December 23, 2011
- Hubert Sumlin memorial tribute show recap. On Tuesday, December 13th, the legendary Hubert Sumlin was buried at Washington Memory Gardens in the Chicago suburb of Homewood, IL. He was laid to rest next to the grave site of his late wife per his wishes (thank you Toni Ann Mamary and Sam Burckhardt for making sure this happened). Later that night a major tribute happened at FitzGerald’s in Berwyn, IL, a suburb just west of Chicago. Bob Margolin and I were the show coordinators for the night. The old school of Chicago blues came out in full force and were joined by some of the newer faces of traditional blues. Everyone was there to honor Hubert. The house band was Bob Margolin, Little Frank, Bob Stroger, Kenny Smith and Jimmy Mayes, and myself. Some of the many spectacular artists who appeared that night (I will miss some names – sorry in advance) were Eddie Shaw, Gary Martin (Hubert’s nephew), Tail Dragger, Mary Lane, Billy Flynn, Scott Dirks, Rodney Brown, Lil’ Ed, Tim Betts, Harlan Lee Terson, Jon Hiller, Tom Holland, Sam Lay, Mark Wydra,Mud Morganfield, Big Head Todd, Michael Frank, Billy Branch, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Wayne Baker Brooks, Dan Carelli,Melvin Smith, Jerry Porter, Zora Young, Jimmy Burns, Michael Coleman, Twist Turner, Kenneth Kinsey, Jonn Del Toro Richardson, Harry Garner, Deak Harp, Eddie C. Campbell, Nigel Mack, Brian Carpy, Vince Salerno, Marty Binder, Matt Hill, Richard Rosenblatt, Dave Herrero, Glenn Davis, Uncle Felix Reyes, and others. Some celebrities in the house who chose to just attend and not play were, Jody Williams, Joe Filisko, Sam Burckhardt, Nick Moss, Rick Kreher, Rich Kirch, Dave Katzman, and others. Also in the house was Tom Marker, blues host on WXRT. The place was packed from start to end with nothing but great music and love for Hubert filling the room. At the end of the night after a satisfying but exhausting night of coordination, I sat up talking with my longtime friend Tail Dragger, who’s house I was staying at. We reflected on Hubert and the Howlin’ Wolf and the blues in general. I flew back to Phoenix the next day. All in all, this night seemed very symbolic as many of the true traditional Chicago blues players came out in force to make for the most special of send-offs for one of the most special of musicians. Thanks to Bill Fitzgerald for graciously allowing use of his wonderful venue. Thanks to Hugh Souther for helping to set up this event, and to Amy Brat who assisted in the smooth running of the show. All proceeds from that night went to the Blues Foundation HART Fund who are there to help blues musicians in a time of need. Here is to the great Hubert Sumlin who blessed us with his magical guitar style! Gone but not forgotten. To read the Blues411 article about the show, click here.
- Etta James is terminally ill. The sad news came over the weekend that Rhythm & Blues legend Etta James is dying of chronic leukemia. She is 73. Etta’s contributions to blues and R&B can not be overstated. To read the NY Times article click here. Prayers for Etta please.
- Bob Corritore to be guest of the Rocket 88s for Christmas Eve Show at Rhythm Room! On Saturday, December 24th, which happens to be Christmas Eve, The Rocket 88s will appear at the Rhythm Room, 1019 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85014. Bob Corritore, as well as other musicians will make guest appearances as part of this special show, which will be Bob’s last gig of 2011.
- Bob Corritore’s annual Christmas Blues Radio Special happens Christmas Sunday! Each year Bob Corritore features a Christmas blues special on his radio show and this year this will take place on Christmas night! You can expect 5 hours of Christmas blues and R&B! If in Phoenix you can tune in Sunday, 6pm to 11pm on 91.5FM or anywhere in the world on the web at www.kjzz.org.
- Tail Dragger and Bob Corritore to perform April 14 at Stompin’ At The Savoy Festival in Finland! Tail Dragger andBob Corritore will appear at the Stompin At The Savoy Festival in Helsinki, Finland on April 14, 2011. Tail Dragger and Bob will be backed by the Tomi Leino Trio from Finland. More information on this festival and the full lineup forthcoming.
- 2012 Blues Music Award Nominations Announced! The Blues Foundation has announced it’s nominations for the 2012 Blues Music Awards (BMAs). This list contains 5 or 6 listings in each of its 26 categories and represents a celebration of this year’s accomplishments by artists, songwriters, and labels. To see the list of this year’s nominations click here. Blues Foundation members can making their voting choices until Thursday, March 1st, 2012. The 33rd Blues Music Awards will be presented Thursday May 10, 2012 at the Cook Convention Center in Memphis, Tennessee. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here. Thank you Blues Foundation!
- Diunna Greenleaf in the news! Houston blues queen Diunna Greenleaf is highly celebrated for her vocal prowess, great songwriting, and engaging stage presence. Her recent CD Trying To Hold On is her greatest work to date and has been garnering national and international attention. The most recent Living Blues Magazine rave review by Lee Hildebrand states “one of the most satisfying releases of 2011” and “a real winner”. Diunna’s CD was tied for #1 with Louisiana Red / Little Victor Memphis Mojo in the French Powerblues chart for October. This CD was #3 in the September Living Blues Radio Charts, and #8 in October. Trying To Hold On just received a BMA nomination for Best Traditional Blues CD and Diunna is also nominated for a BMA in the Koko Taylor Traditional Female Blues Artist category! The most recent issue of ABS magazine includes a photo of Diunna performing at the Rhythm Room‘s 20th anniversary party. Diunna’s time appears to be right now!
- Hubert Sumlin Reflections in Blues Revue Online! Thanks to Blues Revue Magazine for a beautiful posting of reflections by various blues people about the recently deceased Hubert Sumlin. The piece is started with Bob Margolin‘s thoughts and remembrances and is followed by words from Keith Richards, Bonnie Raitt, Elvin Bishop, Debbie Davies, John Hahn,Steven Seagal, Anthony Gomes, Charlie Burch, Paul Benjamin, Joseph A. Rosen, Dan Treanor, Chris Layton, Watermelon Slim, Gabriel Butterfield (Paul’s son), Dick Waterman, Kaz Kazenoff, Buddy Flett, Richard Rosenblatt, Peter Carlson, Bob Putignano, Dave Fields, Hugh Souther, Zac Harmon, Kristen Thien, Scott Cable, David Z, Mike Glenn, Jason King, Clifford Belcher, and Tim Turner. To read this article in full click here. Here is the contribution by Bob Corritore:
I was lucky enough to get to know Hubert Sumlin from seeing Howlin’ Wolf in Chicago in the mid 1970s. I was living in the Chicago area at that time. I first met Hubert when I was 18 years old. I went to see Wolf at Eddie’s Place AKA The 1815 Club at 1815 W. Roosevelt on the West Side. This club was owned by Eddie Shaw and was where Wolf made his home base when he was not touring. I would see the Howlin’ Wolf at Eddie’s Place every chance I could. I was thrilled to personally meet the man who crafted those magical guitar lines on all those great Howlin’ Wolf records. I will never forget how Hubert was so kind and happy to take me in. He would sit down with me and talk to me like I was the only person in the world for that moment. How great it was to hear Hubert’s chemistry with the Wolf and how those guitar hooks defined the songs! There was an unspoken sameness of purpose between Wolf and Hubert as they leaned on each other to fulfill the task at hand. It was effortless and spellbinding. Often times I was in the first row of seats just a few feet from the stage taking it all in. I remember shaking Hubert’s hand and noticing that it was the softest, meekest handshake I had ever experienced, and then contrasting that to Howlin’ Wolf‘s assertive handshake where my hand seemed to disappear into Wolf”s. I fondly remember Hubert playing that black Rickenbacker guitar with no pick. How he caressed sweet, amazing runs of notes and chords. His style seemed to defy gravity and you were left on the edge of your seat – thrilled and wondering what he would come up with next! Seeing Wolf and Hubert was like witnessing a miracle. Through my experiences at the 1815 club, I met the great Chico Chism who was Wolf’s last drummer. Chico would become my lifelong friend and musical collaborator. Wolf died on January 10, 1976 and the next day everyone gathered at the 1815 club for an impromptu tribute to this great man. Hubert was there, sunk into his seat and looking completely lost. I gave him a big hug and tried to comfort him. That night he and many others played to honor the Wolf. Some of the many artists that night were Eddie Shaw, Detroit Junior, Lucille Spann, Lee Jackson, George Mayweather, Highway Man, Chico Chism, Eddie Burks, and Tail Dragger. This was the first time that I played with Hubert. This was also the night that I met Tail Dragger, who is one of my close friends to this day. After Wolf died Eddie Shaw tried to keep the band together with Hubert, Detroit Junior, Shorty Gilbert, and Chico. For awhile that worked, but eventually Hubert was lured off and spent some time in Texas with Clifford Antone and found comfort staying with his friend Sunnyland Slim who had a room for Hubert at his Southside Chicago home. Hubert had some trouble adjusting after the Wolf and often times seemed out of sorts. When I moved from Chicago to Phoenix in 1981 I lost touch with Hubert but when Chico moved to Phoenix in 1986 I felt a strong connection to those great days at the 1815 Club. Hubert came to Phoenix in 2006 to play at my 50th birthday party with a super band that also included Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Henry Gray, Bob Stroger, Little Frank, and Kenny Smith. This was the last time that Hubert and Chico saw each other (Chico died in early 2007 at age 79) but they were inseparable that night! I was trying to arrange a reunion of the original Wolf Gang for Chico’s 80th birthday but that was sadly not to happen. Hubert also made a great showing at the Rhythm Room for Amanda’s Roller Coaster (an amazing event) in October of 2010 and a cut from that great set with James Cotton and Kim Wilson will appear on a forthcoming live CD. I had the extreme privilege of performing with Hubert in October of this year at the King Biscuit Blues Festival (thank you Pat Morgan and Bob Margolin) and that may have been one of his last festival appearances. He played brilliantly that day but after his set was having a rough time catching his breath. So sorry to say goodbye to this wonderful man and his great legacy. He enriched everyone’s life with his kindness and wisdom. My time in the 1970s at the 1815 Club was formative and I feel fortunate to have those wonderful experiences. Thank you Hubert for the important part you unknowingly, and yet so generously played in my life. I am forever grateful to have known you.
- George “Harmonica” Smith performs “Juke” on YouTube! Please enjoy George “Harmonica” Smith‘s rockin’ adaptation of the Little Walter classic “Juke” with a tight, rockin’ band that includes J. D. Nicholson on piano. Click here.
December 13, 2011
- Chicago Area Hubert Sumlin Musical Tribute tonight at FitzGeralds. This evening, Tuesday, Dec 13th, Hubert Sumlin will be remembered with a musical tribute at FitzGerald’s (http://www.fitzgeraldsnightclub.com/) 6615 W. Roosevelt Road, Berwyn, Illinois 60402, 7pm doors 8pm music, Donations will be accepted at door for the Blues Foundation HART Fund. Many musicians will honor Hubert this night. Bob Margolin and Bob Corritore will direct the proceedings with Little Frank, Bob Stroger, and Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith filling out the house band. Many artists are expected and so far confirmations include Eddie Shaw, Sam Lay, Tail Dragger, Mud Morganfield, Matt Hill, Jonn Del Toro Richardson, Richard Rosenblatt, Tom Holland, Jon Hiller, Billy Branch, Harlan Terson, Rich Kirch, Scott Dirks, Bob Riedy, Mark Wydra, Harry Garner, Nick Moss, Sam Burckhardt, Zora Young, Eddie C. Campbell, Mary Lane, Tim Betts, Dave Katzman, Big Head Todd and many others. Since Chicago is so rich with musicians who have had history with Hubert, you never know who will drop by. Here is the Chicago Sun Times article about the event.
- Hubert Sumlin obit correction and addition. Steve LaVere emailed us with the following correction: “Hubert was born in Greenwood, not Greenville…and there’s a Mississippi Blues Trail Marker here in commemoration.”Hubert’s manager Toni Ann Mamary has posted “Mick Jagger and Keith Richards have insisted on picking up the full expenses for Hubert’s funeral. God bless the Rolling Stones.” God bless Hubert Sumlin.
- 1964 Hubert Sumlin photos posted! Special thanks to famous UK blues photographer Brian Smith for sharing some great shots of Hubert Sumlin at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester when Hubert performed there with Howlin’ Wolf and Sunnyland Slim as part of the touring 1964 American Folk Blues Festival. To see these wonderful images of a young, strapping Hubert Sumlin, click here.
- ASU presents a Bob Corritore documentary tomorrow! Daniel Liquori has headed a team of Arizona State University students who have created a documentary film on the subject of Bob Corritore. The film is titled The Journey of A Phoenix Bluesman, and.will be aired for the first time Wednesday, December 14th at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism building at ASU’s Phoenix campus. The address is 555 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85004. The documentary starts 8:30pm at the First Amendment forum which is on the song floor of the building. The showing is open to the public and admission is free!
- Mud Morganfield in the news! Anticipation is brewing for Mud Morganfield‘s forthcoming CD, Son Of The Seventh Son on Severn Records! Publicist Mark Pucci press release has been reposted on numerous blues blogs and Blues Blast Magazine did a cover story last month on Mud (click here to see it). Severn has been busy with a number of other harmonica based blues releases having just signed the Fabulous Thunderbirds, produced a forthcoming NighthawksCD, and released a new album by Sugar Ray & The Bluetones. Mud’s new CD will mark his first national release. Backing Mud on this release are Rick Kreher, Billy Flynn, Barrelhouse Chuck, E.G. McDaniel, Kenny Smith, and Harmonica Hindsand Bob Corritore switching off on the harmonica choirs. Mud Morganfield is the oldest son of Muddy Waters and carries on the tradition of his regal bloodline with style and energy. We will soon be able to get you an advance peek of the CD cover and the official spring release date. Good luck Mud!
- Delta Groove doings! The Delta Groove label continues as the leader in West Coast blues with many great things going on! Label chief Randy Chortkoff reports: “The Mannish Boys go in the studio this January to record their 6th album with Sugarray Rayford, Finis Tasby, Randy Chortkoff, Kirk Fletcher, Paris Slim, Jimi Bott, Willie J. Campbell, Kid Ramos,Junior Watson, Elvin Bishop, Mud Morganfield, Bob Corritore, Candye Kane, Laura Chavez, Jackie Payne, Rob Rio and more…” They have recently signed blues harmonica master R.J. Mischo to the label. The new Big Pete record has been getting fantastic reviews! Delta Groove is involved in booking the Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival. Again Randy Chortkoff reports: Delta Groove Music will be thoroughly engaged in developing our prestigious event, The 7th Annual Delta Groove All-Star Blues Revue, held right here in Southern California on Memorial Day weekend. 2012 marks our third year producing the Blues Stage at the Cajun & Blues Music Festival in Simi Valley and talent prospects are already looking good. Tentatively scheduled to perform so far are The Fabulous Thunderbirds, A Tribute to Muddy Waters featuring James Cotton, Mud Morganfield (eldest son of Muddy Waters), Bob Margolin, Darrell Nulisch and Johnny Dyer, Rod Piazza & The Mighty Flyers, The Mannish Boys Revue with Finis Tasby, Sugarray Rayford, Kid Ramos and more, Paul Oscher, Candye Kane, “Big Pete” van der Pluijm, R.J. Mischo, The Terry Hanck Band, and The Delta Groove Harp Blast featuring Mitch Kashmar, Al Blake, Bob Corritore, Big Pete and other Delta Groove top tier harmonica talent. Mark your calendars now for Memorial Day weekend, Saturday May 26th and Sunday, May 27th and stay tuned for forthcoming announcements regarding additional artists and a complete festival lineup.” To see Delta Groove most recent newsletter click here.
- Lucerne Blues Festival Photos! The amazing Lucerne Blues Festival took place in November of this year. This year the festival’s powerful lineup lineup included Otis Clay, Ruthie Foster, Colin Linden, Joe Louis Walker, Quintus McCormick,Dietra Farr, Tail Dragger & Henry Gray with Bob Corritore‘s Rhythm Room All-Stars (with Chris James, Patrick Rynn, Kirk Fletcher, Brian Fahey), The Delta Groove Harp Blast, (with Mitch Kashmar, Big Pete, Randy Chortkoff & Bob Corritore),Larry McCray Band, Mike Anderson, Andy Egert Blues Band, Howlin’ Bill, Shawn Pittman & The Blues Stars, Richard Koechli, Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience, The festival has been been preserved in images by two wonderful European photographers. To see the wonderful photos of this festival by Dragan Tasic, click here.To see the great images by Aigars Lapsa, click here.
- Sugar Pie DeSanto and Hubert Sumlin on YouTube! Please enjoy this fiesty version of “Rock Me Baby” with great vocals by Sugar Pie DeSanto, Willie Dixon on the bass, Sunnyland Slim on piano and the great Hubert Sumlin on guitar. Interesting to contrast the physical size of Willie and Sugar Pie! Click here.
December 8, 2011
- RIP Hubert Sumlin – November 16, 1931 to December 4, 2011. Best known for his extraordinary guitar work on the 1950s and 1960s recordings of Howlin’ Wolf, Hubert Sumlin is considered among the greatest guitarists of all time. Hubert passed away of a heart attack on Sunday, Dec 4 after a long bout with respiratory illness. He was 80 years old. Though his health had been problematic for years, he continued to tour and delight concert and festival audiences until close to the end. Born in Greenwood, Mississippi in 1931 and raised in Hughes, Arkansas, Hubert got his first guitar at age 6. Hubert was very interested in music and as a boy snuck into a nightclub to see Howlin’ Wolf perform. Hubert’s youthful enthusiasm won Wolf’s heart, who took the young boy in and developed a father-like mentoring role with Hubert. Wolf would move to Chicago in 1953 and a year later would call for Hubert to move to Chicago to join his band. Initially Hubert played a secondary role in the group with guitarist Jody Williams getting most of the limelight. But when Jody left the band about 2 years later, Hubert became the star guitarist. Hubert’s unorthodox approach, using innovative rhythmic textural lines and wild bursts of lead guitar, became an integral part of the Howlin’ Wolf sound., Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters reportedly had a rivalry going as to who had the top blues band in Chicago (both were amazing bands) and for a short period of time Muddy recruited Hubert away from Wolf only to have Hubert return to Wolf’s band and never leave again. Hubert’s guitar was an essential and consistent part of the success of Wolf’s recordings and live shows. The music achieved by the Wolf / Sumlin combination reached the highest of heights in the blues. When Howlin’ Wolf recorded the London Sessions in 1970, Hubert began a life long relationship with UK blues artists like Eric Clapton and The Rolling Stones. In 1976, when Wolf died, Hubert was devastated. At first Eddie Shaw (Wolf’s saxophonist) tried to keep the Howlin’ Wolf band together but Hubert would drift: spending time in Austin, Texas under the care of Clifford Antone, or in Chicago where he stayed with Sunnyland Slim. In addition to recordings with Wolf, Hubert appeared on Chicago sessions with Eddie Shaw & The Wolf Gang, Andrew McMahon, Sunnyland Slim, Louisiana Red, Carey Bell, Little Eddie, Big Mac, and others. He recorded numerous albums under his own name for L+R, Black Top, Tone-Cool, Rykodisc, APO, JSP, Blind Pig, Blues Planet, Blues Special and other labels. At a point, under the guidance of manager Toni Ann Mamary, Hubert started to get his due as the guitar legend he was. Hubert found himself hanging around and performing with rock stars, playing major festivals, and having his historic bio, Incurable Blues, published. He was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2008, Through all this notoriety, Hubert remained the kind, gentle soul with the same boyish enthusiasm that first befriended the Howlin’ Wolf. His guitar playing was always intriguing, unorthodox, and impossible to copy. As he was bedridden and nearing the last hours of his life, his final request was to play his guitar one last time. We thank Hubert for the light of joy he shined on the world and the heavenly music that he left for future generations to behold. He was our blues blessing. Special thanks to Hugh Southard of Blue Mountain Artists, Bob Margolin, and Little Frank who worked with him frequently on the road in recent years, Pat Morgan, James Cotton, Paul Oscher, Kim Wilson, Amanda Taylor, Diunna Greenleaf, Twist Turner, Little Mike, and all his friends and fans who all were there at all times to support Hubert.
To see some amazing videos of Hubert Sumlin with the Howlin’ Wolf:
“Shake For Me” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ex3nc0Km77g&feature=related
“Smokestack Lightnin” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxiYgof34iE&feature=related
Hubert Sumlin Funeral Information:
Sunday, December 11, 2011 – Viewing and Receiving of guests
2- 4 PM & 7 – 9PM
111 Union Blvd.
Totowa, NJ 07512
Phone: (973) 790-8686 Monday, December 12, 2011 – Funeral Service
111 Union Blvd.
Totowa, NJ 07512
Phone: (973) 790-8686 Tuesday, December 13, 2011 – Chicago Area Musical Celebration Of Life
6615 W. Roosevelt Road, Berwyn, Illinois 60402
7pm doors, Donations accepted at door.
Many musicians will honor Hubert this night.
- RIP Paul Thomas – August 27, 1955 to November 20, 2011. Paul Thomas is best known as Phoenix’s blues and roots, stand-up bass master. Though not a well known name outside of the Phoenix community, chances are that you have heard some of the celebrated recordings that he played on. Paul Thomas passed away from a reported fatal combination of alcohol and pain relievers while visiting his hometown of Tucson. He was 56. Paul had moved to Phoenix in the mid 1980s and worked in numerous Arizona-based blues and roots units including The Hoodoo Kings, The Rhythm Room All-Stars, Chico Chism, Pat Roberts & The Heymakers, The Jump Back Brothers, Midnite Blues, The Rocket 88s and many others. He also had worked occasionally in bands with Junior Watson, Lynwood Slim, and Rusty Zynn. As a member of the Rhythm Room All-Stars, Paul was called upon to back many of the great blues masters live and in the studio. Paul’s great bass work can be heard on nationally released CDs by Henry Gray, Mojo Buford, Pinetop Perkins, Louisiana Red, Bob Corritore, Big Pete Pearson, Chief Schabuttie Gilliame, The Hoodoo Kings and more. He was best known for his stand-up bass work in which he had championed all of the old school nuances of the instrument. He was inducted into the Arizona Blues Hall of Fame in 1999. Paul simply loved to play bass and brought joy, humor and masterful bass playing to the bandstand each night. His absence leaves a unfillable gap in the Phoenix blues and roots scene. Paul leaves his legacy with his 20 year old son Dylan Thomas, a fine young man and a full-time professional bassist. Thank you Paul for your many years of great contributions to the Phoenix music scene. You will be greatly missed.
- RIP Howard Tate – August 13, 1939 to December 2, 2011 The influential soul singer Howard Tate was best known for soul hits like “Ain’t Nobody Home” and “Get It While You Can”, with the later covered and re-popularized by Janis Joplin. Tate died in his New Jersey apartment of natural causes at age 72. Born in Macon, Georgia and raised in Philadelphia, Tate came into prominence in the late 1960s through the 1970s with his brilliant collaborations with producer / songwriter Jerry Ragovoy. The recordings from this period are considered among the greatest examples of soul music ever recorded. After a tragic decline into drug addiction and homelessness during the 1980s, Howard Tate was able to pull himself together to experience a brilliant comeback with the Ragovoy produced 2003 release “Rediscovered”, which was nominated for a Grammy for best contemporary blues album. The later part of his career saw many well-received festival and concert appearances and additional great recordings to add to his historic legacy. He will be fondly remembered for his blues-drenched voice complete with brilliant bursts of falsetto. That voice always sold the message of the song. To hear Howard Tate singing the original version of “Get It While You Can” click here.
- RIP J Blackfoot – November 20, 1946 to November 30, 2011 Soul singer J Blackfoot is best known for his work in the 1970s as lead singer with the group The Soul Children and his 1983 hit “Taxi.” He died at age 73 after a year long battle with pancreatic cancer. Born John Colbert in Greenville, Mississippi and raised in Memphis, he received his moniker as a child from frequently walking barefoot. Musical prominence came when Stax producer / songwriter David Porter recruited Blackfoot, together with Norman West, Anita Louis, and Shelbra Bennett, to form The Soul Children. Between 1968 and 1978, The Soul Children had 15 chart hits and recorded seven well-received albums. Blackfoot later recorded a number of sides under his own name and in 1983 made a hit with the ballad “Taxi”. He remained an active recording artist until the end and was a very popular concert attraction in the south and in Japan and Europe. J Blackfoot‘s sweet voice will live on in soul music history through his legacy of fine recordings.
To hear The Soul Children “Finders keepers” click here.
To hear J Blackfoot‘s hit “Taxi” click here.
November 14, 2011
- RIP Doyle Bramhall – February 17, 1949 to November 12, 2011. This sad news just in: Texas blues legend Doyle Bramhall died from heart failure in his sleep Saturday night, at home in Alpine, Texas at the age of 62. He reportedly had been suffering from pneumonia in recent days. Bramhall was famous for his work in Austin, Texas with both Jimmie Vaughan and Stevie Ray Vaughan, as well as his great solo efforts. A top-notch drummer, singer, band leader and songwriter, Doyle helped to define the Austin blues scene. Many of his songs appeared on Stevie Ray Vaughan‘s most noted albums. Doyle’s son, Doyle Bramhall II continues his father’s tradition as a major musical force. To read Doyle’s bio on the Yep Rock Records website click here. Doyle will forever be considered an influential and important figure in Texas blues, and he will be deeply missed by his legions of fans.
