’s Juke Joint & Soul Kitchen, WXLV 90.3FM, Schnecksville, PA (Jim Hynes)
A heartfelt thank you for the support of this record! Thanks also to Betsie Brown of Blind Raccoon for a great start to this record’s promotion!
- Blues Blast Music Awards Announces Partial Entertainment Lineup: The 2nd Annual Blues Blast Music Awards take place on Thursday, October 29, 2009 at Buddy Guy’s Legends in Chicago. Blues Blast Magazine has listed a partial lineup of nominees who will perform at the event These include Kenny Neal, Nick Moss & The Flip Tops, Shirley Johnson, Albert Castiglia, John Primer, Chris James & Patrick Rynn w/ Bob Corritore, Kilborn Alley Blues Band, Robin Rogers, The Insomniacs, Dave Herrero, Guy King, and Dave Gross. More to be announced soon! Voting for the Blues Blast Music Awards ends August 31, 2009 (please remember Chris James and Patrick Rynn as you cast your votes). You can see a complete listing of all nominees, sign up for the Blues Blast newsletter, and place your votes by clicking here.
- Nappy Brown Memorial Show: On Sunday, October 18, 2009 at The Double Door Inn in Charlotte, North Carolina, a memorial show to honor the late Nappy Brown will take place. The lineup includes Mookie Brill, Maurice Williams, Mac Arnold, Audrey Turner, Robin Rogers, Betty Pride, Scott Cable, Bob Margolin, and more! Tickets are $15 at the door and $12 in advance. Doors will open at 5pm, the show will begin at 6pm. The Double Door Inn is located at 1218 Charlottetowne Ave., Charlotte, NC 28204. Those who are unable to attend, but wish to contribute to this worthy cause may send donations to the Charlotte Blues Society. Proceeds from the event will go towards placing a headstone on Nappy’s final resting place, in loving tribute to the beautiful music he gave the world while he was alive.
- Arizona Blues Showdown: The Phoenix Blues Society will sponsor the Arizona Blues Showdown at the Rhythm Room on Sunday, September 27, 2009 (preliminary rounds) and Sunday, October 4, 2009 (finals). The winner of the showdown earns a place to compete in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. For more information and to enter, please contact the Phoenix Blues Society.
- Son House Bio To Be Published In 2010! Guitarist/vocalist Son House was a powerful, impassioned performer and a pivotal figure in Delta Blues. University of Rochester professor Dan Beaumont has has announced his forthcoming book, Preachin’ the Blues: The Life And Music Of Son House. This is the first full-length biography of Son House, and will be published by Oxford University Press in 2010. More information on this as it comes to us! Thanks to esteemed blues researcher and writer Alan Balfour for the tip.
- Photos Posted and Great Review Of The Spring Blues Festival in Belgium: In May, The Rhythm Room All-Stars (Big Pete Pearson, Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey) appeared at the wonderful Spring Blues Festival in Ecausinnes, Belgium with a great lineup that also included Joe Louis Walker, Sugar Ray & The Bluetones, James Harman, Mac Arnold, Fruteland Jackson & Bob Hall, and Jimson Weed. Photographer Urbain Tanguy captured the magic of this event in his photos. Click here to enjoy some great images from the Spring Blues Festival. Thank you, Urbain. Also, a published review of the festival by Mike Stephenson appeared in the latest issue of Blues and Rhythm Magazine (No 242, September, 2009), with some very nice words about the event and The Rhythm Room All-Stars‘ set. Thanks Mike!
- Bob’s Busy Fall Performance Schedule! Bob’s upcoming schedule is filled with exciting lineups of players, great festivals and events, at spectacular places:
Sunday, September 6, 2009 – The Down Home Blues Festival at the Rhythm Room Phoenix, AZ. This year’s festival features Elmore James, Jr. (the son of Elmore James), Henry Gray (one of the greatest blues piano players alive), The Rhythm Room All-Stars (Big Pete Pearson, Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey) and the down-home duet of Dave Riley and Bob Corritore. The show takes place on Sunday, September 6, 2009, with a 7pm doors open and 8pm showtime. The Rhythm Room is located at 1019 E. Indian School Rd. in Phoenix.
Saturday, September 12, 2009 – The Dave Riley / Bob Corritore Juke Joint Blues Band host a CD release party for Lucky To Be Living at the Rhythm Room in Phoenix. Doors open at 8pm.
Friday, September 18, 2009 – The Rhythm Room All-Stars (Big Pete Pearson, Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey) will appear at at Old Town Artisans, 201 N. Court, Tucson, AZ 85701 in downtown Tucson. This will be a CD release party for Big Pete Pearson’s CD Finger In Your Eye on the VizzTone Label Group. This is part of Jonathan Holden’s famed Rhythm And Roots Concert Series.
Saturday, September 19, 2009 – The Rhythm Room All-Stars featuring Big Pete Pearson, Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey appear at the 5th Annual Bisbee Blues Festival in Bisbee, Arizona. The All-Stars will also have the honor of backing the amazing Pinetop Perkins at this event!
Friday, September 25, 2009 – Bob Corritore & Friends will appear at the Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, AZ 85281. Bob’s friends appearing at this event are Tomcat Courtney, Dave Riley, Big Pete Pearson, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey. Doors open at 8pm, advance ticket price is $30; to order tickets, call the box office at (480)350-2TCA (2822) or click here.Saturday, September 26, 2009 – Bob Corritore will celebrate his birthday with a blues party at the Rhythm Room in Phoenix , AZ. Appearing that night will be The Rhythm Room All-Stars (Big Pete Pearson, Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey), plus Dave Riley and a number of surprise guests!
Saturday, October 10, 2009 – Dave Riley & Bob Corritore will have a CD Release Party at the Delta Cultural Center Annex (a few doors down Cherry Street from the DCC) in conjunction with the Arkansas Blues & Heritage Festival. Showtime is at 3pm.
Sunday, October 11, 2009 – Dave Riley & Bob Corritore will appear at the Pinetop Perkins Homecoming at Hopson’s Commissary in Clarksdale, MS. They will open the show at 2pm with a 20 minute duet set. This annual event is the unofficial “day after” party of the Arkansas Blues & Heritage Festival, and many artists will perform throughout the day. Willie “Big Eyes” Smith and Bob Margolin will headline the house band.
Friday, October 23 and Saturday, October 24, 2009 – The Rhythm Room All-Stars featuring Big Pete Pearson, Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey will appear at the Rhythm Room Phoenix, AZ.
Thursday, October 29, 2009 – Chris James and Patrick Rynn, with Bob Corritore appear at the Blues Blast Music Awards (Chris and Patrick were nominated for an 2 award categories) at Buddy Guy’s Legends, 754 S. Wabash Avenue, Chicago IL 60605.
Friday, November 6, Wednesday, November 11, and Thursday, November 12, 2009– Dave Riley & Bob Corritore will appear at the Lucerne Blues Festival, Lucerne, Switzerland
Saturday, November 14, 2009 – Tomcat Courtney & The Rhythm Room All-Stars (Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey), appear at the Lucerne Blues Festival, Lucerne, Switzerland.
Wednesday, November 18, Thursday November 19th and Friday November 20th, 2009 – Dave Riley, Bob Corritore, and special guest Tomcat Courtney appear at the Blues Sur Seine Festival in Mantes-la-Jolie, France.
Saturday, November 21, 2009 – Dave Riley, Bob Corritore, and special guest Tomcat Courtney appear at the Nuit du Blues Festival in Montfort-sur-Meu, France.
Saturday, November 28, 2009 – Dave Riley, Bob Corritore, and special guest Tomcat Courtney appear at the Beautiful Swamp Festival in Calais, France.
Friday, December 18 and Saturday, December 19, 2009 – The Rhythm Room All-Stars (Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey) plus Dave Riley will appear at the Rhythm Room Phoenix, AZ.
- Corrections: Last week’s newsletter has two corrupted links. To see the poster for the Rhythm Room’s Down Home Blues Festival, click here. To see the catalog page for Bear Family’s exciting Freddie King box, click here.
- Mance Lipscomb On YouTube! Please enjoy this engaging film clip of Texas blues songster Mance Lipscomb performing “Jack Of Diamonds“. Note the open tuning of his guitar and how Mance plays slide with a pocket knife. To see this warm and engaging performance, click here.
August 18, 2009
- Rhythm Room All-Stars Appear Friday and Saturday at the Rhythm Room! The Rhythm Room All-Stars (Big Pete Pearson, Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey) reconvene this Friday and Saturday, August 21 and 22, 2009 for a 2-night presentation of their hard-hitting traditional blues. The Rhythm Room is located at 1019 E. Indian School Rd. in Phoenix. Doors open at 8pm, cover charge is $7. Rack Shack Barbecue will be available at these events.These nights will be patio smoking only events; no indoor smoking will be permitted.
- Louisiana Red Cover Story in Germany’s Bluesnews Magazine! The cover of the July through September issue of Germany’s wonderful blues magazine, Bluesnews, features Louisiana Red on the cover, complete with a red guitar, a slide on his finger, and Red’s warm, genuine smile. The article celebrates the success of Red’s latest CD Back To The Black Bayou, produced by Little Victor on the Ruf record label. Also included in the article are some spectacular 70s shots of Red from the Axel Kustner archives. Thanks to this great magazine for recognizing this great artist. To see the magazine cover and learn more about Bluesnews Magazine, click here.
- Big Pete Pearson #12 In Living Blues Radio Charts; New Reviews Posted: Thanks to all the blues radio show hosts around the world that helped to make Big Pete Pearson’s Finger In Your Eye on the VizzTone Label Group # 12 on the July Living Blues Radio Charts. Also, numerous new reviews for Finger In Your Eye have come in from Bluessource (thanks Dirk Wissbaum) AltCountryForum.nl (thanks Willem Croese), Blues Festival E-Guide, Blues Bytes (thanks Kyle Deibler), Blues About (thanks Reverend Keith A. Gordon), and more. To see these and other reviews for Finger In Your Eye, click here.
- Dave Riley & Bob Corritore’s New CD Promotion Takes Off: Thanks to all the radio stations who are supporting Dave Riley and Bob Corritore / Lucky To Be Living so far. This CD will be officially released on September 8, 2009. For more information concerning this release please contact Betsie Brown of Blind Raccoon Publicity at email@example.com. Here is a list of the blues shows that we are aware are playing us. Sorry if we missed anybody!Blues Deluxe, (internet station), Arlington TX (Dave Johnson)Rue D’Auteuil, CKRL 89.1FM, Quebec City (Michel Dubois)Friends Of The Blues Radio Show, WKCC 91.1FM, Kankakee, IL (Shuffle Shoes, The Blues Guru & Dr. Skyy Dobro)Sunday Morning Blues Podcast WRTB-FM Rockford, IL (Rich Gordon)Crossroads, WVBR 93.5FM, Ithaca, NY (Miss Em)Johnny Mack’s Friday Night Blues Attack, WDVX Knoxville, TN (John McCormack)
Two for the Blues, WORT 89.9FM, Madison, WI (Art Schuna)
Green Revival & Medicine Show, KGLP 91.7FM, Gallup, NM (Tom Funk)
Blues Cafe, WWSP 89.9FM, Stevens Point WI (Papa Joe AKA David Carrigan)
The Roadhouse Podcast, Iowa City, IA (Tony Steidler-Dennison)
Mystic Mile, KZUM 89.3FM, Lincoln, NE (Mike Flowers)
Mario’s Blues Thang, KDVS 90.3FM, Roseville, CA (Mario Robles)
Breakfast With The Blues, KRVM 91.9FM Eugene, OR (Boogie King Steve)
Every Shade Of Blue, KSDS 88.3FM, San Diego, CA (Lady Dottie & Bill Magee)
- The Rhythm Room’s Down Home Blues Festival Lineup Announced! Elmore James, Jr. Henry Gray, Rhythm Room All-Stars, & Dave Riley Included: Each year on the Sunday night of the Labor Day weekend, the Rhythm Room in Phoenix honors the grand tradition of down home blues with a mini-festival featuring a stunning lineup of great artists. This year’s festival features Elmore James, Jr. (the son of Elmore James), Henry Gray (one of the greatest blues piano players alive), The Rhythm Room All-Stars (Big Pete Pearson, Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey) and the down-home duet of Dave Riley and Bob Corritore. The show takes place on Sunday, September 6, 2009, with a 7pm door and 8pm showtime. The Rhythm Room is located at 1019 E. Indian School Rd. in Phoenix. The cover charge is $14. Rack Shack Barbecue will be available at this event. This show will be patio smoking only; no indoor smoking will be permitted. To see the flyer for the Rhythm Room’s Down Home Blues Festival, click here.
- Tucson CD Release Party for Big Pete Pearson/Finger In Your Eye Announced! Big Pete Pearson’s new release Finger In Your Eye will be celebrated on Friday, September 18, 2009 with a CD release party at Old Town Artisans in Tucson as part of Jonathan Holden’s famed Rhythm And Roots series. The Rhythm Room All-Stars (Big Pete Pearson, Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey) will perform and CDs will be available. Old Town Artisans is located at 201 N. Court, Tucson, AZ 85701 in the downtown Tucson area. To find out more about this event and the Rhythm And Roots series, click here. Thanks to blues DJ Marty Kool of Tucson’s KXCI for featuring Finger In Your Eye on his radio show.
- Tempe Center For The Arts presents Bob Corritore and His Blues Associates in their Lakeshore Jazz Series: On Friday, September 25, 2009, the Tempe Center For the Arts presents Bob Corritore’s Blues Bash as part of its Lakeshore Jazz Series. Bob will bring some of his closest musical associates with him: Tomcat Courtney, Dave Riley, Big Pete Pearson, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey. This is a rare opportunity to see blues in a state of the art performance center. The room that the performance will be held in will feature cabaret seating, and the stage will have a backdrop of a picture window with an amazing nighttime view overlooking Tempe Town Lake. Another special thing about this show is that it is all ages, which is hard to find in most blues presentations. Special thanks to series coordinator Woody Wilson for the honor of being included in this innovative series at such a beautiful venue! To find out more about this event and to purchase tickets, click here. To see some photos of Tempe Center For the Arts, click here, and to find out more about the Lakeshore Producer’s Jazz Series, click here.
- Blues Blast Music Awards Ceremony Announced! The second annual Blues Blast Music Awards will take place on Thursday, October 29, 2009 at Buddy Guy’s Legends in Chicago. Chris James and Patrick Rynn, who are nominated for two award categories (Best Traditional Blues Album and Best Song), will perform a set at the event. Bob Corritore will appear with Chris and Patrick on this date. A full lineup of ceremony performance will follow. Voting ends August 31, 2009. You can see a complete listing of all nominees, sign up for the Blues Blast newsletter, and place your votes, by clicking here.
- Bob Corritore Highlighted on Hohner Website! Bob Corritore has been an official endorser of Hohner Harmonicas since the mid 1980s, and later this year Bob will have been playing Hohner Marine Bands and the Hohner 69 Chromonica for 40 years! Bob is thrilled to be featured on the Hohner website in the endorser section with many other fine players. To see the feature, click here. Thanks to Bill Greenhalgh and Bart Thomas of Hohner for this honor.
- Tomcat Courtney Back To The Roots Article Now Online: We have just posted the Tomcat Courtney cover feature from Belgium’s Back To The Roots Magazine. Tomcat Courtney, now 80 years old, is highly regarded as a master of the almost forgotten Texas country blues style. To see this wonderful article, click here. Thanks to interviewer Lambert Smits and magazine chief Franky Bruneel for making this great story happen. Thanks also to photographer Bengt Nyman for the marvelous cover shot.
- Freddie King Box Set Is Out! Bear Family Records has once again created a definitive release honoring a great blues artist! The seven-CD Freddie King box set is titled Taking Care Of Business, and features a 104 page hardcover book written by Bill Dahl and all Freddie’s studio recordings between 1956 and 1973. The set features 168 tracks, from his first record for the El-Bee through his marvelous Federal / King period into his later Cotillion, Atlantic, and Shelter recordings. Thanks to Bear Family for this wonderful release and thanks for including the Bob Corritore Blues Newsletter in the special thanks! To find out more about this release and to order, click here.
- RIP Billy Lee Riley 10/5/1933-8/2/2009: Though best known as the famed rockabilly artist who recorded for Sun Records,Billy Lee Riley always had his heart in the blues. He was a fine singer and harmonica player, and in addition to his rock ‘n roll rave ups, had recorded albums of straight ahead Southern blues. His versions of “Flyin’ Saucer Rock ‘N Roll” and his rockabilly remake of Billy “The Kid” Emerson’s “Red Hot” stand as classics in the genre. He passed away on August 2, 2009 of complications from colon cancer at age 75. He remained active musically, and the coolest of cats until the end; and he was a great mentor to all younger artists lucky enough to meet him. To read Billy Lee Riley’s bio, click here; and to read the LA Times obituary, click here.
- RIP Betty Miller 1/16/1934-7/30/2009: Bernie Pearl reports the death of West Coast blues promoter Betty Miller, a friend to all in the blues. This is what the Southern California Blues Society says on their website: We are sad to report the passing of Betty Miller, one of the country’s biggest blues supporters. Betty died at her home August 6, 2009 after a lengthy battle with cancer. Betty Miller attended the very first meeting of the Southern California Blues Society in the early 80’s and became one of its first officers. With Betty’s guidance, the SCBS established several programs to advance American blues music. She was also instrumental in the formation of The Big Joe Turner Fund, a group dedicated to providing artist assistance. Betty and her husband Jack, as owners of The Music Machine nightclub, were among the first to bring legendary national blues acts to the West Side. Betty was, and always will be, remembered for her devotion to the blues genre and will be greatly missed by all who knew her. Condolences may be sent to:
9468 Jack Rabbit Drive #105
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730To see a photo of Betty, click here. Sorry to say goodbye to this wonderful person.
- RIP Jim Dickinson 11/15/1941-8/15/2009: The esteemed Arkansas born, Memphis-based music producer, pianist, and singer Jim Dickinson died in his sleep in Memphis on Saturday of possible complications of a heart condition. He was 67. Dickinson produced sessions for Sun Records, did session piano work for soul and rock luminaries Aretha Franklin, Sam & Dave, Bob Dylan, and The Rolling Stones, made numerous records as a leader, and who was the father of Cody and Luther Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars. He was highly regarded not only in blues, but also in all music circles. For Jim Dickinson’s obit in the Memphis Commercial Appeal, click here, and for his Wikipedia biography, click here.
- Correction to Wesley “Junebug” Jefferson Obituary: Please note for the record that Wesley’s first recordings were released on the 1990 release Coahoma the Blues, not 1970 as was printed in the newsletter of July 22, 2009. Thanks to our friend Rein Wisse of Block Magazine for catching this.
- Howlin’ Wolf on YouTube! Please enjoy this mesmerizing 1964 film clip of Howlin’ Wolf performing “Smokestack Lightnin’” in England with a great band that includes Willie Dixon on bass and Hubert Sumlin on guitar! Click here to see.
July 22, 2009
- Louisiana Red This Weekend at The Rhythm Room! The legendary Louisiana Red is in his final week of his US tour, and he will be performing in Phoenix at the Rhythm Room on Friday and Saturday, July 24 and 25, 2009. Red, now 77 years old, has been making blues records since the early 1950s, and he brings with him the experience of learning to play blues at the feet of Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Lightnin’ Hopkins, and many others. Red can call upon all of these classic styles and more, while simultaneously keeping his blues a highly personal and uniquely signatured statement. Red’s blues is among the strongest and deepest being played in today’s blues world, and he is considered to be one of the greatest living slide guitarists. With over 50 albums to his credit, Red’s most recent CD Back To The Black Bayou on Ruf Records has been gathering great praise (click here to see reviews), and was recently listed as the #1 on B.B. King’sBluesville / Sirius/XM Satellite Radio “Clicks To Pick” playlist. Red performs this weekend with The Rhythm Room All-Stars (Big Pete Pearson, Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey), plus special guest David Maxwell on piano. Louisiana Red and Bob have been the closest of friends for over 30 years, and so this will be a reunion of sorts. The Rhythm Room is located at 1019 E. Indian School Rd. in Phoenix. Doors open at 8pm, cover charge is $12. These nights will be patio smoking only events; no indoor smoking will be permitted. To see photo pages devoted to Louisiana Red, click here and here.
- Bisbee Blues Festival Lineup Announced! Rhythm Room All-Stars to Perform and Back Up Pinetop Perkins! The small but mighty Bisbee Blues Festival will enjoy its fifth annual addition on Saturday, September 19, 2009. The beautiful and historic border town of Bisbee keeps expanding the festival, and this year they have moved the festival from the downtown area to the Warren Ball field to accommodate the growing popularity of the event. The lineup this year includes The Tommy Castro Band, Pinetop Perkins, The Rhythm Room All-Stars, Train Wreck, The Sugar Thieves (Formerly known as Mikel Lander / Meridith Moore Band), and The King Bees. For more information about the Bisbee Blues Festival and to order tickets, click here.
- Big Pete Pearson and Chris James/Patrick Rynn Receive Nominations for “Single Of The Year” From France’sBaker Street Blues. Three members of The Rhythm Room All-Stars have received nominations from Radio Baker Street from France for “Single de L’Annee” or the “Single Of the Year”. Big Pete was nominated for the song “Don’t Mess With Me” from his Finger In Your Eye CD on the VizzTone Label Group, and Chris James and Patrick Rynn were nominated for the song “You’re Gone” from their CD Stop And Think About It on the Earwig Music label. To read more about these awards and to vote for these records, please click here. Congratulations Big Pete, Chris, and Patrick.
- More Nice Reviews for Pig Pete Pearson/Finger In Your Eye: Check out these wonderful new reviews of Big Pete’s killer new disc: To see the Sunday Night Blues review click here, and in Blue Notes, click here. To see our page of reviews for Big Pete’s CD that we have collected so far click here. Thank you for these kind words.
- RIP Wesley “Junebug” Jefferson 3/23/1944-7/22/2009: This sad news just in from Roger Stolle: Iconic Clarksdale blues singer/bassist/bandleader Wesley “Junebug” Jefferson passed away yesterday of complications stemming from lung cancer. Born in Roundaway in Coahoma County, Mississippi, Jefferson grew up working the cotton fields and first started playing blues at a young age, influenced by his guitar-playing grandfather, Claude Jefferson. He would go on to play withFrank Frost, Sam Carr, David “Pecan” Porter, Robert “Bilbo” Walker, Little Jeno Tucker, Super Chikan, Willie Foster, Big Jack Johnson, and many others before fronting his own band and working regularly throughout the south. His first recordings appeared in 1970 on the compilation Coahoma the Blues on the Rooster Blues record label. He would later release the self-produced Delta Blues Live from the Do Drop Inn, and most recently the 2007 collaboration with Terry “Big T” Williams, Meet Me In The Cottonfield on the Broke and Hungry record label. He also appeared with other Mississippi blues artists in 2008 documentary M for Mississippi, which won the 2009 Blues Music Award for “DVD Of The Year”. A well-loved and highly influential figure in the Clarksdale blues community, Wesley will be greatly missed. For an in-depth bio on this great musician by Scott Barretta, click here.
