2011 Archives

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 MargolinLittle FrankBob StrogerKenny 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 DraggerMary LaneBilly FlynnScott Dirks, Rodney Brown, Lil’ Ed, Tim Betts, Harlan Lee TersonJon HillerTom HollandSam LayMark Wydra,Mud MorganfieldBig Head ToddMichael FrankBilly BranchRonnie Baker BrooksWayne Baker Brooks, Dan Carelli,Melvin Smith, Jerry Porter, Zora YoungJimmy BurnsMichael ColemanTwist TurnerKenneth KinseyJonn Del Toro RichardsonHarry GarnerDeak HarpEddie C. CampbellNigel MackBrian Carpy, Vince Salerno, Marty Binder, Matt HillRichard RosenblattDave Herrero, Glenn Davis, Uncle Felix Reyes, and others. Some celebrities in the house who chose to just attend and not play were, Jody WilliamsJoe FiliskoSam BurckhardtNick MossRick KreherRich KirchDave 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 hereBlues 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 RichardsBonnie RaittElvin BishopDebbie Davies, John Hahn,Steven SeagalAnthony GomesCharlie BurchPaul BenjaminJoseph A. RosenDan TreanorChris LaytonWatermelon SlimGabriel Butterfield (Paul’s son), Dick WatermanKaz KazenoffBuddy FlettRichard Rosenblatt, Peter Carlson, Bob PutignanoDave FieldsHugh SoutherZac HarmonKristen Thien, Scott Cable, David Z, Mike Glenn, Jason KingClifford 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 ShawDetroit Junior, Lucille Spann, Lee Jackson, George Mayweather, Highway Man, Chico ChismEddie 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” SmithHenry GrayBob StrogerLittle 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.

    – Bob Corritore

  • 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

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’ WolfHubert 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 GangAndrew McMahonSunnyland SlimLouisiana RedCarey Bell, Little Eddie, Big Mac, and others. He recorded numerous albums under his own name for L+RBlack TopTone-CoolRykodiscAPOJSPBlind PigBlues 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 ArtistsBob Margolin, and Little Frank who worked with him frequently on the road in recent years, Pat MorganJames CottonPaul OscherKim WilsonAmanda TaylorDiunna GreenleafTwist 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
    Festa Memorial
    111 Union Blvd.
    Totowa, NJ 07512
    Phone: (973) 790-8686

    Monday, December 12, 2011 – Funeral Service
    10AM
    Festa Memorial
    111 Union Blvd.
    Totowa, NJ 07512
    Phone: (973) 790-8686

    Tuesday, December 13, 2011 – Chicago Area Musical Celebration Of Life
    FitzGerald’s
    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, 2011Paul 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-StarsChico ChismPat Roberts & The Heymakers, The Jump Back Brothers, Midnite Blues, The Rocket 88s and many others. He also had worked occasionally in bands with Junior WatsonLynwood 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 GrayMojo BufordPinetop PerkinsLouisiana RedBob CorritoreBig Pete PearsonChief Schabuttie GilliameThe 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 WestAnita 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

October 26, 2011

  • 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 BandGeorge “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, JSPP-Vine, Blue Moon, Blue Loon, FedoraRooster, 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 WilliamsOtis 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 PerkinsWillie “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

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, 2011
    Visitation 10 AM to 10 PM
    Leaks & Sons Funeral Home
    7838 South Cottage Grove,  Chicago, IL 60619  Ph:773-846-6567
     Monday, Sept 26, 2011
    Wake 10am until 11am
    Funeral services 11am until noon
    South Park Baptist Church
    3720 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 PerkinsBob MargolinJerry PortnoyLuther “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

August 30, 2011

August 29, 2011

August 25, 2011

August 11, 2011

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 BowmanLucius ParrKenneth 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 MorganfieldBob MargolinDiunna GreenleafDave RileyBilly FlynnBarrelhouse ChuckMookie BrillJohnny RappBrian 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

Hans Olson

Chico Chism Tribute with George Thomas & The Flamekeepers (Chico’s last band) with guest appearance by Gypsy!

Hoodoo Kings Tribute with Mario MorenoJim DorholtPaul Thomas and other alumni of this historic Phoenix band

Rocket 88s with special guest Johnny Rapp

Big Nick & The Gila Monsters

Dave Riley / Bob Corritore Juke Joint Blues Band

Bad News Blues Band with Long John Hunter

Tommy Dukes Blues Band

George Bowman & Badness featuring Lucius Parr

Cold Shott & The Hurricane Horns

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.

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 DraggerHenry GrayKirk FletcherBob Corritore,Chris JamesPatrick 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 FestivalTo 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!

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.

Tuesday June 7, 2011

6/08/11: Chicago, IL Buddy Guy’s Legends, Bob will be a part of a Pinetop Perkins Tribute put on by the Chicago Chapter of the Grammy Foundation.