October 31, 2011
- Off To Switzerland! This week blues musicians will begin to gather in the beautiful town of Lucerne Switzerland for the pre-events of next week’s Lucerne Blues Festival! These include a Blues Night this Friday in Visp, Switzerland and various pre-parties, dinners, speeches, and concerts. The Lucerne Blues Festival is lovingly run by a huge staff headed by Guido Schmidt, and Martin Bründler with sponsorship support from many of the local and Swiss national businesses. This year’s amazing festival lineup consists of Otis Clay, Ruthie Foster, Colin Linden, Joe Louis Walker, Quintus McCormick, Deitra Farr, Tail Dragger & Henry Gray with Bob Corritore‘s Rhythm Room All-Stars (with Chris James, Patrick Rynn, Kirk Fletcher, Brian Fahey), The Delta Groove Harp Blast, (with Mitch Kashmar, Big Pete, Randy Chortkoff & Bob Corritore), Larry McCray Band, Mike Anderson, Andy Egert Blues Band, Howlin’ Bill, Shawn Pittman & The Blues Stars, Richard Koechli, Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience, and more! To see the Lucerne Blues Festival website with schedules, artist bios, ticket info and more, click here. The Tail Dragger / Henry Gray / Bob Corritore / Rhythm Room All-Stars package will also appear on November 4, at La Poste in Visp, Switzerland (click here for more information).
- Mud Morganfield signs with Severn Records for Spring CD release! Mud Morganfield, the eldest son of Muddy Waters, has just signed with Severn Records. Label chief David Earl reports that the CD will be titled Son of the Seventh Son and will be released in the spring of 2012 (official release date forthcoming). The record was recorded earlier this year at Rax Trax Studios in Chicago and was produced by Bob Corritore, The CD features a band of A-list Chicago sidemen hand picked by Mud and Bob: Billy Flynn, Rick Kreher, Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith, Barrelhouse Chuck, E.G. McDaniel, and Harmonica Hinds and Bob Corritore alternating on harmonica chores! But the CD revolves around the special vocals of the man who effortlessly can summon up the sound and spirit of his father. Mud Morganfield is already an often requested festival attraction in Europe and South America and this CD will surely open more doors for Mud. David also reports of a new Severn release just out by Sugar Ray and the Blue Tones and upcoming Severn releases by the Nighthawks and Lou Pride! Congratulations to Mud Morganfield and to Severn Records!
- Blues Blast Music Award Winners! Congratulations to Bob Kieser of Blues Blast Magazine for orchestrating the amazing Blues Blast Music Awards last Thursday at Buddy Guy’s Legends in Chicago. The show was flawlessly executed, and was filled with numerous memorable performances and acceptance speeches. It is a very special thing when the blues world comes together to reflect on, and celebrate its accomplishments. Here are the award recipients: Lifetime Achievement Award (announced prior to the event): Michael Frank Contemporary Blues CD: Buddy Guy / Living Proof Song Of The Year: “Living Proof” written by Tom Hambridge & Buddy Guy Female Blues Artist: Robin Rogers Blues Band Of The Year: Trampled Under Foot Traditional Blues CD: Pinetop Perkins & Willie “Big Eyes” Smith / Joined At The Hip New Artist Debut Release: Chris O’Leary Band / Mr. Used To Be Male Blues Artist: Buddy Guy Sean Costello Rising Star Award: Trampled Under Foot
- New poster for the JW Desert Ridge Blues Festival! The JW Desert Ridge Blues Festival happens Saturday andSunday, November 19 and 20, 2011 at Sage Court at JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort, 5350 E. Marriott Drive, Phoenix, AZ 85054. Saturday’s acts include The Tedechi / Trucks Band, Big Head Todd & The Monsters, and the Dave Riley / Bob Corritore Juke Joint Blues Band. Sunday’s acts include Johnny Lang, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Cowboy Mouth, North Mississippi All-Stars Duo, and Jeff Golub & Henry Butler. A new poster has just been circulated for this event which you can see by clicking here.
- Hipo-Select releases coimplete Howlin Wolf collection! The Hipo-Select label has just issued a limited edition, 4 CD collection by the great Howlin Wolf titled Smokestack Lightnin’; The Complete Chess Masters (1951 to 1960). Howlin Wolf was among the greatest blues singers who ever lived! His classics include, “Sittin On Top Of The World”, “Smokestack Lighnin”, “I Aint Superstitious”, “Killing Floor”, and many others. To find out more about this amazing release, and see a complete track listing. click here. To see a photo page devoted to Howlin Wolf, click here.
- Screamin Jay Hawkins on YouTube! On this Halloween we feel inclined to share this classic clip of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins creepy classic, “I Put A Spell On You.” Click here to see.
October 26, 2011
- Blues Blast Music Awards Ceremony tomorrow at Legends! Now in its fourth year, The Blues Blast Music Awards Ceremony is always an amazing blues party with a who’s who of blues celebrities in attendance. The event takes place on Thursday, October 27, 2011, 5pm doors at Buddy Guy’s Legends, 700 S. Wabash, Chicago, IL 60605. In addition to the announcement of the award winners, there are numerous performances scheduled by Reba Russell Band, Vincent Hayes Project, Rob Blaine & Big Otis Blues, The Sugar Prophets, Eddie Turner, Teeny Tucker, Peter Parcek, Chris O’Learly Band,Karen Lovely, Dave Riley & Bob Corritore, Reverend Raven & The Chain Smoking Alter Boys, Rich DelGrosso & John Del Toro Richardson, Nick Moss, Tony Rogers and more! Presenters include Bob Kieser, David Bernston, James “Skyy Dobro” Walker, Cookie Taylor, Nellie “Tiger” Travis, Kate Moss, Jackie Scott, Mark Thompson (Crossroads Blues Society), Glen & Deb Smith (Sean Costello‘s parents), and more. The event will be simulcast on WGLT Public Radio. To see this year’s nominees in all the categories click here. For more information on this event and to order tickets, click here. See you at the Blues Blast Music Awards!
- Michael Frank to receive Lifetime Achievement Award at the Blues Blast Music awards! Michael Frank has dedicated his life to the blues. He is well known for being the longtime friend, manager, and harmonica accompanist to the recently deceased Honeyboy Edwards, and as being the owner of the legendary Earwig Music label (which includes releases by the Jelly Roll Kings, Honeyboy Edwards, Sunnyland Slim, Jimmy Dawkins, Johnny Drummer, Little Willie Anderson, Big Leon Brooks, Louisiana Red, Lester Davenport, Liz Mandeville, Chris James & Patrick Rynn, Lil’ Ed & Dave Weld, H-Bomb Ferguson, Little Brother Montgomery, Lovie Lee, Johnny “Yard Dog” Jones, Louis Myers, Dennis Binder, and many others. Michael’s whole life has been a contribution to music, and he is still going strong. We are happy to have this reflection of Michael’s work at a time that Michael is mourning the loss of his longtime friend and musical partner, Honeyboy Edwards. Thank you Michael for all the ways your great work has enriched our lives!
- Bob Corritore’s Chicago area appearances this week! Bob Corritore will be making 3 Chicago area appearances during the week: 10/26/11: (tonight) Evanston, Illinois – SPACE Bob will make a guest appearance at the VizzTone Label Group showcase. Appearing that night will be Gina Sicilia and Dave Gross, Matt Hill, Bob Margolin, Richard Rosenblatt, Bob Corritore, Peter Parcek. Bob will make a brief appearance as part of Bob Margolin‘s set. 10/27/11: Chicago, IL – Buddy Guy’s Legends – The Blues Blast Music Awards. Bob will appear once with the Dave Riley / Bob Corritore Band, and then again with Tony Rogers and Sharrie Williams for a tribute to the late Robin Rogers. More event details listed above. 10/28/11: Willowbrook, IL – Blue Rooster Lounge at Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket – Appearing with Bob Riedy Blues Band featuring Sam Lay.
- The amazing Lucerne Blues Festival! Anyone who has ever experienced the Lucerne Blues Festival in Lucerne, Switzerland knows the power of this joyous event. For one week each year, this picturesque little community with a river running through the center of town, and the Swiss Alps in the background, gives the keys of the city to the blues. The festival is lovingly run by a huge staff headed by Guido Schmidt, and Martin Bründler with sponsorship support from many of the local and Swiss national business. Combine that with an consistently top-notch lineup, and you have one of Europe’s most highly regarded annual blues events! This year the event happens November 5 to Nov 13, and the lineup consists of Otis Clay, Ruthie Foster, Colin Linden, Joe Louis Walker, Quintus McCormick, Dietra Farr (with Billy Flynn), Tail Dragger & Henry Gray with Bob Corritore‘s Rhythm Room All-Stars (with Chris James, Patrick Rynn, Kirk Fletcher, Brian Fahey), The Delta Groove Harp Blast (with Mitch Kashmar, Big Pete, Randy Chortkoff & Bob Corritore), Larry McCray Band, Mike Anderson, Andy Egert Blues Band, Howlin’ Bill, Shawn Pittman & The Blues Stars, Richard Koechli, Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience, and more! To see the Lucerne Blues Festival website with schedules, artist bios, ticket info and more, click here. The Tail Dragger / Henry Gray / Bob Corritore / Rhythm Room All-Stars package will also appear on November 4, at La Poste in Visp, Switzerland (click here for more information).
- New Bobby Bland Biography! We recently became aware of the new book Soul Of The Man; Bobby “Blue” Bland by Chris Farley. This 336 page study of one of blues and soul music’s most popular and influential vocalists also contains a complete discography, and numerous great photos. For more information click here.
- Amanda’s Roller Coaster Photo Page! We have recently published a photo page of great images from the October, 2010 harmonica super-event called Amanda’s Roller Coaster. Included are photos of James Cotton, Billy Boy Arnold, Lazy Lester, Kim Wilson, Paul Oscher, Jerry Portnoy, Dave Riley, Junior Watson, Johnny Dyer, Billy Flynn, Jonny Moeller, Johnny Sansone, RJ Mischo, Steve Marriner, Randy Chortkoff, Dave Waldman, Scott Dirks, Joe Filisko, and more. This show has been refered to as “the greatest harmonica event ever!” and it certainly was a testament to the state of today’s blues harmonica. Note this page is a work in progress and we are open to looking at any submissions of photos from that event for consideration to added to the page. Amanda is soon to announce release plans for an album of recorded highlights from this event. To see this page click here.
- A reflection of Louis Myers great harmonica playing! Louis Myers is best known for his amazing guitar work on the classic recordings of Little Walter and Junior Wells. But he was a spectacular harmonica player in his own right. Please enjoy these examples of a true master at work:
“That’s All Right“
“You’re So Fine”
- Louisiana Red / Little Victor album initial rave reviews! We have just posted some of the first reviews of Louisiana Red & Little Victor’s Juke Joint / Memphis Mojo. This CD was just released on Ruf Records and is a follow up to Red and Victor’s critically acclaimed 2009 Back To The Black Bayou CD. Louisiana Red is among the greatest of veteran down-home traditional blues artists performing today. Thank you Mark Pucci for sending these over. To see these reviews, click here.
- Helena, Arkansas Shack Up Inn (next to Hopson’s Plantation comimisary) in Clarkesdale that was hosted by Levee Town with harmonica’s trading off by Jimmie Meade, Deak Harp, Cheryl Arena, myself, and another harp player who’s name I can not recall (please forgive me). I was also a guest on Sonny Payne’s KFFA broadcast. There was so much music and love at this festival and it would be prohibitive to list all the great blues folks that I saw this year. Thank you King Biscuit Blues Festival for the magic!
- RIP Earl Gilliam January 13, 1930 – October 19, 2011. This sad news in from Donovan Allen of Houston, Texas: Texas piano and organ ace, Earl Gilliam, died on October 19 at his home in Tomball, Texas just Northwest of Houston from advanced lung disease. He was 81. After an initial lung collapse in 2008, he recovered and played another year before retiring in 2010. Known for his tenure with Joe ‘Guitar’ Hughes and as a member in the earlier bands of Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Johnny Clyde Copeland, Albert Collins and famed songwriter/singer Percy Mayfield, Earl Gilliam peppered the Texas Gulf Coast blues scene since 1949 with his groovy jazz-flavored organ and piano parts. Born in New Waverly, Texas, Earl was the second youngest of ten children – all sang and played piano and home-made instruments. He began performing in the town’s Baptist church at the age of ten. Earl found his way to Houston by age 17. He lived in the infamous Fifth Ward, home also to Lightin’ Hopkins. Earl would go on to play with Lightnin’ as a duo in the region back in the 60’s and 70’s. When he was 19, he began playing in Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown’s band.
Earl also became one of the pianists at the Third Ward’s historic Shady’s Playhouse – which also showcased Elmore Nixon, Amos Milburn, Teddy Reynolds and Lonnie Lyons. He later lead the house band at the Hamilton Inn for a number of years and the Club Matinee and backed bluesman Grady Gaines as well as the traveling national blues stars such as Big Joe Turner, Roy Brown, Nappy Brown and many others. Later, Earl joined Albert Collins’ band at the Walter’s Lounge and played with him for a about 5 years. Earl also played with Texas greats Goree Carter, Big Mama Thornton, Lightin’ Hopkins, T-Bone Walker, Esther Phillips, Lester Williams, Hop Wilson, Luvenia Lewis, Percy Mayfield, Little Joe Washington and Trudy Lynn. In 2005, he formed a band of Blues veterans that included Duke-Peacock session guitarist I.J. Gosey, bassist Fred Arceneaux (Joe Hughes) and Jackie Gray (Clarence Green) on drums with live recordings due out for release. Dialtonerecords released Earl’s Texas Doghouse Blues CD in 2005. This veteran Texas musician devoted his life to the blues and has left a lasting mark. To see a clip of Earl and Joe Hughes performing in Holland in 1996 click here, and for a sampling of a 2007 show click here.
- RIP John-Alex Mason – November 30, 1975 to October 19, 2011. This sad news comes to us via Honey Sepeda. A rising young blues talent from Colorado Springs, John-Alex Mason died as a result of complications from cancer surgery. He was only 35. John-Alex Mason was one of those artists that you would look to as a keeper of the flame, as he seemed to represent his generation so beautifully. Young, aspiring and wonderfully talented, he released 6 albums in his short life. He made his name as early as 2001, when he won the Telluride Acoustic Blues Competition. He appeared in music festivals all over the country and it seemed inevitable that his time of recognition was in the near future. This sadly was not to be.
To read more about this great artist:
- Dave Riley & Bob Corritore to appear at the star-studded JW Desert Ridge Blues Festival! The JW Desert Ridge Blues Festival happens Saturday and Sunday, November 19 and 20, 2011 at Sage Court at JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort, 5350 E. Marriott Drive, Phoenix, AZ 85054. Saturday’s acts include The Tedechi / Trucks Band, Big Head Todd & The Monsters, and the Dave Riley / Bob Corritore Juke Joint Blues Band. Sunday’s acts include Johnny Lang, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Cowboy Mouth, North Mississippi All-Stars Duo, and Jeff Colun & Henry Butler. To see the beautiful poster for this event click here. For more information and to purchase tickets visit the festival website here.
- Get well cards to Jim O’Neal. Jim O’Neal is best known as the co-founder of Living Blues Magazine as well as a producer, photographer, interviewer, and rare record collector. Jim was also part of the Mississipppi Blues Trail Marker team. He is one of the most knowledgable people alive on the subject of blues. Jim O’Neal was diagnosed this summer with follicular lymphoma but the news was private, and we opted not to report on this until it was public knowledge. Jim is currently undergoing treatments. We will ask all of those who have been touched by Jim’s great work in the blues to send him a get well card and a note of appreciation. We wish Jim a speedy and full recovery so that he can resume his important work in the blues. You can find out about some of the benefit shows happening around the country here. Jim’s address is:
3516 Holmes Street
Kansas City, MO 69109
- Roy Buchanan and Johnny Otis on YouTube! Please enjoy these clips of two wonderful musical personalities coming together. Johnny Otis sings and plays piano with a rocking band that guest stars Roy Buchanan stirring up some wicked blues guitar.
October 11, 2011
- RIP George “Mojo” Buford – November 10, 1929 – October 11, 2011. Best known as the longtime harmonica player in the Muddy Waters Band, George “Mojo” Buford was well known for his beautiful, raw-edged harmonica style, and his rich, emotional vocals. He died at St. John’s Hospital, Maplewood, MN this morning after suffering with various health issues since early this summer. He was 81 years old. Born in Hernando, Mississippi in 1929, Mojo relocated to Memphis, Tennessee at an early age, then landed in Chicago in 1952, and in 1962 he would find a home in Minneapolis. He had numerous periods of employment in the Muddy Waters Band spanning 4 decades; first in 1959, again in 1967, again in the early 1970s, and was part of Muddy’s final band lineup of 1980. Mojo Buford was a sensitive ensemble harmonica player and could provide a gorgeous textural backing for any Chicago blues song. Mojo was also a master of the more difficult Chromatic harmonica. He would record many fine sides as both a leader and as a sideman. His own albums appear on Mr Blues, JSP, P-Vine, Blue Moon, Blue Loon, Fedora, Rooster, Blues Record Society and other labels. Mojo and Luther “Georgia Boy” Johnson were also featured vocalists for two albums on the Muse label that showcased the Muddy Waters Band of the 1960s. There was also a notorious LP on the Vernon label titled Ray Charles / On Stage At The Palladium, which actually only had 2 Ray Charles songs with the remainder by “Mo Jo & The Mo Jo Chi Fours.” Collectors marvel over this false advertising – and the Mojo sides are just great! In addition to appearing on numerous sides by Muddy Waters, Mojo’s harp graced recordings by Jo Jo Williams, Otis Spann, and Texas Red. Mojo was also responsible for helping Bob Margolin land his job in the Muddy Waters Band. Special thanks to drummer / manager Doug McMinn, who’s efforts in the later part of Mojo’s career kept him working and in the public eye. Mojo’s passing, along with the recent deaths of fellow Muddy Waters alumni Pinetop Perkins, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, and Calvin Jones, leaves us with a huge void in our hearts as we remember the sound of that glorious band. Mojo was a sweet and generous individual with a beautiful toothy grin and a kind word for every situation. He will forever be remembered in blues history as one of the great harmonica masters of the Muddy Waters Band. To hear Mojo performing “Don’t Go No Further” click here.To hear Mojo’s great harmonica backing on Jo Jo Williams “All Pretty Woman” click here. To see a photo of Mojo. Pinetop Perkins and Willie “Big Eyes” Smith at last year’s King Biscuit Blues Festival, courtesy of Bob Margolin, click here. God bless you George “Mojo” Buford.
October 4, 2011
- Off to the Biscuit! The King Biscuit Festival on Oct 6, 7 and 8 in downtown Helena, Arkansas! The King Biscuit Blues Festival is a must-attend ritual for many blues lovers. It takes place in Helena Arkansas, a town famous for the King Biscuit Time radio show on KFFA, where during the 1940’s Sonny Boy Williamson II‘s influential live performance broadcasts were heard each day throughout the south. Many of the elder artists who perform at the festival are from, or have a long history in this area, and they therefore find this to be a nostalgic homecoming. With a consistently high quality talent lineup and with the abundance of street musicians, and sympathetic satellite events, this festival provides a strong statement of the blues, past and present. This year the festival takes place on October 6, 7 and 8. This years lineup includes, Roomful of Blues with special guest James Cotton, Reba Russell Band, Buddy Guy, Michael Burks, a tribute to Willie “Big Eyes” Smith with Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith, Hubert Sumlin, Bob Margolin and Bob Stroger, Bobby Rush, Delbert McClinton, T-Model Ford, Big Bill Morganfield, Ernest “Guitar” Roy, Kirk Fletcher, Roy Rogers, Cedric Burnside, Billy Branch & Sons of Blues, a Stax Review with Eddie Floyd, Donald “Duck” Dunn, and Steve Cropper, Sharrie Williams, Sterling Billingsly Band, Anson Funderburgh & the Rockets, Don McMinn, CeeCee James, Peterson Brothers Band, Tommy Castro, Keb’ Mo’, Mike Zito, Lionell Young Band, Cleome Bova, Paul Thorn, Dave Bernston’s Blues In Schools, Don Nix, Spoonful Blues featuring Mississippi Spoonman, Lonnie Shields, Hamilton Loomis, Homemade Jamz, Moreland & Arbuckle, Blind Mississippi Morris, Memphis Harmonizers, and much more! For a complete lineup including days and times, click here. See you there!
Bob Corritore’s scheduled appearances during the King Biscuit Blues Festival. Bob Corritore has two appearances during the King Biscuit Blues Festival, and both will take place at the Miller Hotel located at 223 Cherry Strret in downtown Helena. Both events are free! Here are the times and lineups:
Friday, October 7th at Noon
with Bob Margolin, Bob Stroger, Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith
in tribute to Willie “Big Eyes” Smith Saturday, October 8th at 2:30 pm
Dave Riley / Bob Corritore, Juke Joint Blues Band with Dave, Bob, Dave Riley Jr, and Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith To see the flyer for these events click here.
- Pinetop Perkins Memorial Homecoming on Sunday, October 9, at Hopson’s Plantation in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Each year on the Sunday after the King Biscuit Blues Festival, the traditional after party is the Pinetop Perkins Homecoming at Hopson’s Plantation in Clarksdale, Mississippi. With the recent passings of both Pinetop Perkins and Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, this will be a different gathering than ever before. The spirit of both those great artists will surely be felt throughout the event. The Pinetop Perkins Homecoming takes place on Sunday, October 9th from 2pm to 7pm at Hopson’s Plantation in Clarksdale. The lineup this years lists Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith, Bob Margolin, Bob Stroger, Little Frank Krakowski, Clay Swafford, Dave Riley & Bob Corritore, The Peterson Brothers, Jacob Hiser, Carla & Ernest Roy, Peter Dammann, Lightnin’ Malcolm & Cameron Kimbrough, Kenny Brown, Eden Brent, Big “A” Anthony Sherrod, and more! Note that these events end up being a who’s who super jam. All proceeds go to the Pinetop Perkins Foundation. For more information on this event click here, and for more information about Hopson’s Plantation, click here.
- Rhythm Room 20 Year Anniversary Photos and Videos! Thanks to the hundreds of people that attended last month’s celebration of the Rhythm Room‘s 20 year anniversary. The weekend focused on both the strong Phoenix blues and soul scene and a number of national acts. To see photographer Dave Blake’s fantastic photo documentary of this celebratory weekend, click here. Also please enjoy these YouTube videos recently posted of the night billed as Bob Corritore & His Blues Friends:
Diunna Greenleaf sings “A Little Mixed Up”: click here
Dave Riley & Bob Corritore “Safe At last” and “On My Way”: click here
Bob Margolin “Going To Chicago”: click here
Mud Morganfield with Bob Margolin (their first meeting!) performing “Same Thing”: click here
Mud Morganfield “19 Years Old”: click here
Mud Morganfield “Mannish Boy”: click here
Mud Morganfield “What’s A Matter With The Mill”: click here
- Bob Corritore receives Certificate of Special Recognition from the State of Arizona! During the 20th anniversary celebration of the Rhythm Room, Bob Corritore was presented with a “Certificate of Special Recognition” issued by Janice K. Brewer, Governor of the State of Arizona. The certificate sites accomplishments in the field of blues that have contributed to the community. Much appreciation for this great honor! To see this certificate click here.
- Rhythm Room and KZZ honored by New Times! The annual New Times “Best of Phoenix” awards is a local reflection point in the Phoenix community. This year’s New Times “Best of Phoenix” honored the Rhythm Room as “Best Club for Blues” (to see the write up, click here http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/bestof/2011/award/best-blues-club-2729657/ ). They also honored KJZZ as the “Best Jazz & Blues Radio Station” (to see, click herehttp://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/bestof/2011/award/best-jazz-and-blues-radio-station-2728797/ ). Thanks New Times for the recognition!
- Blues Blast Music Awards Ceremony on Oct 27th at Legends! Now in its forth year, The Blues Blast Music AwardsCeremony is always an amazing blues party. This year the event will take place on Thursday, October 27, 2011, 5pm doors at Buddy Guy’s Legends, 700 S. Wabash, Chicago, IL 60605. In addition to the announcemnt of the award winners, there are numerous performances scheduled by Reba Russell Band, Vincent Hayes Project, Rob Blaine & Big Otis Blues,The Sugar Prophets, Eddie Turner, Teeny Tucker, Peter Parcek, Chris O’Learly Band, Karen Lovely, Dave Riley & Bob Corritore, Reverend Raven & The Chain Smoking Alter Boys, Rich DelGrosso & John Del Toro Richardson, Nick Moss,Tony Rogers. and more! For more information on this event and to order tickets, clickhttp://www.thebluesblast.com/bbmatickets11.htm
- New Louisiana Red CD out! The long awaited new Louisiana Red CD called Memphis Mojo on Ruf Records is finally out! Once again the magical combination of Little Victor’s Juke Joint and Louisiana Red are put to work, as it was in the highly acclaimed 2009 release Back To The Black Bayou, also on Ruf. Louisiana Red is among the greatest of the elder statesman of the blues, and we wish Red all the success he so rightly deserves. To see Jim White’s review of this record for the Pittsburgh Post Gazette click here http://communityvoices.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/arts-entertainment-living/blue-notes/30293-louisiana-red-has-a-new-cd
- John Lee Hooker on YouTube! Please enjoy this footage of the masterful John Lee Hooker in a moody solo performance of the songs “Maudie” and “Tupelo” from 1960. Click http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwlg3m-7N64.