- Lonnie Johnson on YouTube! Please enjoy this wonderful 1963 performance of “Another Night To Cry” by flat-pick guitar innovator Lonnie Johnson with his rich, sophisticated voice and fleet guitar style. Click here to see.
- Canada Recap: Last weekend The Rhythm Room All-Stars traveled up north to perform at The Cisco Ottawa Blues Festivaland being in such close proximity, Kim and I went a few days early to visit Montreal and spend time with some dear friends. The trip began on Tuesday with a pickup at the airport from Bharath Rajakumar, and his lovely wife, Sonia Lareau. Those unfamiliar with Bharath should know that he is a brilliant harmonica player who really knows how to capture the spirit of the 1950s Chicago blues. He specializes in Little Walter instrumentals, and has made some very convincing CDs covering some chestnuts and throwing in a few originals based in the vintage style. Junior Watson, who first made me aware of Bharath, refers to him as “the closest to the Little Walter sound”. Check out Bharath’s MySpace with song samples by clicking here. Bharath and I met through MySpace a few years ago, and became fast friends with our common interest inLittle Walter, but this was my first time meeting him in person. Bharath, Sonia, Kim, and I enjoyed a nice meal together that night. The next day Bharath had a day planned of playing and recording at his living room studio with a fine band including Bharath (mainly playing guitar and singing), Ben Caissie on drums, Louis Janelle on guitar, Costa Zafiropoulos on stand-up bass and myself on harmonica. We had a blast playing and it so nice to meet these like-minded musicians who are totally steeped to the old school Chicago blues. We recorded quite a few songs until the early evening when Bharath went to the airport to pick up Junior Watson who was flying into town to recording with Bharath the next day. Bharath and Junior would also perform together at various festivals through the weekend. Kim and I would spend time with Junior the next morning in the lobby of the Marriott, where we were both staying.The plan for Thursday was to meet up with long time friend Bill Barclay and drive to Ottawa. Bill is a co-editor of Canada’s Real Blues Magazine, and he is also working on a highly-anticipated documentary on Helena, Arkansas. Before leaving Montreal, Bill took us to visit documentary co-producer Peter Starr. The rest of The Rhythm Room All-Stars (Big Pete Pearson, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey) were flying in to Ottawa that night. Friday was our first performance at The Cisco Ottawa Blues Festival, and I have to say the festival really had it together. They had a transportation department working non-stop to get everyone where they needed to be. The food tent had hearty, healthy meals, which is a real treat while on the road. The merch people gave each artist’s CDs special attention (especially during the scheduled autograph signings). The stage managers and crews were all incredible, and the audiences were very blues-knowledgeable and friendly. What was also a treat is that the fest hires some musicians for a residence during the festival to supplement the sound of bands that chose to use them. This year these musicians included piano great David Maxwell and the wonderful Kaz Kazanoff and The Texas Horns. Each of our sets included great guest appearances by these resident players. It was luxurious to be able to add extra layers to our material with such seasoned players. The Rhythm Room All-Stars did a set each day (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday), and on Saturday, we also served as the backing band forLouisiana Red. Red and David Maxwell also played a duet set on Sunday as a celebration of their new duet CD called You Got To Move, soon to be out on the VizzTone Label Group (street date is September 1, 2009). Red called Chris James and I up for the last few songs of this show. A total of five performances over the course of three days!A few fond memories from the fest include: 1) Reminiscing about Big Walter Horton with Kaz Kazanoff in the green room which led to us to breaking out our instruments to play an impromptu version of the Horton instrumental “Relaxin’” (Kaz recorded that song with Horton on the Blind Pig album Fine Cuts). 2) Hearing Bharath and Junior Watson’s fine set on Saturday: simply a great chemistry between those two. 3) Seeing my close friend Louisiana Red and his lovely wife Dora, and discussing with Red the age-old question of various attributes of slide types (steel vs. brass vs. glass. etc.). 4) Seeing our dear friend Liz Sykes, the president of the Ottawa Blues Society, who brought the band gifts of little tins of maple syrup so that we could each bring a little taste of Canada home with us. 5) A hysterical discussion with Reverend Billy C. Wirtz at the food tent, in which he somehow was able to draw a comparison between cool shoes and beautiful women (or as he puts it “Chicks” and “Kicks”). 6) Hearing Freddie Roulette’s amazing lap steel guitar set while we were at the autograph signing booth meeting some enthusiastic festival-goers. 7) Running into both Louisiana Red and Freddie Roulette at the airport on Monday, and the inevitable Earl Hooker discussion that followed. I was very impressed at how clearly Freddie recalled his Chicago blues days.Thanks to festival chief Mark Monahan and everyone at The Cisco Ottawa Blues Festival for a spectacular music event and for the honor of being included as a small part of it. To see some recently posted photos of The Rhythm Room All-Stars appearing at the fest, click here.- Bob Corritore
July 13, 2009
- Off To Canada to Perform at the Cisco Ottawa Blues Festival! The Rhythm Room All-Stars (Big Pete Pearson, Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey) head to Canada this week to perform at The Cisco Ottawa Blues Festival, which is going on as we speak. Joining the group for this festival will be the great David Maxwell on piano, and in part of our set, we will call up Kaz Kazanoff and the Texas horns. Both David and Kaz are artists in residence at the festival, and we look forward to supplementing our sound with these great players. The Rhythm Room All-Stars will also back Bob’s lifelong friend Louisiana Red for Red’s Saturday set. Our performance schedule at The Cisco Ottawa Blues Festival is as follows:Friday: Barney Danson Theatre, 9pm Rhythm Room All-Stars setSaturday: Subway Stage, 2:30pm Rhythm Room All-Stars set, then 4:30pm Louisiana Red setSunday: Blacksheep Stage, 6:30pm Rhythm Room All-Stars SetOther blues and roots acts who are part of the festival include Hubert Sumlin, Buckwheat Zydeco, Dave Alvin & The Guilty Women, Eden Brent, Larry McCray, Daddy Mack Blues Band, Roomful of Blues, Reverend Billy C. Wirtz, Cedric Burnside & Lightnin’ Malcolm, Diunna Greenleaf and Blue Mercy, Saffire – The Uppity Blueswomen, Henry Butler, Moreland & Arbuckle,Otis Taylor, Cassie Taylor, T.J. Wheeler, Doyle Bramhall, Papa Mali, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, That One Guy, The Soul Of John Black, Zac Harmon, Shemekia Copeland, Sugar Blue, JW Jones Band with Little Charlie Baty, Homemade Jamz, Sista Monica, Larry Garner, Mick Taylor, Freddie Roulette, Paul Reddick, and many others. Note that the festival began on Wednesday, July 8, 2009, and many great acts have already performed. Many types of music other than blues are represented at The Cisco Ottawa Blues Festival, and acts as diverse as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Styx, KISS, Van der Graaf Generator, The Yardbirds, Alan Parsons Live Project, Ornette Coleman, Ani DiFranco, Toots and the Maytals, King Khan & BBQ Show, Drive-By Truckers, CAKE, Ludacris, Busta Rhymes, Ice Cube, Steve Poltz, Jeff Beck, Ben Harper, Joe Cocker, Los Lonely Boys, Handsome Furs, DeVotchKa, Our Lady Peace, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the church, Stone Temple Pilots, Brian Setzer Orchestra, Our Lady Peace, The Black Keys, Loreena McKennitt, Jackson Browne, Dave Mason, Israel & New Breed, David Lindley, and many others also appear on the festival roster. The Rhythm Room All-Stars are very proud to be a part of The Cisco Ottawa Blues Festival. For the complete lineup, and more information on this amazing event, click here.
- Big Pete Pearson/Finger In Your Eye #1 on CRB Radio Charts! This just in! Big Pete Pearson’s latest CD Finger In Your Eye (VizzTone Label Group) was number one on the Collectif des Radios Blues charts in the month of June. The CRB charts are compiled from the playlists of numerous French, Belgian, and Canadian blues radio shows. To see these charts, click here and here. Thanks to all the CRB DJs who made this possible!
- Dave Riley/Bob Corritore MySpace Revamped + Song Samples from Forthcoming CD Included: The Dave Riley / Bob Corritore MySpace site has just been revamped in preparation for their highly anticipated new CD Lucky To Be Living, which will be released September 8, 2009 on Blue Witch Records. Song samples from the new release have just been uploaded on the site, along with songs from their first CD, Travelin’ The Dirt Road, also on Blue Witch. Tour dates and CD release party information have also been added, as well as a number of new photos. To see the revamped MySpace and hear selections from the new CD, click here.
- Chicago Blues Guide’s Tribute To Koko Taylor: Special thanks to Linda Cain and the Chicago Blues Guide for lovingly compiling remembrances and photos of Koko Taylor in a recently published piece. Click here to see the article. The Queen of the Blues is gone, but will never be forgotten.
- A Morbid Occurrence Affecting The Blues: This sad news from Chicago: A grave-robbing scheme was discovered at the historic Burr Oak Cemetery where Willie Dixon, Dinah Washington, and Otis Spann were laid to rest, as well as Emmett Till. Apparently, graveyard employees were digging up hundreds of graves and reselling the plots, while discarding the remains. No word yet on whether historic blues artists graves were disturbed. To read more about this sad story, click here.
- Henry Gray New Release: Henry Gray is among the highest stature of blues piano players. Henry was born in Kenner, Louisiana on January 19, 1925. Henry moved to Chicago in 1946 and studied under pianist Big Maceo, who remains his greatest stylistic influence. He is best known for his work in the 1950s and 1960s in Chicago as a key member of Howlin’ Wolf’s band. He also recorded classic sides with Jimmy Rogers, Jimmy Reed, Billy Boy Arnold, Little Walter, and Morris Pejoe, as well as brilliant sides under his name. Returning to his home state of Louisiana in 1968, Henry upholds the blues piano tradition locally, and at numerous festival dates around the world. In 2006, Henry Gray was awarded a Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts,Lucky Cat Records has just released a new Henry Gray CD that shows Henry in fine form, backed by his dedicated road band “The Cats“. The CD is called Times Are Getting Hard (reworking a song originally released on Henry’s Plays Chicago Blues CD), and Henry includes a number of new original songs, including the riveting “Barack Obama Boogie“. Thanks to bassist / manager Andy Cornett for releasing this fine CD, and for years of looking out for Henry. To find out more about this release, click here. To see a photo page devoted to the great Henry Gray, click here.
- Dinah Washington on YouTube! Please enjoy these wonderful, vintage clips of the amazing Dinah Washington. She possessed one of the greatest singing voices ever. To see her singing “Send Me To The ‘Lectric Chair“, click here; and to see her singing “I Don’t Hurt“, click here.
July 6, 2009
- Correction To Phillip Guilbeau Obituary: Thanks to Eric LeBlanc who let us know that Phillip Guilbeau actually passed away in 2005. Our source for the obit information, Joel Dufour, had read a recently published remembrance by Guilbeau’s daughter, which lead him to the earnest assumption of Guilbeau’s passing being recent.
July 5, 2009
- Blue Witch Records to Release Sophomore CD by Dave Riley & Bob Corritore in Early September! Dave Riley andBob Corritore’s second CD titled Lucky To Be Living will be released September 8, 2009 on Blue Witch Records. This CD follows the highly celebrated 2007 first release by Dave and Bob called Travelin’ The Dirt Road. TDR received Blues Music Award and Blues Blast Music Award nominations, and was #1 in January of 2008 on Europe’s Powerblues Charts. This Mississippi-meets-Chicago down-home blues pairing has been winning fans all around the world for the last 5 years. To see the cover art for this forthcoming release, click here. Publicity will be handled by Betsie Brown of Blind Raccoon Publicity (click here for contact information for Betsie and Blind Raccoon).
- Big Pete Pearson/Finger In Your Eye Making the Rounds! The great VizzTone Label Group has begun its promotion for Big Pete Pearson / Finger In Your Eye, which includes a great ad in the latest issue of Blues Revue Magazine. Also, numerous blues radio shows around the world are including this CD in their playlists, and the reviews are just beginning to come in (click here to see the first five). A track from the CD will be featured in the forthcoming Blues Revue CD sampler. Thanks, VizzTone, for your great support of “Arizona’s King Of The Blues” and his great new CD! Look for Big Pete Pearson to be performing selections from his new CD at the The Cisco Ottawa Blues Festival later this month.
- Review Posted of Blues On The North Shore Event: Check out this recap of last June’s Blues On The North Shore show, which celebrated the 30th anniversary of Michael Frank’s Earwig Music label. A fantastic lineup of Earwig artists was on board for the event, including Honeyboy Edwards, Big Jack Johnson, John Primer, Chris James and Patrick Rynn, andJohnny Drummer. To see the review by Patricia Simms for Splash Magazine, click here.
- 2008 Cognac Blues Passions Festival Photo Page Added: As this year’s Cognac Blues Passions Festival approaches, we fondly remember a wonderful time had by all in 2008. Please enjoy this photo recap of the 2008 festival just posted on www.bobcorritore.com by clicking here. This year’s Cognac Blues Passions Festival happens July 21-26, 2009, and the lineup includes B.B. King, James Hunter, Lou Pride, Susan Tedeschi, Cedric Burnside & Lightnin’ Malcolm, Fillmore Slim,Alex Schultz, Soul Of John Black, Theodis Ealey, Jackie Payne/Steve Edmondson Band, Tad Robinson, Darrell Nulisch, and much more. For a full entertainment program and more information about the 2009 Cognac Blues Passions Festival, click here.
- Pinetop Perkins’ 96th Birthday This Tuesday! Big Party Planned at Antone’s! Blues piano patriarch Pinetop Perkins is turning 96 years old on Tuesday. Born July 7, 1913, Pinetop has done it all: recorded his first record for Sun, played in the bands of Robert Nighthawk, Earl Hooker, and Muddy Waters, and recorded as a frontman or sideman on countless recording sessions. Pinetop was a major influence on a young Ike Turner; and Ike, in turn, became a major influence to blues and rock ‘n roll. Pinetop Perkins is a multiple Grammy® recipient, and had won so many Handy/BMA awards for “Best Blues Piano” that they now name that category the Pinetop Perkins Piano Player award! Pinetop will be celebrating his birthday at Antone’s Nightclub in his current home of Austin, Texas. Pinetop will make an appearance with Derek O’Brien and the Antone’s Blues Band. Also advertised on the bill are Marcia Ball, Ronnie James, Jay Moeller, and Gary Clark, Jr. Word has it that Rich DelGrosso, J.C. Smith, producer Michael Freeman, and manager Patricia Morgan will be flying in to celebrate. For more information on Antone’s Nightclub and this event, click here.
- Blues Blast Magazine Chicago Blues Photo Gallery: The latest issue of Blues Blast Magazine, an online publication, has a beautiful photo report of last month’s Chicago Blues Festival. The gallery includes nice photos of Chris James, Patrick Rynn, Bob Corritore, Lurrie Bell, Lil’ Ed, Little Dave Thompson, Killer Ray Allison, Travis “Moonchild” Haddix, Nolan Struck,John Primer, Eden Brent, Mathew Skoller, Trudy Lynn, Bettye LaVette, and others. To see the latest issue, click here and scroll down to the article. Also, please remember Chris James and Patrick Rynn as you vote for the Blues Blast Music Awards (voting is open through August 31, 2009). Chris and Patrick are nominated in the categories of “Best Song” and “Best Debut Artist”. Thanks to Bob Kieser of Illinois Blues for supporting the blues!
- RIP Phillip Guilbeau 1/16/1926-6/21/2009: Joel Dufour reports that yet another alumni of the Ray Charles Orchestra has left us. The following biographical information is provided by Joel who will have a piece about Phillip Guilbeau in a forthcoming issue of Soul Bag Magazine. Trumpeter Phillip Guilbeau was born on January 16, 1926 in Lafayette, Louisiana. He played in the bands of Paul “Hucklebuck” Williams (1947-50), Candy Johnson (1951-52) and Choker Campbell, with whom he played with Amos Milburn, Lowell Fulson, and Big Joe Turner. Ray Charles recruited Guilbeau in 1960; just in time for him to play on his set at the Newport Jazz Festival (that performance was released on DVD in the Rhino Pure Genius box set). In December of the same year, Brother Ray took Phil Guilbeau with him for the recording of his famous mostly instrumental album Genius + Soul = Jazz, having him play solo on almost every track. Guilbeau had several stints in theRay Charles band (1960-1964, 1968-69, 1973, 1975, 1983) and he is prominently featured on two wonderful blues recorded for ABC, But On The Other Hand Baby and In The Evening. Two versions of the latter song also grace the Rhino DVD O Genio – Ray Charles Live In Brazil 1963. Phil Guilbeau was also one of the main soloists on Ray Charles’s 1975 Crossover LP My Kind of Jazz, Part 3, and he also can be seen and heard playing solo with Brother Ray in 1977 in the Universal DVDSaturday Night Live, The Third Season. Between 1961 and 1962, Guilbeau recorded the material for an album for Atlantic, but only one single saw the light of day (Creole Walk / Ooh La La, Atlantic 5025). During the first half of the 1960s, Phil Guilbeau participated in five Hank Crawford albums for Atlantic, as well as Louis Jordan recordings for Ray Charles’sTangerine label. Then Guilbeau joined the Count Basie Orchestra, with which he recorded six albums, including one each with Arthur Prysock and Frank Sinatra. During the year 1967, Phil Guilbeau participated in most of Arthur Conley’s recording sessions produced by Otis Redding at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals (including the split session with organist Jackie Hairston). One of the last major appearances of Phil Guilbeau on record was in 1971, as a musician and composer to four songs on the first album by the soul-funk band Black Heat. In 1975, Ray Charles produced sessions for a LP under Guilbeau’s name, which should have been released on his Crossover label. Unfortunately, it remained in the can. To see an article on Phillip Guilbeau in the Orlando Sentinel, click here; and to see Phillip’s Facebook page, which includes vintage film clips with Ray Charles, Count Basie, and Big Joe Turner, click here.
- Son House On YouTube! Please enjoy this film clip of Mississippi blues legend Son House and his National Steel guitar performing a stirring version of his “Death Letter Blues”; click here to see.
June 23, 2009
- RIP Nick Holt 1/15/1940-6/22/2009: Bruce Iglauer reports that Nick Holt, the bass-playing younger brother of Magic Slim, died of brain cancer on Monday, June 22, 2009 in Lincoln, Nebraska, where he had been living. He was 69. Born in Granada, Mississippi in 1940, Nick moved to Chicago in 1956. Four years later, he and his brother formed the notorious Magic Slim & The Teardrops. This band persevered to become a mainstay of the Chicago blues scene. Slim’s raucous guitar and Nick’s insistent bass lines anchored the band, and created a tough, rock-solid groove so propulsive that it packed the dance floors nightly. It wasn’t that Nick did anything fancy or flashy on the bass; he just played it simple and right. Magic Slim & The Teardrops recorded numerous albums for a wide array of labels such as Rooster Blues, Blind Pig, Wolf Records, Alligator, Isabel, Delmark, Red Lightnin’, Black & Blue, Evidence, and others. The band relocated to Lincoln, Nebraska, where they had a huge following from their touring appearances at the Zoo Bar. Nick had not been touring for the last few years, possibly for health reasons. In addition to scores of Magic Slim & The Teardrops records, and various sessions as a sideman, Nick leaves us with three releases bearing his name:Magic Slim And Nick Holt/You Can’t Lose What Never Had (Wolf Records)Nick Holt/You Better Watch Yourself (Wolf Records)Little Boogie Boy Blues Band featuring Nick Holt/We Do It For The BluesMany blues fans will warmly remember seeing Magic Slim & The Teardrops with the brothers’ towering presence filling up the stage while they knocked out the heaviest of shuffles. Such a loss for the blues. Prayers to Magic Slim in this time of grief. Thanks, Nick, for the great times, and the spectacular music.
June 20, 2009
- House Of Blues Show Tonight Cancelled: Tony Tomlinson of The Fremonts called to tell us that the House Of Blues San Diego had to do a last minute cancelation of the show scheduled for tonight. Bob was supposed to be a guest of the band. Sorry for any inconvenience.
- Chris James & Patrick Rynn Receive 2 Blues Blast Music Award Nominations! Blues Blast Magazine (presented by Illinois Blues) has just announced the nominees for the second annual Blues Blast Music Awards! Chris James and Patrick Rynn have received two nominations: “Best New Artist Debut” for the CD Stop And Think About It on the Earwig Music label and “Best Blues Song” for the song “Mr. Coffee”. Congratulations to Chris James and Patrick Rynn for a job well done, and thank you to Illinois Blues for providing an additional reflection point to reward and encourage the blues. For the full story, a complete listing of all nominees, and voting instructions, click here.
June 17, 2009
- Bob Corritore to Appear this Saturday with the Fremonts in San Diego: The Fremonts appear this Saturday at the House Of Blues San Diego from 7 to 11pm. Bob will be holding down the harmonica chair for vacationing Troy Sandow, the band’s regular harmonica player. The Fremonts are an excellent San Diego-based band that lean towards the swamp blues style of Excello Records, but throw in some Chicago and West Coast influences. House Of Blues San Diego is located at1055 5th Ave., San Diego, CA 92101-5101; the phone number is (619)299-2583.
- Big Walter Horton Retrospective CD to be Released on JSP Records: JSP’s Andrew Aitken reports the label’s plans for a 2 CD Big Walter Horton set featuring vintage postwar sides by this amazing harmonica master. Included in this package are Horton’s sides for Modern, Cobra, and States, as well as numerous sides featuring Horton’s rich-toned harmonica work behind various artists including Willie Nix, Jackie Boy, Mose Vinson, Joe Hill Louis, Johnny Shines, Tampa Red, and Sunnyland Slim.
- Elmore James, Jr. on YouTube! Please enjoy this video of Elmore James, Jr. performing a cool shuffle at the University Of Chicago Folk Festival on February 8, 2009. The band includes Billy Flynn on guitar, Jim Murphy on bass, and Willie “Big Eyes” Smith on drums. Elmore Jr., who is a fine guitarist, just sings on this one. To watch, click here.