6/10/11: Chicago, IL – Chicago Blues Festival – Windy City Blues Society Stage 4:20 – 5:20pm show. Appearing with Bob Riedy Blues Band featuring Sam Lay.

6/10/ 11: Chicago, IL – Smoke Daddy. Guest Appearance on Billy Flynn‘s show

6/11/11: Willowbrook, IL – Blue Rooster Lounge at Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket – Appearing with Bob Riedy Blues Bandfeaturing Sam Lay.

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.

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 WatersJohn Lee HookerLightnin’ 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 CorritoreChris JamesPatrick 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 MargolinAnson FunderburghSmokin’ Joe KubekBilly BranchBob CorritoreRich DelGrossoMookie BrillChris 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 ClarkeAl 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. CampbellAlex SchultzKirk FletcherKid Ramos,Shawn PittmanKim WilsonJohnny DyerRob RioAl BlakePaul 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 RogersCarey BellLovie LeeQueen Sylvia Embry and Charles Otis. This concert was part of the American Folk Blues Festival ’83. Click here to see.

Wednesday May 25, 2011

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
The Nighthawks

Acoustic Artist of the Year
John Hammond

Album of the Year
Living Proof
Buddy Guy

B.B. King Entertainer of the Year
Buddy Guy

Band of the Year
The Derek Trucks Band 

Best New Artist Debut
On the Floor
Matt Hill

Contemporary Blues Album of the Year
Living Proof
Buddy Guy

Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year
Robin Rogers

Contemporary Blues Male Artist of the Year
Buddy Guy

DVD
Ruf Records
Songs from the Road
(Luther Allison)

Historical Album of the Year
Delta Groove
Harmonica Blues
(Bob Corritore & Friends)

Instrumentalist-Bass
Bob Stroger

Instrumentalist-Drums
Cedric Burnside

Instrumentalist-Guitar
Derek Trucks

Instrumentalist-Harmonica
Charlie Musselwhite

Instrumentalist-Horn
Eddie Shaw

Instrumentalist-Other
Sonny Rhodes (Lap Steel Guitar)

Koko Taylor Award
Ruthie Foster

Pinetop Perkins Piano Player
Dr. John

Rock Blues Album of the Year
Live! In Chicago
Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band featuring Hubert SumlinWillie “Big Eyes” SmithBryan Lee and Buddy Flett

Song of the Year
“Living Proof”
Tom Hambridge/Buddy Guy

Soul Blues Album of the Year
Nothing’s Impossible
Solomon Burke

Soul Blues Female Artist of the Year
Irma Thomas

Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year
Solomon Burke

Traditional Blues Album of the Year
Joined At the Hip
Pinetop Perkins & Willie “Big Eyes” Smith

Traditional Blues Male Artist of the Year
Charlie Musselwhite

Friday April 29, 2011

Here are Dave and Bob’s European tour dates:

5/07/11: Moulin, Holland – appearing at the Moulin Blues Festival with Dave Riley / Bob Corritore Juke Joint Blues Band

5/08/11: Gooreind, Belgium – GoorBlues – Café ‘t Goor with Dave Riley / Bob Corritore Juke Joint Blues Band

5/09/11:  Ruiselede, Belgium – Banana Peel with Dave Riley / Bob Corritore Juke Joint Blues Band

5/10/11: Geldrop, Holland – De Kroeg with Dave Riley / Bob Corritore Juke Joint Blues Band

5/12/11: Hasselt, Belgium Muziekodroom Club with Dave Riley / Bob Corritore Juke Joint Blues Band

5/13/11: Amsterdam, Holland – appearing for the Amsterdam Harmonica Meetup Group with Dave Riley & Bob Corritore duo

  • 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 HarmonicaCharlie Musselwhite / Tennessee Woman, and the Chicago Blues Stars album (with Louis MyersCharlie MusselwhiteFreddie RouletteFred Below, and Skip Rose).. He also participated in the 1966 American Folk Blues Festival (a European tour and live album) with Otis RushJunior WellsFred BelowRoosevelt SykesBig Joe TurnerSippie 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 RushJunior Wells, and Big Joe Turner, click hereherehere, 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 CopelandBig Walter PriceRockin’ Sidney (including the hit “Don’t Mess With My Toot Toot”) and many additional great sides by Barbara LynnHuey 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.comMalaco 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 HillLittle MiltonBobby BlandDorothy MooreJohnnie 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’ WolfMagic SamFreddie KingJimmy 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 SumlinDetroit JuniorChico 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

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 BandThe V-KnightsMark DufresneMaia SantellJ.D. HobsonJames King & The SouthsidersCody RentasAlyx & 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 DixonLee JacksonLafayette 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 OlsonJoe Neri & Blues DogDon WhitcherBig 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.