September 20, 2011
Willie “Big Eyes’ Smith services announced. This just in from the Smith family about Willie “Big Eyes” Smith’s services:Sunday, September 25, 2011Visitation 10 AM to 10 PMLeaks & Sons Funeral Home7838 South Cottage Grove, Chicago, IL 60619 Ph:773-846-6567Monday, Sept 26, 2011Wake 10am until 11amFuneral services 11am until noonSouth Park Baptist Church3720 S. King Drive, Chicago, IL 60653 Ph. 773) 548-6566
September 16, 2011
- RIP Willie “Big Eyes” Smith – January 19, 1936 to Sept 16th, 2011. It is with great sadness that we report the unexpected passing of one the true greats of the blues, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith. Willie passed away this morning of a stroke. He was 75 and was musiclly active until the very end. A brilliant drummer, harmonica player and vocalist,he represented the true essence of Chicago Blues and was highly regarded by all as an undisputed master. He was an alumni of the Muddy Waters band and wore those stripes with honor. Willie “Big Eyes” Smith was born in Helena, Arkansas in 1936, and started playing harmonica at age 17, shortly after moving to Chicago. His harmonica first appeared on record in the 1950s gracing recordings by Arthur “Big Boy” Spires, and Bo Diddley (Willie played the harmonica on the Diddley classic “Diddy Wah Diddy”). At some point in the mid to late 1950s he started playing drums and in 1959 began his long association with Muddy Waters. Smith’s drumming first appeared on record on Muddy Waters‘ 1960 album release of Sings Big Bill Broonzy. Smith had a real gift for drumming and his playing would help to define the later Muddy Waters Band sound. Many of us remember the classic Muddy Waters lineup of Muddy, Willie, Pinetop Perkins, Bob Margolin, Jerry Portnoy, Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson, and Calvin “Fuzz” Jones. In June of 1980 members of Muddy’s band struck out on there own, and formed the Legendary Blues Band which eventually found Willie as the lead vocalist, showcasing his stellar, down-home vocals. Willie released his first solo album, Bag Full of Blues in 1995, which firmly established him as an artist in his own right. Willie would revive his first instrument in later years, and in 1996 he would release Way Back, which debuted his new direction, and showed him to be a solid harmonicist. His final recording, Joined At The Hip was a collaboration with the now deceased Pinetop Perkins, and it it earned the two a Grammy in the Traditional Blues category. We have just touched upon a few of the many recordings of Willie “Big Eyes” Smith who’s discography as both a frontman, and a sideman represents the highest of heights in the blues. Willie had a strong work ethic and was a consummate professional, and as a result he worked relentlessly. He won numerous BMAs (Blues Music Awards) as “Best Blues Drummer”, and he always carried great bands with him. Of note is the wonderful management of Patricia Morgan, who helped guide the later part of Willie’s amazing career, and the impressive booking of Blue Mountain Artists. Also thanks to Willie for bringing out the wonderful talent in his band with Jimmy Mayes, Bob Stroger, “Little” Frank Krakowski, and for his wonderful collaborations with other Muddy alums. Willie leaves his greatest legacy with his son Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith,who has become one of the world’s greatest blues drummers and carries on his father’s sound and tradition. Prayers for all of Willie’s family, friends, fellow musicians, and fans as we say goodbye to one of the greatest blessings of the blues. We love you “Big Eyes”. To visit Willie “Big Eyes” Smith’s website click http://www.williebigeyessmith.com/. Funeral information to follow.
September 9, 2011
- Rhythm Room 20th Anniversary Celebration September 16, 17 18. Program expanded with Robert Cray added to the bill! Phoenix’s Rhythm Room Concert Club opened it’s doors on Wednesday, September 18, 1991 with a promise of delivering great music, with a strong emphasis on the blues. the Rhythm Room has kept that promise and has created a music institution and a legacy of great musical performances. Founded by Bob Corritore, the club has featured both national touring artists and home grown talent. Over it’s 20 years many live recordings have come from the Rhythm Roomincluding the Grammy nominated CD; Kim Wilson / Smoking Joint, the title track to R.L. Burnside‘s best selling album;Come On in, and the final albums by legends Robert Lockwood, Jr, and Floyd Dixon. The list of blues artists who have appeared at the Rhythm Room is a virtual who’s who. To celebrate it’s two decade anniversary, the Rhythm Room plans a weekend of blues parties with 3 full days of pure fun and music. Here is the lineup:Friday, Sept 16 (early) 5pm doors 6-8pm early show with Tommy Castro.Friday, Sept 16 (middle show) starting at 9pm and going to 11pm,, Soul Music Party with host band Cold Shott & The Hurricane Horns plus featured artists Jerry Lawson (of Persuasions fame) Stan Devereaux, Gloria Bailey,George Bowman, Lucius Parr, Kenneth Williams, Rochelle Whitehead, Andy Gonzales, Paris James K.T. (of the Repeat Offenders), Delmar Stewart, and more! Phoenix’s rich soul music legacy will be on display this night!Friday, Sept 16 (midnight show) The ROBERT CRAY BAND. A rare opportunity to see this blues superstar in a small club setting!
Saturday, Sept 17 Bob Corritore & His Blues Friends 7pm doors 8pm show with Mud Morganfield, Bob Margolin,Diunna Greenleaf, Dave Riley, Billy Flynn, Barrelhouse Chuck, Mookie Brill, Johnny Rapp, Brian Fahey and more!
Sunday Sept 18 (the actual day of the 20th anniversary) All Day Blues and Rhythm Festival featuring 11 of the greatest Phoenix based blues and soul bands. Doors at 11am and music kicks at noon. Free Big Pete Pearson CDs will be given to the first 75 people. Acts in order of appearance include
George Bowman & Badness featuring Lucius Parr
Discount hotel room rates of $69.00 plus tax are available for out of town attendees from the Residence Inn Black Canyon. To make reservations call 602-864-1900 and ask for the Rhythm Room rate. The Rhythm Room thanks it’s loyal clientele and looks forward to this forthcoming celebration. For more information and to purchase advance tickets to the 20 year celebration, click www.rhythmroom.com.
- Rhythm Room All-Stars with special guest Dave Riley appear tonight and tomorrow at the Rhythm Room! Back at their home base, the Rhythm Room All-Stars play tonight and tomorrow, Friday, and Saturday, September 9 and 10 at theRhythm Room. The Rhythm Room All-Stars feature Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey. Just added will be a guest appearance by Dave Riley! Look for a couple nights of houserocking down home blues!
- Dave Riley & Bob Corritore appear Sept 15 at Kerr Cultural Center with famed blues author Bill Ferris! Arizona State University School of Liberal Arts and Sciences present a blues night at the Kerr Cultural Center on Thursday, September 15, 7:30pm. The presentation will include musical performance and conversation followed by Q&A with: Williams R. Ferris – Mississippi blues expert, author and professor at UNC Chapel Hill, Dave Riley, and Bob Corritore. Bill Ferris‘ book Blues From The Delta has been inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame, and is recognized as a “must have” of blues literature. To read more about this event clickhttp://phoenix.showup.com/event/detail/441399446/ASU_School_of_Liberal_Arts_and_Sciences_Blues_Night.
To read an article on the ASU series click http://asunews.asu.edu/20110902_ProjectHumanities.
To read more about blues scholar Bill Ferris click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_R._Ferris.
- Johnny Dyer and Kim Wilson on YouTube! Please enjoy this performance by Johnny Dyer singing the Little Walterclassic “Little Girl” with some great harmonica work by Kim Wilson and some great guitar by Junior Watson. Also in the band are Larry Taylor on bass, Richard Innes on drums and Barrelhouse Chuck on piano. This clip took place at the Rhythm Room in October of 2010 at Amanda’s Roller Coaster. To see this great performance click http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOezl-OlW6s
August 30, 2011
- Last chance to vote for the Blues Blast Music Awards! The Blues Blast Music Awards voting will close at midnight central time on August 31 (tomorrow). Voting is open to all Blues Blast Magazine subscribers. You can sign up for a free subscription as part of the voting process. Bob Corritore & Friends / Harmonica Blues has been nominated for a Blues Blast Music Award in the category of “Traditional Blues CD.” To see a complete list of all nominees, and to vote please clickhttp://www.thebluesblast.com/, and then click the voting link. The awards ceremony, put on by Blues Blast Magazine, is always a big blues party filled with many blues celebrities. It will take place on Thursday, October 27th, at Buddy Guy’s Legends, 700 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago, IL 60605
- Information on Honeyboy Edwards Fund for the National Blues Museum. Yesterday we lost the great Honeyboy Edwards after a long, well lived life of 96 years. In our obit we mentioned that in lieu of flowers, it is requested that donations be made to the National Blues Museum. Thanks to Barbara Hammerman for providing information about the fund set up in Honeyboy’s honor, which you can see by clicking http://www.bobcorritore.com/images/HoneyboyFundInfo-f.pdf.For more information about the fund , please contact Barbara at 253.858.4435 or email@example.com.
- Shreveport Blog honors Chico Chism. The late Chico Chism is best known for his work in Chicago as Howlin’ Wolf’s last drummer and for his relocation in 1986 to Phoenix, Arizona where he became a prominent bluesman about town until his passing in 2007. But he was born and raised in Shreveport, Louisiana where he was very active muiscally. Shreveport music historian Chris Brown has kicked off a new blog with a tribute to Chico’s first record “Hot Tamales And Barbecue” from 1959. To enjoy this blog and this great song, click http://shreveportsongs.blogspot.com/2011/08/chico-chism-and-his-jetanairs-hot_28.html
- Chicago Blues Guide posts article on the Moulin Ospel Blues Festival! Linda Cain of the Chicago Blues Guide writes to tell us about a recently published review of last May’s Moulin Ospel Blues Festival in Ospel, Holland by writer Glenn Noble and photographer Jennifer Wheeler. To see this article click http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/live-reviews/moulin-blues-fest/moulin-blues-fest-page.html. Thanks to the Moulin Ospel Blues Festival for the excellence that they uphold. And thanks to the tireless efforts of the great online magazine, The Chicago Blues Guide.
- Louisiana Red’s September 11 Blues. As we come upon the ten year anniversary of the tragedy of September 11, 2001, we reflect on this event through Louisiana Red‘s heartfelt song on this sad subject. The song “September 11, Blues” appears on Red’s CD, No Turn On Red, and can be heard by clicking http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XA_n3h0ISIY.
- Lionel Hampton rocks on YouTube! Please enjoy this spectacular 1957 TV appearance by Lionell Hampton, master of the vibrophone, as he and his great band perform a completely rockin’ version of his big hit “Flying Home.” To see click http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_rTICMVXQQ
August 29, 2011
- RIP Honeyboy Edwards – June 28, 1915 to August 29, 2011. The legendary Delta blues artist Honeyboy Edwards passed away peacefully at his Chicago home at 3am this morning. He was 96. Honeyboy had formally retired earlier this year, due to a weakened state of health that did not allow him to tour. He is well known as a pioneer of Delta Blues, who made pre-WWII recordings. Honeyboy was a close associate of Robert Johnson, and the man who traveled from the south to bring Little Walter to Chicago for the first time. Born in Shaw, Mississippi in 1915, Honeyboy left home at age 14 to travel and perform with Big Joe Williams, which became the early model of his life’s activities. Honeyboy’s wonderful recording career started in 1942 when famed folklorist Alan Lomax recorded him in Clarksdale Mississippi for the Library of Congress. His prolific recording career boasts of releases for many labels over many years; ARC, Sun Records, Chess,Folkways, Trix, Testament, Evidence, Roots, Blue Suit, Blue Horizon, Genes, Blue Shoe, APO, Wolf, and of course theEarwig Record Label. He has received 2 Grammy Awards, 2 BMAs (Blues Music Awards), has been inducted in the Blues Hall Of Fame, received a fellowship from The National Endowment for the Arts, received a Blues Blast Lifetime Acheivement Award, and won a KBA (Keeping The Blues Alive Award) in the literature category for his brilliant biographyThe World Don’t Owe Me Nothing. His performances and recollections have provided us a window into the past. One must mention Honeyboy’s long association with Earwig Music label chief Michael Frank. The two met in 1972 and Michael would grow into the role of Honeyboy’s manager, harmonica player, and traveling companion. Michael has done so much to guide Honeyboy’s career, and we pray for his strength during this time of grieving. Visitation will be 2 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept 1, at the McCullough Funeral Home, 851 E. 75th Street, Chicago, IL 60619. There will be an open mike between 7 and 9pm for remembrances from friends and fans. A friends-and-fans gathering will begin at 8 p.m. at Lee’s Unleaded Blues, 7401 S. Chicago Ave. Services will be private on Friday. In lieu of flowers, it is requested that donations be made to the National Blues Museum. Honeyboy’s charm, wit and musical brilliance will leave a gap in the blues, never to be filled. The deep blues emotion that poured out of Honeyboy Edwards in each performance has left a lasting impression on the blues world. Thank you Honeyboy for the blessing of knowing you.To hear Honeyboy Edwards 1942 Library of Congress recording of “Spread My Raincoat Down” clickhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fATSQa-0iIITo hear Honeyboy’s 1951 recording of “Who May Your Regular Be” click http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDhHexniKWs&playnext=1&list=PLD9FD48CC027445C6To hear Honeyboy’s 1951 recording of “Build A Cave click http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVr_ZlqfQvo
To see Honeyboy in the 2004 documentary film,Lightnin’ In A Bottle, click here
August 25, 2011
- Edmonton’s LaBatt Blues Festival reflections. Thanks to festival producers Cam Hayden and Carrol Deen for an amazing experience last weekend at Edmonton’s Labatt Blues Festival, in the Canadian province of Alberta. What makes this festival so special is the loving, knowledgeable lineup that Cam and Carrol book each year, combined with a great venue, stage, and sound system, an impeccable volunteer staff, and a warm and appreciative blues-loving audience. I had the privilege of playing 2 slots on 2 separate days at the festival: Saturday with the Dave Riley / Bob Corritore Juke Joint Blues Band bringing a rural Mississippi flavor to the proceedings, and on Sunday with the Delta Blues Harp Blast which boasted a top shelf lineup of Randy Chortkoff, Mitch Kashmar, Bob Corritore, and Big Pete plus Kirk Fletcher, Paris Slim, Rob Rio,Willie Campbell, and Jimi Bott. I was very proud of my contributions to the festival which also included being called up for a couple numbers on the set with Diunna Greenleaf & Blue Mercy to perform songs from Diunna’s new CD, Trying To Hold On. Other acts that performed at this 3 day blues extravaganza were David Gogo Reba Russell Band, Kim Wilson’s All-StarBlues Band with Kim, Billy Flynn, Kid Ramos, Randy Bermudes, and Richard Innes, Duffy Bishop Band, Chubby Carrier & The Bayou Swamp Band, John Nemeth Soul Revue, Nick Moss & The Flip Tops with special guest Guitar Shorty, David Vest, Sean Carney, and RJ Mischo with Mike Morgan & The Crawl, It was also great to see blues the many blues VIPs in attendance: Bill and Shelia Wax, Holger Petersen, Peter Dammann, and Squrl Curley. Thanks to Cam and Carrol and all the kind people of Edmonton for a really wonderful time and an amazing blues presentation.
- Arcola Records releases Son House 1968 Seattle Concert and interview! The tiny Arcola Records label is known for releasing wonderful glimpses of great traditional blues and jazz artists, mostly recorded in the 1960s and 1970s. The latest offering presents a 2 CD Son House issue featuring Son’s 1968 Seattle concert finding the artist in top form. Also included is an interview in which Son House describes his early life and musical influences. Interspersed with Son House‘s dialog are the vintage recordings of Son and the artists he speaks of in the interview, including Willie Brown, Charlie Patton,Rube Lacy and Robert Johnson. Thanks to Arcola for such a thoughtful presentation of this amazing blues artist. For more about this release click http://www.arcolarecords.com/sonhousecd.htm
- Blues & Rhythm Magazine’s interview whttp://www.amazon.com/Appointment-Blues-complete-unabridged-Mary/dp/B003WBHIGSith Bob Corritore is now online! Thanks to interviewer Mike Stephenson and the UK based Blues & Rhythm Magazine for running a Bob Corritore cover story in their June 2011 issue. Included in the interview are stories ofBig Leon Brooks, Little Willie Anderson, Chico Chism, Louisiana Red and many more of Bob’s associates. To see the article and it’s beautiful graphics click http://www.bobcorritore.com/images/BR260-Bob-Corritore.pdf. To see the cover clickhere.
- One week left for Blues Blast Music Award voting! The Blues Blast Music Awards are now in their 4th year and are now considered to be an industry institution with a wide international voting base, and a well attended annual awards ceremony.Voting for the 2011 Blues Blast Music Awards is currently in progress and will continue until August 31st. Voting is open to anyone who is a Blues Blast Magazine subscriber. Subscriptions are free, and you can sign up as part of the voting process. Bob Corritore & Friends / Harmonica Blues has been nominated for a Blues Blast Music Award in the category of “Traditional Blues CD.” To see a complete list of all nominees, and to vote please click http://www.thebluesblast.com/, and then click the voting link. The awards ceremony, put on by Blues Blast Magazine, is always a big blues party filled with many blues celebrities. It will take place on Thursday, October 27th, at Buddy Guy’s Legends, 700 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago, IL 60605
- Pinetop Perkins Foundation keeps Pinetop’s legacy alive! The legendary Pinetop Perkins left us earlier this year after a long and musical life of 97 years. While alive he touched everyone who he came in contact with. His legacy continues with his namesake foundation. Formed in 2009, the Pinetop Perkins Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide encouragement and support for young people at the beginning of their musical career; and help provide care and safety for elderly musicians at the twilight of their career. Fulfilling the first part of their mission, the Foundation offers an annual Youth Workshop Series to bring world-renowned blues artists for instruction and mentoring to young musicians. To find out about the 2012 workshop series and to find out more about the foundation’s many activities check out the website at http://www.pinetopperkinsfoundation.org/. To see a photo page devoted to the great Pinetop Perkins, click onhttp://www.bobcorritore.com/photos62.html. Note that the annual Pinetop Homecoming at Hopson’s Plantation in Claksdale, Mississippi will take place on Sunday October 9th, the day after the King Biscuit Blues Festival. This will be the first time that the event will be held posthumously, but Pinetop will surely be there in spirit.
- New Blues Club opening in Chicago! Our friend Dave Katzman reports of his involvement in a new blues venue in Chicago! Dave writes “I’m partnering with Mike Hanely to open a blues club here on the near West Side. It’s the Water Hole at 14th and Western. The opening night is August 27 and features a 7pm early show with Eddie Taylor Jr and Billy Flynn, followed at 9:30 with The Dave Herrero Band with special guests Jimmy Burns, John Primer, Peaches Staten, Mary Lane,Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, and Tail Dragger. The club has been in operation for many years but we are upping the game and rebuilding a new hard core blues destination on Chicago’s Blues map.” The club’s facebook page brags of blues 5 nights a week. Thanks Dave, for this great news!
- RIP Jerry Ragovoy – September 4, 1930 to July 13, 2011. Jerry Ragovoy is best known for his great songwriting contributions in the field of soul music during the 1960s. Many of his hit-making compositions defined the careers of the artists who recorded them. Born in Philadelphia in 1930, Ragovoy first entered into the music industry in the early 1950s as a music buyer for an appliance store. He would next move into the role of a record producer where his flair for songwriting quickly was apparent. Some of his many hits include “Cry Baby” by Garnett Mimms, “Get It While You Can,” recorded by Howard Tate and later covered by Janis Joplin, and “Time Is On My Side,” originally recorded by Kai Winding, and later covered by Irma Thomas and then the Rolling Stones. His songs have been recorded by B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, Barry White, The Pointers Sisters, Dionne Warwick, Diana Ross and many others. Often times Ragovoy’s songwriting credits bear his pseudonym of Norman Meade. Ragovoy died, following a stroke, on July 13, 2011 at age 80. To see his Wikipedia bio click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_Ragovoy. To hear Garnett Mimms‘ sing the Ragovoy song “Cry Baby,” click herehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuS0IaodixU&feature=related. To hear Lil’ Bob and the Lollipops version of Ragovoy’s song ” Stop,” click here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ak9Q7k6nkWk To hear Irma Thomas‘ classic version of “Time is On My Side” click here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFj0RfZb6iM. Thank you Jerry Ragovoy for your brilliant music that will be enjoyed and performed and for generations to come.
RIP Jerry Leiber – April 25, 1933 to August 22, 2011. Andy Greene of Rolling Stone Magazine is quoted: “Jerry Leiber, one of the most important songwriters in the history of rock & roll, whose 60-year partnership with Mike Stoller produced “Stand By Me,” “Hound Dog,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Young Blood,” “On Broadway,” “Yakety-Yak” and countless other classics, has died of cardiopulmonary failure. He was 78.” It really is impossible to overstate Jerry Leiber‘s contributions specifically to blues, 1950’s R&B, and early rock and roll. Here is a link to Leiber & Stoller’s massive discography:http://www.leiberstoller.com/Discography.html.
Jerry Leiber‘s songs are part of the essence of American Music. Here are a few links to hear a small sampling of his songwriting:
The Robins, “Riot In Cell Block #9,” click here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mP8tBT_Tf3I
- RIP Nick Ashford – May 4, 1941 to August 22, 2011. It seems to be a rough period for songwriters as we report the passing of Nick Ashford who, along with wife Valerie Simpson co-wrote many elegant pop-soul hits for Motown including “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “You’re All I Need To Get By,” and “Reach Out and Touch Somebody’s Hand.” He and his wife Valerie, billed as Ashford & Simpson, had success as artists in their own right as well as penning classics cut byDiana Ross, and Marvin Gaye. Nick Ashford died from throat cancer on Monday, August 22. To hear “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” click here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_pmKPWLBrE.
- Amos Milburn on YouTube! Please enjoy this vintage clip of the great Amos Milburn singing and playing boogie-woogie piano on the classic “Down The Road Apiece.” Click http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aCXs6Kin7M to see!
August 11, 2011
- Dave Riley / Bob Corritore Juke Joint Blues Band perform Friday at the The Rhythm Room in Phoenix and Saturday at the Boondocks in Tucson! Dave Riley, Bob Corritore, Brian Fahey and Dave’s son Dave “Yahni” Riley, Jr (AKA theDave Riley / Bob Corritore Juke Joint Blues Band) appear Friday, August 12th at the Rhythm Room in Phoenix, and Saturday at the Boondocks in Tucson. Dave and Bob will also make a guest appearance on Marty Kool’s blues radio show on KXCI before their Tucson show. Look for some down home Mississippi meets Chicago blues. Dave and Bob will preview some selections from their forthcoming CD, Hush Your Fuss, to be released in early 2012.
- Edmonton’s Labatt Blues Festival, August 19, 20 and 21 in Alberta, Canada! Edmonton’s Labatt Blues Festival, is a three day event of international blues held every August at the beautiful “Heritage Amphitheatre” in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The festival is produced by Carrol Deen and Cam Hayden, whose deep understanding and love of the blues is reflected in each year’s thoughtful lineup. The 2011 roster, in order of appearance, features (Fri. Aug 19) David Gogo Reba Russell Band, Kim Wilson’s All-Star Blues Band with Kim, Billy Flynn, Barrelhouse Chuck, Randy Bermudes, and Richard Innes, (Sat. Aug 20) Duffy Bishop Band, Dave Riley / Bob Corritore Juke Joint Blues Band, Chubby Carrier & The Bayou Swamp Band, John Nemeth Soul Revue, Nick Moss & The Flip Tops with special guest Guitar Shorty, (Sunday Aug 21)David Vest, Sean Carney, RJ Mischo with Mike Morgan & The Crawl, Diunna Greenleaf & Blue Mercy, the Delta Blues Harp Blast with Randy Chortkoff, Mitch Kashmar, Bob Corritore, and Big Pete plus Kirk Fletcher, Paris Slim, Rob Rio, Willie Campbell, and Jimi Bott. Sounds like a party! For more information and to purchase tickets, please check out the festival website at http://www.bluesinternationalltd.com/tickets-a-info/18
- Rhythm Room 20th Anniversary Celebration announced! It is quite a milestone for any music venue to make it for 20 years and the Rhythm Room can boast that after all these years it remains a thriving and symbolic institution. The Rhythm Room opened on Sept 18th, 1991 and has since been Phoenix’s standard bearer for presenting live music (with a special focus on the blues). To celebrate it’s two decade anniversary, the Rhythm Room plans a weekend of blues parties with 3 full days of pure fun and music. Here is the lineup:
Friday, Sept 16th (early) 5pm doors 6-8pm early show with Tommy Castro.