- Chicago Recap: This year’s Chicago Blues Festival recap will be quite different, as a busy gig schedule allowed for minimal time to enjoy the festival itself. There are so many amazing satellite events that happen around the actual festival that you might even call it the “Chicago Blues Festival Underground”. To get an idea of the scope of these satellite events, check out the Chicago Blues Guide’s article called “Beyond The Blues Festival” (click here to see). Among the things happening outside the blues festival was the late Koko Taylor’s visitation and funeral services, which received much deserved attention. That being said, what I did see at the festival was just great, and my experience playing at the fest this year was very satisfying.Kim and I arrived in Chicago late on Wednesday, and just had time to check into our room at the Congress Plaza Hotel. On Thursday, we eased into the day with lunch at Caffé Baci on Michigan Avenue before heading to Koko Taylor’s visitation. It would be our only opportunity to pay our respects to the “Queen of the Blues”. We went a little ahead of the scheduled opening, since I had a performance shortly afterwards. The visitation and services were scheduled at Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition National Headquarters, which had a huge chapel. Though we arrived early, the room was already filling up, and we waited our turn in line. There were rows of floral decorations to honor the Queen of the Blues. As we passed by one of the flower arrangements, we noticed it was from Mayor Richard Daley and his wife. Koko was in the glass covered casket, looking just beautiful with a sequined gold lamé dress and shoes, and she was wearing a tiara. (To read theChicago Tribune article about Koko’s funeral, click here.) Though we were just stopping by for the few minutes, we ran intoEddie Taylor, Jr. and Clarence Stevens of Blues You Can Use of WGVE 88.7 of Gary, Indiana. So sad to say goodbye to a woman who symbolized the place for all women in the blues. A Queen indeed. Then, on to a gig at Fat Tone Guitars in Northbrook, where Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and myself conducted a workshop called “How To Create A Blues Trio“. Fat Tone Guitars is simply a beautiful guitar shop, with many gorgeous retro guitars neatly hanging in a series against the wall with panels of various color pastels behind them. We played through some wonderful amps, and Chris tried numerous guitars, each with their own unique tone. This workshop was put together by Lynn Orman, who was involved in numerous Earwig celebration events. After the workshop, we stopped by S.P.A.C.E. in Evanston to check out their guitar showcase with James Wheeler, Jody Williams, Billy Flynn, and Lurrie Bell (whose set we regrettably missed), with a special appearance by venue partner and guitarist Dave Specter. It was great to visit with Dave, Billy, and his wife Mary, and to reconnect with Wheeler, who was mutual good friends with the late Little Willie Anderson.On Friday we began our day at the fest, consigning CDs at the Best Buy tent, and saying hello to numerous friends, including Michael Freeman of Coach House Productions, who spoke of his plans for the next Pinetop Perkins CD (Michael produced the last Grammy®-nominated Pinetop Perkins CD). We also saw Steve Cushing, Fritz and Sissy, Matt Socey, Kurt Swanson, and many others. We stopped by Bob Riedy’s booth where he was showing a film collage from the Bob Riedy Blues Band Reunion show featuring Eddy Clearwater from earlier this year at the Rhythm Room. We did not stay long at the festival, as we had to make it to a sound check for Blues On The North Shore at S.P.A.C.E. in Evanston. This event was very special as it was to honor the 30th anniversary of the infamous Earwig Music label and its chief Michael Frank. Earwig’s contribution to advancing the cause of the blues cannot be overstated. I feel a special connection with Michael and his label as we were buddies in Chicago and started producing records at around the same time. Three of the titles I produced found a home on Earwig Music (Little Willie Anderson / Swinging The Blues, Big Leon Brooks / Let’s Go To Town, and Louisiana Red / Sittin’ Here Wonderin’), and most recently, I played harmonica on Chris James and Patrick Rynn’s Earwig CD Stop And Think About It. Michael Frank and Earwig Music are family and that made this celebration especially meaningful. Bill Wax flew in from Maryland to emcee the show, which was being filmed and recorded for a later broadcast on Sirius / XM Satellite Radio. The night began with Chris James and Patrick Rynn with Allen Batts on piano, surprise guest Willie “Big Eyes” Smith on drums (how cool!), and yours truly on harmonica. This was followed by a brilliant Honeyboy Edwards set with Aron Burton on bass, John Primer on second guitar, and Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith on drums. It is so inspirational to hear this blues master perform some classic blues, sung and played as only Honeyboy could. At the end of the set, Honeyboy was presented with a birthday cake to honor his forthcoming 94th birthday (Honeyboy was born June 28th, 1915). Then came great sets by John Primer with Rob Stone, Johnny Drummer, and Big Jack Johnson (Big Jack was part of Earwig Music’s first release The Jelly Roll Kings / Rockin’ The Juke Joint Down). Dennis Binder, who was scheduled to be on the show, was unable to make it due to recent open-heart surgery. This memorable night was produced by Lynn Orman, Michael Frank, and Denise Ardizzone.Saturday started with a noon set at the Front Porch stage. As a part of the Earwig Music 30th anniversary there was a set honoring the late Chicago blues piano patriarch Sunnyland Slim that included pianists Allen Batts and Aaron Moore (the recovering Dennis Binder was also supposed to be on this show but obviously could not make it). Unfortunately, at this time of day, the rainfall was severe, and this affected the attendance. Still, the diehard blues fans weathered the storm, and provided hearty rounds of applause after each song or solo feature. The Allen Batts set kicked off with Chris and Patrick along with Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith, saxophonist Rodney Brown, and myself on harmonica. Rob Stone was called up to sing two numbers at the end of Allen’s set, and then backed up Aaron Moore on most of his set while I stepped down. I was called back to the stage to close out the set for Aaron’s encore. It was a really wonderful set! From there, Chris and Patrick played an informal set at the Zone Perfect tent with Rob Stone and I alternating on harmonica. The sun began to peep out around this time, and the festival was filling up with people. People came to the stage alternately to hear some blues and get their free Zone Perfect energy bar sample. We left shortly after that, as I had an appearance scheduled at Reggie’s for a show honoring Chicago’s great Delmark Records, where I was to make a guest appearance backing my longtime friend and former employer, Tail Dragger. The night was packed from start to finish with blues lovers from all around the country and the world. Guitarist Cadillac Zack of American Blues Legends Management kicked off the night with a sweet set that included a guest appearance by the harmonica ace Scott Dirks. From then on were non-stop killer sets with Jesse Fortune, Johnny B. Moore, Rockin’ Johnny (back in action), Eddie C. Campbell, a surprise set by Big Jack Johnson, and finally, Tail Dragger. What a fun and rowdy night, and kudos to Cadillac Zack and Rick Kreher for pulling off another great showcase (Zack and Rick also produced a great show last year in conjunction with blues fest).Sunday was a relaxed day with all of the gigs completed. We were drawn to the Woodlawn Tap Room in Hyde Park where my longtime friend and harmonica mentor Dave Waldman organizes a weekly traditional blues gathering that features the amazing Ardella Williams, the daughter of Jazz Gillum. Ardella possesses a naturally wonderful voice and a penchant for singing the old school blues of Memphis Minnie, Big Maceo, Little Walter, and her father. I had been hearing great things about her for a while, but this was my opportunity to see her. Her understated band included Scott Dirks on drums (yes, drums!) Justin O’Brien on bass, Willie Greeson on guitar, and Dave Waldman alternating between guitar and harmonica (simply the best harmonica I heard on the trip!). Donald Williams (Ardella’s brother) sang Little Walter’s “My Babe”, plus “Key To The Highway” (his father’s song, but done more in the style of Little Walter, who was Donald’s good friend and drinking buddy back in the ‘50s), in addition to a Muddy song. I was called up to play a few with Ardella, and then again to back Willie Buck, whom I used to work with in the late 70s and early 80s. It was great to connect again with Willie as we swapped stories of the old days playing with Louis and Dave Myers, Big Moose Walker, and Odie Payne, Jr., who Willie would hire regularly as his backing band. Kim and I only intended on staying for an hour, but we were having so much fun that we could not break away. We rushed back to the festival only to catch the last few numbers of Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings and hang out with Andrzej Matysik of Poland’s Twój Blues, and his lovely daughter Eva. It was a wonderful trip to Chicago!A few people that we recall seeing at or around the Chicago Blues Festival (please forgive me if I forget anyone) are photographer Daniel Swadener, photographer Dusty Scott of Dusty Blues, Tom Marker of WXRT, photographer Amy Brat,Dick Shurman, Robert Jr. Whitall and Shirley Mae Owens of Big City Blues Magazine, Kevin Johnson of Delmark and his lovely wife Brianna, Jocelyn Richez, Claude Dannic of BCR, André Cochepin-Mingarro, Bernard Delvoie, Dave Waldman, Timm Martin (my high school buddy and owner of the Out Of The Box record label), Bonnie “Queen Bee” Stebbins of the Capital Area Blues Society in Michigan, Rafi Abrichamtchi of Radio Sound Milano, harmonica player Jim Phipps, Jan Tore Lauritsen, Michael Salberg, Seth Dobbins, Stephen Kenyon, Kari Kempas of the Finnish Blues Society, Paul Hanover (blues harmonica player), Tenry Johns, Al Puerini, Jim Carty, Frank Orts of the Bay-Car Blues Festival, Kathy Bewell,Katnip of KKFI in Kansas City, MO, Ralph “Ike” Lacobone, Bob Kieser of Blues Blast Magazine, Matt Eimer of the Simply The Blues Festival, Larry Kapson, Kate Moss, Jean-Luc Vabres and Marcel Benedit of ABS Magazine, Andrzej Matysik of Twój Blues, Phil Vickman of Fat Tone Guitars, Nico Wayne Toussaint, Bob McLaren, photographer Michael Kurgansky, Jeff Dale, Bill Bates, James Segrest (co-author of the Howlin’ Wolf bio Moanin’ At Midnight), Rick Kreher, Jerry Del Giudice, Christian and Rene Boucour, Phil Vickman, Michael’s lovely wife, Barbara Frank, Dave Specter, André and Lil Hobus, Paul Klapper, Terry “Harmonica” Bean, Little Smokey Smothers (who sadly had both his legs recently amputated due to diabetic complications), Bill and Sheila Wax, Big Rockin’ Daddy, Jim O’Neal, drummer Bob Carter, Jean Pierre Urbain of ABS Magazine, drummer Rob Lorenz, Liz Sykes of the Ottawa Blues Society, Mary Flynn, harmonica player Chris Harper, bassist/producer Karl Meyer, writer Sandra Pointer-Jones, Peaches Staten, John Valenteyn of the Toronto Blues Society,Colleen Dominick, Lois Clark, and many others.- Bob Corritore
June 8, 2009
- Off To The Chicago Blues Festival: Simply put, this is a major blues event. Each year, the Chicago Blues Festival features a great lineup of blues, combining the cities rich musical talent with careful chosen out of town acts. The festival is free, and takes place right on the beautiful lakeshore of downtown Chicago at Grant Park. It features numerous stages, panels, vendors, and satellite events around town. Chicago and its great blues scene is extra-alive during this time, as people from all over the world pour into town to embrace this festival and the rich blues history of the city that hosts it. Bob returns to his hometown each year to visit during the festival, as it gathers many of Bob’s friends in one spot, and allows many enjoyable performance opportunities. The entertainment lineup coordinated by Barry Dolins is always satisfying. This year the festival honors the 30th anniversary of Michael Frank’s brilliant Earwig Music label with numerous events. West Side blues guitar master Eddie C. Campbell’s 70th birthday will also be celebrated (Eddie just released a stunning and highly anticipated CD called Tear This World Up on Delmark Records, lovingly produced by Eddie’s longtime friend, the great Dick Shurman). A few of the acts included in this year’s festival lineup are Pinetop Perkins, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Charlie Musselwhite, Mud Morganfield, Big Bill Morganfield, Sam Lay, Eddie C. Campbell, Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials, Nolan Struck, Lurrie Bell, John Primer, Trudy Lynn, Bettye LaVette, Terry “Harmonica” Bean, Eden Brent, Lou Pride, Big Jack Johnson, Honeyboy Edwards, Johnny Drummer, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Ernest Lane & The Kings Of Rhythm, and many more. To see the complete fest lineup and schedule, click here. Note that Chris James and Patrick Rynn, though not mentioned in the schedule, will serve as the backing unit on Earwig’s piano set on Saturday backing Allen Batts, Aaron Moore, and Dennis Binder.
- Bob’s Scheduled Chicago Performances: Bob will be performing at a number of shows around town in conjunction with the fest. Bob’s appearances include:Thursday, June 11, 2009, 7pm-10pm – Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Bob Corritore perform and conduct a class “How To Create A Blues Trio” at Fat Tone Guitars, 1857 Janke Dr., Northbrook, IL (847)272-5117. This event is part of a series of events honoring Earwig Music’s 30th anniversary. This all-ages event is free, but reservations are required. Click here for the Pioneer Press article.Friday, June 12, 2009, 9pm – Blues On The North Shore honoring Earwig Music, will happen Friday June 12, 2009 – 9:00pm at S.P.A.C.E., 1245 Chicago Ave., Evanston, Illinois with a great lineup including Honeyboy Edwards, Dennis Binder, Big Jack Johnson & The Oilers with Allen Batts, John Primer, and Chris James and Patrick Rynn (with Bob Corritore and Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith). Bill Wax, host of Sirius/XM Satellite Radio’s B.B. King’sBluesville will be the Master Of Ceremonies. This show will be recorded and aired at a future on Bluesville at a later date. Advance tickets are available atwww.evanstonspace.com. To see the Pioneer Press article, click here. To see the beautiful poster for this event, click here.
Saturday, June 13, 2009, 9pm – Bob will participate in the Delmark Records Revue Concert happening 9pm at Reggie’sMusic Joint, 2105 S. State Street, Chicago, IL 312-949-0120. This show is produced by Cadillac Zack’s American Blues Legends Management, who put on a brilliant show last year. Acts include Eddie C. Campbell, Rockin’ Johnny, Tail Dragger,Johnny B. Moore, Jesse Fortune, and Cadillac Zack. Bob will likely play a few numbers behind Tail Dragger with other fine harmonica players (Scott Dirks confirmed that he would be there). To see the beautiful poster for this event, click here.
- Koko Taylor Funeral Information: This year’s Chicago Blues Festival will be one where Koko Taylor will be thought of by all who attend. Here is the funeral information which will happen in tandem with the festival:Wake/Visitation (Lie in State)
Thursday, June 11, 2009
4:00pm – 9:00pm
RainbowPUSH Coalition National Headquarters
930 East 50th Street (at Drexel Blvd.)
Chicago, IL 60615Funeral Services
Friday, June 12, 2009
6:00pm (4:00pm – 6:00pm visitation)
RainbowPUSH Coalition National Headquarters
930 East 50th Street (at Drexel Blvd.)
Chicago, IL 60615
You can post condolences to the family here.
- Big Pete Pearson/Finger In Your Eye Gets First Reviews! Special Thanks to Larry Rodgers of the Arizona Republic andBen the Harpman of Juke Joint Soul for the first published reviews of Big Pete Pearson’s forthcoming release called Finger In Your Eye. Big Pete Pearson is highly regarded as “Arizona’s King of the Blues”. Pete is a powerhouse vocalist filled with charisma, and this release takes up where the prior release I’m Here Baby left off. To see these reviews, click here.
- Bob Corritore Featured in Hohner Harmonica’s Easy Reeding Newsletter: Special thanks to Hohner harmonicas for spotlighting Bob Corritore in their most recent edition of Easy Reeding. Bob is an official endorser of Hohner harmonicas. To check out the newsletter, click here. To see Hohner’s wonderful website with lots of harmonica information, click here.
- Blue Monday Monthly Online Review of Simply The Blues Festival: Thanks to Gary Eckhart for his kind words in reviewing last month’s Simply The Blues Festival in Fort Madison, Iowa, and for his “nuclear powered harp” description! To see this review on the Blue Monday Monthly website, click here.
- Video of the Rhythm Room All-Stars on Baker Street Site: Special thanks to Xavier Boulanger of France’s Radio Baker Street program for including a clip of The Rhythm Room All-Stars on his MySpace site. The clip shows The All-Stars (Big Pete Pearson, Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey) performing “You Don’t Have To Go” at Blues Station in Tournon d’ Agenais, France. Click here to see. Thanks also, Xav, for your airplay of Big Pete Pearson/Finger In Your Eye, and for all your great support throughout the years.
- Louisiana Red Wins Record Critics Award: Congratulations to Louisiana Red for winning the Record Critics Award in Germany for his latest album, Back To The Black Bayou (Ruf Records). It seems like the legendary Louisiana Red is finally being given the attention that he so rightly deserves. Thanks to Little Victor who produced, arranged, and played on this record with a master’s touch. To view many of the great reviews this CD has received, click here. To view the award information, click here (German) or here (English).
June 4, 2009
- RIP Sam Butera 8/17/1927-6/3/2009: Sam Butera, best known as Louis Prima’s rippin’ R & B saxophonist, died Wednesday, June 3, 2009 in Las Vegas. He was 81. Sam Butera’s energetic sax style and gregarious personality enabled the ruckus raising, jump-and-jive shenanigans of Prima’s fun-loving stage show. To see Keith Spera’s in-depth article on the great Sam Butera from Nola.com, click here. To see a great video of Sam and Louis in a riveting version of “Oh Marie“, click here, and Sam featured lip synching “Chantilly Lace“, click here. To watch Louis and Keely Smith with Sam again featured on sax on “Zooma Zooma“, click here.
- Koko Remembrances: I first heard Koko Taylor’s “Wang Dang Doodle” in the early 70s on the radio in Chicago. It knocked me out and I was a Koko fan from that point on. I first started seeing her perform live in 1974. She used to play regularly at a North side Chicago bar called Biddy Mulligan’s. She had a great band with Johnny Twist on the guitar, and later Johnny B. Moore. She would tear the house down regularly. I was just 18 and 19 at the time. I often sat with her and her husband Pops on the breaks. Such friendly, wonderful people! They used to let me play a number or two with the band before she hit the stage. One night Pops asked me to come to a band rehearsal to audition. He said that they were thinking about adding another piece to the band. I was still very young at the time, with plans for completing college, and my parents would hear nothing of this, and refused to lend me the car. I really would not have been of the level of playing needed to pass an audition at that point. I still have the torn note card with Koko’s number that she gave me to set this up. I went to the 1975PBS filming of the Blues Summit Concert with Koko, Muddy, Junior Wells, Willie Dixon, Johnny Winter, Dr. John, and others. Once at Biddy Mulligan’s, Paul Butterfield came by and sat in with Koko and her band for a set. Years later after I moved to Phoenix and opened up the Rhythm Room, I was able to book Koko a number of times. It warmed my heart to present her with a photo of her and her late husband that I had taken years before at Biddy Mulligan’s. In 2005, I had one of the greatest thrills of my life which was taking Koko into Rax Trax studio in Chicago and recording a song with her. I put together a great band that included Bob Margolin, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Bob Stroger, and Little Frank, and we knocked out a killer version of “What Kind Of Man Is This“. I had arranged this recording session through my friend Bruce Iglauer ofAlligator Records who, knowing how important this was to me, was gracious enough to allow me this honor – with the stipulation that I not release the cut for 5 years (I hope to put it out next year). This recording session was a true satisfaction, because I always wondered what would have happened if years before I had gone to that rehearsal. I had this special time with Koko, and it produced a beautiful recorded cut that can live on forever. In the last 5 years, it seemed like I was regularly meeting up with Koko and her family. This would happen at a wide range of places: at the Chicago Blues Festival, where she would have a booth each year, the Blues Music Awards, the Scottsdale Music Festival, the Lucerne Blues Festival, the Grammies®, etc. One time (must have been 2006) at the Chicago Blues Festival, Cookie (Koko’sdaughter) had my lovely Kim and I stay with Koko for a few hours, and we had such a wonderful time in the green room of the Petrillo Bandshell as Koko sang us some of her favorite tracks from the then forthcoming Old School CD. Just a month ago, she was the highlight performance at the BMAs, as she sang “Wang Dang Doodle” with The Mannish Boys. Koko has been a constant in my life. She has always stood for the tough, real deal Chicago blues, while having a heart of gold, and a simple joy in performing her music. I will miss her greatly.- Bob Corritore
June 3, 2009
- RIP Koko Taylor 9/28/1928-6/3/2009: This just in from Tim Kolleth of Alligator Records: “It’s with a heavy heart and deep sadness that I must inform you of the passing of The Queen of the Blues, Koko Taylor. There will never be another one like her. That’s all I can say right now except to thank all of you for playing her music all these years. I can only encourage you to keep her spirit, her voice and her timeless music alive. She will be missed forever here.”
May 28, 2009
- Big Pete Pearson Phoenix CD Release Party For Finger In Your Eye Friday & Saturday at the Rhythm Room: This is actually a pre-release party as Big Pete Pearson’s new CD Finger In Your Eye will not be officially released until July 7, 2009. The CD will be available for presale this weekend at the Rhythm Room with music by The Rhythm Room All-Stars(Big Pete Pearson, Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey). Big Pete’s new release contains 10 original songs with backing by The Rhythm Room All-Stars, plus numerous special guests including Pinetop Perkins, Duke Robillard, Henry Gray, Billy Flynn, Eddie Taylor, Jr., Doug James, and more. To see the cover art for this release, clickhere. The Rhythm Room is located at 1019 E. Indian School Rd. in Phoenix. Doors open at 8pm, cover charge is $7. Rack Shack Barbeque will be available at these events. These nights will be patio smoking only events; no indoor smoking will be permitted.
- Big Pete Pearson, Paris James, and Bob Corritore Appear Tonight at Quiessence: The beautiful, open-air restaurant Quiessence will feature a return appearance by Big Pete Pearson, Paris James, and Bob Corritore performing a night of down-home blues on Thursday, May 28, 2009. Quiessence is located at 6106 S. 32nd St., Phoenix, AZ 85042. Fine dining at its best to an evening of top-notch blues! At their last appearance, this event was at capacity, so it would be best to make reservations early. For more information, click here.
- Blues On The North Shore Poster: Blues On The North Shore is an event honoring the 30th anniversary of the greatEarwig Music label. It takes place on Friday, June 12, 2009 at S.P.A.C.E. in Evanston, and the lineup includes David “Honeyboy” Edwards, Big Jack Johnson, Dennis Binder, John Primer, and Chris James and Patrick Rynn (with Bob Corritore, Allen Batts, and Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith). Blues On The North Shore will be emceed by Bill Wax, host ofSirius/XM Satellite Radio’s B.B. King’s Bluesville, and will be aired later. A beautiful poster has been created for this event, courtesy of Lynn Orman; click here to see.