Visitation

Friday, April 1, 2011, 4:00pm to 7:00pm
Century Funeral Home
506 Ashton Avenue, Clarksdale, MS  38614
662-627-4182

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.

Funeral Service
Saturday, April 2, 2011, 11:00am
Century Funeral Home or larger venue TBA
506 Ashton Avenue, Clarksdale, MS  38614
662-627-4182

Burial
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
Hopson Commissary
8141 Old Highway 49 S, Clarksdale, MS
662-624-5756

  • 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 TurnerKim WilsonPaul 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 OscherBarrelhouse ChuckLittle FrankDavid 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 PerkinsJerry Portnoy,Bob MargolinLuther “Guitar Junior” JohnsonCalvin “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 NowlinMichael FreemanBob MargolinHugh Southard of Blue Mountain ArtistsOnnie HeaneyLittle Frank KrakowskiBob StrogerDiunna 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

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 BluesP-Vine RecordsRight 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

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 TrixJSPDelugeBlue SuitTelarcEvidence, 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

R.L. Burnside sings “Jumper On The Line”, click here.

Sam Chatmon sings “The Preacher And The Bear”. Click here.

Jack Owens & Bud Spires perform “Can’t See Blues”. Click here.

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 ErnestBilly Boy ArnoldFinis TasbyBobby 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

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 SymphonyDick Van DykeTanya TuckerJD’s Nightclub, Billy Williams, Al McCoyDolan 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 hereherehere,  here, andhereChico 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 BallardFats DominoBill 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.

  • Lightnin’ Hopkins on YouTube! Please enjoy this great version of the classic “Baby Please Don’t Go” performed by Texas blues master Lightnin Hopkins. Click here, to see.

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 CorritoreChris JamesPatrick 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 BandDeanna BogartTrampled Under FootKrimson 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

“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 FireFuryEnjoy, 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” CrudupGladys Knight & the PipsLee DorseyKing 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 FlashDoug E. FreshSpoonie 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.

Bobby Robinson was inducted into the Blues Foundation‘s Blues Hall Of Fame in 2006.”

  • 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 ListenLazy 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

“It Won’t Be Long” from the Shindig TV show (1964). Click here to see.

“I Say A Little Prayer”. Click here to see.

“Night Life”. Click here to see.  

“Mockingbird”, a duet with Ray Johnson. 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 TaylorLittle MiltonRobert Lockwood, Jr.Pinetop PerkinsHoneyboy EdwardsNappy BrownEddy ClearwaterLouisiana RedCarol FranDave RileyBig Pete PearsonTomcat Courtney, The Rhythm Room All-StarsChief Schabuttie GilliameWillie “Big Eyes” SmithEddie ShawChico ChismBob MargolinKid RamosDavid MaxwellEddie 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.

4) 2009 BMAs DVD (Blues Foundation) -This DVD presents highlights of the 2009 Blues Music Awards. I appear on one song performing with http://www.thebluefour.com/ & Patrick Rynn.

5) Paul Oscher / Bet On The Blues (Blues Fidelity) – I co-produced 2 tracks on this fine CD.

6) Blues For The Gulf (VizzTone) –  A various artists collection of songs inspired by the BP oil spill disaster. Dave Riley &Bob Corritore contribute “Oil Spill Blues”.

– Bob Corritore is nominated for a 2011 BMA for “Instrumentalist – Harmonica” and the other nominees include Charlie MusselwhiteJames CottonKim Wilson, and  Paul Oscher (some pretty amazing company to be associated with).

– Bob Corritore & Friends / Harmonica Blues is nominated for a 2011 BMA in the “Historical Album” category.

– Bob Corritore / Harmonica Blues won Blues Underground’s 2010 award for “Best USA Harmonica Blues Album”. Clickhere to see)

– Bob Corritore / Harmonica Blues was listed as #9 in Croatia’s Sound Guardian Magazine‘s “Top 40 Releases of 2010”

– Bob Corritore / Harmonica Blues was listed as #3 in Hungary’s Blues Van website under “Best Blues Releases of 2010”

– 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!

– Dave Riley & Bob Corritore / Lucky To Be Living was nominated for a 2010 Blues Blast Music Award in the category of “Traditional Blues Album”.

– Louisiana Red / Back to the Black Bayou (which features Bob Corritore on harmonica on 2 tracks) was nominated for 2 2010 BMAs; “Traditional Blues Album of the Year” and “Blues Album of the Year”.

– Patrick Rynn, Bob’s close associate and fellow member of the Rhythm Room All-Stars, was nominated for a 2010 and a 2011 BMA for “Instrumentalist – bass”.