Friday, Sept 16th (late show) starting at 9pm Soul Music Party with host band Cold Shott & The Hurricane Horns plus featured artists Jerry Lawson (of Persuasions fame) Stan Devereaux, Gloria Bailey, George Bowman, Lucius Parr, Kenneth Williams, Rochelle Whitehead, Andy Gonzales, Paris James and more! Phoenix’s rich soul music legacy will be on display this night!
Saturday, Sept 17th Bob Corritore & His Blues Friends 7pm doors 8pm show with Mud Morganfield, Bob Margolin, Diunna Greenleaf, Dave Riley, Billy Flynn, Barrelhouse Chuck, Mookie Brill, Johnny Rapp, Brian Fahey and more!
Sunday Sept 18th (the actual day of the 20th anniversary) All Day Blues and Rhythm Festival featuring 11 of the greatest Phoenix based blues and soul bands. Doors at 11am and music kicks at noon. Free Big Pete Pearson CDs will be given to the first 75 people. Acts in order of appearance include
George Bowman & Badness featuring Lucius Parr
Discount hotel room rates of $69.00 plus tax are available for out of town attendees from the Residence Inn Black Canyon. To make reservations call 602-864-1900 and ask for the Rhythm Room rate. The Rhythm Room thanks it’s loyal clientele and looks forward to this forthcoming celebration.
- Magic Slim & The Teardrops to play Bob Corritore’s 55th birthday party! Bob Corritore will throw a party, open to all, to celebrate his 55th birthday on Saturday, September 24th at the Rhythm Room. Bob’s actual birthday is Sept 27, so he is having the party on the closest Saturday. Entertainment that night will be provided by Magic Slim & The Teardrops which is both a musical and symbolic choice. Bob Corritore first heard and met Magic Slim at age 18, back when both of them were living in Chicago (Slim now resides in Lincoln, Nebraska and Bob in Arizona). During the ’70s and ’80s, Bob would frequent Slim’s shows at the famed Florence’s Lounge, Biddy Mulligan’s, The Checkerboard Lounge, and many other blues clubs around Chicago. Dave Riley & Bob Corritore will provide a brief opening set. For more information on the Rhythm Room visitwww.rhythmroom.com. To see a photo page devoted to Magic Slim click here http://www.bobcorritore.com/photos50.html.
- Honeyboy Edwards officially announces his retirement. Honeyboy Edwards, now 96 years old, is perhaps the last of the great Delta bluesmen who made pre-WWII recordings. Honeyboy has missed most of this year’s scheduled performances.Michael Frank of Earwig Music (Honeyboy’s mainstay record label) has recently made it official and announced “Honeyboy Edwards has retired, due to ongoing health issues. Send him a get well note to firstname.lastname@example.org.” Honeyboy’s wonderful recording career started in 1942 when famed folklorist Alan Lomax recorded him in Clarksdale Mississippi for the Library Of Congress. Since those first recordings, Honeyboy has continued to record regularly, cutting many sides over the years for ARC, Sun Records, Chess, Folkways, Trix, Testament, Evidence, Roots, Blue Suit, Blue Horizon, Genes, Blue Shoe, APO, Wolf, and of course the Earwig Record Label. He has received 2 Grammy Awards, 2 BMAs (Blues Music Awards), has been inducted in the Blues Hall Of Fame, received a fellowship from The National Endowment for the Arts, and won a KBA (Keeping The Blues Alive Award) in the literature category for his brilliant biography The World Don’t Owe Me Nothing. His performances and recollections have provided us a window into the past. Since he is still with us, this is not a goodbye, it is just a reflection of this great bluesman and his wonderful contributions. Here is a nice interview and performance clip by Honeyboy at WBEZ in Chicago, click here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRgg_9TmI-w. To see a photo page that we put together to honor Honeyboy Edwards, click http://www.bobcorritore.com/photos101.html
- Blues Blast Music Awards voting continues until August 31! Voting for the 2011 Blues Blast Music Awards is currently in progress and will continue until August 31st. Voting is open to anyone who is a Blues Blast Magazine subscriber. Subscriptions are free, and you can sign up as part of the voting process. Bob Corritore & Friends / Harmonica Blues has been nominated for a Blues Blast Music Award in the category of “Traditional Blues CD.” To see a complete list of all nominees, and to vote please click http://www.thebluesblast.com/, and then click the voting link. The awards ceremony, put on by Blues Blast Magazine, is always a big blues party filled with many blues celebrities. It will take place on Thursday, October 27th, at Buddy Guy’s Legends, 700 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago, IL 60605
- News from Little Victor! The rich, downhome blues sound of Little Victor became well known to blues audiences through his work with Louisiana Red on the highly celebrated Back To The Black Bayou CD released in 2009. Little Victor reports that his new CD, Little Victor/Boogie All Night will be released Sept 6 on the El Torro record label from Spain. This CD was recorded a few years ago in Phoenix and features Little Victor’s raw old-school blues supported by some great Phoenix blues players including Johnny Rapp, Bill Tarsha, Mario Moreno, Brian Fahey and Bob Corritore. To see the El Torro website click here http://www.eltororecords.com/, and to order the CD in the USA through Bluebeat Music (they have this CD already available) click http://www.bluebeatmusic.com/product_info.php?products_id=18979. Little Victor also reports that the highly anticipated new Louisiana Red CD called Memphis Mojo will be out on August 20th on Ruf Records! To check out the CD album art and to read more about this release click here. http://www.rufrecords.de/catalogue/louisiana-red-memphis-mojo.c1171.html. Keep these CDs coming Little Victor!
- Living Blues Magazine interviews Mud Morganfield! Special thanks to Deitra Farr who astutely interviewed Mud Morganfield in her Artist to Artist column in the August 2011 issue of Living Blues. Mud speaks candidly about growing up as the son of Muddy Waters. Also featured in this issue are a brilliant photo presentation of Maxwell Street during the early 1980s by Paul Procaccio with great commentary by Justin O’Brien. Features on The Bo-Keys, Nat Reese, Homemade Jamz, and Little Jerry Jones are also included.
- Bob Corritore in the studio! Bob Corritore has been very active in the recording studio. In addition to the newly released CD, Diunna Greenleaf /Trying To Hold On, Bob has some other productions in the pipeline! Dave Riley & Bob Corritore /Hush Your Fuss is their third collaboration together and this CD is currently being readied for release. Mud Morganfield‘s forthcoming CD Catfish Fishing has just been mastered and will soon be shopped to labels. Mud’s new CD boasts a lineup of A-list Chicago sidemen including Billy Flynn, Rick Kreher, Barrelhouse Chuck, Kenny Smith, E.G. McDaniel, and Bob and Harmonica Hinds switching off on harmonica duties! Bob recently recorded a nice duet session with Valerie June, and then recorded a powerful collaboration CD with his longtime friend Tail Dragger with an all-star band with Henry Gray, Kirk Fletcher, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey. Bob and Clarke Rigsby just mixed Amanda’s Roller Coaster (the amazing star-studded harmonica event hosted by Amanda Taylor last year at the Rhythm Room) and we hope that Amanda will release this CD later this year. More news coming soon!
- Tommy Johnson in the News! This word just in from Scott Barretta concerning the grave site for legendary Delta blues pioneer Tommy Johnson; “Yesterday, the Copiah County board of supervisors decided to build and maintain a road to the Warm Springs cemetery, just north of Crystal Springs, where Tommy Johnson is buried. A gravestone was dedicated in his honor in 2001, but it couldn’t be placed because of legal issues concerning cemetery access, which have now been resolved.” For the full article concerning this news, click http://www.highway61radio.com/?p=3535. To hear Tommy Johnson’s amazing “Cool Drink Of Water Blues” click http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MezmaVBNV8.
- Albert King performs “Oh Pretty Woman” on YouTube! Please enjoy this 1970 clip of Albert King live at the Filmore West with introduction by the pioneering concert promoter Bill Graham. Click http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hw-kPkdrajU to see.
July 29, 2011
- Tail Dragger, Henry Gray, Kirk Fletcher & the Rhythm Room All-Stars to appear tonight and Saturday, July 29th and 30th at the Rhythm Room! A rare meeting of blues talent happens at the Rhythm Room tonight and Saturday, July 29th and 30th in Phoenix, Arizona. This simply great lineup consists of Tail Dragger, Henry Gray, Kirk Fletcher, Bob Corritore,Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey. Rarely will you find such a hard-hitting group of blues artists assembled in one show. This same lineup will also appear in Switzerland in Novenmber for the Lucerne Blues Festival! To see theRhythm Room flyer click here.
- Photos of Brazil tour up on Facebook! Dave Riley and Bob Corritore recently did a string of wonderful festival and club dates in Brazil and Bob posted them on his musician page. Brazil is such a friendly, beautiful country and these photos capture some of the sights, experiences, food, and people. To see these photos click here www.tinyurl.com/BrazilPhotosYou can follow Bob’s Music Page on Facebook by clicking www.facebook.com/BobCorritore and then clicking the “Like” option at the top. Thanks as always to Bob’s Social Media Coordinator Amy Brat at www.facebook.com/BratGirlmedia for her assistance. And special thanks to Adrian Flores and Luciano “Big Mouth” Boca for a fantastic set of gigs and for sharing their beautiful country and culture!
- Edmonton’s Labatt Blues Festival, August 19, 20 and 21 in Alberta, Canada! Edmonton’s Labatt Blues Festival, is a three day event of international blues held every August at the beautiful “Heritage Amphitheatre” in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The festival is produced by Carrol Deen and Cam Hayden, whose deep understanding and love of the blues is reflected in each year’s thoughtful lineup. The 2011 roster, in order of appearance, features (Fri. Aug 19) David Gogo Reba Russell Band, Kim Wilson’s All-Star Blues Band with Kim, Billy Flynn, Barrelhouse Chuck, Randy Bermudes, and Richard Innes, (Sat. Aug 20) Duffy Bishop Band, Dave Riley / Bob Corritore Juke Joint Blues Band, Chubby Carrier & The Bayou Swamp Band, John Nemeth Soul Revue, Nick Moss & The Flip Tops with special guest Guitar Shorty, (Sunday Aug 21)David Vest, Sean Carney, RJ Mischo with Mike Morgan & The Crawl, Diunna Greenleaf & Blue Mercy, the Delta Blues Harp Blast with Randy Chortkoff, Mitch Kashmar, Bob Corritore, and Big Pete plus Kirk Fletcher, Paris Slim, Rob Rio, Willie Campbell, and Jimi Bott. Sounds like a party! For more information and to purchase tickets, please check out the festival website at http://www.bluesinternationalltd.com/tickets-a-info/18
- New documentary about the Mississippi Juke Joint Tradition! A new DVD celebrating the Delta’s down-home blues tradition called We Juke Up In Here: Mississippi’s Juke Joint Culture at the Crossroads, is now available. Producers Jeff Konkel of Broke & Hungry Records, and Roger Stolle of Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art reunite for a second adventure, after the success of their prior film M For Mississippi. This time around they explore what remains of Mississippi’s once-thriving juke joint culture with interviews, live club performances and an intimate look at Mississippi blues. For more information, a promotional trailer, and to order this film, please visit the website at http://www.wejukeupinhere.com/.
- Blues Blast Music Awards Voting now in progress! The voting for the 2011 Blues Blast Music Awards has begun and will continue until August 31st. Voting is open to anyone who is a Blues Blast Magazine subscriber. Subscriptions are free, and you can sign up as part of the voting process. Bob Corritore & Friends / Harmonica Blues has been nominated for aBlues Blast Music Award in the category of “Traditional Blues CD.” To see a complete list of all nominees, and to vote please click http://www.thebluesblast.com/, and then click the voting link. The awards ceremony, put on by Blues Blast Magazine, will take place on Thursday, October 27th, at Buddy Guy’s Legends, 700 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago, IL 60605.
- 2011 Living Blues Awards winners announced! Congratulations as well to all the winners in all the categories. Special kudos to the harmonica category where the Readers Poll went to Charlie Musselwhite, and the Critics Poll went to James Cotton. Bob Corritore was very honored to be nominated in the category, and see his name among some of his favorite harmonica players. For a look at the press release with all the winners, click here. Much appreciation to Living Blues Magazine for it’s long standing commitment to the blues and for providing this reflection pint for our industry with these awards.
- News Times reflects on Rhythm Room’s Chico Chism Tribute show! Thanks to writer Jason Woodbury for reflecting on the Rhythm Room‘s May 21st Chico Chism Tribute. Chico Chism was best known as Howlin’ Wolf’s last drummer. Chico moved to Phoenix in 1986 and had a profound influence on the city’s music scene. The piece includes some live sound bites of the music played that night by The Rocket 88s, George Bowman with Bob Corritore, and Chico’s last band, TheFlamekeepers. To see and hear this article clickhttp://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/uponsun/2011/07/blues_bucket_tour_thom_travisa.php.
- Dialtone Records to release new Cornell Dupree CD! Dialtone label chief Eddie Stout reports that his Texas based label has a forthcoming CD by the recently deceased legendary guitar master Cornell Dupree. Eddie describes this new release: “Cornell’s last recording is a tribute to his legacy. Funky, jazzy and the blues, all with the Cornell stamp”. Sidemen on this project include Mike Flanigin, Kaz Kazanoff, Ronnie James, George Porter, and others. The new disc will be out officially on September 1st but advance copies can be purchased by emailing Eddie at email@example.com. You can see a film of one the songs being recorded at the Dialtone Records Facebook site at http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/dialtonerecords. Thanks to Dialtone Records for preserving the music!
- Junior Wells / Hoodoo Man Blues Deluxe Edition to be released on Delmark Records! The Chicago based Delmark Records will bless the world with an in-depth re-examination of a timeless masterpiece! The release date is August 16. Here is the Delmark press release: Hoodoo Man Blues is considered by most blues aficionados and fans to be one of the best blues albums of all time. It was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and was chosen by the readers of Living Blues Magazine as a top ten Desert Island Blues disc. Recorded on September 22 & 23, 1965, Hoodoo Man Blues was the first studio album to capture a working Chicago blues band doing essentially what they did on stage without time constraints to accommodate the singles market. Of course both Junior Wells & Buddy Guy went on to become international blues stars. This new digipak re-issue contains 17 performances: the 12 songs from the original LP, 3 alternates that have been available on CD plus 4 never-before released performances. There’s one completely unissued song, “I Ain’t Stranded,” and 3 alternate takes to “Yonder Wall” in which Buddy Guy is playing through the Leslie speaker as he did on the title track, something guitar players are still copying to this day. The new four-panel digipak and 16-page booklet package contains eight never-before-seen photos from the recording session. 60 minutes long (15 minutes longer than the last version).
- Big Bad Smitty on YouTube! Please enjoy this wonderful down-home version of Big Bad Smitty singing “The Sky Is Crying” at the 1991 Blues Estefette Festival in Holland. Click here to see! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zvrdYdL728
July 5, 2011
- Dave Riley & Bob Corritore off to Brazil! The downhome blues team of Dave Riley & Bob Corritore will bring their “Mississippi meets Chicago blues” sound to the country of Brazil this and next week. They will be backed for these dates by the band of promoters Adrian Flores and Luciano “Big Mouth” Boca. This will be a return engagement as they first played Brazil in November of 2010. Here is a list of dates for this trip:
7/07/11: Sao Paulo, Brazil – Sesc Riberao Preto
7/09/11: Pocos de Caldas, Brazil – The 4th Annual Pocos de Caldas Jazz & Blues Festival
7/15/11: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Patio Havanna
7/16/11: Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil – Bossa & Jazz
7/17/11: Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil – Bossa & Jazz
To see a photo page of Dave & Bob’s last Brazillian experience click on http://www.bobcorritore.com/photos152.html.
- Bob Corritore receives Living Blues Award nomination in the harmonica category! Bob Corritore is honored to be included among the nominees of the 2011 Living Blues Awards. Bob is in the “Most Outstanding Musician (Harmonica)” category. The other nominees in this category are Billy Boy Arnold, Sugar Blue, James Cotton, and Charlie Musselwhite. Voting is going on as we speak and is open to everyone! All ballots must be in by July 15th! To see the complete list of nominees and to vote please click on the magazine website at www.livingblues.com
- Bob Corritore & Friends / Harmonica Blues nominated for Blues Blast Music Award! More good news as the albumBob Corritore & Friends / Harmonica Blues has been nominated for a Blues Blast Music Award in the category of “Traditional Blues CD.” Other CDs nominated in this same category are Charlie Musselwhite / The Well, Studebaker John’s Maxwell Street Kings / That’s The Way You Do, Rich DelGrosso & John Del Toro Richardson / Time Slips By, Pinetop Perkins & Willie “Big Eyes” Smith / Joined At The Hip, Magic Slim / Raising The Bar. The voting for the 2011 Blues Blast Music Awards has begun and will continue until August 31st. Voting is open to anyone who is a Blues Blast Magazinesubscriber. Subscriptions are free, and you can sign up as part of the voting process. To see a complete list of all nominees, and to vote please click http://www.thebluesblast.com/, and then click the voting link. The awards ceremony, put on by Blues Blast Magazine, will take place on Thursday, October 27th, at Buddy Guy’s Legends, 700 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago, IL 60605.
Dave Riley featured cover story on Blues Blast Magazine! Speaking of Blues Blast Magazine, their June 23rd issue featured an in depth interview with Dave Riley! Kudos to interviewer Terry Mullins, who really understood his subject and coaxed a very relective profile of the man and his music. To see this interview, clickhttp://www.illinoisblues.com/Archive/BluesBlasts/2011/BluesBlast6_23_11.htm.
Simi Valley Cajun and Blues Music Festival photo page posted! Special thanks to Steve and Libby Stoddard for posting a wonderful set of blues photos from The Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival. Steve Stoddard hosts the fantastic blues radio program “Somethin’ Blue” on KTUH 90.3 FM Honolulu, and made the special trip to California to attend this great festival. The festival blues stage is masterfully booked by Delta Groove label chief Randy Chortkoff who understands the fine points of a two day blues presentation. Included are photos of Arthur Adams, The Mannish Boys, Los Fabulocos, Big Pete, Kirk Fletcher, Anna Popovic, Mikey Jr., Tracy Nelson, Elvin Bishop, John Nemeth, The 44s, Kenny Neal, The King Brothers, Terry Hanck, Shawn Pittman, Maria Muldaur, Cadillac Zack’s Blues Revue, Mitch Kashmar, and more! To see this photo page click http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/sblack/SimiValleyCajunBlues2011.html
New Louisiana Red album cover revealed! Ruf Records will soon release Louisiana Red & Little Victor’s Juke Joint /Memphis Mojo. Little Victor has provided us with a sneak peak of the new beautiful CD cover and Victor writes: “Here’s the boss cover (by Johnny Montezuma) of Memphis Mojo, the new album I recorded with Louisiana Red in Memphis with Bob Corritore, David Maxwell, Mookie Brill, Billy T, Pee Wee and the Hawk… You just don’t change a WINNING team… Ha Ha Ha!” To see this cover click http://www.bobcorritore.com/photos165.html.
Excerpt from Clarksdale, Mississippi documentary! Thanks to Scott Jennison for providing this preview of his cool documentary of Claksdale, Missisppi featuring Sam Carr, Big Jack Johnson, Super Chikan, Luther Dickinson, Morgan Freeman and more. The project is called Touch The Blues. To see the clip and to read more about the Touch The Blues Project click http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/265489605/touch-the-blues.
Tail Dragger, Henry Gray, Kirk Fletcher & The Rhythm Room All-Stars to appear together Friday and Saturday July 29th and 30th at the Rhythm Room and in November at the Lucerne Blues Festival! There will be two opportunities to see this rare meeting of blues talent that consists of Tail Dragger, Henry Gray, Kirk Fletcher, Bob Corritore, Chris James,Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey. The first show will be at the Rhythm Room in Phoenix, Arizona on Friday and Saturday, July 29th and 30th and then again in early November at the Lucerne Blues Festival. Rarely will you find such a hard-hitting group of blues artists assembled in one show. To see the Rhythm Room flyer click here. To read more about the amazingLucerne Blues Festival in beautiful Lucerne Switzerland, with this year’s fantastic lineup click http://www.bluesfestival.ch/.
A note from Bob. Please forgive the long time between newsletters. The last newsletter was published on June 7th. In the month between, I have been to the Chicago Blues Festival, and came home to tie up details for the new Diunna GreenleafCD, Trying To Hold On, (due out any day now!), I just finished mixing the new Mud Morganfield CD which will be calledCatfish Fishing, I wrote some brief liner notes for Louisiana Red & Little Victor’s Juke Joint / Memphis Mojo CD, I did some post production work on the forthcoming 3rd release by Dave Riley & Bob Corritore, I pre-recorded 10 hours of radio shows in preparation for the forthcoming 2 week Brazil tour, and I had a 3 day visit from my friend, the lovely and talented Valerie June, where we opened for Jimmie Vaughan at the Rhythm Room on June 29th, and the next day went to Tempest Recording to record a few songs together, and I have been making plans for the Rhythm Room‘s 20 year anniversary party, which will include an amazing 3 day celebration on September 16, 17 and 18 (a formal announcement of the event’s simply great blues and soul lineup will be forthcoming shortly). I have been a very busy man!
Buddy Guy from 1970 on YouTube! Please enjoy this exciting vintage clip of a youthful Buddy Guy performing “The First Time I Met The Blues” from the movie Chicago Blues. To see this performance click http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_rd8y8A2oE.
Tuesday June 7, 2011
Off to the Chicago Blues Festival! The Chicago Blues Festival takes place on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, June 10th, 11th, and 12th, at Grant Park. It is a free festival with numerous stages, booths, and panels. This year is the first since longtime festival chief Barry Dollins has retired. Featured this year are a tribute to the 40th Anniversary of Alligator Records with Lonnie Brooks, Michael “Iron Man” Burks, Rick Estrin, Ann Rabson and Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater, a tribute to Pinetop Perkins featuring Willie “Big Eyes” Smith and friends, a tribute to Robert Johnson: David “Honeyboy” Edwards, Rick Sherry, Rocky Lawrence, Hubert Sumlin and Duwayne Burnside Band, Shemekia Copeland, Mud Morganfield, Nick Moss & The Fliptops, Jimmy Burns, Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith, Dave Specter Band featuring Jimmy Johnson, a set featuring Bob Riedy, Sam Lay and Bob Corritore, Zac Harmon, Fernando Jones, an acoustic set by Lurrie Bell, Tom Holland & The Shuffle Kings, Guy King and his Little Big Band, The Rockin’ Johnny Band featuring Smiley Tillman and Mary Lane,Erwin Helfer Band featuring Katherine Davis, Dave Herrero and the Hero Brothers Band, Cash Box Kings, Rob Blaine’s Big Otis Blues featuring Peaches Staten, Toronzo Cannon & the Cannonball Express, Nora Jean Bruso, James “Super Chikan” Johnson, Joe Moss Band, Holle Thee Maxwell, George Stancell and Band w/ Willie Buck, Kilborn Alley Blues Band, Fruteland Jackson, Dexter Allen, Chris Gill & Derrick Martin, Memphis Gold, Jimmy Burns Band, Charles “Delta Blues Hog” Hayes, J.B. Ritchie and many more! For a mostly complete lineup and schedule go to the festival site by clicking here.To complete the lineup for the Chicago Blues Festival go to the Windy City Blues Society‘s website athttp://windycityblues.org/ for the lineup of their Street Stage which for some reason does not appear on the fest site. Note that every blues club in and around Chicago will be featuring wonderful lineups and special “after fest” shows during the festival dates. While in Chicago, every blues fan should stop by the amazing Jazz Record Mart, if only for the legendaryDelmark Blues Brunch (featuring many of Delmark Records great artists) which has become a Sunday morning tradition for festival goers. For more information on the Chicago blues scene in general please stop by the Chicago Blues Guide website at http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/.
Bob’s gigs around the festival! Here is a list of Bob Corritore‘s performances while in Chicago for the festival:
6/12/11: Chicago, IL – Chicago Blues Festival 3:30pm Front Porch Stage with the Mud Morganfield Blues Band
6/12/11: Chicago, IL – Smoke Daddy. Appearing as part of Morry Sochat & The Special 20s “Half Chicken Special Show” with special guests Bob Corritore & Billy Flynn. Closing out Chicago Bluesfest. 9:30pm show.
Chicago Blues: A Living History Volume 2 to be released in mid June! In 2009 Raisin Music records released a concept CD that won the hearts of many a blues fan. It was called Chicago Blues: A Living History, and it presented a program that exemplified the development of Chicago Blues, featuring many of the Windy City’s top blues performers; Billy Boy Arnold, John Primer, Billy Branch, Lurrie Bell, Carlos Johnson, Matthew Skoller, Billy Flynn, Johnny Iguanna, Felton Crews, and Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith. This CD earned Grammy, and Blues Music Award nominations, and won a Blues Blast Music Award. This group toured and made numerous high profile appearances to great fanfare. A 2nd installment of this concept album will soon be released with all of the same musicians from the first CD plus special guests Buddy Guy,James Cotton, Zora Young, Magic Slim, Ronnie Baker Brooks, and Billy Dickens. Matthew Skoller reports that volume 2 will be released by Raisin Music in mid June of 2011 (not quite in time for the Chicago Blues Festival), and will be aptly titled Chicago Blues: A Living History, The (R)Evolution Continues. For more information on Raisin Music, and to check out the artwork of the new CD, click here. We look forward to this new and very important release.