- Spring Blues Festival Articles, Videos, and Photos: The Rhythm Room All-Stars’ performance at the Spring Blues Festival in Ecaussinnes, Belgium has received much attention. Here are a few items that have appeared on the web:Photos by Michel Verlinden: click hereDocteur Blues article by Jocelyn Richez: click here
Photos by Jocelyn Richez: click here
Quefaire concert preview: click here
Bobtje Blues article on Bob Corritore: click here
Rhythm Room All-Stars on YouTube: click here
Rootstime article: click here, then click “Concert Reveiws”, then click “Spring Blues Festival”
Another Rhythm Room All-Stars video: click here
Yet another Rhythm Room All-Stars video: click here
- New Blues Harmonica Releases: New blues releases favoring the great blues harmonica tradition are abundant. New traditionally based harp records include:Rod Piazza & The Mighty Flyers / Soul Monster (Delta Groove)Rick Estrin & The Nightcats / Twisted (Alligator Records)
Chicago Blues Harmonica Project / More Rare Gems (Severn Records) with Little Arthur Duncan, Reginald Cooper,Harmonica Hines, Charlie Love, Big D, Russ Green, and Jeff Taylor (Nice guitar work by Illinois Slim and Rick Kreher)
Various Artists/Chicago Blues: A Living History (Raisin Music) featuring Billy Boy Arnold, Billy Branch, and Matthew Skoller
Delta Groove All Star Blues Revue / Live at Ground Zero Volumes 1 and 2 (Delta Groove) with traditional harmonica work by Johnny Dyer, Randy Chortkoff, and contemporary-styled harmonica by Jason Ricci
George “Harmonica” Smith / Now You Can Talk About Me (Blind Pig) Vinyl-only reissue of his Murray Brothers CD. A true legendary master of harmonica!
Jimmy Rogers / Feelin’ Good (Blind Pig) Another vinyl-only reissue, features great blowing by Rod Piazza plus two cool previously unreleased tracks with Bob Corritore on harmonica
Louisiana Red / Back To The Black Bayou (Ruf Records) featuring the harmonica of Kim Wilson, Bob Corritore, Jostein Forsberg, and producer Little Victor
Big Pete Pearson / Finger In Your Eye (VizzTone Label Group) With Bob Corritore on harmonica
- “Sugar Chile” Robinson on YouTube: Please enjoy this sensational video of child boogie-woogie piano ace “Sugar Chile” Robinson as presented by Count Basie, who does the verbal skit with Sugar Chile in between the two songs. To see this clip, click here.
May 22, 2009
- Chico Chism Memorial Birthday Bash May 23, 2009 at the Rhythm Room: Chico Chism, best known as Howlin’ Wolf’slast drummer, moved to Phoenix in 1986, and immediately become an esteemed hero in the Phoenix blues community. For 20 years he made Phoenix his home, and his presence was a major positive influence and prestigious bragging point of Phoenix. Though he passed away on January 28, 2007, he is fondly remembered. In honor of what would have been his birthday, Saturday, May 23, 2009, there will be a musical tribute at the Rhythm Room Concert Club featuring many of the musicians whose lives were touched by the man. There will be a Phoenix Blues Society meeting first, with 7:30pm doors, and the PBS meeting from 8-8:30pm. Then, music will start at 8:30pm with The Flamekeepers (Chico’s Last Band), Dave Riley & Bob Corritore, Sugar Thieves Featuring Mikel Lander & Meridith Moore, Hans Olson, Bluzone, Nina Curri, DelRayz, and others. Cover charge is $7. The Rhythm Room is located at 1019 E. Indian School Rd. in Phoenix. Rack Shack Barbeque will be available at this event. This night will be a patio smoking only event; no indoor smoking will be permitted. Please enjoy these photo pages of our friend, the late Chico Chism (page 1 click here, page 2 click here, page 3 click here, page 4 click here, page 5 click here.
- 2009 BMA Photos by David Blake Posted: Phoenix-based photographer David Blake has a special touch for photographing the blues, and his images often capture a moment with grace. His Images graced the covers of Big Pete Pearson’s I’m Here Baby and Finger In Your Eye. Though his name is a little under the radar as a blues photographer, the quality of his work is superb. Check out his photos from the 2009 Blues Music Awards in Memphis; click here to see. You might also enjoy his “Daily Dose Of the Blues” galleries, which you can see by clicking here.
- Great Reviews Of Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Bob Corritore’s Appearance at the Simply The Blues Festival:Very special thanks to Ben the Harpman of Juke Joint Soul and Bob Kieser of Blues Blast Magazine. Both writers refer to the set by Chris James and Patrick Rynn with Bob Corritore and Kurt Kalker at the Simply The Blues Festival in Fort Madison, Iowa on May 9, 2009 as their favorite. To see the review in Juke Joint Soul, click here, and to see the review inBlues Blast, click here. Special thanks also to Eric Steiner of the Washington Blues Society for his great review of the Broadcasting The Blues CD in the same issue of Blues Blast Magazine.
- Correction on BMA Recap: We apologize for the misinformation, as it was not Ruthie Foster on Gaye Adegbalola’s coming out set at the Blues Music Awards. Gaye sent this note along: “Thanks for the nice nod, but the woman singing with me was Resa Gibbs, not Ruthie Foster. Resa is openly out, too; as is the piano player, Roddy Barnes. Of the seven of us on stage, four were openly out; I dare say a first for any blues event. I was so proud that I could be so free.”
- Big Pete Pearson, Paris James, and Bob Corritore to Make Return Appearance at Quiessence: The beautiful, open-air restaurant Quiessence will feature a return appearance by Big Pete Pearson, Paris James, and Bob Corritore performing a night of down home blues on Thursday, May 28th. Quiessence is located at 6106 S. 32nd St., Phoenix, AZ 85042. Fine dining at its best to an evening of top-notch blues! At their last appearance, this event was at capacity, so it would be best to make reservations early. For more information, click here.
- Fats Domino on YouTube: Please enjoy this great vintage clip of Fats Domino lip-synching his great hit “Ain’t That A Shame” in all his glory. Click here to see.
- A Great European Tour! The Rhythm Room All-Stars (Big Pete Pearson, Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, andBrian Fahey) come back exhilarated from our trip to Belgium and France. We were given a warm reception at each of the performances. After flying in on Thursday afternoon, we met up with Franky Bruneel, the editor of Belgium’s Back To The Roots Magazine and the person who set up our tour. (Franky would serve as our tour manager and he had carefully set up each leg of the trip.) That night, we were treated to a wonderful home-cooked meal at the home of Christian and Renee Boncour, the owners of Blues Station in Tournon d’ Agenais, France, where we were to play the next night. After a simply wonderful meal and wonderful company, we were interviewed as a band by Xavier Boulanger of the Collectif des Radios Blues for his Radio Baker Street show. The next night we played to a packed house at Blues Station, complete with a great opening set by Rag Mama Rag. The master of ceremonies was André Hobus. To see the website for this show, click here. The next day was a quick flight from the Toulouse airport to Brussels, then a van ride to Ecaussinnes, Belgium where we checked into the hotel, freshened up a bit, and headed straight to the Spring Blues Festival. What a great event this festival is! The lineup this year included Joe Louis Walker, Sugar Ray & The Bluetones (featuring Monster Mike Welch), The Rhythm Room All-Stars, James Harman Band (featuring Gene Taylor), Mac Arnold & Plate Full O’ Blues, the Fruteland Jackson & Bob Hall Show, and Jimson Weed. To see the poster for this event, click here.When we arrived at the Spring Blues Festival we were greeted by the music of Mac Arnold sounding just great on the stage, and a hello by my longtime friend James Harman. After being shown our dressing room, we checked in CDs at the Back To The Roots booth, where countless photographers were snapping pictures, and we were greeted by friends and fans. It was so great to meet in person my email friend Marc De Jonghe, who has provided many photos for the website (click here to see). It was also great to see Michel Remond, who was looking just great after suffering a minor stroke last year. Michel (with the help of Jocelyn Richez) was the first to reach out and get us a European festival gig, and I will be forever grateful. Freddy Celis from Rootstime (a fine blues website from Belgium) conducted an amazingly in-depth interview in the rushed, 30 minute window of time that we had available before our festival set. After a killer set by James Harman (that includedGene Taylor on piano who now lives in Belgium), we set up our gear and took the stage. After a wonderful announcement by emcee André Hobus, we broke into a set that made us all feel proud. We were provided great equipment, a great sound system and crew, and the best of audiences. What a great feeling it is to have everything clicking, and to be able to share yourself to an audience with total acceptance! As we were getting ready to perform our encore, the festival presented Chris James with a surprise birthday gift of Belgian chocolates (It was actually Chris’s birthday). After our set, we went to theBack To The Roots booth and enjoyed a seemingly endless stream of CD sales, autograph signings, photo ops, and greetings. After that were wonderful sets by Sugar Ray & The Bluetones and Joe Louis Walker. To read a nice review (compete with photos) of the Spring Blues Festival, click here, and and click the concert review link, then the SBF link.Some of the other people we ran across at the Spring Blues Festival were Jacques Perin and his wife Monique of Soul Bag Magazine, Jean Pierre Urbain of ABS Magazine, Didier Chaumier and Lucky Jean Luc of Oreille Bleue, Dominique Floch of the Beautiful Swamp Blues Festival, Georges Lemaire, Dominique Cranshoff, Joel Bizon and Claude Dannic ofBCR, Henri Mayoux of France’s Blues Magazine, Guido Schmidt and his wife from the Lucerne Blues Festival, Fabrizio Berti, Mike Stephenson (Blues & Rhythm Magazine), Aigars Lapsa, Lil Hobus, Bobtje Blues, and Guido Heynderycx, as well as fellow musicians Sugar Ray Norcia (who introduced me to Anthony Geraci), Mudcat Ward, Henry Oden, Gene Taylor,Mac Arnold, James Harman, and many others. We found out after we got back that our close friends Richie and Teresa Villiger were also there, but we unfortunately never connected with them in the large crowd. My friend Fruteland Jacksonwas there, but I also never saw him to say hello. The next morning Kim and I ran into Joe Louis Walker at breakfast. Joeimmediately brought up our mutual friend the late Chico Chism, who Joe dearly loved. Also that morning, Big Pete Pearsonwas interviewed by Mike Stephanson for the UK’s Blues and Rhythm Magazine. We then travelled to a the beautiful Belgium town of Zottegem, where we would play at a small but mighty club called De Blauwe Wolk which means “The Blue Cloud”. We had a wonderful crowd of blues lovers who were there specifically to see us. I met Dirk Delaere, who had with him the first three LPs that I produced, which he asked me to sign (these LPs were Little Willie Anderson / Swinging The Blues, Big Leon Brooks / Let’s Go To Town and Low Blows, an anthology of Chicago blues harmonica from the 1970s and early 80s). We played two spirited sets and two encores before calling it a night. The next day it was off to the airport for our flight back home where we hated to say goodbye to our friend Franky Bruneel and our driver Kurt. Thanks, Franky, for a wonderful adventure and for your constant support of the blues.- Bob Corritore
May 12, 2009
- Rhythm Room All-Stars in France and Belgium This Week: The Rhythm Room All-Stars (Big Pete Pearson, Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey) will perform a string of dates in France and Belgium:-Friday, May 15, 2009: Blues Station in Tournon d’Agenais, France (a legendary European blues club).-Saturday, May 16, 2009: The Spring Blues Festival in Ecaussinnes, Belgium. The lineup this year includes Joe Louis Walker, Sugar Ray & The Bluetones (featuring Monster Mike Welch), James Harman Band (featuring Gene Taylor), Mac Arnold & Plate Full O’ Blues, the Fruteland Jackson & Bob Hall Show, and Jimson Weed. The master of ceremonies will beAndré Hobus. To see the poster for this event, click here.-Sunday, May 17, 2009: De Blauwe Wolk in Zottegem, Belgium (a highly noted Belgian blues club)
Special thanks to our friend Franky Bruneel, Editor of Belgium’s Back To The Roots Magazine for his help in arranging this tour.
- Sam Carr Update: We have heard from Dave Riley that Sam is feeling a little better. Also, Patty Johnson sent this note along that more fully explains Sam’s situation:”I just thought you’d like some further info about Sam. He had surgery to put in a pacemaker a short while back, and a blood clot developed after that. Although he moved into a lovely apartment after Doris’s death, he had a difficult time caring for himself…cooking and general homemaking are not his strong suit!!! He was treated and released for the blood clot, and dear friends and family assisted with all the red tape to get him into Greenbough, where he receives well cooked meals and supervision. It is a well run facility, and he has the benefit of greater socialization than when he was out in the country. He can come and go if someone wants to take him out for the day. We are all hopeful he will get stronger here!”Prayers for Sam Carr’s speedy recovery and thanks for all the visits and kind notes.
- Chico Chism Memorial Birthday Bash May 23, 2009 at the Rhythm Room: Chico Chism, best known as Howlin’ Wolf’s last drummer, moved to Phoenix in 1986, and immediately become an esteemed hero in the Phoenix blues community. For 20 years he made Phoenix his home, and his presence was a major positive influence and prestigious bragging point of Phoenix. Though he passed away on January 28, 2007, he is fondly remembered. In honor of what would have been his birthday, there will be a musical tribute featuring many of the musicians whose lives were touched by the man. The Rhythm Room is located at 1019 E. Indian School Rd. in Phoenix. Doors open at 7:30pm with a Phoenix Blues Society meeting first, and the show following at 8:30pm; cover charge is $7. Rack Shack Barbeque will be available at this event. This night will be a patio smoking only event; no indoor smoking will be permitted. Please enjoy these photo pages of our friend, the late Chico Chism (page 1 click here, page 2 click here, page 3 click here, page 4 click here, page 5 click here.
- Amos Milburn on YouTube! Please enjoy this wonderful vintage performance by a West Coast blues piano great. To see Amos Milburn pounding the ivories on “Down The Road A Piece”, click here.
- Memphis Recap: As The Blues Foundation celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Blues Music Awards, numerous musicians, labels, booking agents, festival bookers, publicists, photographers, writers, and managers gathered in Memphis last Thursday to be a part of the proceedings. For many of us, it is an annual gathering place to enjoy the family feeling that occurs when blues people get together. Absent were many of the fallen blues artists who were once a big part of these proceedings: Robert Lockwood, Jr., Little Milton, Ruth Brown, Rufus Thomas, and others who were regular participants in the event. But still, the family gathers and flaunts the seasoned veterans like Irma Thomas, Koko Taylor, Pinetop Perkins,Hubert Sumlin, Bobby “Blue” Bland, B.B. King, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Bob Stroger, Taj Mahal, and others. The event also carries the flame by nurturing some of the new artists on the scene, as well as encouraging the dedicated career blues musicians who are making their gradual rise into wider recognition. This is a gathering of like-minded blues lovers rooting for their favorite blues nominee, and for the music in general.Arriving on Tuesday, Kim and I checked into our room at the Memphis Marriott and enjoyed a great meal at Capriccio at thePeabody Hotel. We had already made our first new friends at the airport with Steven and Tina Suen, the owners of Biscuits & Blues in San Francisco. The rest of our time was non-stop greetings of so many of our great blues friends.Wednesday was the Hall Of Fame dinner, which is always a joyous occasion. This is where songs, albums, literature and people are honored. Blues Foundation director Jay Sieleman opened the proceedings before turning it over to Bill Wax, who led us though a spectacular evening of honoring great blues achievements. Bill often called upon others to make authoritative and heartfelt introductions to recipients. All of these intros were wonderful, but some of my favorites were Bill Wax’s spirited tribute to the song “Caldonia”, Marcia Ball’s loving and personal ode to Clifford Antone, Bruce Iglauer’s in-depth character description of Son Seals, which left nary a dry eye, and Chess reissue czar Andy McKaie’s warm tribute to the stunning work of producer/reissuer/radio host/historian Bob Porter, perhaps one of the most knowledgeable people around on the subjects of blues and jazz. For a complete list of all the Hall Of Fame 2009 inductees, click here.The next day was the awards ceremony, and it started out with a great conversation with harmonica great Steve Guyger on playing harmonica in Jimmy Rogers‘ band, and the special and elusive quality of playing that style of Chicago Blues. Steve and I both had the honor of working with the late Jimmy Rogers, which, for Chicago blues harmonica players, is as good as it gets. Paul Rishell and Annie Raines (another harmonica great) then joined us, and the conversation changed to their recent visit to the legendary Jerry McCain’s house. Then off to the sound check, a lunch, and frequent lobby meetings. Before we knew it, the BMA night was upon us. I was there to perform with Chris James and Patrick Rynn, whose CD Stop And Think About It was nominated for a BMA in the debut artist category. Also in the band was drummer Kurt Kalker (best known for his work with The Fremonts), and our dear friend, piano master David Maxwell. We were to kick off the pre-party with a set that would greet the people shortly after the doors opened. The room was immediately full, and we kicked off a top-form set which was very well received. Special thanks to Billy Gibson (another harmonica great), who lent me his vintage Supro amp, which had such a gorgeous sound. It was a great moment for me when Taj Mahal went out of his way to compliment my harmonica playing. From that point on I was off work, and it was a non-stop party filled with music, speeches, and conversation. Some of my favorite performances were the soul-scorching ballad by Bettye LaVette, a surprise musical meeting of B.B. King and Curtis Salgado, the sweet, understated duo performance by Paul Rishell and Little Annie Raines, a masterful duet set by Steve Guyger and Kirk Fletcher, and a great ballad by New Orleans Soul Queen Irma Thomas. But, my favorite performance of the entire night was Koko Taylor performing “Wang Dang Doodle” with stunning backing by The Mannish Boys. Some other highlights of note were: Janiva Magness (who had brought along her daughter) being presented the entertainer of the year award by B.B. King and Bonnie Raitt, The coming out set from gay activist Gaye Adegbalola, complete with Jason Ricci and Ruthie Foster (other openly gay members of our blues community), Willie “Big Eyes” Smith’s acceptance speech for Best Instrumentalist in the drums category. Willie noted that this year he was competing with his son Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith, who was also a nominee in the drummer category.Willie said that “this goes to show who is in charge”. For a complete listing of the nominees and winners, click here. Also, to view photos taken by numerous photographers at the event, click here.
All in all, it was a great night for the blues. Here is a short list of the many people that we saw at the BMAs:
John Hahn, Art and Bonnie Tipaldi, Donovan Allen, Diunna Greenleaf, Big Pete Pearson, Bob Stroger, Steve Guyger, Maria Muldaur, Janiva Magness, Richard Rosenblatt, Jerry Del Giudice, Pete Carlson from Sagebrush Productions (who was there with Steven Seagal), Bill Dahl (who was there with Frank Lipsius from Jamie Records), my dear friend Bruce Bromberg (whose now defunct HighTone record label was the beginning of my recording career as a performer), Bill Stuve, Jay Sieleman and Priscilla Hernandez, Joe and Sara Whitmer, Fiona Boyes and Steve Clarke, Gil Anthony, Zac Harmon, Curtis Salgado, Michael Frank, Rev. Billy Wirtz, Koko and Cookie Taylor, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith,Pinetop Perkins and Pat Morgan, Hubert Sumlin, Bruce Iglauer, Andy and Ria McKaie, Marcia Ball, Terry Buckalew, Jostein Forsberg from the Notodden Blues Festival, Cassie and Otis Taylor, Gaye Adegbalola, Billy Gibson, Steve Simon, Bob and Linda Porter, Bill and Sheila Wax, David Maxwell and his lovely wife Simone, Watermelon Slim, Irma Thomas, Taj Mahal,Rich DelGrosso, Deanna Bogart, Albert Castiglia, Paul Rishell, Annie Raines, Elvin Bishop, Eden Brent, Delta Highway,Johnny Sansone, Doug McLeod, Gina Sicilia, Dave Gross, Rob Stone, Bettye LaVette, Johnny Rawls, Kirk Fletcher, Koko Taylor, The Mannish Boys, Los Fabulocos & Kid Ramos, Tom Leavey, Finis Tasby, Randy Chortkoff and his lovely Kelly,Frank Roszak and Josh Tempkin of Delta Groove, Candye Kane, Preston Hubbard, Dusty Scott of Dusty Blues, DJ Gary Miller from Bluessource, Charles and Lori Ragsdell, Jen Taylor and Scott Allen of Vivid Pix, Lurrie Bell, Kelly Littleton,Detroit Mike, Super Chikan, Bob and Pam Margolin, Scott Cable, the family of the late Sean Costello, Jason Ricci, Ruthie Foster, Kenny Neal, Marie Trout (wife of Walter Trout), Sonny “Mad Dog” Colter of Sirius/XM Satellite Radio, Horst-Dieter Fischer, Richard Ludmerer of the New York Blues and Jazz Society, Mark Evangelos, Milicia Theesink (wife of Hans Theessink), Fred Litwin of Northern Blues, Robert Belfour, Mr. and Mrs. V, Blues DJ Dar, Lil’ Ed and his wife Pam, Larry Taylor, Zack Zunis, Steve Mugalion, Benny Yee, Gordon Bulcok of Deja Blues, Brad Vickers, Cedric Burnside & Lightnin’ Malcolm, Al Blake, Richard Innes, Fred Kaplan, Dave Keyes, Nick Moss & The Fliptops, Dennis “Doc” Alters, Andra Fayeof Saffire – The Uppity Blueswomen, Leon Blue, Lynn Orman, Deb Lubin, Michael Carden, Dave Fields, David Hughes,Betsie Brown of Blind Raccoon Publicity, Michael McClune, Michael Kinsman of BLUSD, Eric Steiner of the Washington Blues Society, Steve Hecht, Belinda Foster (Mack Arnold’s manager), Stevie Dupree, Dick Waterman, Robin Rogers, Terry Hanck, Arnie Goodman, Aigars Lapsa (thanks for the beautiful calendar), Peggy and Corky Solum (who gave us photos of our last get together in October 2006 with the great Robert Lockwood, Jr.), Roger Naber and fellow Blues Cruise partners,David Beardsley of STL Blues, Johnny Dyer, Ms. Zeno, Hugh Southard of Blue Mountain Artists, Rick Booth and Jake Lankheit from Intrepid Artists, Thomas Ruf of Ruf Records, Michael Powers of Yellow Dog Records, David and Carmen Blake, Cliff Belcher, Paul Benjamin, Trudy Lynn, Amy Brat, Bobby Rush and “Lo”, Sharrie Williams, Jackie Payne, Steve Edmondson, Charlie Hussey, Chris Sabie, Phoenix Blues Society President Kyle Deibler, Ricky Stevens, Roger “Hurricane” Wilson, Steve Cagle of KVMR, and others.