– Chris James & Patrick Rynn / Gonna Boogie Anyway (featuring Bob on 2 tracks) was the #1 CD of 2010 on the Collectif Des Radios Blues website!

– Paul Oscher / Bet On The Blues (with 2 cuts with co-production credits to Paul OscherBob Corritore, and Clarke Rigsby) is nominated for a 2011 BMA in the “Acoustic Album” category

– The Rhythm Room received a 2010 New Times “Best Of Phoenix” Readers Choice for “Best Blues or Jazz Club”

– The Rhythm Room won AZ Central‘s “Best 2010” Award for “Best Blues / R&B Bar” (Click here for the write up)

– The Rhythm Room was proclaimed “Best of the Valley” under the category of “Best Blues Bar” by Phoenix Magazine. This was in both the critics and reader poll!

– Chico ChismBob 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.

– Dave Riley / Bob Corritore Juke Joint Blues Band kicked off the year with a gig at the Rhythm Room (Jan 1) and did additional RR gigs (Jan 30, Feb13 and April17)

– 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).

– Betsie Brown‘s Blind Raccoon Showcase with Dave Riley & Bob Corritore performing as a duet during the IBCs at King’s Palace in Memphis (January 22)

– Blues Blast Pre-Party with the amazing Mud Morganfield & the Rhythm Room All-Stars with special guest Johnny Rapp sharing the guitar chores with Chris. (Feb 26)

– 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 InsomniacsBig 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

 – The Chico Chism memorial show where I played a duet set with Dave Riley, and also sat in a song with George Thomas & The Flamekeepers (May 22)

– 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 BoysElvin Bishop, The Hollywood Blue FlamesMike ZitoLynwood Slim with the Igor Prado BandMitch Kashmar, TheJackie Payne / Steve Edmondson Band, The InsomniacsThe 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 LayBob RiedyBilly FlynnChris JamesPatrick Rynn, and Kenny Smith. Also on this show was Willie “Big Eyes” SmithRob Stone, and Grady Champion. This event was filmed! (June 10)

– Playing with the Billy Flynn band at SPACE (June 11)

– Playing at the Chicago Blues Festival with the Bob Riedy Blues Band featuring Sam Lay and then later that night for a show at Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket in Willowbrook, Illinois (June 12)

– I was a guest speaker and performer at Joe Filisko‘s Harmonica Class at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago (June 14) All I can say is that it was an amazing experience!

– Sitting in with Smokin’ Joe Kubek Band featuring B’Nois King. I have been a guest of this great band many times over the years but this one really was especially powerful. (June 18th)

– 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 CopelandDuke RobillardAngel 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)

– Played at the legendary Wilebski’s Blues Saloon in St. Paul, MN with the Dave Riley / Bob Corritore duo. (July 2) What an honor!

– 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 BranchMatthew SkollerBill Sims & Mark Lavoie, and others.

Down Home Blues Festival with Henry GrayKid RamosCarol FranDave RileyChris JamesPatrick RynnRichard Innes. A great gathering of friends (September 5)

– Dave Riley and I opening for Jimmie Vaughan at the Rhythm Room. We made many new fans that night. Jimmy and the band played to perfection. (September 8)

– My Birthday Party at the Rhythm Room with the Rhythm Room All-StarsDave RileyGeorge BowmanLong John Hunterand Kirk Fletcher. A packed house filled with friends and great music! (September 18th)

– Plaza Palomino Concert Series in Tucson with the Rhythm Room All-Stars plus guest – Dave Riley. Thanks Jonathan Holden! (September 24)

– Bisbee Blues Festival in Bisbee, Arizona. This great blues festival is a favorite of mine. I played this with the Rhythm Room All-Stars with guest Dave Riley to a warm reception.

– 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 CottonBilly Boy ArnoldLazy LesterKim WilsonPaul OscherJames HarmanThe Fabulous ThunderbirdsJohnny DyerBharath RajakumarJohnny SansoneJerry PortnoyAl BlakeDave WaldmanDave Riley & Bob CorritoreTroy GonyeaRJ MischoSteve MarrinerBilly FlynnScott DirksChef Denis Depoitre, and Vincent BuryJunior WatsonLarry TaylorRichard InnesBarrelhouse 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 MargolinWillie “Big Eyes” SmithBob 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 SpoonmanValerie JuneBig RedRobert “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)

– Mesa Arts Center in Mesa, Arizona. Dave Riley and I did a rousing opening for Eric Bibb at this beautiful performance center. (Oct 15)

– 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 WreckersLittle Ray NealEddie ShawZora YoungShaun Murphy Band,Mississippi HeatKilborn Alley Blues BandQuintis McCormickCash Box KingsBilly 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 JonesLeon BlueChris JamesPatrick 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 KeithGeorge 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 TerschBlues 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 WXLVRoy 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.

-Bob Corritore

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