Diunna Greenleaf CD cover! In our last email the link to Diunna Greenleaf‘s CD album art did not connect. To see the cover of her new CD go to http://www.bobcorritore.com/photos164.html. We look forward to seeing how the world embraces Diunna’s new CD as it is her masterpiece.
RIP Benny Spellman – December 11, 1931 to June 3, 2011. Benny Spellman was an amazing singer whose hits “Fortune Teller” and “Lipstick Traces” helped to define the sound of 1960s New Orleans R & B. He passed away in Florida on Friday, June 3 at age 79. Spellman was also a member of Huey “Piano” Smith & the Clowns, and was the low voice of Ernie K-Doe‘s smash hit “Mother In Law”. In 2009, He was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. To read a complete bio on Benny Spellman, click here. To read the obit in Nola.Com, click here. To hear “Fortune Teller”, click here. To hear “Lipstick Traces”, click here. To hear “Mother In Law” click here.
Fed McDowell performs “John Henry” on YouTube. Mississippi Fred McDowell‘s amazing voice and slide guitar are on display in his great unaccompanied version of the classic song “John Henry”. To see this clip, click here.
Thursday June 2, 2011
- Louisiana Red This Weekend at The Rhythm Room! The legendary Louisiana Red will have a rare US appearance this weekend, performing in Phoenix at the Rhythm Room on Friday and Saturday, June 3 and 4, 2011. Red, now 79 years old, has been making blues records since the early 1950s, and he brings with him the experience of learning to play 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 signature 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, Louisiana Red has been living in Germany since 1983 and most of his shows are in Europe, so a US appearance is always a cause for celebration. Red performs this weekend with The Rhythm Room All-Stars (Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey), 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., Phoenix, AZ 85014. Doors open at 8pm, cover charge is $12. To see photo pages devoted to Louisiana Red, click here andhere. We would also like to mention that Louisiana Red will be a special guest on Bob Corritore’s radio show on Sunday, June 5th. Bob’s show, Those Lowdown Blues, is broadcast each Sunday from 6pm to 11pm (MST) and can be heard in Phoenix at KJZZ 91.5FM and online at www.kjzz.org. Red will provide stories and live performances for those radio listeners able to tune in.
- New Diunna Greenleaf CD coming soon! Diunna Greenleaf is well known in blues circles for her powerful emotion driven vocals and her electrifying stage show. She will soon release Trying to Hold On, on her own Blue Mercy label. This CD features guest appearances by Bob Margolin, Anson Funderburgh, Smokin’ Joe Kubek, Billy Branch, Bob Corritore, Rich DelGrosso, Mookie Brill, Chris James and Patrick Rynn, and of course her great band Blue Mercy. To see a sneak peak of the cover click here. We look forward to this highly anticipated release which Diunna assures us will be out shortly.
- Delta Groove to release album by youthful Dutch harmonica player Big Pete! Not to be confused with veteran blues shouter Big Pete Pearson, this Big Pete stands 6′ 2″, has reddish-blond hair and rosy cheeks and is in his early 30s (Big Pete‘s last name is actually Van der Pluijm). His dynamic performances last weeked at the Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival showed the harmonica influences of William Clarke, Al Blake, and Lester Butler, and a sweet, full-toned natural voice. Delta Groove chief Randy Chortkoff reports: “I’m now in the middle of this massive Big Pete recording. We have a huge list of special guests on it. Jimi Bott and Willie J. Campbell, Alex Schultz, Kirk Fletcher, Kid Ramos,Shawn Pittman, Kim Wilson, Johnny Dyer, Rob Rio, Al Blake, Paul Oscher, Rusty Zinn, Mojo Mark, etc., etc… I must be totally CRAZY. An album on Big Pete who nobody knows and is from another country! But Pete is sOOOOOO good and I can’t help myself!” We look forward to the resulting album.
- Correction and insights about the Robert Nighthawk Maxwell Street video! Last week’s newsletter featured a great clip of Robert Nighthawk performing on Maxwell Street with a down-home band that included John Lee Granderson on second guitar and a drummer that was credited by some sources as Robert Whitehead. After stating this in the newsletter, we received a correction from Charlie Musselwhite, who was living in Chicago during that time. Charlie states: “That’s notRobert Whitehead on drums. His name was Jimmy. Not sure of the rest of his name but his whole name might’ve been Jimmy Lee or Jimmy Lee Collins. The last time I saw Nighthawk, he had Jimmy with him and it was after a gig in Chicago and they were leaving right then to drive to Florida and Robert asked me to go play with them. That’s the only video I know of John Lee Granderson. We did a lot of gigs together. This video is from the Maxwell St. Market area – the corner of 14th and Newberry to be exact. Of course, that corner no longer exists. Man! Those were the days!!!” This prompted a phone call to Dick Shurman who verified that the name of the drummer is Jimmy Collins per the notes on a P-Vine CD issue of ths material. Thanks to Charlie and Dick for this insight. To see this video, click here
- Louisina Red 1983 Performance on You Tube! Here is a classic performance by Louisiana Red performing the “Future Blues” in Europe with an all-star band that includes Jimmy Rogers, Carey Bell, Lovie Lee, Queen Sylvia Embry and Charles Otis. This concert was part of the American Folk Blues Festival ’83. Click here to see.
Wednesday May 25, 2011
- Blues at the Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Festival this Saturday and Sunday! Last year the long standing Simi Valley Cajun Festival became the Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival with separate stages for each music style. The tradition continues with an amazing blues lineup! On Saturday May 28th acts will include The 44’s, Los Fabulocos featuringKid Ramos, Mikey Jr & Stone Cold Blues, Arthur Adams, Ana Popovic, John Nemeth, and the Mannish Boys Revue withTracy Nelson, Rusty Zinn, Lynwood Slim, The King Brothers, Bob Corritore, Peter Dammann, John Marx, and more. On Sunday May 29th, 2011 the lineup is Cadillac Zack with Special Guests, Mitch Kashmar Band, Kirk Fletcher Band, Big Pete tribute to Lester Butler with special guest Al Blake, Shawn Pittman, Elvin Bishop’s Hell Raisin Review, and Maria Muldaur! Simply a stunning presentation of blues! For more information about this festival check out the fest website by clicking here.
- RIP L.V. Banks – October 28th, 1932 to May 2, 2011. Guitarist / vocalist L.V. Banks passed away of heart failure on the morning of May 2 at South Shore Hospital in Chicago. He was 79. L.V. was a wonderful musician and a popular club attraction on the South Side of Chicago. A solid guitarist and spectacular vocalist, his songs were firmly in the Chicago style and had a characteristic swagger about them. Born in Greenville, Mississippi in 1932, LV would move to St. Louis, enlist in the army, and by the early 1960s he landed in Chicago. Though very popular and respected around Chicago, he never made it to great stardom on a national level. His fine music has been preserved by two wonderful CDs; Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear, and Ruby, both recorded in Chicago and released on the Wolf Record Label from Austria. His musical legacy is continued through the talents of his son Tre’, who has emerged in recent years as a popular Chicago-based blues musician. To see a YouTube clip of LV Banks and Tre’ performing a powerful version of “My Own Fault” click here.
- RIP Cornell Dupree – December 19, 1942 to May 8, 2011. Legendary guitarist Cornell Dupree had an understated blues oriented style that made him a popular session player, especially prominent in the 1960s and 70s. His memorable guitar introduction on Aretha Franklin‘s “Respect”, or the sweeping chords supporting King Curtis‘ “Soul Serenade” are examples of his craftsmanship. He died on May 8th at his home in Fort Worth, Texas at age 68. Though well known as an R&B player who worked with Aretha, King Curtis, Wilson Pickett, Champion Jack Dupree, Stuff, and B.B. King, Dupree also crossed over into other styles, making recordings with Miles Davis, Paul Simon, Joe Cocker, Barbra Streisand, Laura Nyro, Bonnie Raitt, Grover Washington, Jr., Lena Horne, and Mariah Carey. In addition to all his session work behind other artists he also had numerous albums as a leader and was considered to be one of the greatest guitar players of his time. We say goodbye to this legend who left his indelible mark on the music world.
- Some thanks are in order! On May 5th,2011, the album Bob Corritore & Friends / Harmonica Blues on the Delta Groovelabel was presented with the 2011 Blues Music Award in the category of Best Historical Album. I must express the great joy and validation that this win has brought to me. The great honor of this award is a highpoint in my life. This release was recorded between 1989 and 2009 (a twenty year span), and features special guests: Koko Taylor, Little Milton, Robert Lockwood, Jr., Pinetop Perkins, Honeyboy Edwards, Nappy Brown, Eddy Clearwater, Louisiana Red, Carol Fran, Dave Riley, Big Pete Pearson, Tomcat Courtney, The Rhythm Room All-Stars, Chief Schabuttie Gilliame, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Eddie Shaw, Chico Chism, Bob Margolin, Kid Ramos, David Maxwell, Eddie Taylor, Jr., Bob Stroger, and more! Each of these amazing artists contributed heartfelt performances with their own unique musical personality. Special thanks to Randy Chortkoff, Kelly Davis, Jeff Fleenor, Josh Temkin, Frank Roszak, Steve Dixon and everyone at Delta Groove Productions for a brilliant job releasing and proudly marketing this CD. Thanks to Jay Seilemen, Joe Whitmer and everyone at the Blues Foundation for creating an event that reflects and celebrates the current blues landscape and its annual achievements. Thanks to the audio experts Clarke Rigsby of Tempest Recorders, John Wrobble and Jeff Harris ofPorcupine Productions, and Dave Shirk of Sonorous Mastering who made this record have top notch sound. A heartfelt thanks to all the fans, reviewers, writers, photographers, festivals, clubs, retails outlets, and the nominators and voters. And great gratitude to God for allowing me a life blessed with all these amazing blues experiences, and for the focus, purposefulness, energy and resources to record and release this album. Thank you for embracing this album and believing in the work of my wonderful associates and myself. A heartfelt thank you!-Bob Corritore
- Louisiana Red to appear at the Rhythm Room on June 3 and 4! The legendary Louisiana Red is no stranger to Phoenix, Arizona, having lived there for a year in 1982. So when he makes his annual visit to the US from his current home of Hannover, Germany, he usually takes some time to play a weekend in Phoenix at he Rhythm Room. Back in 1982 the same location was then known as the Purple Turtle (It would become the Rhythm Room in 1991) and it was the club thatLouisiana Red most frequently played at during his Phoenix residence. Louisiana Red, now 79 years old, will appear onFriday and Saturday, June 3 and 4 with the Rhythm Room All-Stars (Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey). You can expect Red to play the most heartfelt traditional blues around, and to reflect the influences of his teachers,Muddy Waters, Robert Nighthawk, Lightnin’ Hopkins, and John Lee Hooker. Doors open at 8pm and showtime is at 9:15 each night. The Rhythm Room is located at 1019 E. Indian School Rd, Phoenix, Arizona 85014. To see some wonderful photos of Louisiana Red click here, and here.
- Robert Nighthawk on YouTube! Please enjoy this griity Maxwell Street performance from 1964 by the great Robert Nighthawk. Robert sings the menacing “Murderin’ Blues” to a wild audience. The down home band includes Robert Whitehead on drums and John Lee Granderson on second guitar. Click here to see.
Friday May 6, 2011
- Last night at the BMAs in Memphis, Tennessee Bob Corritore & Friends / Harmonica Blues picked up the win as Historical Blues Album of the year. Bob would like to congratulate all award winners in all categories. Bob would also like to thank the Blues Foundation for this great honor. Bob Corritore and Randy Chortkoff were presented the award by actor Jason Lee ofMy Name Is Earl. Bob would like to thank Delta Groove Records, DJs, writers, publicists, and everyone who believed in, and got behind Bob’s efforts. More news to follow on the BMAs as Bob is traveling to Europe now to perform at the Moulin Blues Festival, and then a week of touring. This collaborative effort featured so many wonderful musicians, representing many traditions of the blues, all who also take part in this win. The following is a list of the 2011 Blues Music Awardwinners:
Acoustic Album of the Year
Last Train to Bluesville
Acoustic Artist of the Year
Album of the Year
B.B. King Entertainer of the Year
Band of the Year
The Derek Trucks Band
Best New Artist Debut
On the Floor
Contemporary Blues Album of the Year
Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year
Contemporary Blues Male Artist of the Year
Sonny Rhodes (Lap Steel Guitar)
Koko Taylor Award
Pinetop Perkins Piano Player
Soul Blues Album of the Year
Soul Blues Female Artist of the Year
Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year
Traditional Blues Male Artist of the Year
Friday April 29, 2011
Rhythm Room All-Stars appear this weekend at the Rhythm Room! Back at their home base, the Rhythm Room All-Stars play tonight and tomorrow, Friday and Saturday, night April 29 and 30. The Rhythm Room All-Stars feature Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey. Look for a couple nights of houserocking Chicago blues! Dave Rileywill make a guest appearance on Saturday only.
BMAs next week! It is really thrilling to be going to the greatest blues gathering on the planet! The Blues Music Awardsbrings together the entire blues industry, as we reflect on last year’s releases and achievements. The 2011 Blues Music Awards, hosted by Blues Foundation, will take place at the Cook Convention Center in Memphis, TN on May 5, 2011. Bob Corritore is honored to have received two nominations under the categories of “Instrumentalist – harmonica”, and for Bob Corritore and Friends / Harmonica Blues under the “Historical” category.
Dave Riley & Bob Corritore European tour kicks off next Saturday at the Moulin Ospel Blues Festival! Bob will leave from Memphis the day after the BMAs and meet Dave Riley and the band (Brian Fahey and Dave “Yahni” Riley, Jr.) in the Netherlands for the Moulin Blues Festival. The Festival lineup includes Los Lonely Boys, Janiva Magness, Fabulous Thunderbirds, John Nemeth, Kenny Neal, Kilborn Alley Blues Band, Dave Acari, Homemade Jamz, Mike Sanchez Band,Nick Moss & The Fliptops, Blackberry & Mr Boo Hoo, Ian Siegal & Big Pete, Shawn Pittman & The Moeller Brothers, Def Americans, and Tim Lothar & Peter Nande. Click here to see the festival poster.
Here are Dave and Bob’s European tour dates:
RIP Jack Myers – January 28, 1937 to March 9, 2011. Charlie Musselwhite writes to inform us about the loss of his friend, the great blues bassist Jack Myers:”I thought you’d like to know that the great Chess bass player, Jack Myers died in Milwaukee March 9th. Jack was 74. He was a good friend. We recorded and toured together and he lived with me for a while. Seems like other than playing, we were laughing all day about one thing and another. He was a real good guy. Him and (Fred) Below made a great team. Wearing their berets and shades. That was about as good as it gets.” Very little biographical info can be found on Jack Myers, but during the 1960s, he was a key player in bringing the relatively new electric bass into the forefront of Chicago Blues. The style was changing, and gutarists like Buddy Guy, who Jack worked with most frequently, were more interested in playing a single string lead guitar sound then the more rhythm oriented guitar work popularized in the 1950s. This led to a sparce, open sound in which the bass was holding down a different role in connecting the music. Jack Myers would play a patterned bass line and then hit occational runs to fill in the gaps in a way not heard from bass before. Here is what Buddy Guy recalls in an interview with Guitar World “When the Fender bass first came along, I remember seeing this kid Jack Myers play it with Earl Hooker’s band. Hooker actually owned the bass, so the only time that boy could play, he had to work with Earl Hooker. But I found out that Willie Dixonhad a Fender bass that he’d pawned at a place on 47th and State. So I told that boy, ‘If you wanna play with me, I’ll go get that Fender out of pawn from Dixon.’ And I gave it to Jack, ’cause he was a good little bass player.” Jack played bass on the majority of Buddy Guy records on Chess as well on Guy’s classic record, A Man And The Blues on Vanguard. He also played bass on the Junior Wells historic album Hoodoo Man Blues on Delmark Records as well as Junior’s selections on the Chicago, The Blues Today series on Vanguard. He played bass onBig Walter Horton / The Soul Of Blues Harmonica, Charlie Musselwhite / Tennessee Woman, and the Chicago Blues Stars album (with Louis Myers, Charlie Musselwhite, Freddie Roulette, Fred Below, and Skip Rose).. He also participated in the 1966 American Folk Blues Festival (a European tour and live album) with Otis Rush, Junior Wells, Fred Below, Roosevelt Sykes, Big Joe Turner, Sippie Wallace and others. At a point in the 1970s Jack seemed to drop out of sight, but his decade of session work on many highly influential blues recordings will cement him forever into blues history. To see various great clips of Jack in Europe in 1966 with Otis Rush, Junior Wells, and Big Joe Turner, click here, here, here, and here.
RIP Huey P. Meaux (AKA Crazy Cajun) – March 10, 1929 to April 23, 2011. Producer Huey P. Meaux is best known for producing the amazing hits “You’ll Lose A Good Thing” by Barbara Lynn, “She’s About A Mover” by the Sir Douglas Quintet, and “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights” by Freddy Fender. Of blues interest are sides he produced by Johnny Copeland, Big Walter Price, Rockin’ Sidney (including the hit “Don’t Mess With My Toot Toot”) and many additional great sides by Barbara Lynn. Huey P. Meaux also had a tainted personal life and spent time incarcerated for sex crimes. He died on April 23 of multiple organ failure at age 82 at his home in Winnie, Texas. For an additional Huey P. Meaux obit, click here.
Paul Butterfield on To Tell The Truth! Not often do blues performers find themselves on popular television game shows, but in the 1960s blues singer / harmonica player Paul Butterfield appeared on To Tell The Truth. To see this wonderful clip, click here.
Friday April 22, 2011
- Dave Riley & Bob Corritore appear Saturday night at the Rhythm Room. The Dave Riley/Bob Corritore Juke Joint Blues Band (with Dave, Bob, Dave Jr. on bass and Brian Fahey on drums) bring their down home blues sound to the Rhythm Room in Phoenix this Saturday. Note that right before the show will be the graduation ceremony for Phoenix’s Burlesque University! The Rhythm Room is located at 1019 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85014.
- Malaco Records building destroyed by a storm. This report quoted diredtly from Ray Fitzgerald’s article inSpinningSoul.com: Malaco Records, which has recorded and/or released albums for dozens of soul and blues legends, had its offices and recording studios destroyed Friday afternoon when a tornado hit Jackson, Mississippi. Of the three buildings in the compound, one was a total loss, while the other two had more than half of the structure destroyed. A state of emergency was issued for 14 Mississippi counties as tornadoes ripped through the state on Friday as the death toll in the south rose to 17 early Saturday. Label co-founder Wolf Stephenson and about 15 employees were inside the buildings when the storm hit. All were confirmed unharmed. The buildings are located on Northside Drive in Jackson, where officials say most of the city’s damaged was felt.Sadly, the room that housed the master tapes from decades of great musicians like ZZ Hill, Little Milton, Bobby Bland, Dorothy Moore, Johnnie Taylor, and Denise LaSalle was reduced to rubble.To see a video news report on the sad occurance, click here. Thanks to Ben The Harpman for initially making us aware of this in his Juke Joint Soul newsletter.
- Eddie Shaw to receive Mississippi Trail Marker next week! The great Eddie Shaw played sax in the bands of Howlin’ Wolf, Magic Sam, Freddie King, Jimmy Reed, and Jimmy Dawkins. After Howlin’ Wolf‘s passing in 1976, Eddie embarked on a solo career billed as Eddie Shaw & The Wolf Gang, initially keeping the entire lineup of Howlin’ Wolf‘s last band (Hubert Sumlin, Detroit Junior, Chico Chism, and Shorty Gilbert). Eddie will be honored with a Mississippi Blues Trail Maker in his home town of Benoit, Mississiippi. The unveiling ceremony will take place on Wednesday, April 27, 2011, 2pm at Highways 1 and 448 in Benoit. Congratulations to Eddie!
- Little Milton on YouTube! Please enjoy this July, 2005 clip of the great Little Milton‘s very last performance at the North Atlantic Blues Festival in Rockland, Maine. The clip shows three partial songs and a jubilent, inspired performance by a man still very much in his prime. Little Milton would leave us a month later on August 4 from a severe stroke. He had a brilliant half century recorded legacy and scores of loving fans. To see this clip, click here.
April 13, 2011
- RIP Lacey Gibson – May 1, 1936 to April 11, 2011. This sad news comes to us via Alligator Records:
Famed Chicago bluesman Lacey Gibson died on April 11, 2011 as a result of a heart attack. Known for his sophisticated, jazz-influenced guitar style and robust vocals, Gibson was a musician’s musician. He recorded three albums under his own name and appeared on scores of recordings. His rich, flashy guitar style was featured in dozens of bands, including those of Son Seals, Otis Rush, Willie Dixon,Jimmy Reed, Billy “The Kid” Emerson, Billy Boy Arnold, Sun Ra and many others.
Born on May 1, 1936 in Salisbury, North Carolina, Gibson headed to Chicago with his family in 1949. He gravitated to the city’s blues scene, where he met Willie Dixon, Matt “Guitar” Murphy, Sunnyland Slim and Muddy Waters, learning directly from the masters. By the mid-1960s, Gibson was an in-demand session player for local labels, including Chess, where he worked with Buddy Guy and sangMy Love Is Real with Buddy on guitar. He cut two 45s for the tiny Repetto label in 1968, one of which also features Guy on guitar. His first LP, Wishing Ring, was released on his brother-in-law Sun Ra’s El Saturn label in 1971.
Gibson played in Son Seals’ band for two years, and appears on Seals’ Live And Burning album on Alligator. His opening numbers at Son’s shows were always highlights, which is why Alligator Records president Bruce Iglauer recruited Gibson to cut four stand-out tracks for the label’s Grammy Award-nominated Living Chicago Blues series, released in 1980
In 1983 Gibson released Switchy Titchy on the Black Magic label. During the 1980s and throughout the 1990s he continued to perform locally around Chicago, sometimes with his own band and other times backing Billy Boy Arnold and Big Time Sarah.
Along with his wife, Gibson ran Ann’s Love Nest, an after-hours club on Chicago’s west side. Over the years Gibson continued to hone his craft and perform as his health allowed. He appeared at the Chicago Blues Festival in 2004, performing his signature version of Drown In My Own Tears to thunderous applause from the crowd.
His most recent release was 1996’s Crying For My Baby (Delmark), a first-issue of sessions originally recorded during the 1970s.
Survivors include his wife, Ann Gibson, son Erte Lacy Shaffer, daughters Coronto Shaffer, Synphia Shaffer, Verdonna Shaffer, B.B. Gibson, Tamika Gibson, 17 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
No funeral arrangements have been announced at this time.
April 12, 2011
- Dave Riley & Bob Corritore to appear at a Japan Relief Benefit tonight at the Rhythm Room. Tonight the Rhythm Room features a benefit for Japan earthquake relief. Acts performing are Gypsy & The Smoking Section, Rocket 88s, Dave Riley & Bob Corritore, George Bowman, Hans Olson, Terraplane Station, Larry D, Krimson Chord and more. Doors at 6pm with a 7pm show time and a $8 minimum donation. the Rhythm Room is located at 1019 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85257
- Blues Blast Magazine cover story! Thank you to Blues Blast Magazine for the Bob Corritore cover story in their latest issue. Interviewer Chefjimi Patricola provided some thoughtful interview questions. To see this issue click here. To find out more about Blues Blast Magazine and to sign up to enjoy a free subscription, please click here
- A new harmonica car????? It seems that the mini Cooper is actually marketing a car flanked with numerous harmonicas attached to the exterior. While driving this car, the harmonicas create set of harmonious sounds. To see and hear a promotional clip of this car in action, click here.
- Fat Possum releases a classic Louisiana Red CD. Blues and indy-rock label Fat Possum Records is most famous to blues fans for their great Mississippi blues records by R. L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, T-Model Ford and others. Fat Possum recently reissued Louisiana Red‘s Sweet Blood Call which originally was released as an LP on Blue Labor Records in 1975. These sides are nothing short of amazing as they capture a youthful but already fully realizedLouisiana Red delivering some peak performances. Thank you Fat Possum for re-introducing this gem! Note that Louisiana Red, who now resides in Germany, will make a rare USA appearance at the Rhythm Room in Phoenix, AZ on Friday and Saturday, June 3 and 4th, backed by the Rhythm Room All-Stars.