Though Mookie Brill was unable to attend the awards, he had prepared an acceptance speech, which, due to understandableBlues Foundation policy, was unable to be read at the event in his absence. But below is the message he hoped to convey in his acceptance speech. Here was his prepared speech:
“I’m sorry that circumstances prevented me from attending this year, and I know what you may be thinking, but no, I am not in jail! I would like to thank The Blues Foundation, all the voters, and all who have provided me with gigs this past year. There are many bassists deserving of this award, and I am honored that you chose me.
In the past year or so, I have lost a couple of good friends and collaborators, Nappy Brown andSean Costello. I’d like to dedicate this award to their memories. Ordinarily, I would not use this occasion to promote a cause, but in honor of Sean, I’d like to call your attention to the “Sean Costello Fund for Bi-Polar Research“. It is run by Sean’s mother, and I can think of no better way to honor his memory. Check it out at seancostellofund.org or on MySpace.
Once again, many thanks and I’m raising a glass to you from home! Now have some fun!”
Friday we spent breakfast at the Magnolia Grille with the Porters (Bob and Linda of course, and their sons and daughter-in-law), the McKaies, and latecomer Bruce Bromberg. Then Chris, Patrick, Kurt, Kim, and I packed up the rental van and drove to Fort Madison, Iowa.
Saturday we played the Simply The Blues Festival in Fort Madison, Iowa. Part of the festival honored Earwig Music’s 30th Anniversary and featured Johnny Drummer, Liz Mandeville and, of course, the Chris James / Patrick Rynn Band of (whichKurt Kalker and I were a part of). Festival chief Matt Eimer was the most gracious host, and the festival, which has a legacy of great lineup, was filled with midwestern charm. While at the festival, we connected with Ben the Harpman from Juke Joint Soul, Shannon Curfman, Harper, Johnny Drummer, Liz Mandeville, Earwig chief Michael Frank, Gary Eckhart, and others. We felt good about our performance and we loved the festival. Thanks, Matt, for a very special time.
Sunday Chris, Patrick, Kurt, Kim, and I drove back to St. Louis where we flew home after a very satisfying trip. Since The Rhythm Room All-Stars (Big Pete Pearson, Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey) play in France and Belgium this week, a couple days to pack/unpack are in order.
May 10, 2009
- Sam Carr Health Concerns: The following message came to us from Geni Ward, the sister of Sam Carr: “I would like to let everyone know that Sam Carr has taken ill and is in a nursing home in Clarksdale, Mississippi:Greenbough Nursing Center
340 DeSoto Avenue Extension
Clarksdale, MS 38614
Phone: (662) 627-3486He has a blood clot in his leg, and his kidneys are beginning to fail. The doctors are treating him for the blood clot, and are giving him medicine to treat his kidneys. I would like for everyone to send up prayers on his behalf, and if anyone lives in the area, please go and visit him. Steve Kolbus has been going by to see him every day; if someone comes to see him often, they will give him better treatment. Thanks!”- Geni Ward
May 4, 2009
- Chris James and Patrick Rynn to Open the Entertainment Lineup at the Blues Music Awards: Chris James and Patrick Rynn’s highly acclaimed CD Stop And Think About It on the Earwig Music label has garnered a nomination for a Blues Music Award under the category of Best Debut Artist. Chris and Patrick will perform at the BMAs on May 7, 2009 at the Cook Convention Center in Memphis, Tennessee, with a band that includes Bob Corritore on harmonica, David Maxwell on piano, and Kurt Kalker (of The Fremonts) on drums. They will be the first of a string of bands in the evening’s ambitious entertainment lineup, as they perform the kick-off set at the BMA pre-party in the lobby at the Cook Convention Center (note that 5 bands will perform in sequence at the pre-party). The evening’s entertainment will be a virtual who’s who of the contemporary blues world: The Mannish Boys, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Bob Stroger, Johnny Rawls, Steve Guyger, Billy Gibson, Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials, Gaye Adegbalola, Taj Mahal, Janiva Magness, Bruce Katz, Marcia Ball, Watermelon Slim, Bettye LaVette, Otis Taylor, Irma Thomas, Maria Muldaur, Kenny Neal, Rory Block, Elvin Bishop, Bob Brozman, Paul Rishell & Annie Raines, Eden Brent, Delta Highway, Johnny Sansone, Jason Ricci, Terry Hanck, Robin Rogers, Doug MacLeod, Deanna Bogart, Albert Castiglia, and more! This year, the event celebrates its 30 year anniversary, which started out under the name W. C. Handy Awards. Special thanks to The Blues Foundation, whose ongoing dedication makes this event happen each year! For more information on the BMAs, click here. This is a blues party is not to be missed. Please enjoy these photos from previous years: 2005 (click here), 2006 (click here), 2007 (click here) and 2008 (click here).
- Chris James, Patrick Rynn, Bob Corritore Appear at the Simply The Blues Festival in Fort Madison, Iowa, as Part of an Earwig Music 30th Anniversary Set: The Simply The Blues Festival happens on Friday and Saturday, May 8 and 9, 2009 at C.E. Richards Rodeo Arena – Shelter House in Fort Madison, Iowa. The Chris James / Patrick Rynn Band with Bob Corritore and Kurt Kalker will appear on Saturday, May 9, 2009 as part of Earwig Music’s 30th Anniversary Review that includes Johnny Drummer & The Starlighters and Liz Mandeville. Also on the bill this year are Bobby Rush, Sugar Blue,Soul Of John Black, Shannon Curfman, Harper, JP Soars (2009 IBC winner), Patrick Hazell, and more! To see the festival flyer, click here.
- Delta Groove Showcase Update: The 4th Annual Delta Groove & Eclecto Groove showcase happens at the New Daisy Theatre in Memphis on Friday, May 8, 2009, beginning at 6pm. This event happens each year on the day after the Blues Music Awards, and is a medium for the powerful Delta Groove label to both showcase its expanding roster of artists, and include guest appearances by many of the label’s extended family of friends. This year’s event will kick off with a sneak preview of the highly-anticipated harmonica documentary Pocket Full Of Soul, due out later this year. This year’s showcase lineup includes The Soul Of John Black, The Mannish Boys featuring Finis Tasby and Bobby Jones, Bobby Jones andSteve Edmondson Band, Candye Kane (who has a forthcoming Delta Groove release), Lynwood Slim, JT Lauritsen, Los Fabulocos & Kid Ramos, Jason Ricci, The Hollywood Blue Flames with Junior Watson and Johnny Dyer, and more! Special thanks to label chief and Mannish Boys harmonica man Randy Chortkoff for throwing this great party each year, and for his far-reaching efforts and impact in the blues. For more information of this event including advance ticket info, click here.
- Jimmy Rogers Feeling Good Album to be Released on Vinyl With Previously Unissued Songs! Jerry Del Giudice from Blind Pig Records reports a May 19, 2009 street date for this limited edition, album only re-release of Jimmy Rogers‘ Feelin’ Good album. In addition to the 9 great original tracks backed by Rod Piazza & The Mighty Flyers, there will be two spectacular previously unissued tracks where Jimmy Rogers is backed by Bob Corritore, Buddy Reed, S.E. Willis, Bruce Lopez, and Chico Chism. For more information on this exciting new release, click here.
- Ottawa Blues Fest Lineup Announced! Rhythm Room All-Stars to Appear! The Cisco Ottawa Blues Festival takes place July 8 through July 19, 2009. The festival’s amazing and eclectic lineup includes artists of all genres. Here are some of the many blues acts featured: Hubert Sumlin, Buckwheat Zydeco, Louisiana Red, David Maxwell, The Rhythm Room All-Stars (Big Pete Pearson, Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey), Bob Margolin, Diunna Greenleaf,Homemade Jamz, Cedric Burnside & Lightnin’ Malcolm, Eden Brent, Dave Alvin, The Yardbirds, Roomful of Blues, Papa Mali, Moreland & Arbuckle, JW Jones Band with Charlie Baty, Craig Horton, The Soul Of John Black, Daddy Mack Blues Band, Zac Harmon, Eric Lindell, Shemekia Copeland, Larry Garner, Sugar Blue, Freddie Roulette, Joe Louis Walker, Doyle Bramhall, Chris Smither, Saffire – The Uppity Blueswomen, and others. Non-blues acts are a big part of this event, and are stylistically far-ranging (from Ornette Coleman to KISS). The Rhythm Room All-Stars will make appearances at the festival on July 17, 18 and 19, 2009 with special guest David Maxwell on piano (Dave will be a part of numerous shows throughout the whole week). The All-Stars with David Maxwell will also be the backing band for Louisiana Red show on Saturday, July 18, 2009. Red and David Maxwell will perform as a duet on the following day (Red and David will have a duet release later this year on VizzTone). For a complete lineup, and more information on this amazing event, click here.
- Louisiana Red’s Latest Release Receiving Great Attention: Red’s latest release, Louisiana Red with Little Victor’s Juke Joint/Back To The Black Bayou on Ruf Records, has been warmly received throughout the world, acknowledging Red’s great blues artistry. To see numerous rave reviews of this CD, click here. To see the new MySpace constructed to highlight this record, click here. Special thanks to Little Victor for his great production work on this release.
- Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup on YouTube! Please enjoy this beautiful 1973 clip of Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup performing his original song “So Glad You’re Mine“. To watch, click here.
May 1, 2009
- Tomcat Courtney Appears Tonight at the Rhythm Room! Tomcat Courtney was San Diego’s best-kept blues secret until the release last year of his first national CD Downsville Blues on the Blue Witch record label. To see some of many great reviews this CD received, click here. Tomcat turned 80 years old earlier this year, and his music is a glimpse to theLightnin’ Hopkins days of Texas blues. Tomcat will be backed by Chris James (whose music career began at age 13 inTomcat’s band), Patrick Rynn, Bob Corritore, and Kurt Kalker. Tomcat’s show is one of the most satisfying down home blues presentations around today. The Rhythm Room is located at 1019 E. Indian School Rd. in Phoenix. Doors open at 8pm, cover charge is $7. Rack Shack Barbecue will be available at this event. This night will be a patio smoking only event; no indoor smoking will be permitted.
- Blues On The North Shore to Honor Earwig Music’s 30th Anniversary: The second annual Blues On The North Shore is put together by renowned blues publicist Lynn Orman, Earwig label chief Michael Frank, and event co-producer Denise Ardizzone. This event coincides with the Chicago Blues Festival, and takes place on Friday, June 12, 2009 at S.P.A.C.E. in Evanston, Illinois (a beautiful performance venue just north of Chicago) with 7pm doors, and an 8pm show. This year’s event features David “Honeyboy” Edwards, Big Jack Johnson, Dennis Binder, John Primer, and Chris James and Patrick Rynn (with Bob Corritore, Allen Batts, and Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith). Blues On The North Shore will be emceed by Bill Wax, host of Sirius/XM Satellite Radio’s B.B. King’s Bluesville, and will be aired later. Part of the proceeds of this event will be allocated to A Safe Haven, providing housing for musicians in times of crisis. S.P.A.C.E. is located at 1245 Chicago Avenue (Chicago Ave. and Dempster) in Evanston. For more information on this event, click here and here. To see the press release for this event, click here. For more information on the great Earwig Label with its legendary catalog, click here. For more information on numerous other events honoring Earwig’s 30-year milestone, click here. Thanks, Michael Frank, for all you have done for the blues.
- New Poster for the Spring Blues Festival in Belgium: The Spring Blues Festival happens May 16, 2009, in Ecaussinnes, Belgium. The lineup this year includes Joe Louis Walker, Sugar Ray & The Bluetones (featuring Monster Mike Welch), The Rhythm Room All-Stars (Big Pete Pearson, Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey), James HarmanBand (featuring Gene Taylor), Mac Arnold & Plate Full O’ Blues, the Fruteland Jackson & Bob Hall Show, and Jimson Weed. The master of ceremonies will be André Hobus. To see the recently published poster for this event, click here.
- Pat Thomas On YouTube! Please enjoy this YouTube clip of an unreleased scene from the documentary M for Mississippi. Pat Thomas is the son of the legendary Son Thomas, and he is a chip off the old block, with a stirring guitar style, and an eerie falsetto voice technique very similar to that of his dad. Pat Thomas currently has a brilliant new release called His Father’s Son on the Broke and Hungry record label. To see this clip, click here.
April 20, 2009
- Dave Riley & Bob Corritore Duet Appear Wednesday at the Rhythm Room: The BMA and BBMA-nominated down home blues combination of Dave Riley and Bob Corritore appear Wednesday at the Rhythm Room. The Rhythm Room is located at 1019 E. Indian School Rd. in Phoenix. Doors open at 7pm, cover charge is $5. This night will be a patio smoking only event; no indoor smoking will be permitted. To see a photo page of Dave and Bob, click here.
- Charlie Musselwhite Gets Mississippi Blues Trail Marker: Legendary blues harmonica ace Charlie Musselwhite will be honored with a Mississippi Blues Trail Marker this week. The ceremony will take place in Kosciusko, MS at 3pm on Friday, April 24, 2009. The State of Mississippi (with the assistance of blues historian Jim O’Neal), has been honoring its blues heritage with historical markers erected throughout the state. To see the invitation, click here; and to see a map of the location of the ceremony, click here.
- RIP Manuel Arrington 4/24/1944-4/16/2009: Chicago area comedian/blues musician Manuel Arrington passed away on Thursday, April 16, 2009. He was 64. He was born in Collins, Mississippi on April 24, 1944. After serving in the military during the Vietnam War, he relocated in Chicago during the 1970s. He soon became well known in Chicago, and was hired to be emcee/comedian for many of the biggest blues shows in the city (B.B. King, Johnnie Taylor, Tyrone Davis, and others). During the 1980s, he added blues singing to his act, and would later become a show promoter and organizer. He is fondly remembered for his many wonderful jokes, including his famous double-entendre story called “Candy Bars”. He will be greatly missed in the Windy City.
- RIP Michael “Dr. Mike” James 6/10/1965-4/8/2009: Clarksdale favorite local musician Michael “Dr. Mike” James passed away last week. He was 43. James was born in Shaw, Mississippi on June 10, 1965. Michael, a talented guitarist, was a longtime member of the Wesley Jefferson Southern Soul Band, and was an arts & education program instructor for a while at the Delta Blues Museum. Thanks to Steve Cheseborough for sending this information.
April 14, 2009
- Bob Riedy Chicago Blues Band Reunion featuring Eddy Clearwater this Friday at the Rhythm Room: This Friday, April 17, 2009, Bob Riedy’s Chicago Blues Band will reunite for a very special show and DVD filming. Bob Riedy was a major force in Chicago Blues during the 1970s, as he pioneered a North Side club circuit for blues acts. He also was the bandleader for the Bob Riedy Blues Band, which was a solid Chicago Blues unit that specialized in backing the great Chicago blues frontmen that would often appear as part of the band. Such players included Johnny Littlejohn, Carey Bell,Jimmy Rogers, Johnny Young, Eddy Clearwater, Sam Lay, and others. Bob Riedy is a fine blues piano player with a style that bows to the influence of Otis Spann. This event gathers the members of the original backing band: Mark Wydra, Rick Knapp, Jon Hiller, Jim Kahr, and of course, Bob Riedy. Joining in of the festivities and performing on parts of the show will be Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Bob Corritore. To take this event over the top will be the great Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater, a true legend of Chicago Blues. Vintage film clips from the 1970s will be shown (including performances byJohnny Young, Johnny Littlejohn, and Richard “Hubcap” Robinson), and Chicago blues memorabilia will be on display. The intention of this event is reunite a spectacular and popular occurrence in Chicago blues, and to combine parts of this filmed performance with the 1970s footage for a retrospective documentary. The Rhythm Room is located at 1019 E. Indian School Rd. in Phoenix. Doors open at 8pm, cover charge is $15. Rack Shack Barbecue will be available at these events.This night will be a patio smoking only event; no indoor smoking will be permitted. This event will be a must-see for lovers of Chicago blues. To see Liz Mandeville’s recent interview with guitarist Mark Wydra for the Chicago Blues Guide whereMark recalls the BRBB days, click here. To see a flier for this event, click here.
- Great Press! Thanks Big City Blues, Downbeat, Back To The Roots, Blues Bytes, and Chicago Blues Guide! Thanks to Marilyn Stringer for her coverage of the Phoenix Blues Society’s “Blues Blast 2009” in the April/May issue of Big City Blues. Thanks also for including a photo of Big Pete Pearson and Bob Corritore performing at this event. Also in this issue is a great review by Gary Von Tersch of Chris James and Patrick Rynn’s Stop And Think About It on Earwig Music, and coverage of their performance at the Big City Blues Showcase by Eric Steiner. Thanks to Frank John Hadley for his review of Broadcasting The Blues in Downbeat Magazine. Thanks to Belgium’s Back To The Roots Magazine for their recent cover story of Tomcat Courtney (click here to see). Thanks to Graham Clarke for his review of Louisiana Red/Back To The Black Bayou for Blues Bytes (click here to see). Thanks to Tim Holek for his review of Broadcasting The Blues on the Chicago Blues Guide website (click here to see).
- CD Art for Big Pete Pearson’s Forthcoming CD Completed: Please enjoy the CD artwork courtesy of Tony Amato of Amato Image Design. Big Pete’s new CD is called Finger In Your Eye, and it will be released this summer as part of the VizzTone Label Group! To see the CD artwork, click here.
- Photos of 1976 New Orleans Jazz and Blues Festival: With this year’s NOJ&H Fest just around the corner (April 24-26 and April 30-May 3, 2009) it is appropriate to reflect of the festival’s long and rich history. Please enjoy a new photo page of a few previously unseen photos from the 1976 NOJ&H Fest. These photos were taken by Bob Corritore, and include Roosevelt Sykes, Johnny Shines, Cousin Joe, Little Freddie King and Harmonica Williams, Lee Dorsey, and Clarence “Frogman” Henry. To see these photos, click here. To see the festival website and the amazing lineup offered this year, click here.
- RIP Sal “Honeyboy Dupree” Cafferello: Though not a well-known name in the blues, Sal “Honeyboy Dupree” Cafferello was a loved blues musician in Phoenix as well as his original home state of New Jersey. A fine vocalist, frontman, and bass player, Sal held together his band Honeyboy Dupree & The Smokehouse Players for 10 years, and they played to great popularity in the Phoenix area. They were the winners of the 2001 Arizona Blues Showdown, and represented Phoenix at the IBCs in Memphis. Sal passed away unexpectedly at a local hospital on April 3, 2009 while recovering from injuries suffered in a car accident a couple days before. A kind and gentle man and a talented musician, Sal will be greatly missed by those of us lucky enough to know him. To read more about Sal “Honeyboy Dupree” Cafferello on his website, click here.
- Vintage Muddy Waters on YouTube: Please enjoy this beautiful 1960 performance of Muddy Waters live at Newport performing the “Catfish Blues” (also known as the song “Rollin’ Stone”) with his great band that includes Otis Spann on piano, James Cotton on harmonica, and Francis Clay on drums. To see this clip, click here.
March 31, 2009
- Big Pete Pearson New CD to be Released as Part of the VizzTone Label Group: This exciting news just in: Big Pete Pearson’s new CD called Finger In Your Eye will be released as part of the VizzTone Label Group! On this new CD, Big Pete’s spectacular vocals are showcased on 10 original songs with top notch accompaniment by The Rhythm Room All-Stars (Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, Brian Fahey), plus special guests Pinetop Perkins, Duke Robillard, Henry Gray, Billy Flynn, Eddie Taylor, Jr., Doug James, and more! This CD is produced by Bob Corritore, and engineered and mixed by Clarke Rigsby. You can look for this exciting new CD to be released this summer, with a CD release party a little ahead of that on May 29 and 30, 2009 at the Rhythm Room. The VizzTone Label Group is run by some exceptional people in the blues: Chip Eagle (Blues Revue Magazine, BluesWax), Richard Rosenblatt (a fine harp player and former chief ofTone-Cool Records), Bob Margolin (legendary guitarist from the Muddy Waters band), and Gerald Hurst. Also on the VizzTone Label Group are Pinetop Perkins, Big Bill Morganfield (new release coming soon!), Son Seals, Gaye Adegbalola, Gina Sicilia, David Gross, Boyes, Brill, and DelGrosso (Fiona Boyes, Mookie Brill, and Rich DelGrosso), Super Chikan, Monster Mike Welch, Bruce Katz, Terry Hanck, Bob Margolin, and others. Thank you, VizzTone, for inviting Big Pete Pearson to your wonderful roster.
- Rhythm Room All-Stars Appear Friday and Saturday at their Home Base: Come see The Rhythm Room All-Stars this weekend at the Rhythm Room! The Rhythm Room All-Stars‘ lineup consists of Big Pete Pearson, Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey. They appear this Friday and Saturday, April 3-4, 2009 at their home base of theRhythm Room. The Rhythm Room is located at 1019 E. Indian School Rd. in Phoenix. Doors open at 8pm, cover charge is $7. These nights will be patio smoking only events; no indoor smoking will be permitted. Rack Shack Barbecue will be available at these events.
- Chris James & Patrick Rynn to Appear at Blues Music Awards! Partial list of BMA Performers Announced! This year, the Blues Music Awards takes place on May 7, 2009 at the Cook Convention Center, and the BMAs celebrate their 30th anniversary. We have just received word that Chris James and Patrick Rynn will be included in the awards lineup with a set scheduled for the lobby pre-party. Chris and Patrick’s CD Stop And Think About It on the Earwig Music label is nominated for a BMA in the category of Best Debut Artist. The band lineup performing at the BMAs will include Chris James, guitar and vocals, Patrick Rynn on bass, David Maxwell on piano, Bob Corritore on harmonica, and Eddie Kobek on drums. Other acts appearing at this great event include Bettye LaVette, Taj Mahal, Irma Thomas, Marcia Ball, Otis Taylor, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Lurrie Bell, Bob Stroger, Janiva Magness, The Mannish Boys, Gaye Adegbalola, Maria Muldaur, Kenny Neal, Rory Block, Albert Castiglia, and Eden Brent. additional performers will announced soon. The great B.B. King will be on hand to present the B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year award. The BMA celebration is simply the best blues party of the year. To read more about this event, click here. A tradition for the night after the BMAs is amazing Delta Groove All-Star Blues Revue. This year the event happens May 8, 2009 at the New Daisy Theatre. To read more about this year’s Delta Groove Showcase and its spectacular lineup, click here. To see photos of last year’s BMAs and the Delta Groove Showcase, click here.