- Electro-Fi Records to release live George “Harmonica” Smith CD! Electro-Fi Records will soon release a live recording by the late harmonica innovator, George “Harmonica” Smith. The CD, recorded at Chuy’s in Tempe, Arizona, in the early 1980s finds George being backed by the Phoenix based Buddy Reed & the Rocket 88s. George “Harmonica” Smith, Buddy Reed, and bassist Jerry Smith played together in the 1960’s West Coast blues band called Bacon Fat, a band organized by a youthful Rod Piazza. So the occasion of this live recording was a reunion of sorts. Of note to harmonica fans is that theRocket 88s feature veteran harmonica master Bill Tarsha who performs harp duets with George on some of these tracks. Thanks to Electro-Fi label chief Andrew Galloway for lovingly releasing these sides!
- Special thanks! Dave Riley & Bob Corritore recently played two wonderful festivals and would like to express thanks for their warm hospitality and excellent audiences. Much appreciation to organizers Joe Neri and William Eaton of the Old Town Blues Festival at the intimate Old Town Center For The Arts in Cottonwood, AZ, for a magnificent time at the April 2nd festival. For some photos from this event click here. Thanks to Gary Grape, president of the South Sound Blues Association and organizer of the Gray Sky Blues Festival of Tacoma, Washington. Dave Riley & Bob Corritore were backed by a local heavyweight rhythm section of Andrew Cloutier and Scott Simmons and thoroughly enjoyed their introduction to the Washington area. Much appreciation to Greg Johnson, Tim & Michelle Burge, Kim Fields, Cholo Willsin, and many other friends from the Northwest who came out to the show. Thanks also to Guitar Player Magazine’s Brazillian edition who recently posted a photo of Dave Riley and spoke of Dave and Bob’s forthcoming CD, currently in production (click here to see). Dave and Bob will be playing The 4th Annual Pocos de Caldas Jazz & Blues Festival in Pocos de Caldas, Brazil on July 7th to July 10th. Thanks to the UK’s Blues Matters! Magazine for their recently published Bob Corritore interview byBilly Hutchinson, which you can see by clicking here. Thanks also to the UK’s Blues & Rhythm Magazine who have a Bob Corritore interview by Mike Stephenson coming out in the upcoming issue #260, due out in late May.Thanks to Randy Chortkoff, label chief of Delta Groove Records, who hosted a wonderful memorial musical party at his house on March 26 to honor the late Tom Leavey. Randy’s place was filled with friends, family, and amazing musicians including King Cotton,Janiva Magness, Kirk Fletcher, Kid Ramos, Leon Blue, and many more! Thanks to everyone for all the support!
- Little Walter on YouTube! Please enjoy this clip of Little Walter performing an untitled harmonica instrumental with a band that includes Hound Dog Taylor on guitar, Odie Payne on the drums, and Dillard Crume on the bass. This clip was filmed in Europe in 1967 as part of a package tour called the American Folk Blues Festival. Little Walter demonstrates his cool, keen sense of phrasing and construction. Click here to see.
April 6th, 2011
- Dave Riley & Bob Corritore to headline Gray Sky Blues Festival in Tacoma, Washington! The Gray Sky Blues Festival happens this Saturday, April 9th in downtown Tacoma, Washington. The festival utilizes a number of venues for a wonderful day of the blues. In addition to Dave Riley & Bob Corritore, the festival also includes The Randy Oxford Band, The V-Knights, Mark Dufresne, Maia Santell, J.D. Hobson, James King & The Southsiders, Cody Rentas, Alyx & Chris Phippen, and more! for more information click here.
- Nick Curran dealing with further cancer issues. Nick Curran has had to cancel all dates on his forthcoming tour to deal with some ongoing health issues. Per Nick Curran‘s agent/manger Harry Turner; “Last year, Curran underwent treatments to address a cancerous growth on his tongue, and a further procedure is necessary at this time. Although he is eager to get back to a normal life and perform for his many fans, it is crucial to his continuing health that this situation be addressed immediately.” Prayers to Nick for a speedy recovery.
- Today is Big Walter Horton’s birthday! One of the greatest harmonica players of all time was Big Walter Horton, who was born in Horn Lake, Mississippi on April 6, 1917, and died in Chicago, Illinois on December 8, 1981. Big Walter Horton was best known for his unique blues phrasing and his bell-like resonating tone. For examples of this, please enjoy the instrumental “Easy” by clicking here, or Big Walter’s “Christine” by clicking here. To hear Big Walter’s amazing harmonica accompaniment on Jimmy Rogers’ “Walking by Myself”, click here. To see our photo page devoted to Big Walter, clickhere.
- Bob Corritore interview in American Blues News! Thanks to interviewer Vinni “Bond” Marini for his phone conversation with Bob which appears as a feature interview in American Blues News. To see this interview, click here.
- Bob Corritore to be featured in this week’s Blues Blast Magazine! Thanks to interviewer Chefjimi Patricola for his e-interview with Bob which will appear in the April 7 (tomorrow) issue of Blues Blast Magazine which comes via email. To find out more about Blues Blast Magazine and to sign up to enjoy a free subscription, please click here . You can enjoy the current issue featuring Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith by clicking here (note this issue will switch to new one tomorrow).
- Grammy Awards eliminate numerous categories. In an effort to streamline the many categories of Grammys awarded each year, NARAS has eliminated over 30 music categories. Most unfortunate is that they have paired the two blues categories (Traditional Blues and Contemporary Blues) into just one overall award for the blues. It is also sad to see the Traditional Gospel and the Zydeco/Cajun categories no longer represented as these awards frequently recognized artists close to the blues family.
- “A Dinner For Pinetop” photo link! Last week’s newsletter contained a broken link to the “A Dinner For Pinetop” photo. Here is the correct link; http://www.bobcorritore.com/photos162.html. We apologize.
- Big Walter Horton on YouTube! Please enjoy the great Big Walter Horton performing the “All-Star Boogie” and “Hard Hearted Woman” with a great band including Willie Dixon, Lee Jackson, Lafayette Leake, and Clifton James. All-Star indeed! Click here to see.
March 30, 2011
- Dave Riley & Bob Corritore to headline Old Town Blues Fest in Cottonwood Arizona! The Old Town Blues Fest in Cottonwood, Arizona is a full day event that happens Saturday April 2nd, at the Old Town Center For The Arts, at 5th Street & Main. Dave Riley & Bob Corritore will headline the festival which also includes Hans Olson, Joe Neri & Blues Dog, Don Whitcher, Big Daddy D & The Dynamites. For more information on this event, click here
- Pinetop Perkins’ Clarksdale funeral information. This week has seen a series of rituals as the blues community says goodbye to Pinetop Perkins, one of the most loved of all blues artists. In addition to Monday’s funeral in Austin, Texas, there will be another funeral, as well as a burial in Clarksdale, Mississippi this weekend. Here is the information:
Thursday, March 31, 2011
The weekly jam at Ground Zero Blues Club will be dedicated to Pinetop in Memoriam.
Donations will be accepted. The jam will be hosted by Philip Carter and the
Blues Underground and is an open jam starting at 8:00PM.
Friday, April 1, 2011, 4:00pm to 7:00pm
Century Funeral Home
506 Ashton Avenue, Clarksdale, MS 38614
Ground Zero Blues Club will host a reception for friends and fans of
Pinetop from 2:00PM to 6:00PM. Hors d’oeuvres will be served and the
bandstand will be available to anyone who wants to play.
Saturday, April 2, 2011, 11:00am
Century Funeral Home or larger venue TBA
506 Ashton Avenue, Clarksdale, MS 38614
Saturday, April 2, 2011 – immediately following funeral service
McLaurin Memorial Garden Cemetery
Highway 61 North
Clarksdale, MS 38614
Celebration of Life and Repast
Saturday, April 2, 2011 – immediately following burial
8141 Old Highway 49 S, Clarksdale, MS
- Pinetop Reflections. Here are Bob’s comments reflecting some of his many experiences with Pinetop Perkins. This appeared in last week’s Blueswax ezine:
I first saw Pinetop Perkins in 1974 when the Muddy Waters Band played at my high school in the north suburbs of Chicago. Since then Pinetop has been a constant and positive force in my life. I would see him perform with Muddy close to 100 times. I was at the Soundstage “Blues Summit” filming, and at the Alligator session for Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson, both which featured Pinetop. I first took Pinetop into the recording studio in 1980 to play on a Big Leon Brooks CD. Though I had been a fan of Pinetop, I look at this experience as the start of our friendship, and it was the first of many recording sessions we would do together. I would move to Arizona in the early 1980s and in 1991 I opened a blues club called the Rhythm Room where I would bring Pinetop to perform annually. Sometimes he would be coming through with his own band, but most of the time he came by himself and I would have my band back him. I was with Pinetop when he received 2 of his threeGrammys. The first time was in 2005 when he got his lifetime achievement Grammy. There was a wonderful private luncheon ceremony at a ballroom at the Biltmore. Each of the many inductees had their entourage, and I felt honored to there as part of Pinetop’s. This entourage included his manager Patricia Morgan, Pinetop’s lifelong friend Ike Turner, Kim Wilson, Paul Oscher, Mark Carpentieri of M.C. Records, and Elvin Bishop. We all felt so proud of Pinetop. The next day was the televised Grammy‘s ceremony, and I was on Pinetop wheelchair duty (which was a great honor). Well we had planned over an hour to get Pinetop to his seat so that at a specific determined time they would announce his award and the camera would zoom in. Well the security was not very wheelchair friendly, and despite Patricia Morgan‘s frantic attempts to cut through the red tape, we were made to wait at various security points. We cut it so close. So if you canimagine that on the commercial break with just a couple minute’s to go, Patricia is clearing the way while I am wheeling Pinetop through the isle at top speed to get him to the 2nd row in the area where all the celebrities were strategically seated. Through all this rush, Pinetop was cool as can be. We got him to his seat, and he when it was his time, he waived to the camera and smiled for all the world to see! A few years later Pinetop got his second Grammy for his part in the CD Last Of The Delta Bluesmen. I remember a great moment at the Grammy after-party when Kim Danielson (My girlfriend of that time) and I took Pinetop outside for a smoke. I remember how lucky we felt as we watched this happy and satisfied man, puffing on his cigarette, and recalling stories of playing with Robert Nighthawk years ago in the deep south. After just receiving the highest musical honor, it was an amazing contrast of this man’s experiences. It was also a joy to feature Pinetop as part of Willie “Big Eyes” Smith CD “Way Back” (which I produced). In 2009, we performed a spell-binding set together at theBisbee Blues Festival. The last time that I saw Pinetop was in December of 2010 when we played at the Rhythm Room. During that time, Pinetop went out of his way to say “I love you” to me, which I am sure he says to many people, but it sure meant the world to me.
– Bob Corritore
To see the full Blueswax article with this and many other reflections, click here.
- A dinner for Pinetop! Please enjoy this photo of a group of Pinetop Perkins‘ close friends, who gathered for dinner immediately after the funeral to honor our great friend. Included in this photo are James Cotton and his wife Jacklyn Hairston, Paul Oscher, Barrelhouse Chuck, Little Frank, David Maxwell, Noel Neal, and Bob Corritore. There was unspoken love and respect for Pinetop that filled this group’s collective conciousness. To see this photo, click here.
- Bob Porter to be guest on Bob Corritore’s radio show! Bob’s radio show Those Lowdown Blues on KJZZ will have a 2 hour guest appearance by blues treasure Bob Porter, noted for great production work, his long running Portraits In Blue, and his encyclopedic knowledge of blues and jazz music. Bob Porter will cohost the show and share musical highlights from his many productions, play a set honoring the recently deceased Melvin Sparks, and a few other musical surprises! Bob Corritore‘s show runs 6pm to 11pm each Sunday night with Bob Porter making a 2 hour guest appearance starting at 8pm. You can hear this show at 91.5 FM in Phoenix, or at www.kjzz.org anywhere in the world.
- Blues Births! With all the passings of legendary blues artists we are pleased to announce three newborn blues babies. Drummer Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith (the son of Willie “Big Eyes” Smith) reports that his wife Holly gave birth to Mae Lily Smith on January 31st, 2011, 7 lbs, 3 oz. Guitarist Little Frank (AKA Frank Krakowski) reports that his wife Melissa gave birth to Elsa Grace Krakowsi on February 8th, 2011, 7 lbs, 10 oz. This is Frank and Melissa’s third child. And Kevin Johnson, the promotional director of Delmark Records reports that his wife Briana gave birth to Adeline Johnson on Saturday, March 26th, 8 lbs, 2 oz. Congratulations to all as we welcome these blessings into our blues family.
- Muddy Waters with Pinetop Perkins on YouTube! Please enjoy this video of the Muddy Waters Band performing “Champagne And Reefer” and “Blow Wind Blow” with the classic 1970s lineup of Muddy, Pinetop Perkins, Jerry Portnoy,Bob Margolin, Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson, Calvin “Fuzz” Jones, and Willie “Big Eyes” Smith. To see this clip, click here
March 21, 2011
RIP Pinetop Perkins July 7, 1913 to March 21, 2011. Nobody can live forever, but for a period of time in his long life of 97 years, the legendary Pinetop Perkins made us think it was possible. It is with tears that we say goodbye to one of the most loved and highly respected blues musicians of our time. Pinetop Perkins died today of heart failure at his home in Austin, Texas. We know that Pinetop led a rich and happy life, and that he understood the simple pleasures, which he enjoyed everyday. Pinetop Perkins was born in Belzoni, Mississippi. He began his career as a guitarist, but then injured the tendons in his left arm in a fight with a choir-girl in Helena, Arkansas. Unable to play guitar, Pinetop switched to the piano. He got his moniker from playing the popular “Pinetop’s Boogie Woogie”, a 1928 hit by pianist Pinetop Smith. Pinetop accompaniedSonny Boy Williamson II on the Helena based radio program King Biscuit Time on KFFA. He worked with Robert Nighthawk, accompanying him on the 1950 Aristocrat recording of “Jackson Town Gal”. In the 1950s, Perkins joined Earl Hooker‘s band and began touring, stopping to record “Pinetop’s Boogie Woogie” at Sam Phillips‘ studio in Memphis, Tennessee. Pinetop was a major influence on the young Ike Turner, whom he taught piano. Pinetop joined the Muddy Waters Band in 1969, replacing Otis Spann, and playing in the band for over a decade. It is from his time with Muddy that Pinetop became a well known name in the blues. Pinetop would leave Muddy’s band with other band members to form The Legendary Blues Bandbefore restarting his solo career. Along the way, Pinetop was helped by the confident direction provided by manager Patricia Morgan, who was a tireless and diplomatic advocate. Pinetop won three Grammy Awards, and so many Handy Awards that he gracefully took himself out of the running by changing the piano category award to his namesake. Though he rose to the highest of stature, Pinetop was always very accessible and appeared on numerous albums, and projects. He remained active, healthy and happy until the end, even with a daily habit of cigarettes, and McDonald’s (double mac with cheese, medium sprite, and an apple pie). He spent his 97th birthday flying to Spain to play a blues festival, and this year he won his third Grammy for “Best Traditional Blues album” for Joined At The Hip, his collaboration with Willie “Big Eyes” Smith on the Telarc label. We should also mention Barry Nowlin, Michael Freeman, Bob Margolin, Hugh Southard of Blue Mountain Artists, Onnie Heaney, Little Frank Krakowski, Bob Stroger, Diunna Greenleaf, and Pete Carlson for their support roles in Pinetop’s life. We will miss Pinetop’s distinctive voice and his elegant, interactive piano style. He has touched all of us with his charm, his talent, and his loving approach to life. Though we hate to say goodbye, we have to be thankful for the great joy that he brought us. God bless you Pinetop. To see some great photos of Pinetop Perkins click here, and here
March 18, 2011
- Dave Riley / Bob Corritore / Juke Joint Blues Band Live Recording session this weekend! Tonight is Dave Riley’s birthday party! The Dave Riley / Bob Corritore Juke Joint Blues Band (Dave, Bob, Dave “Yahni” Riley, Jr., and Brian Fahey bring their down home blues romp to the Rhythm Room tonight and Saturday night. Both nights will be recorded by the award winning Clarke Rigsby of Tempest Recording and a track or two will be included in the forthcoming Rhythm Room20 year anniversary CD. Also tonight, Dave Riley will celebrate his 62nd birthday! Note that Dave and Bob are busy in the studio these days working on their third CD! The Rhythm Room is located at 1019 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ 85014.
- Blues at the Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Festival on May 28 and 29!. Last year the long standing Simi Valley Cajun Festival became the Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival with separate stages for each music style. Each year the festival happens on the Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. Delta Groove label chief Randy Chortkoff is also the festival blues coordinator. He has just announced the festival’s blues lineup for this year’s. On Saturday May 28th acts will include The 44’s, Los Fabulocos featuring Kid Ramos, Mikey Jr & Stone Cold Blues, Arthur Adams, Ana Popovic, John Nemeth, and the Mannish Boys Revue with Tracy Nelson, Rusty Zinn, Lynwood Slim, The King Brothers, Bob Corritore,Peter Dammann and more. On Sunday May 29th, 2011 the lineup is Cadillac Zack with Special Guests, Mitch Kashmar Band, Kirk Fletcher Band, Big Pete tribute to Lester Butler with special guest Al Blake, Shawn Pittman, Elvin Bishop’s Hell Raisin Review, and Maria Muldaur! For more information about this festival check out the fest website by clicking here.
- New William Clarke Photo Page! William Clarke was the epitome of the post George “Harmonica” Smith West Coast harmonica style. His huge harmonica tone and unapologetic intensity made him stand out among his peers. He passed away at the young age of 45 on Nov 2, 1996. He is considered legendary for his amazing performances and great recordings. Special thanks to his widow, Jeanette Clarke-Lodivici for sharing many of the photos included on this page which also appear on the “William Clarke Remembered” Facebook fan page. To see our photo tribute to William, click here.
- New Tail Dragger web site! We just got word form Kevin Johnson of Delmark Records about Tail Dragger‘s new website, designed by his friend Peter Struijk. To see this great site devoted to one of the most hard hitting Chicago bluesmen around, you can go to www.taildraggerbluesband.com.
- Big Bill Broonzy book forthcoming! After devoting 10 years of his life to research, author Bob Riesman will finally see his long awaited book I Feel So Good: The Life and Times of Big Bill Broonzy published by the University of Chicago Press on May 1. Bob Riesman also announces that the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago will present a “Tribute to Big Bill Broonzy” concert and book signing on Friday, June 17 at 8 pm. The lineup includes Billy Boy Arnold with the Sanctified Grumblers, Mark Dvorak, Joe Filisko, the Pickin’ Bubs, and more. Billy Boy Arnold will be playing selections from Billy Boy Sings Big Bill, his upcoming CD on Electro-Fi, so it will be a rare chance to hear Big Bill Broonzy songs performed by someone who knew the man himself. For information about this book, click here, and for information on the concert/book signing click here.
- J.C. Davis Chess single features Big Walter Horton! Scott Dirks recently brought to our attentention the instrumental “Feznecky” by tenor sax player J.C. Davis with some standout harmonica work by Big Walter Horton. This 1960s recording was released as a single on Chess Records. To hear this great song, click here.
- Additions and corrections. The link that we sent out for the 2011 Moulin Ospel Blues Festival poster was broken, so to see the poster you can click here. Concerning the John Lee Hooker YouTube clip, UK photographer Brian Smith adds “The fabulous Hooker clip is from s BBC show called Beat Room in 1964, the band being John Lee’s Groundhogs, with Tony (“T.S”) McPhee on guitar”. Susan Nichols commented on the Big Jack Johnson obituary, mentioning that Arthur Williamswas also a Jelly Roll King. Indeed he was, and he contributed great harmonica work to the 1966 album Frank Frost / My Back Scratcher on Jewel. Susan also mentioned that Arthur who has been dealing with health issues of his own, is distraught over the news of Big Jack’s passing.
- RIP Melvin Sparks – March 22, 1946 to March 15, 2011. Guitarist Melvin Sparks is better known in jazz circles, but he occupied that wonderful “Jazz meets Blues ” niche and excelled as a guitarist. He released a number of albums for the influential Prestige Records, later recording for Savant Records. He appeared on several recordings with musicians including Lou Donaldson, Charles Earland, Sonny Stitt, Leon Spencer and Johnny Hammond Smith. he was known as a leading light of the “Acid Jazz” movement. Last year he did a memorable performance at Bob Porter‘s 70th birthday party with a set that included sit ins by Duke Robillard, Shemekia Copeland, Lou Donaldson, and many others. To hear his extra cool version of “Thank You”, a single on the Prestige label produced by Bob Porter, click here.
- RIP Herman “Roscoe” Ernest III – Birthdate not available to March 6, 2011. Drummer Herman “Roscoe” Ernest III, a veteran of the New Orleans R&B scene, died March 6 at age 59 after a long bout with cancer. He was a member of Dr. John‘s band for over 20 years and appeared on many of the good doctor’s records. His resume also included important recordings with Lee Dorsey, The Neville Brothers, Earl King, Irma Thomas, Aaron Neville, Snooks Eaglin, Johnny Adams,Anders Osborne, Al “Carnival” Johnson, Solomon Burke and LaBelle. Obviously considered among the top musicains of the Crescent City, Herman “Roscoe” Ernest III will be greatly missed.
- Big Jack Johnson funeral information. Here is information about Big Jack Johnson‘s funeral for those able to make it to Clarksdale. Visitation will be held from 6 p.m. – 7 p.m., Friday, March 18 at Delta Burial Funeral Home in Clarksdale. The home going service will be held Saturday, March 19 at 11 a.m. at the Pinnacle at Coahoma Community College. For more information click here.
- Mance Lipscomb on YouTube! Please enjoy this great clip on Mance Lipscomb, the Texas songster, in concert performing “Take Me Back” and “Goin’ Down Slow”. Note the rich guitar sound and the wonderful vocals. Lance was a champion of country blues. Click here to see.
March 14, 2011
RIP Big Jack Johnson – July 30, 1940 to March 14, 2011. Sad news came in from Dave Riley and Amy Brat that legendary Mississippi guitarist/mandolinist/vocalist Big Jack Johnson has passed away this morning at 6am in his hometown of Clarksdale, Mississippi after a long battle with health issues. He was 70 years old. Note that there were some disturbing premature false announcements of Big Jack’s passing 3 days before his actual passing. Big Jack’s inventive, energetic, Delta-rooted guitar, rich confident vocals, down home songwriting, and larger than life stage presence made him one of the most celebrated bluesmen of Mississippi. His long music career included much national and international touring, many amazing record releases, and a huge amount of praise and respect. Big Jack was born in Lambert, Mississippi in the summer of 1940, and learned guitar from his father at age 13. He rose to prominence in the early 1960s working as a key member of the legendary Jelly Roll Kings, a champion blues band which also included Frank Frost and Sam Carr. Big Jack first appeared on record in the 1960s as the guitarist on two famous Frank Frost albums; Hey Boss Man on the Phillips International label (an offshoot of Sun Records) from 1962, and My Back Scratcher on Jewel from 1966. In the late 1970s,Michael Frank debuted his Earwig Music label with The Jelly Roll Kings / Rockin’ The Juke Joint Down which also was a recording debut for Big Jack’s great vocals. Soon afterward, Big Jack Johnson would start a solo career for himself, independent of the Jelly Roll Kings. His solo debut album, Oil Man (Big Jack used to hold down a day gig delivering oil barrels in Mississippi) on the Earwig label was released in 1987. This led to additional CDs for Earwig, a nice run with M.C.Records, and additional recordings for Rooster Blues, P-Vine Records, Right Coast Recording, and Big Jack Music. There was also a nice Jelly Roll Kings reunion album called Off Yonder Wall that came out in 1997 on the Fat Possum Records. Additionally, Big Jack appeared in the influential 1992 documentary movie Deep Blues. He was a popular festival and club entertainer, a warm and hospitable person, and an amazing musician. Big Jack Johnson was the last original member of theJelly Roll Kings. His passing leaves a gap in the blues that will never again be filled. To see his amazing performance of “Catfish Blues” from the movie Deep Blues, click here. Thanks for all the great music Big Jack. You are loved!
March 2, 2011
Rhythm Room All-Stars appear this weekend at the Rhythm Room! Back at their home base, the Rhythm Room All-Stars play Friday, and Saturday, March 4th, 5th. The Rhythm Room All-Stars feature Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey. Look for a couple nights of houserocking Chicago blues!
- Moulin Blues Festival poster unveiled! Moulin Ospel Blues Festival in the Netherlands in one of the most highly regarded blues festivals in Europe. The Dave Riley / Bob Corritore Juke Joint Blues Band (with Dave, Bob, Dave “Yahni” Riley, Jr., and Brian Fahey) will appear Saturday, May 7th at the fest. Bob will be flying from Memphis to the Netherlands the day after the Blues Music Awards in Memphis. The 2011 lineup also includes Los Lonely Boys, Janiva Magness, Fabulous Thunderbirds, John Nemeth, Kenny Neal, Kilborn Alley Blues Band, Dave Acari, Homemade Jamz, Mike Sanchez Band,Nick Moss & The Fliptops, Blackberry & Mr Boo Hoo, Ian Siegal & Big Pete, Shawn Pittman & The Moeller Brothers, Def Americans, and Tim Lothar & Peter Nande. They have just unveiled the festival poster which you can see by clicking here.
Mud Morganfield unearths some historic blues photos! Mud Morganfield is the eldest son of Muddy Waters. We have talked about Mud recently since Bob Corritore is producing his forthcoming CD which will be out later this year! Mud’s mom, Mildred McGee, has a few photos from when she was seeing Muddy Waters in the 1950s. Mud recently shared a photo ofElgin Evans playing a beautiful drum kit with the Muddy Waters Blues Band logo on the bass drum . Also please enjoy a great shot of Muddy and Mildred together. We have posted these photos for you to enjoy, (click here to see). Thanks Mud for sharing these priceless images!
John Lee Hooker sings “Boom Boom” on YouTube! Please enjoy this early 1960s clip from of John Lee Hooker rocking the boogie as he sings his hit “Boom Boom”. This clip appeared on BBC television, and features John lee with a fine unidentified band, and a cool, dance audience. Click here to see.
February 28, 2011
RIP Eddie Kirkland – August 16, 1923 to February 27, 2011. Guitarist/singer/harmonica player Eddie Kirkland died yesterday in a auto accident in Tampa, Florida. He was 87 years old. Eddie Kirkland was born in Jamaica, and raised in Alabama. After military service in World War II, he relocated to Detroit and started working with John Lee Hooker, with whom he made some spectacular classic recordings. His sympathetic stylistic interaction with Hooker created some of most richly textured down home blues recordings ever recorded. While still with Hooker, he recorded a few 1950s sides under his own name for Modern, RPM, Federal and later Fortune. His version of “Done Somebody Wrong” influencedElmore James who would record his own arrangement of the song. During the ’60s he recorded singles for Lupine and Staxbefore making his first album with the King Curtis band which was released on the True Sound label. He would go on to make records with Trix, JSP, Deluge, Blue Suit, Telarc, Evidence, Fantastic, and other labels, as well as making recorded guest appearances on releases by Johnny Rawls, the Wentus Blues Band (from Finland) and Foghat. Eddie had an amazing work ethic and would tour constantly. His shows were pure energy, and he always played with a beautiful down-home rough edge, even while playing more contemporary blues and soul songs. He wore a scarf over his head which became his trademark but it also covered a metal plate that was in his head from an old war wound. Eddie Kirklandsymbolized the beauty of down home urban blues, and his many important contributions will live on through the ages. To read Eddie’s Wikipedia bio, click here. To see Eddie Kirkland on YouTube performing “I Love You”, click here. For a wonderful Eddie Kirkland discography, click here.
February 25, 2011
Dave Riley & Bob Corritore appear Saturday at the Rhythm Room! The Dave Riley / Bob Corritore Juke Joint Blues Band (with Dave, Bob, Dave “Yahni” Riley, Jr., and Brian Fahey) appear on Saturday, February 26, 9pm at the Rhythm Room. There will be plenty of down-home Mississippi and Chicago style blues being played! the Rhythm Room is located at 1019 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85014. To see the Rhythm Room website, click here.
BMA voting ends 8am, Tuesday March 1. Voting for the 2011 http://www.blues.org/ will come to an end at 8am this Tuesday, March 1st, 2011. You must be a Blues Foundation member to vote. The winners will be announced at The Blues Music Awards, which are held on May 5, at the Cook Convention Center in Memphis, Tennessee. Bob Corritore is honored to have received two nominations under the categories of “Instrumentalist – harmonica”, and for Bob Corritore and Friends /Harmonica Blues under the “Historical” category. Note that Harmonica Blues features 15 songs recorded between 1989 and 2009, with a who’s who of special guests: Koko Taylor, Little Milton, Robert Lockwood, Jr., Pinetop Perkins, Honeyboy Edwards, Nappy Brown, Eddy Clearwater, Louisiana Red, Carol Fran, Dave Riley, Big Pete Pearson, Tomcat Courtney, TheRhythm Room All-Stars, Chief Schabuttie Gilliame, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Eddie Shaw, Chico Chism, Bob Margolin, Kid Ramos, David Maxwell, Eddie Taylor, Jr., Bob Stroger, and more! To become a member of the Blues Foundation, see allthe nominations in all the categories, make your voting choices, to purchase tickets for the BMAs, and to enjoy the Blues Foundation‘s wonderful website, click here.
Bob Corritore & Friends / Harmonica Blues CD remains in the news! In addition to the BMA nomination under the Historical category, Bob Corritore & Friends / Harmonica Blues on Delta Groove Records, released in 2010, has recently received much great critical praise. To see 67 reviews, including a recent review in Downbeat, click here. Harmonica Blues also appeared as # 15 in the “Top 50 Releases Of 2010” in Living Blues Magazine. It was #9 in Sound Guardian‘s “Top 25 of 2010”. It won a “Shoutie Award” under the category of “Best Historical Blues CD” in WXCI’s radio show “Shout Brother, Shout!” (thank you Brian Mulvihill). Harmonica Blues was rated #2 in WMWV‘s Blues Summit Top 50 for 2010. AndBlues Underground awarded the CD “Best USA Blues Harmonica Album” (click here to see!). Harmonica Blues has also found its way into many critics and reviewers top 10 lists! Thanks to everyone for their loving support of this milestone CD.
Bob’s recent recording projects! Bob Corritore is in the middle of many different productions currently. Dave Riley and Bob are busy at work recording their 3rd album together. Bob went to Chicago earlier this month (Brrr!) to produce a CD by the great Mud Morganfield (the eldest son of Muddy Waters) with an all-star band that included Billy Flynn, Rick Kreher,Barrelhouse Chuck, E.G. McDaniel, Kenny Smith, and Harmonica Hinds (Hinds and Bob alternated the harmonica chores). Bob also produced 6 songs for a forthcoming Diunna Greenleaf CD called Trying To Hold On that includes guitar great Bob Margolin. Also on Diunna’s new CD will be tracks from other producers with special guests Blue Mercy, Anson Funderburgh,Smokin Joe Kubek, Billy Branch, Rich Delgrosso, and more. Bob Corritore and Clarke Rigsby of Tempest Recording are coproducing a Rhythm Room 20 year anniversary CD that will include tracks by Pinetop Perkins, Floyd Dixon, Kim Wilson,Cedell Davis, Tail Dragger, Dave Riley & Bob Corritore, The Rhythm Room All-Stars, Billy Boy Arnold, Paul Oscher, TheMannish Boys, Robert Lockwood, Sam Lay and more! Bob and Clarke will also have co-production credits on the forthcoming MC Records release of Amanda’s Roller Coaster with a simply amazing harmonica lineup. Bob’s harmonica will be included on 4 tracks of the forthcoming Louisiana Red & Little Victor’s Juke Joint CD, to be released on Ruf Records. Bob also appears with Louisiana Red and Little Victor’s Juke Joint on the new DVD of the 2010 Blues Music Awards, put out by The Blues Foundation. Bob also plays harmonica on a song on Little Victor’s newest LP only release Boogie All Night on El Torro Records from Spain. Bob also wrote the liner notes for the forthcoming Lazy Lester release called You Better Listen which will be coming out on the Bluestown label out of Norway. No rest for Bob!
Video clip of Pinetop Perkins and Willie “Big Eyes” Smith winning their Grammy! Please enjoy this great moment in time where Pinetop Perkins and Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, two legendary Chicago blues artists, have a moment of glory as they receive their Grammy for the Telarc CD Joined At The Hip! Word has it that Pinetop, now 97, is the oldest living recipient of the award! To see this clip, click here.
Blind Pig to re-release Henry Gray and Yank Rachell albums! Blind Pig Records has announced a March 29th release date for two traditional blues albums from its storied past. The label will re-issue long out of print titles; Henry Gray / Lucky Man, and Yank Rachell / Blues Mandolin Man. These were originally released as LPs and will be available for the first time on CD!
Photos of Jim O’Neal & Amy van Singel Posted. We have just posted a new page featuring some great photos taken byJim O’Neal & Amy van Singel during the 1970s and early 1980s, when they were the editors of the then Chicago basedLiving Blues Magazine. Included are images of Honeyboy Edwards, Robert Lockwood, Albert King, Sunnyland Slim, Jeanne Carroll, Henry Townsend, Junior Wells, Johnny Dollar, Louisiana Red, Carey Bell, Hubert Sumlin, Big Walter Horton, Kansas City Red, Thomas Dorsey, and more! Click here to see.
Mississippi Blues from the Alan Lomax archives on YouTube! Please enjoy these 1978 film clips of down-home Mississippi blues that come to us courtesy of Alan Lomax, the most noted of all folklore researchers.
Boyd Rivers sings a great version of “Take Sick And Die”. Click here
Belton Sutherland sings a powerful blues. Click here
George Jackson sings “Casey Jones”. Click here.
February 23, 2011
RIP Tom Leavey Sept 13, 1942 – February 21, 2011. It is with great sadness that we report the passing of bassist/songwriter Tom Leavey, who is probably best known for his great work with the Mannish Boys. Tom passed away on Monday of a heart attack, at age 68. Tom was a Brooklyn native who fell in love with blues early on. While still underage, he would sneak into R&B shows at the Apollo Theater. In the late 1960’s Tom would relocate to the West Coast, where he would join up with Jimmy Carl Black, of the Mothers of Invention, in a band called Geronimo Black. In the mid 1980s, Tom would relocate to Phoenix to start the LP Club, a celebrated but short lived venue that would feature national jazz & blues acts. During his time in Phoenix he would also work with Janiva Magness & The Mojomatics. By the end of the 1980s, he would move back to Los Angeles where he would collaborate with Randy Chortkoff on numerous projects, including the famed all-star group known as the Mannish Boys, and Chortkoff produced albums by King Ernest, Billy Boy Arnold, Finis Tasby, Bobby Jones, and, of course the Mannish Boys. Tom toured the world with the Mannish Boys until some health issues forced him to take a break from music over the last couple years, Tom was known as a kind, and humble person, and an excellent traditional blues bass player, as well as a great live performer who always wore wonderful suits on stage. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. To see a video of Tom performing with the Mannish Boys, click here.
RIP Big Bill Collins -April 5th, 1935 to February 14, 2011. Legendary Chicago blues DJ Albert “Big Bill” Collins passed away on Feb 14th. He had a delightful after-hours blues radio show on WNIB where he would use his well-loved slogan “Big Bill Collins, down in the basement, sittin’ up here on an old beat-up orange crate”. His down home approach, which often included numerous dedications, and ad skits, was nothing less than pure charm. He was especially prominent in the 1970s and ’80s. He also managed blues singer Bonnie Lee and others. He was frequently seen at blues events with his characteristic trench coat, passing out cards for his show. To see a website that honors Big Bill’s legend click here. To hear exerpts from Big Bill’s show (thanks to Twist Turner) ckick here (vol. 1), here (vol. 2), here (vol. 3), here (vol. 4) and here(vol. 5). Big Bill Collins‘ memory will be carried on through the ages as part of Chicago blues history.
RIP Johnny Nitro, September 2, 1951 – February 19, 2011. Blues singer/songwriter/guitarist John “Johnny Nitro” Newtonwas an intregal part of the Bay Area blues scene. He is best known for being the writer of “Too Many Dirty Dishes,” a song made famous by Albert Collins. He was a fine singer, guitarist, and bandleader who would often perform with many of the resident blues legends in the Bay Area. He died on Saturday, February 19th, at age 59. He passed away in his apartment, which was located above the Saloon on Grand Avenue, the club he played at for the last 25 years. To read the obit in the San Francisco Chronicle, click here. Johnny will be greatly missed by the blues world.
February 17, 2011
- Phoenix’s Blues Blast Festival this Saturday, February 19th! Preparty and Afterparty at Rhythm Room! Each year in February, the Phoenix Blues Society presents a great festival at the beautiful Mesa Amphitheater, with a wonderful mix of national and home grown blues talent. It is called Blues Blast (Not to be confused with the popular on-line magazine on the same name). It is a great excuse for blues fans to come visit one of the greatest winter climates in the US. This year the event takes place on Saturday, February 19th. Appearing at Blues Blast 2011 will be Tommy Castro Band, Deanna Bogart,Trampled Under Foot, Krimson Chord, and Cold Shott & the Hurricane Horns. The show will start at 11:00 am, gates will open at 10:00 am. The Rhythm Room will surround the event with a preparty on Friday, February 18, with The James Harman Band, an opening set by Nathan James, and an Afterparty/Celebrity Jam hosted by Johnny Rawls! For more information about Blues Blast 2011, click here. For more information about the preparty and afterparty, click here.
- Blues Grammy winners! This year the Grammy Awards recognized the seasoned Chicago blues veterans in their 2 blues categories. Congratulations to Pinetop Perkins and Willie “Big Eyes” Smith who won in the Best Traditional Blues Album category for their CD Joined At The Hip on the Telarc label (a shout out to producer Michael Freeman, manager Patricia Morgan and Blue Mountain Artists for their part in this win!). Also congrats to Buddy Guy who won in the Best Contemporary Blues Album category for his CD Skin Deep (another shout out to publicist Betsie Brown for her promotional efforts). We should also mention that Mavis Staples / You Are Not Alone won Best Americana Album, Carolina Chocolate Drops / Genuine Negro Jig won Best Traditional Folk Album, and Chubby Carrier & The Bayou Swamp Band / Zydeco Junkie won Best Zydeco/Cajun Music Album!
- Arthur Williams on YouTube! With his recent Living Blues Magazine cover story, and some recent health issues, it feels like the right time to honor Aurthur Williams, the great harmonica player who played on Frank Frost’s classic Jewelrecordings. Here is Arthur at the 2009 Arkansas Blues & Heritage Festival (AKA The King Biscuit Blues Festival) performing “Mean Old World” , with a fine band that includes the young guitar master Marquise Knox. Click here to see.
February 10, 2011
RIP Marvin Sease February 16, 1946 – February 8, 2011. Marvin, a well travelled “Chitlin’ Circuit” performer, died Tuesday February 8th, in Vicksburg, Mississippi while battling pneumonia. He would have celebrated his 65th birthday next Wednesday. Born in Blackville, S.C., Sease began singing gospel music with a local group the Five Gospel Crowns. Marvin moved to New York in 1966 and performed with his brothers in the group Seas, before going solo. He became popular performing regularly at Brooklyn’s Casablanca club in the 1970s. He recorded his first album, self-titled, in 1986 on his own Early Label. The record featured the song “Ghetto Man,” a year later, when he signed with Polygram, it was expanded to include his signature song the racy “Candy Licker.” Marvin Sease cut close to 20 albums for major labels although his songs were often considered too explicit for radio. His last album, “Who’s Got the Power,” was released in 2008.
February 3, 2011
Off to Memphis for the IBCs! The International Blues Challenge is going on as we speak (it runs from February 1 to 5) with many bands from all over the world competing for a chance at great recognition in the blues community. It is a time when the blues community comes together to greet the up-and-coming artists that will be part of the future of this music. In addition to this event there are many side attractions such as the Keeping The Blues Alive awards presentations, Various showcases, a now famous jam after hours at the Rum Boogie hosted by Bob Margolin, and much networking. Blues societies, booking agents, labels, festivals, publications, photographers, and every possible blues industry type is in attendance, as well a multitude of fans who come to take part in this blues spectacle! For more information on this event click here.
Chico Chism, The Reed Family, and Sam Moore to be inducted into the Arizona Musician’s and Entertainer’s Hall of Fame on Feb 13th! The Arizona Musicians and Entertainers Hall of Fame is now in it’s 10th year, and on Feb 13th, it will host an induction ceremony to take place at the Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix. This year the inductees include three from the blues corner: Chico Chism, who was best known as Howlin’ Wolf’s last drummer, moved to Phoenix in 1986, and thrived as a blues performer and celebrity until his death in 2007, Sam Moore is best known as the Sam of Sam & Dave, the Staxand Atlantic Records soul sensation, and the Reed family which includes Francine, Margo, Michael, Bucko, Mellody, Laverne, and Girley have brought rich gospel, blues, soul and jazz vocal textures to the Phoenix area. Other non-blues inductees this year include Goose Creek Symphony, Dick Van Dyke, Tanya Tucker, JD’s Nightclub, Billy Williams, Al McCoy, Dolan Ellis, and Marshall Trimble. During the presentation, Chico Chism will be honored with 2 of his songs being performed by Hans Olson and Bob Corritore. In honor of our close friend Chico Chism, we have constructed a new photo page which you can see by clicking here. Some other Chico Chism photo pages can be seen here, here, here, here, andhere. Chico Chism left his indelible mark on the Phoenix blues scene, and we will continue to honor his legacy. To see the poster for the AMEHOF event with show details, click here.
RIP Blues Sister Jeannie Webster – July 17, 1941 – January 28, 2011. The sad news of the passing of the woman affectionately known as “Blues Sister Jeanie” comes to us from harmonicist Dave Berntson. Blues Sister Jeanie was based in Tulsa, Oklahoma and was a loving mother figure to all blues artists, fans, and festivals, who she consistently went out of her way to support. She could often be found at the blues fesivals such as the King Biscuit Blues Festival and theMississippi Valley Blues Festival, volunteering for the cause. Here is an excerpt from David Berntson’s obit; Growing up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, she listened to r&b music, enjoying songs by the likes of Hank Ballard, Fats Domino, Bill Doggett, and other great American artists. As a teenager, she could be found at live R & B shows, showing off the latest dance steps. Jeanie was a founding member of the Tulsa Blues Club, and later, the Blues Society of Tulsa, where she was a tireless volunteer in helping to promote blues events in Tulsa. She often came to shows with her sister Linda, and they soon had the nickname of the Blues Sisters. Jeanie’s husband, Arnold was always supportive as Jeanie’s love for blues spread from Tulsa across the country. Over the years, Jeanie traveled to and attended countless blues festivals, volunteering for blues societies throughout the country. She was gifted at staffing the poster signing table, making sure that every artist signed scores of posters. It was a tough job corralling road-weary blues artists, but Jeanie managed it with great wit and charm. Jeanie and Arnold welcomed many blues artists to their home as they passed through Tulsa. She would offer a home-cooked meal and a place to stay, providing a short respite to traveling blues performers. Through her good friendships with many blues artists, Jeanie built a world-class collection of blues memorabilia. Much of it can now be found at the Delta Cultural Center on Cherry Street, in downtown Helena, Arkansas. Jeanie’s down-home blues style and her love for the music and its people made her one of the grand ambassadors of the Blues. She is survived by Arnold, her husband of 44 years, 5 children, and many grandchildren.
January 21, 2011
- Dave Riley & Bob Corritore appear tonight at the Rhythm Room! Dave Riley makes Phoenix, Arizona his winter residence and this weekend welcomes Dave back to the Valley of the Sun. Dave Riley & Bob Corritore, along with Dave “Yahni” Riley, Jr., and Brian Fahey will appear Friday at the Rhythm Room, 1019 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85014. Dave and Bob are now working on their third CD together, which should be out later this year!
- Mud Morganfield and the Rhythm Room All-Stars to appear Friday and Saturday January 28 and 29 at the Rhythm Room. Mud Morganfield is the eldest son of Muddy Waters (not to be confused with Muddy’s other musician son, Big Bill Morganfield). Mud Morganfield‘s voice is so similar to his father it is hard to beleive. Mud makes his way from Chicago to Phoenix on Friday and Saturday, January 28 and 29, for 2 nights at the Rhythm Room. Mud will be backed by the Rhythm Room All-Stars with Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey plus special guest RRAS alum, Johnny Rapp! Expect some real deal Chicago Blues from this weekend.
- RIP Fred Sanders – 1939 to January 15, 2011. Longtime Memphis blues guitarist Fred Sanders died on January 17th, at age 71, after a long battle with cancer. His album Long Time Coming was released just last year on the I55 Productionslabel, and Fred was a regular performer on Beale Street. A great guitarist and stirring vocalist, Fred was a beloved blues hero of his community. To read more about Fred Sanders and to see a nice video as reported by the Memphis Flyer, clickhere. To see a nice tribute written by Robert “Nighthawk” Tombs on the American Blues News website, click here.
- Phoenix’s Blues Blast Festival on Febrauary 19th! Preparty and Afterparty announced! Each year in February, thePhoenix Blues Society presents a great festival at the beautiful Mesa Amphitheater, with a wonderful mix of national and home grown blues talent. It is called Blues Blast (Not to be confused with the popular on-line magazine on the same name). It is a great excuse for blues fans to come visit one of the greatest winter climates in the US. This year the event takes place on Saturday, February 19th. Appearing at Blues Blast 2011 will be Tommy Castro Band, Deanna Bogart, Trampled Under Foot, Krimson Chord, and Cold Shott & the Hurricane Horns. The show will start at 11:00 am; gates will open at 10:00 am. The Rhythm Room will surround the event with a preparty on Friday, February 18 with The James Harman Band and opening set by Nathan James, and an Afterparty/Celebrity Jam hosted by Johnny Rawls! For more information about Blues Blast 2011, click here. For more information about the preparty and afterparty, click here.
- B.B. King on YouTube! Please enjoy this great live version of B.B. King performing “How Blue Can You Get” filmed in Chicago in 1977. Click here to see.
January 12, 2011
- RIP Bobby Robinson, April 16, 1917 – January 7, 2011. The following obit by Reverend Keith A. Gordon is from Keith’s Blues Blog on Blues About.website:
“Producer, record label owner, and musical pioneer Bobby Robinson passed away on Friday, January 7, 2011 after a lengthy illness; Robinson was 93 years old. A musical institution in New York’s Harlem community, Robinson was 125th Street’s first African-American business owner, opening his legendary Bobby’s Happy House record store in 1946 and running it until it closed in 2008 when the building was demolished to make way for new development.
Robinson is best-known to music fans as the visionary producer and label owner whose Fire, Fury, Enjoy, and Red Robinrecord labels produced a flurry of recordings during the 1950s and ’60s that would shape and influence blues, R&B, early rock ‘n’ roll, and soul music for a generation to follow. Robinson’s Fury imprint scored a #1 national hit in 1959 with Wilbert Harrison‘s R&B romp “Kansas City,” and through the years Robinson produced and/or released essential recordings by artists as diverse as blues guitarist Elmore James, R&B shouter Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Lee Dorsey, King Curtis, and many others.
Always with his eye on the next big thing, Robinson was also one of the early pioneers in rap music, discovering young talent and producing early recordings by trailblazing artists like Grandmaster Flash, Doug E. Fresh, Spoonie Gee, and Kool Moe Dee during the late-1970s and early 1980s. An old-school record man with a talent for discovering artists, and coaxing their best performances in the studio, it’s unlikely that we’ll see another music entrepreneur like Bobby Robinson again.
- RIP Ray Galloway, October 6, 1941 – January 9, 2011. This sad new comes in from Jerry Pillow. Helena based blues promoter Ray Galloway passed away on January 9th of a heart attack. He was 69. Ray was instrumental in helping create and run the King Biscuit Blues Festival & Sonny Boy Blues Society for the last 25 years. He was well known to the many visitors of the festival for his warm hospitality and his down to business demeanor as a stage manager. He will be greatly missed by all of those that knew him. To see Ray’s photo and an obit, click here. To read a beautiful article about Ray inAmerican Blues News, click here.
- Janiva Magness appears Friday at the Rhythm Room in Phoenix. New photo page of Janiva’s 1980s Phoenix years!Janiva Magness stops in Phoenix, Arizona this Friday, January 14th, for a night at the Rhythm Room, 1019 E. Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85014. Janiva Magness has become an internationally acclaimed blues singer who is at the top level of the contemporary blues world. She currently is signed to Alligator records and has won numerous Blues Music Awards including “B.B. King Entertainer of the Year” in 2009 and Best Contemporary Female Blues artist in 2008 and 2009. She is currently up for 4 2011 BMAs (to find out more about the BMAs click here). We have recently posted some photos of Janiva Magness from the 1980s when she lived and performed in Phoenix, Arizona. Janiva and Bob Corritorecollaborated on a number of musical projects during that early period in her career. To see these photos, click here.
- Two new European Lazy Lester releases! Swamp blues harmonica legend Lazy Lester will have two CDs released on European labels this year. Producer Mike Vernon reports that the Cambaya label from Spain has released Lazy Lester /One More Once, a live CD which finds Lester backed by British blues combo West Weston’s Bluesonics. You can see the cover of One More Once on the Cambaya Records Myspace (click here to see). Producer/harmonicist Jostein Forsbergreports that his Bluestown label, based in Norway, has a forthcoming studio CD by Lazy Lester that will likely be called You Better Listen. This CD features backing by Spoonful Of Blues who are Lazy Lester‘s regular accompaniment when doing Scandinavian gigs. Jostein and guitarist Morten Omlid share the production credit for You Better Listen. Lazy Lester‘s Louisiana sounds are so rich and untamed, and his live performances so satisfying, that you can see why he has such a peak of interest in the European blues market.
- Whistlin’ Alex Moore on YouTube! Please enjoy this short clip of Texas blues piano master Whistlin’ Alex Moore, living up to his name on a delightful boogie. Click here to see.