- Bob Corritore Included in List of “Best Blues Harpists” on Blues Forum! The Blues Forum website has started a list and a poll of “Best Blues Harmonica Players”. Among the harpists listed are Little Walter, Big Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson I, Sonny Boy Williamson II, William Clarke, Kim Wilson, Carey Bell, James Cotton, Charlie Musselwhite, Rod Piazza, Paul Butterfield, Sonny Terry, Jerry Portnoy, Papa Lightfoot, Howlin’ Wolf, John Popper, Rick Estrin, Sugar Blue, Alan Wilson, Gary Primich, Lester Butler, Lee Oskar, James Harman, Mojo Buford, Annie Raines, Jason Ricci, Norton Buffalo, DeFord Bailey, Guy Forsyth, and others. Bob Corritore was honored to be listed among these harmonica greats! To see the list of over 40 blues harmonica players, click here. Thank you very much, Blues Forum, for this recognition!
- Charlie Musselwhite to Appear at the Glendale Jazz & Blues Festival on Sunday: Speaking of Charlie Musselwhite, he will headline Sunday’s blues stage at the Glendale Jazz and Blues Festival. Charlie has that beautiful Southern seasoned approach to blues, and is known around the world as a harmonica master. This 2-day event happens Saturday and Sunday, April 4 and 5, 2009 in Glendale, Arizona, and features a great lineup of jazz and blues performers. To read more about this event and the entire lineup, click here.
- Rave Review of Broadcasting The Blues CD on Docteur Blues Site: Special thanks to Jocelyn Richez for his recent rave review of Broadcasting The Blues, a CD that commemorates the 25th anniversary of Bob Corritore’s radio show, Those Lowdown Blues on KJZZ. The disc contains live, on-air performances and moments with artists who have guested on Bob’s show over its 25 years. Artists include Lowell Fulson (from 1984 performing a solo version of “Sinner’s Prayer“), Billy Boy Arnold, Louisiana Red, Dave Riley, Otis Clay and Johnny Rawls (together singing a spiritual), Willie Dixon (giving a spoken plug for the show), Chief Schabuttie Gilliame, Lazy Lester, Tomcat Courtney, Jerry Lawson (of The Persuasions), CeDell Davis, Chris James (who beautifully backed many of these artists on guitar), Margo Reed, Johnny Dyer, Henry Gray, Billy Flynn (doing a great harmonica instrumental), and more. To read this review in French, click here; or for English translation, click here. To order this CD, click here.
- RIP Ted Jarrett 10/17/1925-3/28/2009: This news just in from Ben the Harpman from his Juke Joint Soul newsletter: legendary soul & R&B producer Ted Jarrett passed away Saturday in a Nashville city hospice of liver failure at the age of 83. Funeral services for Jarrett are being held Thursday at Greater St. John Missionary Baptist Church, 2200 26th Ave. North, Nashville, TN 37208. Jarrett’s career as a producer, label owner, and songwriter are that of legend. He wrote and produced such tunes as Louis Brooks & the Hi-Toppers‘ hit “It’s Love Baby (24 Hours A Day)” for Excello Records, andGene Allison’s “You Can Make It If You Try“, an R&B standard. Jarrett also is one of the only African-Americans to have a country hit in the 1950s, when he wrote Webb Pierce’s “Love, Love, Love“. Ted Jarrett’s contributions can still be heard today in artists that blend country music and soul. If you are unfamiliar with Jarrett’s work, pick up the set Night Train to Nashville, and most notably you’ll see his name written across the recording credits for many of those classic R&B chestnuts.
- B.B. King on YouTube: Enjoy these 1972 performances of the great B.B. King live at Sing Sing Prison. Click here to see him playing “Guess Who” and “Outside Help”, and here for a clip of “How Blue Can You Get”.
March 24, 2009
- Lester Davenport Updated Funeral Information: Kevin Johnson of Delmark Records and Michael Frank of Earwig Music have sent corrected information for Lester Davenport’s funeral:Visitation:
Friday, March 27, 2009
10am to 10pmFuneral Services:
Saturday, March 28, 2009
10am to 12 noonLocation for both:
AA Rayner & Sons Funeral Home
5911 W. Madison
Chicago, IL 60644
Note that out of town mourners may view the AA Rayner & Sons Funeral Home online obituary by clicking here, and sign the online guest book/offer condolences by clicking here.
March 23, 2009
- RIP Lester Davenport 1/16/1932-3/17/2009: Word has just come in from Kevin Johnson of Delmark Records that Chicago blues harmonica great Lester “Mad Dog” Davenport passed away on Tuesday, March 17, 2009, after a long battle with prostate cancer. He was a respected figure in Chicago blues, best known for his stunning harp work on Bo Diddley’s 1955 recordings of “Pretty Thing” and “Bring It To Jerome“. Lester Davenport was born in Tchula, Mississippi on January 16, 1932, and moved to Chicago at age 14. Lester soon found work as a blues harmonica player working with Arthur “Big Boy” Spires and Homesick James before landing a gig with Bo Diddley that led to the famous recording session and a gig at theApollo Theater. In addition to harmonica, Lester also played bass, drums, and guitar, which ensured him lots of work in the active Chicago blues scene. During the 1970s, he worked with W.W. Williams, Kansas City Red, Illinois Slim, Steve Cushing, Tchula childhood friend Jimmy Dawkins, and many others. In the 1980s he toured extensively with Big Daddy Kinsey & The Kinsey Report. Lester Davenport’s career yielded 2 beautiful CDs: When The Blues Hit You on Earwig Music (1993) and I Smell A Rat on Delmark (2002). He also had a couple songs released on an anthology called It’s Great To Be Rich on the Red Lightnin’ label, and a song on Chicago Blues Harmonica, an anthology on the Wolf Record label. Lester’s recording credits as a sideman are extensive: Bo Diddley for Chess records, Big Smokey Smothers for Rooster Blues,Willie Johnson, Maxwell Street Jimmy Davis, Johnny B. Moore for Wolf Records, Big John Trice for Red Lightnin’, Aron Burton on Earwig, and Bonnie Lee and Willie Kent for Delmark. Aside from all of these great credentials, Lester was just a wonderful man who was eager to welcome new friends and share his harmonica secrets to aspiring players. He had a warm smile and the ability to add humor to any situation. His harmonica playing will be remembered for its glorious, sweet tone and perfect phrasing. Though he never achieved great fame, he will always be remembered as one of the greats. Funeral services will be this Saturday, March 28, 2009, 10am to 12pm, at AA Rayner & Sons Funeral Home, 5911 W. Madison, Chicago, IL 60644.
March 20, 2009
- RIP Mel Brown 10/7/1939-3/20/2009: This note just in from Eric Thom: “Mel Brown has just passed – around 5pm tonight, but details are still pending. He was to open for Mavis Staples tonight, but has been in St. Mary’s Hospital in Kitchener fighting to get his breathing back without the use of a machine. This is a huge loss for the blues, and for the blues world in Canada, specifically”. Mel Brown was one of the real treasures of blues guitar and piano. He had a long history of spectacular recordings for labels such as Impulse, Bluesway, Antone’s, and in recent years, for his home base label of Electro-Fi records. He also recorded as a sideman for some of the greatest of blues artists, including T-Bone Walker, B.B. King, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Albert Collins, Lightnin’ Hopkins, John Lee Hooker, Snooky Pryor, Jimmy McGriff, James Cotton, Doug Sahm, Earl Hooker, and Charles Brown (could a discography be any more fulfilled than that?) Yet another irreplaceable blues great has left us. For Mel Brown’s complete bio, click here. To see a cool video of Mel Brown performing the swinging instrumental “Crosstown”, click here.
March 20, 2009
- RIP Eddie Bo 9/20/1930-3/18/2009: One of the great legends of New Orleans has left us. Singer / pianist / songwriter / arranger Edwin Joseph Bocage, who is known to the world as Eddie Bo, passed away on Wednesday of a sudden heart attack. He was 78. Eddie was part of the formative 1950s and 60s phenomenon of New Orleans rhythm & blues, and remained active throughout his long career. Eddie cut numerous records for labels including Ace, Apollo, Scam, Swan, Bluejay, Nola, Arrow, Cinderella, At Last, Seven B, Ric, Checker, Chess, Telarc, and his own Bo-Sound imprint. Eddie wrote songs covered by Etta James, Tommy Ridgely, and Little Richard. His biggest hit “Check Mr. Popeye” coined a term for a particular beat characteristic of many New Orleans songs. In later years, Eddie joined up with fellow Louisiana musicians Raful Neal andTabby Thomas and put out a beautiful record on Telarc called Hoodoo Kings. His influence and significance to the music of New Orleans cannot be overstated. For the Associated Press obituary, click here. For Eddie Bo’s complete bio, click here, and for a great Wikipedia overview of his life, click here.
March 20, 2009
- Dave Riley/Bob Corritore To Open For T-Model Ford this Saturday at the Rhythm Room: The raucous down-home blues of T-Model Ford comes to the Rhythm Room in Phoenix this Saturday, March 21, 2009 with opening sets by Dave Riley & Bob Corritore, and Mikel Lander & Meridith Moore. T-Model Ford was brought into national attention by his recordings for the Fat Possum record label. He was part of a wave of youthful interest in the down-home blues veterans of Mississippi that also included R.L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, Paul “Wine” Jones, and others. It is always a treat to hearT-Model’s completely rowdy southern blues style. The Rhythm Room is located at 1019 E. Indian School Rd. in Phoenix.Doors open at 8pm, cover charge is $10. Rack Shack Barbecue will be available at these events. This night will be a patio smoking only event; no indoor smoking will be permitted.
- Tomcat Courtney Added to Lucerne Lineup! Tomcat Courtney is perhaps the greatest living performer of Texas country blues. He grew up near Waco, Texas, and heard and learned the music of Lightnin’ Hopkins, Smokey Hogg, and Lil’ Son Jackson. The 80 year old Courtney has come into prominence in the last year for his highly acclaimed album, Downsville Blues on the Blue Witch Record Label. Tomcat Courtney has just been confirmed as part of the lineup of the 2009 Lucerne Blues Festival in Lucerne, Switzerland. Tomcat will be appearing on Friday Nov 13, 2009, with the band that performed on that album: Tomcat on vocals and guitar, Chris James on guitar, Bob Corritore on harmonica, Patrick Rynn on the bass, and Brian Fahey on the drums. In addition to performing with Tomcat, Bob will also be appearing at the festival earlier in the week with Dave Riley. Tomcat will delight European blues fans with his spectacular voice and down home blues guitar. To see Tomcat Courtney’s MySpace and hear clips of his wonderful music, click here.
- Earwig Music Showcase Celebrating 30th Anniversary at S.P.A.C.E. in Evanston During Chicago Blues Festival! The Earwig Music label was founded in 1978 by label chief/harmonica player/producer Michael Frank. Over its 30 year history the label has represented a sanctuary for the purest of blues and the label catalog is nothing short of breathtaking. This information just in via Chris James about a party happening during the Friday of the Chicago Blues Festival weekend. TheEarwig Music 30th Anniversary Showcase with Honeyboy Edwards, Dennis Binder, Big Jack Johnson & The Oilers with Allen Batts, John Primer, and Chris James and Patrick Rynn with Bob Corritore will happen Friday June 12, 2009 – 9:00pm at S.P.A.C.E., 1245 Chicago Ave., Evanston, Illinois. Advance tickets are available at www.evanstonspace.com. Please note that during Chicago Blues Fest week there will be numerous other Earwig anniversary events and features: Liz Mandeville & Johnny Drummer songwriting workshop on June 10, 2009 at Old Town School Of Folk Music, a woman’s showcase at Bill’s Blues in Evanston on June 13, 2009, and Earwig artists Big Jack Johnson, Honeyboy Edwards, Travis Haddix, Aaron Moore, Dennis Binder, and Allen Batts, are scheduled to appear in this year’s Chicago Blues Festival lineup!To see Earwig Music’s great website filled with news, videos, catalog information, ordering information and photos, click here. Thank you, Michael Frank, for your great record label and your many notable contributions to the blues, and congratulations on your 30th anniversary!
- John Cephas Memorial Show Announced: This information provided by Bill Greenhalgh of Hohner, Inc.: The upcoming memorial to celebrate the life of our friend John Cephas will be Sunday, March 29, 2009 from 1-3pm at Baird Auditorium in the Smithsonian Natural History Museum on the mall in Washington, DC. It is open to all friends and loved ones. For more information on this event, click here.
- Lightnin’ Hopkins on YouTube! Please enjoy this film of Lightnin’ Hopkins performing a beautiful slow blues and a version of “Baby Scratch My Back”. To see, click here.
March 11, 2009
- Rhythm Room All-Stars Appear This Weekend at the Rhythm Room: The Rhythm Room All-Stars‘ highly-credentialed lineup consists of Big Pete Pearson, Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey. This group has played festivals across the US and Europe, as well as having a deep discography of high profile recordings. They appear this Friday and Saturday, March 13-14, 2009 at their home base of the Rhythm Room. The Rhythm Room is located at 1019 E. Indian School Rd. in Phoenix. Doors open at 8pm, cover charge is $7. This night will be a patio smoking only event; no indoor smoking will be permitted. Rack Shack Barbecue will be available at this event.
- Bobbie Mercy Oliver Posts Bob Corritore Article! Special thanks to bluesman blogger Bobbie “Mercy” Oliver for his recent post on Bob Corritore in his Blues News newsletter. Bobbie is a fine down-home blues singer/harmonica player/guitarist based out of Marshall, Texas (Bobbie plays a mean version of “Juke” on harmonica!). To see this article and to sign up for his newsletter, click here.
- March 10 Release For Louisiana Red’s New CD! The legendary Louisiana Red’s new Ruf Records release is now out! This spectacular CD is called Back To The Black Bayou, and features top notch backing by Little Victor’s Juke Joint (Victor was also the producer), plus special guests Kim Wilson, Bob Corritore, and David Maxwell. To see the Ruf Records website listing with an in-depth press release, click here. Mark Pucci will be the publicist for this release, and already we are seeing great interest in this deserving and often under-appreciated blues giant. Please check out this recently posted Louisiana Red bio on the Blues News site (click here to see). For a great collection of photos of Louisiana Red, click here and here.
- Bob Riedy Chicago Blues Reunion Show / DVD Filming April 17 at the Rhythm Room – Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater Featured W/ Original Lineup: Blues pianist Bob Riedy was a pioneer bandleader in the early 1970s in Chicago, and was a major force in bringing blues artists to the North Side. He will be reuniting members of his 1970s outfit including Eddy Clearwater, Rick Knapp, Jon Hiller, Mark Wydra, and of course, Bob Riedy. Also joining in the lineup at points will be Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Bob Corritore. This show will be filmed and combined with some vintage 1970s footage of theBob Riedy Blues Band that includes the now deceased Johnny Littlejohn, Richard “Hubcap” Robinson, and mandolin blues giant Johnny Young. The new footage, along with the 1970s clips, will provide a retrospective of an important piece of Chicago Blues history. The show happens at the Rhythm Room in Phoenix on Friday, April 17, 2009 (one night only), with an 8pm door and a 9pm show. Cover charge will be $15. Come be a part of this historical music filming. To see some of the photo collection of Bob Riedy reflecting many of the artists he worked with in the 1970s, click here.
- Eddy Clearwater on YouTube! Please enjoy this sweet groovin’ 1978 clip of Eddy Clearwater from the North Sea Jazz Festival with a band that includes Jimmy Johnson, Dave Myers, and Odie Payne, Jr. To watch, click here.
March 8, 2009
- RIP Willie King 3/8/1943-3/8/2009: This sad news just in: Alabama blues legend Willie King has died of a heart attack. He was 66 (sadly, it was also his birthday). Widely acclaimed as a master of down home, juke joint blues, Willie was ambassador this music at numerous festivals in the U.S. and Europe. His music often reflected his admiration for the music of Howlin’ Wolf. He put a socially conscious political emphasis on many of his songs. He also sponsored the annual Freedom Creek Blues Festival. A kind and generous man with a great talent, Willie recorded great albums for the Rooster Blues and RMA labels, a DVD for Visible World Films, and was a part of Martin Scorsese’s The Blues documentary. For a complete bio of Willie King, click here. To see film clips of Willie King on YouTube, click here, here, and here. Thanks, Willie, for your great music and your message contained within it.
March 4, 2009
- RIP John Cephas 7/4/1930-3/4/09: Steve Hecht of Piedmont Talent reports that Piedmont blues legend John Cephas (AKA“Bowling Green” John Cephas) passed away at his home today of natural causes. He was 78. He had retired from music recently due to illness. John Cephas was born July 4, 1930, in the Foggy Bottom area of Washington, D.C. in a musical and religious family. He picked up the guitar at an early age, and learned gospel from his family and blues from some of the records available to him. He mastered a gentle finger picking style that has become known as the Piedmont style of blues guitar. He first worked was as a gospel artist touring with the Capital Harmonizers. In the early 1970s, he was heard by pianist Big Chief Ellis who hired Cephas to play guitar in his band. Cephas appears as a sideman on Ellis’s beautiful album on the Trix label. It was in Ellis’s band the Cephas met a young harmonica player by the name of Phil Wiggins. This meeting would become an enduring and highly celebrated partnership. The duo of Cephas and Wiggins has made numerous great records on labels such as L+R, Flying Fish, Evidence, Bullseye Blues, Alligator, and Chesky. In 1989 John Cephas won a prestigious National Heritage Fellowship with The National Endowment for the Arts. In 1996, Cephas and Wigginswon the W. C. Handy Award for the Best Traditional Album of the Year, and were also named Blues Entertainers of the Year. In 1988, Cephas received a Washington, D.C., Mayor’s Arts Award. Just last week, he was awarded the Library Of Virginia’s 2009 African-American Trailblazers in Virginia History award. Cephas was also a founder of the Washington, D.C. Blues Society, and served on the Executive Committee Of The National Council For the Traditional Arts. A sweet, unassuming man with a rich voice and phenomenal, yet understated guitar ability, John takes with him his true representation of the Southeastern blues tradition. Thanks, John, for all the great music you gave us.
March 3, 2009
- Dave Riley’s 60th Birthday Party at the Rhythm Room; Dave Riley will celebrate his 60th Birthday this Saturday at the Rhythm Room in Phoenix. Appearing will be the Dave Riley / Bob Corritore Juke Joint Blues Band with Dave Riley, Jr. on bass, and Brian Fahey on drums. The Rhythm Room is located at 1019 E. Indian School Rd. in Phoenix. Doors open at 8pm, cover charge is $7. This night will be a patio smoking only event; no indoor smoking will be permitted. Rack Shack Barbecue will be available at this event. In honor of Dave‘s birthday, we have constructed a photo page of Dave Riley andBob Corritore and their worldwide blues adventures. Click here to see.
- Kim Wilson’s All-Star Blues Band Appearing Friday at the Rhythm Room: Kim Wilson is highly regarded as the top blues harmonica player of his generation. Best known as the lead singer of The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Kim will periodically gig with a straight-ahead traditional blues approach between T-Birds tours. Kim Wilson will appear this Friday at the Rhythm Room for a 9pm show with a band that includes Larry Taylor on bass, Richard Innes on drums, and Junior Watson on guitar.Kim and the Rhythm Room have a long history together, and his Grammy®-nominated CD Smokin’ Joint on MC Records was partially recorded at the club. The Rhythm Room is located at 1019 E. Indian School Rd. in Phoenix. Doors open at 8pm, cover charge is $20. This night will be a patio smoking only event; no indoor smoking will be permitted. Rack Shack Barbecue will be available at this event.
- Bob Corritore Hungarian Interview: Please enjoy this Bob Corritore interview featured on the Hungarian website BluesVan.hu. To see the interview, click here. Special thanks to interviewer Attila Horváth!
- Chris James/Patrick Rynn Band with Bob Corritore to appear at Simply The Blues Festival: The Simply The Blues Festival in Fort Madison, Iowa happens on Friday and Saturday, May 8 and 9, 2009. The Chris James / Patrick Rynn Band with Bob Corritore and Eddie Kobek will appear on Saturday, May 9, 2009 as part of an Earwig Music’s 30th Anniversary Review that includes Johnny Drummer & The Starlighters and Liz Mandeville. Also on the bill this year are Bobby Rush,Sugar Blue, Soul Of John Black, Shannon Curfman, Harper, JP Soars (2009 IBC winner), Patrick Hazell, and more! To see the festival flyer, click here.
- Rhythm Room All-Stars to Appear in Belgium and France in May! Spring Blues Festival Lineup Announced! The Rhythm Room All-Stars featuring Big Pete Pearson, Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey have added some club dates to surround their previously announced appearance at the Spring Blues Festival in Ecaussinnes, Belgium on Saturday, May 16, 2009. The day before (May 15, 2009), The Rhythm Room All-Stars will appear at Blues Station, and the day after (May 17, 2009), they will appear at De Blauwe Wolk in Zottegem, Belgium. The Spring Blues Festival program includes Joe Louis Walker, The James Harman Band, The Rhythm Room All-Stars, Sugar Ray & The Bluetones featuring Monster Mike Welch, Mac Arnold & Plate Full O’ Blues, and Fruteland Jackson & Bob Hall. It will be a great party in Ecaussines on May 16, 2009! Thanks to Franky Bruneel from Belgium’s Back To The Roots Magazine for his help in setting up this tour.
- Dave Riley and Bob Corritore To Appear At The Lucerne Blues Festival in Switzerland! The Mississippi-meets-Chicago Blues duo of Dave Riley and Bob Corritore has just been confirmed at the Lucerne Blues Festival in Lucerne, Switzerland. Dave and Bob will have 3 scheduled appearances: Friday November 6, 2009, Wednesday November 11, 2009 and Thursday November 12, 2009. This spectacular festival runs through Saturday November 14, 2009.
- Chris James and Patrick Rynn in the News! Chris James and Patrick Rynn‘s song “Mister Coffee” has been nominated for best blues song in the International Songwriting Competition! To see the website with all nominees in all categories, click here. To vote for “Mister Coffee” before the contest end on March 31, 2009, click here. Chris and Patrick also appear on the cover of Belgium’s Back To The Roots Magazine with an extensive interview with many historic photos included. To see the cover, click here, and then click “Inhoud” on the menu. Also, check out the Chicago Blues Guide’s review of the Big City Blues Showcase on February 7, 2009 at Ground Zero Blues Club in Memphis where Chris, Patrick, and Bob performed (thanks to writer Eric Steiner). Click here to see.