January 6, 2011
Tail Dragger live recording session Friday and Saturday at the Rhythm Room! The mighty Tail Dragger makes a trip from Chicago to Phoenix to appear at the Rhythm Room on Friday and Saturday. Tail Dragger will be backed by the Rhythm Room All-Stars (Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey) plus very special guest Kirk “Eli” Fletcher. The weekend will be recorded by the award winning Clarke Rigsby of Tempest Recording. Highlights of this live recording session will be used in a Rhythm Room 20th Anniversary CD that will include various blues artists from live recording sessions done over the years. The Rhythm Room turns 20 years old this September! Tail Dragger carries on theHowlin’ Wolf tradition in fine form and his most recent DVD Live At Rooster’s Lounge on Delmark Records has been nominated for a Blues Music Award! He and Bob Corritore worked together in the late 1970s and early 1980 and so this show also represents a reunion of two longtime friends. The Rhythm Room is located at 1019 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ 85018. Barbecue will be available for purchase on these nights. To see a photo page dedicated to Tail Draggerclick here.
New photo book beautifully captures Mississippi blues images! The latest blues publication to fall into our sights isMississippi: State Of The Blues. This gorgeous hardbound book showcases spectacular full color images of Mississippi blues artists and landmarks, taken by noted photojournalist Ken Murphy, combined with a thoughtful, informed essay, as well as photo comments, by former Living Blues editor Scott Barretta. For more information on Mississippi: State Of The Blues, click here
Dave Riley & Bob Corritore Band to appear at Moulin Blues Festival and various European dates in May! The Dave Riley / Bob Corritore Juke Joint Blues Band (with Dave, Bob, Dave “Yahni” Riley, Jr., and Brian Fahey) will appear Saturday, May 7th at the Moulin Ospel Blues Festival in the Netherlands. Bob will be flying from Memphis to the Netherlands the day after the Blues Music Awards in Memphis. Also on this festival are Los Lonely Boys, John Nemeth,Kilborn Alley Blues Band, Dave Acari, Homemade Jamz, Mike Sanchez Band, Nick Moss & The Fliptops, Blackberry & Mr Boo Hoo, and Tim Lothar & Peter Nande. The week after-wards the band is building a tour, and so far they will be at theBanana Peel in Ruiselede, Belgium on Monday, May 9, and Muziekodroom Club in Hasselt, Belgium on Thursday, May 12.
Aretha Franklin on YouTube! With the recent Twitter false alarm wrongly stating that Aretha Franklin had died, we gladly report that Aretha is alive and is recovering in fine form from her pancreatic cancer surgery of Dec 2. Let’s keep Aretha in our prayers as she continues to get better, and let’s enjoy these four YouTube clips that showcase a small portion of her great talent. She is the queen of soul indeed!
“I Say A Little Prayer”. Click here to see.
“Night Life”. Click here to see.
January 3, 2011
- Bob Corritore 2010 Year End Recap. 2010 was the year that Little Walter won a Grammy, and the year that the Arkansas Blues & Heritage Festival regained it’s rightful name of The King Biscuit Blues Festival after a legal dispute. For me the year was highlighted by the release of Bob Corritore & Friends/ Harmonica Blues, a CD presenting many of the musical highlights of my last 20 years (mostly previously unreleased recordings) with a simply amazing cast of special guests.Harmonica Blues was released on the amazing Delta Groove record label, who’s stature and promotional power gave this record a validation that I have never seen before. 2010 was also a year of many great live performances with some of my favorite artists, some wonderful travels, and some exciting awards and nominations. But perhaps the most gratifying part of this year are the friends and fans who went out of their way to support my musical endevours. We also had to say goodbye to some musical heros, some behind the scenes movers and shakers, and some hard working and well loved blues men and women. I will try to list as many of this year’s highlights as I can remember and reference, but please accept my advance apology if I am leaving something out. This is my 2010 in review:
- CDs and DVDs Released. I was associated with 6 releases this year, either as a harmonica player, or producer, or both. Here is a listing of this year’s crop of releases.
1) Bob Corritore & Friends / Harmonica Blues (Delta Groove) – Friends include Koko Taylor, Little Milton, Robert Lockwood, Jr., Pinetop Perkins, Honeyboy Edwards, Nappy Brown, Eddy Clearwater, Louisiana Red, Carol Fran, Dave Riley, Big Pete Pearson, Tomcat Courtney, The Rhythm Room All-Stars, Chief Schabuttie Gilliame, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Eddie Shaw, Chico Chism, Bob Margolin, Kid Ramos, David Maxwell, Eddie Taylor, Jr., Bob Stroger, and more!
2) Flyin’ High, A Collection Of Phoenix Blues, Rhythm, and Spirit from the 1950’s and ’60s (SWMAF) Record production and compilation by John “Johnny D” Dixon and Bob Corritore.
3) Chris James & Patrick Rynn / Gonna Boogie Anyway (Earwig) – I play harmonica on two tracks.
5) Paul Oscher / Bet On The Blues (Blues Fidelity) – I co-produced 2 tracks on this fine CD.
- Recording Sessions and DVD Filmings. Great sessions in 2010 with T-Model Ford, Long John Hunter, Dave Riley, Henry Gray, Kid Ramos, Louisiana Red, Chris James & Patrick Rynn. I was filmed at the Harp and Soul Festival (produced byLynn Orman and Scott Shuman) in an appearance that included Sam Lay, Billy Flynn, Chris and Patrick, and Kenny Smith. I also was filmed at the Simi Valley Blues Festival appearing with Candye Kane. One of the great recording events of the year was Amanda’s Roller Coaster which was the amazing harmonica event masterminded by show producer Amanda Taylor. In three days we recorded and filmed James Cotton, Hubert Sumlin, Billy Boy Arnold, Lazy Lester, Kim Wilson, Paul Oscher, James Harman, Jerry Portnoy, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Johnny Dyer, RJ Mischo, Bharath Rajakumar, Steve Marriner, Junior Watson, Al Blake, Troy Gonyea, Billy Flynn, Barrelhouse Chuck, Dave Riley & Bob Corritore, Joe Filisko,Dave Waldman, Johnny Sansone, Scott Dirks, Chef Denis Depoitre and more. All 3 days of Amanda’s Roller Coaster were recorded at the Rhythm Room by Clarke Rigsby.
- Awards, Nominations, and Recognition. Bob and his musical collaborators were associated with numerous awards and achievements this year:
– Bob Corritore is nominated for a 2011 BMA for “Instrumentalist – Harmonica” and the other nominees include Charlie Musselwhite, James Cotton, Kim Wilson, and Paul Oscher (some pretty amazing company to be associated with).
– Bob Corritore & Friends / Harmonica Blues had 4 months on the Living Blues Radio Charts with a peak position of #2, 14 weeks on the Roots Music Report Blues Chart with a peak position of #4, and 9 weeks on the House of Blues Radio HourChart with a peak position of #8. It was also rated the #4 CD of 2010 on the Collectif Des Radios Blues website!
– Chico Chism, Bob Corritore‘s longtime musical partner, will be inducted into the Arizona Musicians and Entertainers Hall of Fame in a ceremony that will take place on February 13, 2011 at the Orpheum Theater in Phoenix. Chico spent the last 20 years of his life as a member of the Phoenix music community and contributed greatly to its blues scene.
- Festivals and great gigs: Another amazing year filled with great on-stage moments! I played shows with many great artists including The Rhythm Room All-Stars (Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, Brian Fahey, and for the first half of the year, Big Pete Pearson, who moved to Maine mid-year), Dave Riley & Bob Corritore, Mud Morganfield, Louisiana Red, Bob Margolin, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Bob Stroger, The Bob Riedy Blues Band with Eddy Clearwater and Sam Lay, Henry Gray, Jessi Colter, Mississippi Spoonman, Tail Dragger, A great combo with Melvin Sparks, Bernard Purdie, Bill Easley, and David Keyes, Guy Davis, The Rocket 88’s, Kirk Fletcher, Bobby Jones, Leon Blue, Pinetop Perkins, Long John Hunter,Candye Kane, George Bowman, Billy Flynn, and more! Here is a recap of the great gigs and performances of the year:
– Rhythm Room All-Stars with Big Pete Pearson at the RR (January 8 & 9, March 12 & 13, April 23 & 24, May 14 & 15. and June 25 & 26) Big Pete moved to Maine to pursue a restaurant business opportunity in July of this year. The band kept rockin’ the blues with Chris James taking over as the primary singer (July 30 & 31, Aug 20 & 21, Oct 22, 23, and Dec 11).
– Blues Blast After-party at the RR with Rhythm Room All-Stars performing with guests Big Pete Pearson, Sugar Ray, andDave Riley. Also performing that night were The Insomniacs, Big James & the Chicago Playboys, and Candye Kane. I also enjoyed sitting in on a couple songs with Candye’s great band. (Feb 27)
– Performing with Louisiana Red & Little Victor’s Juke Joint at the Blues Music Awards and the next day at Alfred’s. What a dream come true to be up on the BMA stage with my long time friend in his moment of his glory (he had just won 2 BMAs).Little Victor brought a great band from Norway, and added David Maxwell and myself to fill out the band. The next day we did a powerful show at Alfred’s on Beale Street, then we went to Leeway studio that day and the next to work on Red’s forthcoming CD produced by Little Victor. (May 6, 7, and 8) Click here for photo page of 2010 BMAs
– Simi Valley Blues Festival / Delta Groove Showcase in Simi Valley, California. After signing with the Delta Groove label I was welcomed into the family with a festival appearance with Candye Kane. This great festival also featured The Mannish Boys, Elvin Bishop, The Hollywood Blue Flames, Mike Zito, Lynwood Slim with the Igor Prado Band, Mitch Kashmar, TheJackie Payne / Steve Edmondson Band, The Insomniacs, The Soul of John Black and more! (May 29).
– Playing at Harp and Soul Festival! at SPACE in Evanston (thank you to producers Lynn Orman and Scott Shuman) My set had a band that included my friends Sam Lay, Bob Riedy, Billy Flynn, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Kenny Smith. Also on this show was Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Rob Stone, and Grady Champion. This event was filmed! (June 10)
– Had an amazing time at Bob Porter‘s 70th birthday party at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Englewood, New Jersey. For this special occasion, the house band included Bernard Purdie, Melvin Sparks, and Bill Easley. At a point they called up a number of guest musicians to play with this great band. David Keyes and I got up and were joined by Guy Davis for a song. Also performing were Shemekia Copeland, Duke Robillard, Angel Rissoff and Lou Donaldson. A joyous event celebrating a great man who has dedicated his life’s work to blues and jazz. What an honor to play with this heavyweight house band! (June 21)
– Mississippi Valley Blues Festival in Davenport, Iowa with the Dave Riley / Bob Corritore duo. This is one a greatest blues festivals in the country! (July 4). I also had a wonderful time at the after-party jams where, over two nights, I played withZac Harmon, Vasti Johnson, Billy Branch, Matthew Skoller, Bill Sims & Mark Lavoie, and others.
– My Birthday Party at the Rhythm Room with the Rhythm Room All-Stars, Dave Riley, George Bowman, Long John Hunterand Kirk Fletcher. A packed house filled with friends and great music! (September 18th)
– Amanda’s Roller Coaster. Complete with a Thursday pre-party, this was a 4 day event. It was simply the most amazing harmonica blues show ever! It was masterminded by Amanda Taylor, who came up with a spellbinding program celebrating the humble instrument. The lineup featured James Cotton, Billy Boy Arnold, Lazy Lester, Kim Wilson, Paul Oscher, James Harman, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Johnny Dyer, Bharath Rajakumar, Johnny Sansone, Jerry Portnoy, Al Blake, Dave Waldman, Dave Riley & Bob Corritore, Troy Gonyea, RJ Mischo, Steve Marriner, Billy Flynn, Scott Dirks, Chef Denis Depoitre, and Vincent Bury, Junior Watson, Larry Taylor, Richard Innes, Barrelhouse Chuck, and more! This event was recorded by Clarke Rigsby and also had a film crew. (September 30, October 1, 2, and 3) Click here to see Dave Blake’s photos from Amanda’s Roller Coaster
– King Biscuit Blues Festival. With just a day of rest I was off to the deep south to enjoy the “Biscuit” where I had a scheduled Saturday CD release party at the Delta Cultural Center with Bob Margolin, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Bob Stroger. (What an great band!). Bob Margolin also invited me up to the main stage to play a few with the same band later in the day. I also played with Mississippi Spoonman, Valerie June, Big Red, Robert “Nighthawk” Tombs, and others during the many times I was invited on festival stages and jam sessions. I love Helena! (October 6, 7, 8, 9)
– Pinetop’s Annual Homecoming at Hopson’s Plantation in Clarksdale, Mississippi. This event is the unofficial after party of the Biscuit and it honors the legendary Pinetop Perkins, who was raised on this plantation. I did a set with Bob Margolin andPeter Dammann as part of an endless stream of great musicians who performed at the event. (October 10)
– Tail Dragger and the Rhythm Room All-Stars at the Rhythm Room. It is always a pleasure to be reunited with my longtime friend Tail Dragger. We have been doing gigs together since the 1970s. Two great nights of playing. On the first of the two nights, Diunna Greenleaf stopped in a played a few numbers with us. (October 22 and 23)
– Blues Blast Music Awards at Buddy Guy’s Legends, Chicago, IL. I performed with Dave Riley in a band that also included Dave “Yahni” Riley, Jr., and Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith. I also played as a guest on one song on Candye Kane‘s set. Also appearing were Jackie Scott & The House Wreckers, Little Ray Neal, Eddie Shaw, Zora Young, Shaun Murphy Band,Mississippi Heat, Kilborn Alley Blues Band, Quintis McCormick, Cash Box Kings, Billy Branch, and many others. A spectacular night from start to finish. (October 28)
– Bob Riedy Blues Band Reunion with Sam Lay and Eddy Clearwater at Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket. Great to be included with this great band. Thank you to Harry Garner for use of his great harp amp. (October 29)
– Appearing with the legendary Jessi Colter for a set opening for her son Shooter Jennings. It is always a completely different experience to play the touching ballads and western romps with this great artist who I am proud to call my friend. (November 4)
– Brazil mini tour! This was first time that Dave Riley and I went to South America and we fell in love with Brazil! It was an honor to work with Adrian Flores and Luciano “Big Mouth” Boca. We did a band gig in Pocas de Caldes and a duet show in Porto Alegre. I also played an impromptu jam with Ivan Marcio at Harmonica Master Music Store in Santos. (November 19 to 23) Click here for photo page of Brazil tour.
– Tempe Center for the Arts in Tempe, Arizona for a Bob Corritore & Friends show. I brought Bobby Jones, Leon Blue, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey. with friends like this we could not go wrong. We brought the audience to their feet screaming with this powerful show (November 27).
– Blues Harmonica Showcase with host band, the Rocket 88s. This is an annual show at the Rhythm Room that features 20 or so of Phoenix’s top harmonica players. My set was with surprise guest Pinetop Perkins who was in town a day early for his show the next day. (December 9)
– Pinetop Perkins at the Rhythm Room with the Rhythm room All-Stars. This show was other-worldly as the 97 year old Pinetop transported us back in time with his rich singing and playing. (December 10)
– Rocket 88s Christmas Show. My last show of the year and the Rocket 88s have such a sweet blues groove. Bill Tarsha is both a great harmonica player and drummer. My longtime associates Johnny Rapp and Paul Thomas were special guests on this show and I was brought up for 4 songs that really felt great. Other special guests included Jumpback Keith, George Bowman, and Frank Rossi. (December 25)
- Articles Interviews, and other press. The following publications featured Bob Corritore interviews: IL Blues Magazine(Italy) by Marino Grande, Jazz N’ More (Switzerland), Concerto Magazine (Austria), Big City Blues Magazine by Gary von Tersch, Blues Revue with 2 interviews this year (one as a sidebar to the Louisiana Red feature by Art Tipaldi, and the other an interview / feature of Dave Riley / Bob Corritore by Michael Cote), Phoenix New Times by Jason Woodbury, andHarmonica Master. I had radio interviews with Mark Wade / A1 Blues (Interview / Podast – click here). James Hynes / Jim’s Juke Joint and Soul Kitchen on WXLV. Roy Prescott / Blues Summit on WMWV, and Steve Cagle / Blues Spectrum onKVMR, and with Sonny Payne on the legendary King Biscuit Time broadcast on KFFA. There was also an article in Blues Junction Productions. We had over 60 rave reviews for Bob Corritore / Harmonica Blues which can be seen by clickinghere. Many publications also featured projects that I have been involved in, and it would be impossible to list each of these. Thanks to all the interviewers reviewers, and publications for the honor of this attention and support.
- Website and Social Media Sites. In 2010 we sent out exactly 51 Bob Corritore Blues Newsletters to a subscription base that is now over 10,000. We keep all the past newsletters on file and you can access them by clicking here (you can access prior years by scolling to the menu links at the bottom of the page). We added 10 new photo pages towww.bobcorritore.com to an already extensive photo section filled with both current images and classic blues photos from the archives. For an entertaining view of the blues please check out the photo section by clicking here . Check out the new homepage designed by Tony Amato and constructed by Josh Temkin. Thanks to webmaster George Thomas Vaught for his great work and dedication. You can also access these social media
Bob Corritore Fan Page on Facebook www.facebook.com/BobCorritore
Bob Corritore on Twitter www.twitter.com/BobCorritore
Bob Corritore on Myspace www.myspace.com/bobcorritore
Special thanks to social media coordinator Amy Brat.
- Passings. Always so hard to say goodbye to the many great blues people that passed away. Here is a list of some of those who have left us in 2010: Willie Mitchell, Earl Gaines, Bobby Charles, Teddy Pendegrass, Arnie Caplin, Dale Hawkins, Lil’ Dave Thompson, Sandra Wright, Wilroy Saunders, Brian “B.B.” Bruce, Patte Williams, Clayton Love, Doc Blakey, Barbara Brown, Rockie Charles, Wiley Joe Terry, Willie C. Davis, Rod “Beachhead” Jeffery, Marva Wright, Bobby Alexis, Ray Hoff, Herb Ellis, Walter “Mississippi Slim” Horn, Novell Campbell, Willie Pooch, Larry Dale, Rene Solis, Esther Mabry, Calvin Leavey, Gene “Mighty Flea” Conners, James “Slim” Scroggins, Randy Joe Fullerton, Roosevelt “Rosey” Hatcher, Abe Young, Phillip Walker, Calvin “Fuzz” Jones, Carlton “King” Coleman, Stanley Livingston, Steve Arredondo,Ken Shoppmeyer, Foster “Mr.Tater, The Music Maker” Wiley, Solomon Burke, Albertina Walker, John Leslie, Dennis Taylor, Reggie Boyd, Stanley “Sarge” Davis, Little Smokey Smothers, James Peterson, Chris Michalek, Robin Rogers. A thank you to each for their great contributions to the music that we love.
- Rhythm Room Concert Club: My nightclub presented a wide array of blues shows. National acts and Phoenix-based acts included Jimmie Vaughan (twice!), T-Model Ford, Kim Wilson All-Star Blues Band, Fabulous Thunderbirds, Mark Hummel(with Rusty Zinn), W.C. Clark, Mud Morganfield, Candye Kane, Tail Dragger, The Nighthawks, Nick Moss & The Fliptops,Pinetop Perkins, Mr. Boogie Woogie, Sue Palmer, Lisa Otey, Bob Malone, Long John Hunter, Henry Gray, James Cotton,Hubert Sumlin, Tommy Castro, Janiva Magness, Junior Watson, Barrelhouse Chuck, Leon Blue, Bobby Jones, Randy Chortkoff, Al Blake, Johnny Dyer, Bharath Rajakumar, Lazy Lester, Eric Lindell, Leon Russell, Guitar Shorty, Smokin’ Joe Kubek Band featuring B’Nois King, Rod Piazza & The Mighty Flyers, Walter Trout, Rick Estrin & The Nightcats, Coco Montoya, Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Hillstomp, Billy Boy Arnold, The Insomniacs, Rory Block, Chris Duarte, Tab Benoit, Hans Olson, Bad News Blues Band, Rocket 88’s, Big Nick & The Gila Monsters, Sugar Theives, Jump Back Brothers, Big Pete Pearson, James Harman, Francine Reed, Johnny Sansone, Paul Oscher, Kirk “Eli” Fletcher, Dennis Gruenling, Scott Dirks, Sonny Landreth, George Bowman, Too Slim & The Taildraggers, George Thomas & the Flamekeepers, Rosie Ledet & The Zydeco Playboys, Ken Valdez Band, Dave Riley & Bob Corritore, and, of course, The Rhythm Room All-Stars.
- Other cool things! It was great to see Brian Fahey of the Rhythm Room All-Stars have a cover story in the March issue of Belgium’s Back To The Roots Magazine! It was nice to have a credit (for providing source material) on the Grammywinning Little Walter / The Complete Masters on Hip-o Select. Speaking of Little Walter, this year we posted some great photos of Little Walter performing in Cambridge, UK in 1964, courtesy of our firiend Dave Luxton. (Click here to see) This resulted in our friends from ABS Magazine reposting these photos in a beautiful spread for more to see! My radio show, Those Lowdown Blues, on KJZZ continues on into its 26th year and, while keeping its loyal Phoenix following, has garnered many internet listeners who can tune in real time at www.kjzz.org. Rick Estrin was a guest co-host on the show on April 18th. He spun 2 hours of his favorites and provied a great in-studio performance! David Blake has published a photo book called Amanda’s Roller Coaster 2010 which beautifully captures the magic of that spectacular 3 day harmonica show. Mouth artist Cindy Bernhardt made a beautiful painting of my arm holding a harmonica that was on display at Amanda’s Roller Coaster, which was signed by the performing artists and became an emblem of the event (click here to see). Thanks also to Kadmus Arts who included my image in their 2010 Festival Year In Review video / slide show which covers all aspects of the performance arts world. To see these this fun powerpoint, click here.
Special Thanks to the behind the scenes heroes. I could not accomplish the work I do without a brilliant team behind me, so here are some of the people that helped to support the cause in 2010: Special thanks to Randy Chortkoff, Kelly Davis,Jeff Fleenor, Josh Temkin, Frank Roszak, Steve Dixon and everyone at Delta Groove Productions for a brilliant job releasing and proudly marketing my CD, George Thomas Vaught, the webmaster and newsletter facilitator, Amy Brat, my social Media coordinator, Mona Watkins, the General Manager of the Rhythm Room, who runs the shop while I am off doing blues projects, Everyone at KJZZ (particularly Jennifer Waters, my blues assistant), The Phoenix Blues Society, who work hard to move the Phoenix blues scene forward, Tony Tingle, who has done great volunteer work for the Southwest Musical Arts Foundation and who sells CDs at my gigs, Martin Elmers, owner of the Rack Shack Barbecue at the Rhythm Room,Michael Frank of Earwig Music, Dale Baich and Beth Lipham of Blue Witch Records, Bob Margolin, Richard Rosenblatt andChip Eagle of VizzTone, Jerry Del Giudice and Edward Chmelewski of Blind Pig Records, Betsie Brown of Blind Raccoon,Lynn Orman of Orman Music and Media Group, Scott Dirks, Clarke Rigsby of Tempest Recorders, John Wrobble and Jeff Harris of Porcupine Productions, Tony Amato at AI Design, Dave Shirk of Sonorous Mastering, Bharath Rajakumar of Regal Radio Records, Collectif des Radios Blues, Music Choice, Bluesville on Sirius XM, John “Johnny D” Dixon, Kim Wilson,Amanda Taylor, Little Victor, Eileen Bailey, my wonderful band members and musical collaborators, all of the writers, reviewers, photographers, publications, festivals, blues societies, radio show hosts and programmers, friends, and fans who have shown me the warmth of their support. A heartfelt thank you everyone!
- The Promise of 2011 After this amazing year, I feel that I am being launched into the new year full throttle. I am very excited by the BMA nominations, and even if none turn into a win, I feel that is a great honor just to be nominated. TheRhythm Room will turn 20 years old in September of 2011 and that will be an exciting milestone with lots of celebrations in the plans. I will be working on a number of CD projects including 1) a third CD of Dave Riley & Bob Corritore, 2) a Rhythm Room 20th anniversary CD with great live performances by various artists, 3) Amanda and I will be working on a CD of harmonica highlights from the amazing Amanda’s Roller Coaster show to be released on MC Records, 4) I will be a guest harmononica player on a forthcoming Louisiana Red & Little Victor’s Juke Joint CD, produced by Little Victor for Ruf Records and 5) I will start work on the next Bob Corritore CD with direction from Delta Groove. I am working on some other projects that I am not at liberty to speak of currently but newsletter subscribers will be the first to know. Dave Riley and I have some great bookings for next year including the Moulin Blues Festival in the Netherlands and a European tour after-wards, a return trip to Brazil, the Edmonton LaBatt Blues Festival in Canada, the Gray Sky Blues Festival in Tacoma, WA, and the Old Town Blues Festival in Cottonwood, AZ. The Rhythm Room All-Stars with guest Kirk “Eli” Fletcher will be doing a live recording session with Tail Dragger this Friday and Saturday, January 7 & 8. The RRAS also have a weekend of performances planned with Mud Morganfield on January 28 & 29, as well as monthly gigs at the Rhythm Room. To see my 2011 bookings to date click here. Additionally, I have many archived masters that are needing to be released or re-released and I hope to make as much of that happen as possible in this new year. So much of what will happen next year is yet to be determined, and it is more exciting that way! I wish everyone a great 2011.