- Broadcasting The Blues CD new Podcast and Review! Bob Corritore released the various artist CD Broadcasting The Blues earlier this year as a way to celebrate the milestone of the 25th anniversary of his radio program, Those Lowdown Blues on KJZZ. The CD contains live on air performances and moments with artists who have guested on Bob’s show. Artists include Lowell Fulson (from 1984 performing a solo version of “Sinner’s Prayer“), Billy Boy Arnold, Louisiana Red, Dave Riley, Otis Clay and Johnny Rawls (together singing a spiritual), Willie Dixon (giving a spoken plug for the show), Chief Schabuttie Gilliame, Lazy Lester, Tomcat Courtney, Jerry Lawson (of The Persuasions), CeDell Davis, Chris James (who beautifully backed many of these artists on guitar), Margo Reed, Johnny Dyer, Henry Gray, Billy Flynn (doing a great harmonica instrumental), and more. Check out this recent glowing review by Byron Foulger in Britain’s Blues and Rhythm Magazine (click here to see). Also check out a podcast feature of Broadcasting The Blues from Poland’s Glosem Blues a radio show hosted by Przemek Draheim. To hear the podcast, click here and scroll down to Show 89 from February 27, 2009. This CD is available online at the Friends Of Public Radio website. To order, click here.
- Little Walter Box Cover Art: Check out the cover art for the highly anticipated Little Walter Box / The Complete ChessMasters due out March 17, 2009 on Hip-O Select by clicking here.
- Bukka White on YouTube: Please enjoy this YouTube video of the great Bukka White (Also known as Booker White) performing his song “Aberdeen, Mississippi Blues”. Click here to watch.
March 1, 2009
- Mark Sallings Services To Be Held: New information just in from Rayne Gordon of the Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival, Charles Ragsdell, and Liz Lottman:Services for our friend Mark Sallings:Monday 03/02/09
Walk Down Beale Street – Blues Second Line
4:00 pmRemembrances and jam at the Hard Rock Café
The McCrory, Arkansas Methodist Church
Viewing 9:00 am; Services 11:00 am
219 North Edmonds Ave.
Burial will be 1 PM at
If you would like to send a card:
181 Co Rd 734
Wynne, AR 72396
Please keep Mark’s family in your prayers.
February 26, 2009
- Memphis Harmonica Player Mark Sallings Killed In Auto Accident: This terrible news just in: Arkansas State Police say harmonica player Mark Sallings, 56, died when his 1995 Buick veered onto the westbound shoulder of Highway 64. Click here to see the story. Click here to see Mark’s website, and here to see his MySpace with song samples. Mark was a good man, a fine harmonica player, and was a very active musician in the deep south. We are so sorry to report his untimely passing.
February 26, 2009
- Bob Appears Saturday, February 28, 2009 on Sets with Dave Riley and Big Pete Pearson at the 15th Annual Music Festival and Carnival Celebrating Black History Month: Also on the bill are Greg Kelly Foundation, Soul Power, Royce Murray, Tommy Dukes, Jimmie McElroy Band, and many others. The lineup covers a wide array of musical genres including blues, jazz, soul, gospel, and hip-hop. This event is put on by the Northwest Black History Committee, and takes place at the Peoria Municipal Complex, 83rd Avenue and Cinnabar in Peoria. To see the flyer, click here. For more information, click here.
- Dave Riley and Bob Corritore Appear Tonight at the Rhythm Room: Dave and Bob will perform their Juke Joint blues tonight, Thursday, February 26, 2009 at the Rhythm Room. The Rhythm Room is located at 1019 E. Indian School Rd. in Phoenix. Doors open at 7pm, cover charge is $5. This night will be a patio smoking only event; no indoor smoking will be permitted.
- Blues Blast 2009 Weekend Reviewed on the Web: Congratulations to the Phoenix Blues Society for a successful festival last weekend. This well-attended festival was filled with great performances, and served as a true gathering point for Phoenix area blues lovers. To read Larry Rodgers’ review of this event, click here. To see some great photos from Blues Blast, click here. Also, check out some photos of the pre and after parties at the Rhythm Room by clicking here. A big thank you to Janiva Magness, who tore it up both at the festival and the after-party hosted by The Rhythm Room All-Stars. Janiva Magness and the Mojomatics (click here to see a photo of this band); so coming back to town as an Alligator recording artist and festival headliner was her proud homecoming! Thanks to President Kyle Deibler and everyone from the Phoenix Blues Society for a well constructed, smooth running show with lots of heart.
- Memphis Photos: Check out these photos of the IBC (International Blues Challenge) in Memphis recently posted on theweb by photographer Rob Smith. To see, click here.
- Bear Family Looking for Freddy King Photos and Memorabilia: Our friend Detlev Hoegen of the Bear Family label reports that they are currently collecting high quality photos and memorabilia of Freddie King for the new box sets that will reissue all of Freddie King’s studio work. If you have anything that might be considered, please email Detlev firstname.lastname@example.org. Detlev also noted that he is not the “Label Chief” as he was referred to in a past newsletter, and that this honor belongs to founder Richard Weize. Thanks again to Bear Family for their serious commitment to presenting great music.
- Albert King On YouTube! Please enjoy this great clip of Albert King live at the Fillmore East in 1970 performing his song “Blues Power” at the top of his game. To see this clip, click here.
February 19, 2009
- Bob Corritore Celebrates 25 Years on the Radio with Blues Gala at the Rhythm Room This Friday: Bob Corritore‘s blues radio show, Those Lowdown Blues on KJZZ 91.5FM, was started by Bob Corritore in February of 1984. He will throw a party this Friday, February 20, 2009 at the Rhythm Room to celebrate this milestone, with a great lineup of host band The Rhythm Room All-Stars (Big Pete Pearson, Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey) plus Dave Riley, Chief Schabuttie Gilliame, and very special guest the legendary blues piano master, Henry Gray. This show will also serve as the Blues Blast pre-party, as well as the CD release party for the commemorative CD Broadcasting The Blues on The Southwest Musical Arts Foundation label. Look for a night of pure, heavy duty, traditional blues. To view the flyer for this event, click here. To see the New Times article previewing this event, click here. The Rhythm Room is located at 1019 E. Indian School Rd. in Phoenix. Doors open at 8pm, cover charge is $10. This night will be a patio smoking only event; no indoor smoking will be permitted.
- Blues Blast 2009 This Saturday! The Phoenix Blues Society presents Blues Blast 2009 this Saturday at the Mesa Amphitheatre. This event marks the society’s 20th anniversary (congratulations!). The lineup includes Kathy Mabry, Janiva Magness, Omar & The Howlers, The Juke Joint Duo (Cedric Burnside and Lightnin’ Malcolm), The Mikel Lander / Meridith Moore Band, KC Blues, and a “Phoenix Artist Showcase and Retrospective” featuring appearances by Big Pete Pearson,Bob Corritore, Small Paul Hamilton, Chief Schabuttie Gilliame, George Bowman, Johnny Rapp, Bill and Susie Tarsha, Scotty Spenner, Paul Thomas, Hans Olson, Margo Reed, Rochelle Raya, Nancy D’Alessandro, Jimmy Peyton, Brian Fahey, Chuck Hall, Matt Roe, Jim Glass, Terry Davis, and more! The gates open at 10:00am, show at 11:00am, and the show will run until approximately 7:00pm. For complete information of this event, click here. Later that night will be a Blues Blast after-party and celebrity jam at the Rhythm Room, hosted by The Rhythm Room All-Stars. The Rhythm Room is located at 1019 E. Indian School Rd. in Phoenix. Doors open at 7:30pm, cover charge is $7. This night will be a patio smoking only event; no indoor smoking will be permitted.
- RIP Snooks Eaglin 1/21/1936-2/18/2009: Guitarist / vocalist Snooks Eaglin was a man whose name and music were synonymous with New Orleans. Snooks died Wednesday from complications of prostate cancer. He was 72. Though blinded from glaucoma at a young age, his immense natural talent and unstoppable charisma assured him a prosperous career in music. He made his first recording in 1952, playing guitar on a Sugar Boy Crawford session. In 1958, folklorist Dr. Harry Oster recorded Snooks performing some stunning solo acoustic blues sides that would be released on the Folkways, Folk-Lyric, and Prestige / Bluesville labels. This was the start of a brilliant recorded legacy, with releases to follow onImperial, Sonet, Black Top, and Money Pit Records. In addition to his own wonderful recordings, he made memorable contributions as a session guitarist on sides by Professor Longhair and the Wild Magnolias. To read a detailed Snooks Eaglin obit on Nola.com click here. To see a great video of Snooks performing “Lipstick Traces”, click here. Thanks, Snooks, for the joyous music you made and for your great recordings, which will live on forever.
- RIP Piney Brown 1/20/1922-2/5/2009: Blues singer Piney Brown died on Thursday, February 5, 2009 at his home in Dayton, Ohio. He was 87. Brown is best known for his classic 1940s and 50s recordings on labels such as Apollo, King, Jubilee, Parr, Sittin’ In, and others. He also recorded some nice material for the Sound Stage 7 label, and co-wrote the song “Popcorn” with James Brown in the 1960s. Though a stunning and personable vocalist who was musically active his whole life, Brown never achieved a comeback career or a heralded profile later in life. That being said, his classic work will remain as a testament to his undeniable musical greatness. To see the Dayton Daily News obit, click here.
- R.L. Burnside on YouTube: With Cedric Burnside appearing at Blues Blast on Saturday, it seems fitting to remember his grandfather, the great R.L. Burnside with this great video. To see R.L. performing “Long Haired Doney”, click here.
February 12, 2009
- Kim and Amanda Wilson Take Wedding Vows on Blues Cruise! Congratulations to Kim and Amanda Wilson as they made it official with an impromptu wedding on last week’s Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise. After being together for over 8 years and having the intention of marriage for a long time now, they spontaneously decided to wed while on the cruise. The ceremony included a “Tuff Enuff” cake, complete with boxing gloves and a wedding song serenade by Dion. Many adoring fans and fellow musicians surrounded them. Here’s to the lovely couple! To see wedding photos from this event, click here. Thanks to Roger Naber and Scott Burnett for providing these great photos. Kim Wilson will make an appearance with his All-Star Blues Band at the Rhythm Room on May 6, 2009.
- Bear Family to Release Complete Freddie King Box Sets: The Bear Family Record Label out of Germany is well known for its definitive reissues of vintage material which include some amazing box sets of complete works of Louis Jordan,Smiley Lewis, Fats Domino, Julia Lee, Piano Red, Bobby Mitchell, Nellie Lutcher, and most recently, Hank Ballard and The Midnighters. These sets are beautifully packaged, with great vintage photos and extensive accompanying booklets. Detlev Hoegen reports the following good news about a forthcoming Bear Family release: “Right now, we are working on the first of two CD box sets with Freddie King’s complete recorded legacy. It will contain all his studio recordings made forFederal/King, Cotillion, and Shelter, including unissued sides and previously unknown demos. Bill Dahl has written the accompanying book. A release date has not yet been set.” Thank you, Detlev, for this good news, and for your great service in preserving the legacy of the blues.
- Freddie King on YouTube: With a new box set in the works, it seems appropriate to enjoy Freddie King’s great 1966 appearance on the Dallas-based TV show The Beat. Note that Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown is the bandleader of the backing group. Freddie performs “I’m Tore Down” (click here), “Have You Ever Loved A Woman” (click here) and “Hideaway” (click here)
- Little Walter Box Release Date Announced! The highly anticipated Complete Little Walter Box Set on the Hip-O Select label will be officially released on March 10th 2009. Little Walter was, of course, the man who, during the 1950s and 60s, rewrote the rule book for blues harmonica and explored an unmatched genius on the instrument. Additionally, he was a fine singer, and surrounded himself with the greatest musicians in Chicago blues, thus making simply brilliant and innovative recordings. The box was compiled with the loving and knowledgeable touch of Andy McKaie and Scott Dirks. It will contain some previously unreleased material, and a booklet with rare photos and extensive notes. As with most Hip-O Select issues, this will likely be a limited quantity release. Pre-orders are now available through Amazon by clicking here.
- Memphis Recap: It was great to get back to Memphis and be reunited with so many of our friends from The Blues Foundation. The International Blues Challenge is really an amazing gathering point as over 150 blues acts from all around the world compete. Blues societies will sponsor a competition in their community and a winner will advance to the Memphis finals and be allowed to compete in the IBC. Though this type of contest tends to push blues performances into the realm of a competitive sport event, it has also been a crucial tool in bringing new blood into this music and it has legitimately launched the careers of many talented artists who might have otherwise never been heard. In addition to hopeful bands competing for career advancement, there are all the industry people coming in support of the proceedings, who often took a role on the judging panels. Also during this week is the awards presentation for the KBA Awards. KBA stands for “Keeping The Blues Alive“, and it recognizes folks who do their part to support and further this music. Add to that the various industry showcases that happened around the event as well as huge networking opportunities and you have a great blues gathering! I was there to perform with Chris James and Patrick Rynn, who were appearing at 2 industry showcases in support of their BMA-nominated CD, Stop And Think About It on the Earwig Music label. (By the way, this record was just listed as #30 byLiving Blues in their Top 50 Blues Releases of 2008 and is now #1 on XM Satellite Radio’s B.B. King’s Bluesville “Picks To Click” for the week of February 12, 2009).Kim Danielson and I arrived in Memphis on Wednesday and checked into our hotel before heading to Sun Studio, where thePhoenix Blues Society‘s IBC contestant, The Mikel Lander / Meridith Moore Band, were recording some tracks. Mikel had invited me to play some harmonica as a special guest on one song. How great it was to be at such a historic recording studio where so many legendary greats have made groundbreaking music. It was an honor to be asked by the band to participate in such a special occasion on the eve of their competition. We enjoyed seeing studio chief James Lott, who we had met at Sun a few years earlier.Thursday included a trip to Lansky’s – Clothier To The King, then meeting up with Chris and Patrick to double check the schedule for the week, then a nice meal at King’s Palace, and on into the craziness of the IBCs. Each of Beale Street’s numerous venues became a showcase for numerous bands who gave their best shot to advance in each performance. Bands would perform at the same venue on both Thursday and Friday, points would be added up from both nights, and the winner would advance to the Saturday finals. Among our stops was Club Superior to see Mikel and Meridith’s great set (they would win their venue and advance to the finals). We enjoyed a number of bands and solo/duo acts, and ran into so many of our friends before calling it a night.On Friday, I appeared with Chris James and Patrick Rynn at the Blind Raccoon Showcase at the Rum Boogie. Blind Raccoon is Betsie Brown‘s publicity company, and Betsie has been exceptionally successful at getting the word out onChris and Patrick‘s fine CD. Though we have emailed and talked on the phone, it was my first time meeting Betsie face to face, and it was nice to be able to personally thank her for the spectacular job she has done. We had a great time performing in the upstairs room, which was away from the hustle and bustle of downstairs. Many of our friends stopped out specifically to see us, including Shemekia Copeland, John Hahn, Bill Wax, Art Tipaldi, Donovan Allen, Michael McClune, Jeffry Dyson, Michael Kinsman, “Blues Bobby” Weinberg, President of the South Florida Blues Society, Bob Kieser andAnn Caldwell from IllinoisBlues.com, Guitar Mikey, Pamela McMillan, Bill Stuve, Eric Steiner of the Washington Blues Society, Scott Allen of Vivid Pix, and others. Special thanks to my friend and fellow harmonica player Billy Gibson, who went out of his way to loan me his vintage Supro amp for this event, which really sounded great. Billy was performing downstairs with Dave Fields, David Hughes, and Super Chikan while we were playing upstairs. We hung out for a while to enjoy the showcase, and then Kim and I walked to the Peabody to have a great meal at Capriccio. We opted to get a night of sleep before an early morning attending the KBA brunch. Our dear friend Bob Margolin had invited us to sit in with his band at his 11pm gig at the Rum Boogie and though we were regretful not to attend, we knew we had to allot some energy for the rest of the trip. Chris and Patrick did perform that night, and per Bob‘s account, they “Tore it up”.
Saturday morning brought us to the KBA brunch. I had received a KBA award 2 years ago for my radio show, so it was great to go and relive the joy of this honor through this year’s recipients. Art Tipaldi and Jay Sieleman did a great job hosting these awards, and everyone’s speeches were heartfelt and touching. The recipients are folks who really have devoted their lives to blues, and the message of their work connected with their humanity for a beautiful presentation. John Hahn, who won in the Manager category, deserves special mention for his clever speech filled with spot-on, deadpan humor. Thanks to my dear friend Randy Chortkoff of Delta Groove Productions (KBA recipient in the label category) for his kind reference to me in his speech. We were also touched by the speech of Marino Grande of the Italian publication Il Blues (which is Italian for “The Blues”) who earnestly spoke of how he and his wife Luciana were so moved by this music that they started a publication to bring awareness to the Italian people. 25 years later, the magazine is still going strong. Italy was also represented by the Associazione Roots And Blues of Parma, Italy who won the International category of KBA. It was great to reconnect with my old friend Rob Hecko, The owner of B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted in Chicago, as he received his award for Blues Club. For a complete list of KBA recipients, click here.
Later that day was a performance at another industry showcase, this one hosted by Big City Blues Magazine. Big City Blues is run by Robert Jr. Whitall and his lovely wife Shirley Mae Owens, who are an integral part of the fabric of the blues scene. Their magazine occupies a unique niche, in that Robert and Shirley are constant travelers attending one great blues event after another. They approach the magazine as a reflection of their streetwise view of the blues world. This event was spectacular, and featured a wide array of major talent including Trampled Under Foot (last year’s IBC winner), Preston Shannon, Joey Gilmore, Charles Otis, Billy Gibson, and many others. I was proud to perform at this event with Chris James and Patrick Rynn, and we played a number of selections from their album before calling up special guests Toronzo Cannon,Russ Green, and Shemekia Copeland. Thank you to my friend Deak Harp (who also performed a nice set at this event) for letting me use his fine amp at the show. Special thanks to venue co-owner Morgan Freeman, who stopped by to enjoy the bands. To see a flier for this event, click here. We were pleased to find out that Phoenix’s Mikel Lander / Meridith Moore Band advanced to the finals, though they did not win. Congratulations to winner JP Soars & The Red Hots, and all the finalists and contestants who won just by advancing to the IBCs!
While in Memphis we saw so many friends and though I cannot remember everyone, here are a few:
Jean Guillermo of Blues sur Seine, Jostein Forsberg from Notodden Blues Festival, Amanda Gresham and her mom, Barbara Hammerman, Amy Brat, Dusty and Val Scott of Dusty Blues, Kyle Deibler (president of the Phoenix Blues Society), Steve Simon (of the St. John Blues Festival and Bluzapalooza), Charles and Lori Ragsdell, Zac Harmon, Jeffrey Willey of the Smokin’ Torpedoes, Gary Vincent, Lon Mickelson of Twin City Blues, Joan McCarty of the Oklahoma Blues Society, Stacy Jeffries of the Kansas City Blues Society, Jürgen Lottmann, Gary Sellers, Kurt Swanson, Tallan Latz,Harold Tremblay of KFAI, Patrick Vining, Richard Rosenblatt of the VizzTone Label Group, Jeffry Dyson of the Blue Shoe Project, Eden Brent, Chuck Cotton, Mookie Brill, Derek Wheeler, Steve Hecht, Steve Howell, Jak “Sully” Sullivan, Tom “Slim” Louis, Deborah Dixon, Dave Fields, Crystal Crawford, Belinda Foster (Mack Arnold’s manager), Julia Garlington,Stevie Dupree, Jay Sieleman, Priscilla Hernandez, Joe and Sara Whitmer from The Blues Foundation, Don “T-Bone” Erickson, David Hughes, Hugh Feeley, Fiona Boyes, Diunna Greenleaf, Hal Horowitz, Dick Waterman, Steve McBride, “AZ” Kenny Tsak from 56 Deluxe, Matt Hill, Greg Binns, Liz Sykes of the Ottawa Blues Society, Peter Maier, Charley Burch,Andre Mosqueda of KGGO, Karen McFarland of the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, Bruce Iglauer of Alligator Records,Michael Powers of Yellow Dog Records, Billy Thompson, Ricky Stevens, Dorothy Moore, David Z, Greg Johnson of theCascade Blues Society, Rich DelGrosso, Mary Flower, Michael “Hawkeye” Herman, Cassie Taylor, Laura Wolf, and many others.
The next morning was an early flight back home and on Sunday night, I enjoyed hosting the 25-year anniversary of my radio show, Those Lowdown Blues on KJZZ 91.5, complete with great in studio live performances by Dave Riley. Thanks to all the listeners who called in to send their congratulations. In addition to our many listeners in Phoenix, I was surprised by a number of phone calls from other states and from Europe, from fans who hear the show via the internet. It is hard to believe that 25 years have gone by. I still find great joy each week sharing my favorite blues recordings on the radio. Thanks toKJZZ, and to the fans of Those Lowdown Blues for allowing me this honor! It was a great week!
February 3, 2009
- Off to Memphis! Bob to Appear with Chris James & Patrick Rynn at 2 Industry Showcase Events During IBC Week: Blues people will gather in Memphis, Tennessee this weekend for the International Blues Challenge (IBC) and its related events, which include the KBA Award presentations and various industry showcases. Bob will participate in two industry showcases as the harmonica player with Chris James and Patrick Rynn, who will be there in support of their BMA-nominated CD Stop And Think About It on the Earwig Music Label. Showcase performances include Friday at Rum Boogie for the Blind Raccoon Showcase, and Saturday at the Big City Blues Showcase at the new Ground Zero Blues Club in Memphis (the recently opened second location). Each of these showcases features many wonderful bands. Thanks to The Blues Foundation for once again bringing together the worldwide family of the blues.
- Bob Corritore’s 25 Anniversary Radio Show This Week! On Sunday, February 8, 2009, Bob Corritore‘s KBA-Award winning radio show, Those Lowdown Blues on KJZZ, 91.5 turns 25; a great milestone! Look for the same great blues programming that you get each week on the show, plus some live performances by Dave Riley, Big Pete Pearson, and Chief Schabuttie Gilliame. Bob will also be doing phone-in giveaways of the commemorative CD Broadcasting The Blues, featuring a selection of live on-air performances recorded over the 25-year history of the radio program by artists such asLowell Fulson, Lazy Lester, Louisiana Red, Billy Boy Arnold, Tomcat Courtney, Chief Schabuttie Gilliame, Margo Reed, Dave Riley, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, Henry Gray, Billy Flynn, Johnny Rawls, Otis Clay, CeDell Davis, Jerry Lawson,Johnny Rapp, Mario Moreno, and Willie Dixon. You can check out a new review of Broadcasting The Blues by George Fish in the Bloomingdale Alternative (click here to see), and click here to see a wide array of reviews from all around the world. In addition to the radio show, Bob will also have a party celebrating the 25-year anniversary on Friday, February 20, 2009 at the Rhythm Room, with live performances by Henry Gray, Dave Riley, Chief Schabuttie Gilliame, and The Rhythm Room All-Stars (Big Pete Pearson, Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey). So tune in Sunday, February 8, 2009 for the 25-year broadcast (Listeners may hear Those Lowdown Blues, anywhere in the world, real time Sunday nights from 6pm-11pm Phoenix time, via web streaming by clicking here, or on KJZZ in Phoenix at 91.5 FM in Phoenix, Arizona, 89.5 in Cottonwood, 98.9 in Tucson, and 99.1 in Kingman), and come to the party on February 20, 2009. Thank you for 25 years of support! This just in: Jim McGrath emailed to tell us that Broadcasting The Blues came in #24 on the February 1, 2009 Living Blues Radio Charts. Not bad for a completely non-commercial CD release!
- Tomcat’s Birthday Party Photos: San Diego’s legendary blues master Tomcat Courtney celebrated his 80th birthday party on Friday, January 30, 2009, to a packed house of enthusiastic blues fans. This show was lovingly organized and presented by Blues Lovers United of San Diego (Thank you to President Michael Kinsman). Enjoy these photos by Joan Hunt from the show (click here to see). Also, check out the article on Tomcat Courtney that ran in San Diego’s Union Tribune before the event (click here to see). Happy birthday, Tomcat!
- Rave Review of Dave Riley and Bob Corritore Performance in Spain! Thanks to Miquel Inglés for the kind words in his review of Dave Riley and Bob Corritore‘s performance last December in Barcelona, Spain. To see this review in its original Spanish, click here; and to view an English translation, click here.
- RIP Hank Crawford 12/21/1934-1/29/2009: Yet another alumnus of the Ray Charles horn section has left us. Bennie “Hank” Crawford died Thursday from the debilitating effects of a stroke suffered in 2000. He was 74. Hank Crawford was one of the legendary greats of saxophone. Though most embraced in jazz circles, Crawford never strayed too far from the blues. His ripping, bluesy tone and expressive phrasing were trademarks of his wonderful style. The following obit is by Bob Mehr of the Memphis Commercial Appeal:The evocative, blues-influenced playing of Memphis jazz great Hank Crawford colored the saxophonist’s own albums and the work of many others, most notably Ray Charles.Born and raised in Memphis, Bennie Ross “Hank” Crawford, Jr. was a childhood prodigy who first flashed his musical gifts in church. As student at Manassas High School, he was a member of the school’s band, The Rhythm Bombers. Manassas proved a hothouse atmosphere: Mr. Crawford’s classmates included future jazz greats George Coleman, Harold Mabern, and Charles Lloyd. Mr. Crawford died Thursday, January 19, 2009, at his home. He was 74. Delores Crawford said her brother had been in declining health for the past year, dealing with the long-term effects of a stroke he suffered in 2000.Although Mr. Crawford made a return to the stage in 2003, he had not performed publicly in several years. In the late ’40s and early ’50s, Mr. Crawford was part of the thriving Mid-South dance band scene, serving as a member of outfits led by Ben Branch, Tuff Green, Al Jackson, Sr., and Ike Turner, and backing up then-fledgling artists like B.B. King and Bobby “Blue” Bland. After high school, Mr. Crawford moved to Nashville, where he studied music at Tennessee State University, and cut R&B records on the side. It was in Nashville that Mr. Crawford first crossed paths with Ray Charles. He joined Charles‘s band in 1959, and eventually became its musical director before leaving to form his own sextet in 1963.Mr. Crawford’s recording career was distinguished and adventurous. He cut a series of critically acclaimed albums for Atlantic throughout the ’60s, and later explored fusion and funk on the Kudu label in the ’70s, before taking a back-to-roots jazz direction in the ’80s.
Over the years, Mr. Crawford also remained an in-demand sideman, working with a range of artists including Etta James, Lou Rawls, Jimmy McGriff, and Dr. John.
Although he spent much of his adult life based in New York City and touring Europe, Mr. Crawford returned to Memphis in 2000 after his stroke to recuperate with his family. He spent his remaining years splitting time between the Big Apple and his hometown.
Mr. Crawford’s death comes just over a week after the passing of his longtime collaborator David “Fathead” Newman. The two horn players were for many years the backbone of Charles‘s band. Mr. Crawford also leaves a son, Michael Crawford; a daughter, Sherri Crawford; a granddaughter, Tiffany Crawford, and six siblings. Funeral arrangements are pending.
– Bob Mehr
Additionally, we should mention the great collaborative efforts of Hank Crawford and Jimmy McGriff, who toured frequently during the later part of Hank‘s career, and recorded many great albums together, many of which were lovingly produced by Bob Porter. To see some great performances by Hank on the David Sanborn show, click here and here.
- RIP Al Harris: Word came via Ben the Harpman of the passing of obscure Chicago blues guitarist Al Harris, best known for his work on Maxwell Street. To read the obit from the Today’s Chicago Blues Blog site, click here.
- Furry Lewis on YouTube: Please enjoy this wonderful performance by Memphis country blues legend Furry Lewis. Click here to see.
January 28, 2009
- Previously Unseen American Folk Blues Festival Footage Now Available on DVD: Scott Dirks reports the following exciting news: The brand new DVD of never-before-seen video of Little Walter, Big Walter, Jimmy Reed, T-Bone Walker,Big Joe Williams, Hound Dog Taylor, Koko Taylor, Son House, Skip James, Magic Sam, Earl Hooker, Carey Bell, Curtis Jones, Clifton Chenier, and others has just been released. Legends of The American Folk Blues Festival contains the complete German TV programs of the 1967, 1968, and 1969 AFBF shows. Segments of the 1969 program were used in another DVD release a few years ago, but the 1967 and 1968 shows have never been released or seen anywhere since they were originally broadcast in the ’60s – these are not included in the Reelin’ In The Years DVDs of a few years ago. The ’67 show features Little Walter singing “My Babe“, “Mean Old World“, and a playing a great untitled harp instrumental. The ’68 show features Big Walter Horton playing “Juke” (!) and playing behind John Lee Hooker on several songs, plus the only known video of Jimmy Reed performing with his long-time musical partner Eddie Taylor. It also features T-Bone Walker, both leading the band, and playing some nice piano behind John Lee Hooker. Other featured artists include Big Joe Williams, T-Bone Walker, and Curtis Jones. The 1969 show is the only one that has been seen before, but only partially – a few excerpts were released a few years ago, but this is the entire program as originally broadcast. All of this is on a single DVD, which can now be ordered from the company releasing it in Germany. The one catch is that the DVD is in the European standard PAL video format, and not the US standard NTSC video format. I’ve been told that PAL DVDs will play in any computer’s DVD drive (and can confirm that it plays in mine). And even though they’re not advertised as such, many current stand-alone US standard DVD players will play PAL format DVDs – my run-of-the-mill Toshiba DVD player plays it perfectly. For more info on the DVD including sample video clips, click here; to order, click here.
January 26, 2009
- Tomcat Courtney’s 80th Birthday Party! Tomcat Courtney has been called the greatest living example of the down home Texas blues tradition. He knew Lightnin’ Hopkins, Lil’ Son Jackson, and Smokey Hogg, whose musical styles are apparent in Tomcat‘s music. He came to California in the 1960s, stopping first in Flagstaff, Arizona, then living in Los Angeles before moving to San Diego in the 1970s. Tomcat‘s 2008 release Downsville Blues on the Blue Witch record label has recently propelled Tomcat into the international blues spotlight. Tomcat turned 80s years old this week, and will celebrate his birthday on Friday, January 30, 2009 at Humphrey’s in San Diego. This show is being put on by Blues Lovers United of San Diego (Thanks to BLUSD president Michael Kinsman). Tomcat will be backed by Chris James, Patrick Rynn, Bob Corritore, and Kurt Kalker. For more information on this event, click here.
- Dave Riley & Bob Corritore Wednesday at the Rhythm Room: The 2008 BMA and BBMA-nominated team of Dave Riley & Bob Corritore perform this Wednesday, January 28, 2009 at the Rhythm Room. The Rhythm Room is located at 1019 E. Indian School Rd in Phoenix. Doors open at 7pm, cover charge is $5. This night will be a patio smoking only event; no indoor smoking will be permitted.
- Rick Estrin New DVD: Blues harp maestro Rick Estrin has produced a DVD titled Rick Estrin Reveals Secrets, Subtleties, And Tricks Of Blues Harmonica. Rick lovingly shares some great blues harmonica tips and demonstrates them with great performances backed by guitarist Rusty Zinn. Rick also interjects his wonderful humor with a series of comedy skits that run throughout the DVD parallel to his harp pointers. This DVD is an absolute harmonica player’s delight. It’s available atwww.filmbaby.com, and soon to be available at www.rickestrin.com. To read more about this DVD, see a sample clip, and to order, click here.
- RIP Leroy Cooper 8/31/1928-1/15/2009: Leroy Cooper, Ray Charles’s long time baritone sax and bandleader, died on January 15, 2009. He was 80. He passed away with relatively little fanfare, especially when contrasting the press concerning his friend and fellow Ray Charles alumni David “Fathead” Newman. Both Cooper and Fathead were around to be part of the lush horn work of Zuzu Bollin’s first records and Lowell Fulson’s “Reconsider Baby“, and Cooper made many a great record with Ray Charles. His tenure with Ray Charles lasted from the 1950s to the 1970s, and it was there where he made his mark. For a bio and obit of this great horn player, click here. To see Leroy Cooper‘s MySpace page, click here. For great film clips of Leroy Cooper with the Ray Charles band, click here and here (Leroy is the one with the big bari sax). Another great musician has left us.
January 22, 2009
- RIP David “Fathead” Newman 2/24/1933-1/20/2009: Legendary Sax Man David “Fathead” Newman passed Tuesday from pancreatic cancer. He was 75. Born in Corsicana, Texas in February 24, 1933, Fathead soon moved to Dallas with his family, where he studied music in high school and college. In his travels as a musician, he met a young yet undiscovered Ray Charles, in what would become a defining relationship in Fathead‘s life. In I954, Fathead joined the Ray Charles group, starting as a baritone player, but soon becoming the star tenor soloist in the group. His great sounds grace many great Ray Charles records, and his tenure in the band lasted 12 years. 1959 saw the release of the now famous album Ray Charles presents “Fathead” on Atlantic Records, which secured a star status for Fathead for the rest of his life. He went on to record numerous records as a leader for Atlantic as well as High Note, Kokopelli, Warner Brothers, Prestige, Amazing, Timeless, and Muse. In addition to his great work with Ray Charles during Ray’s historic Atlantic years, Fathead also recorded with T-Bone Walker, B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, Herbie Mann, Natalie Cole, and many others. David “Fathead” Newman was equally at home in jazz or blues, and his soul-drenched, full-toned, breathy sax work has helped to define the role of a sax player in a rhythm and blues setting. His music has given the world great joy, and his impact and influence will be timeless. A true legend has left us. To see Fathead performing with Ray Charles in 1963, click here.
January 20, 2009
- Rhythm Room All-Stars Festival Dates and Blues Legend Packages Now Available Through Blue Mountain Artists: The Rhythm Room All-Stars have partnered with Blue Mountain Artists (the highly noted and award winning blues booking agency) to present both The All-Stars on their own, and in packages with legendary artists Pinetop Perkins, Hubert Sumlin, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Bob Margolin, and Diunna Greenleaf. We look forward to our new association with this exemplary agency and its spectacular roster. The Rhythm Room All-Stars consist of Big Pete Pearson, Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey. To see the press release that Blue Mountain sent out, click here.
- Rhythm Room All-Stars Appear at their Home Base This Friday and Saturday: The Rhythm Room All-Stars will showcase their powerful blues style this Friday and Saturday, January 23-24, 2009 at the Rhythm Room. The Rhythm Room is located at 1019 E. Indian School Rd in Phoenix. Doors open at 8pm, cover charge is $7. Rack Shack Barbecue will be available at these events. These nights will be patio smoking only events; no indoor smoking will be permitted.
- Dave Riley and Bob Corritore To Appear at Benefit for New Arid Club this Saturday Afternoon: The down-home blues of Dave Riley and Bob Corritore will be part of the presentation of an event being billed as “New Arid Club Open House” this Saturday. The New Arid Club is a program benefiting homeless and at risk persons. Dave and Bob will do a short set together around 3pm. This event is being presented by Lodestar Day Resource Center. The New Arid Club is located at 1201 West Madison, Phoenix, AZ 85007. To see the event flier, click here.
- Louisiana Red/Back To The Black Bayou To Be Re-Released by Ruf Records! Bluestown Records from Norway released Louisiana Red / Back To The Black Bayou to limited, regional distribution at he very end of 2008. This fine CD was produced by Little Victor, and features guest appearances by Kim Wilson, David Maxwell, and Bob Corritore. Bluestown has leased this CD to the powerful Ruf Records, which has a strong worldwide distribution and presence. Thomas Ruf states that Red‘s CD will be released on his label in early April in the USA and Europe, and soon afterwards in Japan and Australia. Thanks to all parties involved for spreading the word about this great album, and Louisiana Red‘s amazing talent. To see the CD cover art of the original Bluestown issue, click here.
- This Sunday on Bob’s Radio Show: Bob will feature special guest, Phoenix music history expert John “Johnny D” Dixon, for the annual tribute to the blues, R&B, soul and gospel of Phoenix from the 1950s and 1960s. In case you are unaware of Phoenix’s rich rhythm and blues history, please tune in for a treat of this music. Johnny D’s segment will take place during the last two hours on the show (9-11pm). Also, there will be commemorative sets of music honoring the two-year anniversary of the passing of the great Chico Chism, whose 20-year residence in Phoenix left an indelible mark on its blues community. Bob will also feature selections from the fine new Bobby Jones CD on the Delta Groove label featuring great backing by The Mannish Boys. Those Lowdown Blues on KJZZ 91.5FM is aired each Sunday from 6-11pm, and can be heard over the internet at www.kjzz.org.
- Bettye LaVette, Aretha Franklin at Obama Inaugural events! The blues family was represented at the Obama Presidential Inauguration Concert on Sunday, January 18, 2009 by Bettye LaVette’s soul-drenched vocal performance of the Sam Cooke classic “A Change Is Gonna Come” in a duet with rocker Jon Bon Jovi on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. To see this performance, click here. Also, Aretha Franklin sang “My Country, ‘Tis Of Thee” today just moments before the swearing-in ceremony on the steps of the capital; to view this historic moment, click here.
- Blues Blast Festival Weekend Activities. Henry Gray Added to Pre-party! Phoenix will be a blues hotbed on February 20-21, 2009. The activity centers around the Phoenix Blues Society’s annual Blues Blast Festival, happening on Saturday, February 21, 2009 at the beautiful Mesa Amphitheatre. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Phoenix Blues Society, which has consistently sought to further the cause of the blues in the community. Blues Blast has become a popular event among out-of-town blues lovers, who also enjoy Arizona’s warm February weather. This years lineup includes Janiva Magness, Omar & The Howlers, The Juke Joint Duo (Cedric Burnside and Lightnin’ Malcolm), The Mikel Lander / Meridith Moore Band, KC Blues, and a Phoenix Artist Showcase and Retrospective that will include appearances by Big Pete Pearson and Bob Corritore, as well as many others. Gates open at 11am, music begins at noon, and ends around 6:30pm or so. For more information on Blues Blast 2009, click here. Also that weekend are pre- and after-parties at the Rhythm Room. The pre-party on Friday, February 20, 2009 will also be a celebration of the 25 year anniversary of Bob Corritore‘s blues radio show, Those Lowdown Blues on KJZZ 91.5FM, and a CD release party for Broadcasting The Blues (click here for more information on this CD). The lineup for the pre-party includes The Rhythm Room All-Stars (Big Pete Pearson, Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey), plus special guests including piano legend Henry Gray, Dave Riley,Chief Schabuttie Gilliame, and more! By the way, Henry Gray just celebrated his 84th birthday yesterday! He was born on January 19, 1925 in Kenner, Louisiana. The festival after-party and celebrity jam is also hosted by The Rhythm Room All-Stars, and tends to attract numerous artists from the festival stopping in and playing a few songs. The Rhythm Room is located at 1019 E. Indian School Rd in Phoenix.
- Hungarian Review of Broadcasting The Blues! Speaking of the Broadcasting The Blues CD, It has just been reviewed on the Hungarian website BluesVan.hu. Click here to see this website and the review. Special thanks to Attila Horváth. To see all the reviews so far of Broadcasting The Blues, click here.
- Bob Riedy Reunion Show Retrospective Online: Check out a recap of the late October/early November 2008 gathering in Lake Geneva of the Bob Riedy Blues Band, plus special guests Eddy Clearwater, Sam Lay, Chris James and Patrick Rynn, and Bob Corritore. To see this recap by Bob Riedy himself, click here.
- R.L. Burnside YouTube Clip! Please enjoy this clip of the great Mississippi bluesman R.L. Burnside performing a great solo acoustic version of the classic “When My First Wife Quit Me”. Click here to see.
January 8, 2009
- Dave Riley and Bob Corritore open for Zac Harmon this Friday: The “Mississippi meets Chicago” blues duo of Dave Riley and Bob Corritore will open for blues sensation Zac Harmon this Friday, January 9, 2009 at the Rhythm Room. Bob and Dave perform from 8:30pm to 9:15pm, and Zac hits the stage at 9:30pm. Come check out a memorable night of blues this Friday. The Rhythm Room is located at 1019 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ 85014. Doors open at 8pm, cover charge is $10. Rack Shack Barbeque will be available at these events. This night will be a patio smoking only event; no indoor smoking will be permitted.
- New Photo Page of the 2008 BMAs and the Delta Groove Showcase: We have just posted a number of photos from the 2008 Blues Music Awards and the 3rd Annual Delta Groove Showcase, which happened the day afterwards. It was a wonderful series of events that brought all elements of the blues together. Included are photos of Jimmy McCracklin, Bobby Rush, Koko Taylor, Super Chikan, Sam Lay, Chris James and Patrick Rynn, Duke Robillard, Randy Chortkoff, Phillip Walker, Diunna Greenleaf, Dave Riley, Lurrie Bell, Nappy Brown, Big George Brock, Bob Stroger, Bob Koester, Janiva Magness, Bob and Linda Porter, Tomcat Courtney, Big Pete Pearson, Bettye LaVette, Denise LaSalle, Sharrie Williams, Junior Watson, Johnny Dyer, Magic Slim, Pinetop Perkins, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Bob and Pamela Margolin, Tony Braunagel, Evan Caleb, Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, David Maxwell, Deak Harp, Cedric Burnside, Lightnin’ Malcolm, Gina Sicilia, Dave Gross, Charlie Hussey, Mikey Junior, Marco Pandolfi, Debbie Davies, Paul Benjamin, Bill Wax, Steve Simon, Jackie Payne, Steve Edmondson, Kirk Fletcher, Bobby Jones, Finis Tasby, Carol Fran, Kid Ramos, Scott Cable, John Németh,Samuel James, Dorothy Moore, Sam Carr, Scott Dirks, Hubert Sumlin, Jerry Del Giudice and Edward Chmelewski fromBlind Pig, Nora Jean Bruso, and many others. For information on the 2009 BMAs (happening on May 7 at the Cook Convention Center in Memphis), click here. Information on this year’s Delta Groove Showcase to be announced soon! To see this new page of stunning photos, click here.
- Broadcasting the Blues CD is Now Available! The CD celebrating the 25th anniversary of Bob Corritore‘s blues radio show is now available online at the Friends Of Public Radio website. To order, click here. The disc is called Broadcasting The Blues, and it has been released on the Southwest Musical Arts Foundation label. It features highlights of live on the radio performances from 1984 to 2008 by a wide array of artists, including Lowell Fulson (from 1984 performing a solo version of “Sinner’s Prayer“), Billy Boy Arnold, Louisiana Red, Dave Riley, Otis Clay and Johnny Rawls (together singing a spiritual), Willie Dixon (giving a spoken plug for the show), Chief Schabuttie Gilliame, Lazy Lester, Tomcat Courtney, Jerry Lawson (of The Persuasions), CeDell Davis, Chris James (who beautifully backed many of these artists on guitar), Margo Reed, Johnny Dyer, Henry Gray, Billy Flynn (doing a great harmonica instrumental), and more. To see the first few reviews for this CD, including new reviews from Poland’s Twój Blues, Belgium’s Rootstime, Blues Bytes, and Nashville’s Music City Blues, click here.
- Dave Riley & Bob Corritore at Cognac Blues Festival Listed in 2008 Best Concerts; Also Recognized in Juke Blues Magazine: A French website by the name of “Mon regard sur la photo” has posted photos of favorite blues concerts of 2008 that includes photos of Dave Riley and Bob Corritore‘s show at the Cognac Blues Festival. To see this site, click here. Thanks also to the UK’s Juke Blues Magazine. The latest issue (#66) features André Hobus‘ review of the Cognac Blues Festival with glowing compliments of the performance and a photo of Dave and Bob on the opening page right by the editorial credits. To see a YouTube video clip from this show, click here.
- Blind Raccoon Showcase: On Friday, February 6, 2009 from noon to 4:30pm, Bob Corritore will join Chris James andPatrick Rynn at the Blind Raccoon Showcase in Memphis which will take place at Rum Boogie during the IBC weekend. Chris James and Patrick Rynn’s CD Stop And Think About It on Earwig Music was recently nominated for a Blues Music Award under the category of best debut artist. To view the poster for this event complete with show details and the full lineup, click here.
- Floyd Jones on YouTube: Please enjoy this video of legendary Chicago bluesman Floyd Jones performing his “Stockyard Blues“; click here to see.
January 6, 2009
- RIP Sam Taylor 10/25/34-1/4/09: World renown blues and soul singer / guitarist / songwriter Sam “Bluzman” Taylor passed away of heart complications on Sunday, January 4th at his home of Islandia, New York. He was 74. Taylor was the son of renowned saxophonist Sam “The Man” Taylor. His early sides include a Bobby Robinson-produced session for the Firerecord label. He had many notable achievements in the blues throughout his long and active career. Taylor worked with soul greats Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, and The Isley Brothers. During the 1980s, he spent time in Los Angeles and later settled in Tucson, Arizona, where he made his home for over a decade before moving back to New York, where he spent his last years. He toured Europe frequently in 1990s and 2000s. Sam Taylor’s band served as a schooling for many budding blues musicians who credit Sam in their resume. He often teamed up with Tucson blues violinist Heather Hardy for a unique stylistic blend that seemed to suit Taylor well. He was inducted in the Arizona Blues Hall Of Fame in 1997, and theLong Island Blues Hall Of Fame in 2006. A short, but sturdy man with a charismatic stage presence and a spectacular voice, Sam was a master bandleader, songwriter, and arranger. Sam will be deeply missed by those of us lucky enough to have known him, his great music, and his ever-present smile. When you asked Sam Taylor how he was doing, he would respond “I feel blessed”. Click here for the newsday.com obituary.