Arizona: Guest Writer Bob Corritore Newsletter Summary

Posted on 12/03/2009 by Monica Yasher

Bob Coritore supplied the information in this blog today. Bob is a touring musician. So, if he comes to your town, look this man up!

If you are looking for some great artists to listen to this holiday season, check out these recent winners:

Blues Blast Music Award Winners! Chris James & Patrick Rynn win Best Artist Debut! Simply a spectacular time in Chicago in November at the 2nd Annual Blues Blast Music Awards, held at Buddy Guy's Legends! This show brought in performers from all around the country and blues fans from all around the globe. With a huge lineup of performing artists and presenters, the show went perfectly on schedule with each artist given a 10 minute slot. It created a fast pace program that never felt bogged down. Each of the 25 or so performance segments were well played and warmly received. What attendees got was an amazing sampling of many of today's most active blues performers. There was a great vibe throughout the night with fans, media, labels, artists, and blues folks in general coming together to reflect on the activities and successes of the current blues world.

The 2009 Blues Blast Music Award Winners are:

Best Contemporary Blues Recording: The Insomniacs / At Least I'm Not With You
Best Traditional Blues Recording: Various Artists / Chicago Blues: A Living History
Best Blues Song: Albert Castiglia / "Bad Year Blues"
Best Blues Band: Nick Moss & The Flip Tops
Best Male Artist: Elvin Bishop
Best Female Artist: Robin Rogers
Best New Artist Debut Recording: Chris James & Patrick Rynn / Stop And Think About It
Sean Costello Rising Star Award: Kilborn Alley Blues Band
Lifetime Acheivement Award: Koko Taylor

Thanks to Bob Kieser and everyone at Illinois Blues and Blues Blast Magazine for this spectacular recognition of acheivement in the industry and for throwing a "must attend" blues party with warmth and hospitality.

Remember our blues brothers and sisters that have left us recently:

RIP Alex "Easy Baby" Randle 8/3/1934 - 9/25/2009 : This sad news from Chicago area bassist and record producer Karl Meyer about the passing of Chicago blues harmonica great Easy Baby: Alex Randle, known to the world as "Easy Baby", passed away Friday, September 25, 2009 after suffering from pneumonia. He was 75 years old. Alex "Easy Baby" Randle was born 1934 in Memphis, Tennessee. For the first seven years of his life, he lived in Michigan City, Mississippi, with his grandmother and uncle, before moving back to Memphis to attend school. His grandmother and uncle were harmonica players; so, it was natural for Easy Baby to pick up the harmonica. In the early 1950's, when Easy Baby was still a teenager, he began playing professionally around Memphis while working a variety of odd jobs, including installing floors and shining shoes. While playing in the juke joints and gambling houses in Memphis, he befriended Howlin' Wolf, James Cotton, and Joe Hill Louis, among others. In 1956, Easy Baby moved to Chicago. Throughout the 1950's, 1960's, and 1970's Easy Baby sang and played all over Chicago, while working as a mechanic. He worked a long stint at the Rat Trap Inn in Chicago during the 1970s and made appearances at the Chicago Blues Festival in 1998, 2000, and 2003. Easy Baby released 2 records under his own name: Sweet Home Chicago Blues on the Barrelhouse label and If It Aint One Thing It's Another on the Wolf record label. Additionally he had cuts on 3 harmonica anthologies: Bring Me Another Half-A-Pint on Barrelhouse, Low Blows on Rooster, and Blues Harmonica Orgy on Random Chance. Unreleased sides exist recorded for Steve Wisner during the 1970s which will someday see the light of day. Easy Baby had a beautiful high register voice and a sparse harmonica style (specializing in Chromatic and third position). He was a kind and gentle man and was one of a dwindling number of the old school Chicago blues harmonica masters.

RIP Terry Scott. 10/3/1948-10/1/2009- Terry Scott is best known as the Vice President of the Phoenix Blues Society where he served the blues community with great dedication. Terry will be remembered as well for his work with Child Protective Services. He passed away Thursday, October 1st, after a long battle with cancer. He was 60. He will be greatly missed by all that knew him.

RIP Freddie Robinson 2/24/39 - 10/8/09 Guitarist/vocalist Freddie Robinson, who would later become known as Abu Talib, passed away at a hospital in Lancaster, California on Thursday, Oct 8th at age 70 after a battle with cancer. A spectacular guitarist with leanings in both blues and jazz, he was highly respected among his peers. Born in Memphis on February 24th, 1939, and raised in various towns in Arkansas, Robinson would move to Chicago in 1956. His first recorded work was later that year backing Birmingham Jr. (AKA Birmingham Jones) on the Ebony single "Birmingham 's Late Hours" b/w "Your Too Bad". He then did some great session work for the Chess label, backing Little Walter, Jimmy Rogers, and Howlin' Wolf on a number of classic sides. He first recorded as a leader during the 1960s for the Queen, Raries, Limelight and One-derful record labels. During the late 1960's he settled in California where he joined Ray Charles band for a period before re-emerging as a band leader. He went on to cut many spectacular albums, most notably At The Drive-In with the song "Bluesology" which is a spoken story with musical examples of the memorable times at Theresa's basement blues bar in Chicago's south side. Robinson’s discography includes records with Harold Burrage, Bobby Bland, Louis Myers, Big Leon Brooks, Lee Shot Williams, Stanley Turrentine, Blue Mitchell, Jimmy McCracklin, Monk Higgins, John Mayall, Shakey Jake, Gary Sloan, and Mitch Kashmar. In 1975 he embraced the Islam religion and a few years later changed his name to Abu Talib, though he sometimes used his established moniker when recording. Freddie Robinson was simply a cool guy; always perfectly dressed in the most soulful of clothes, always articulate in his speech, and always brilliant in his playing. Thanks for all the great music Freddie. We will remember you always.

RIP Johnny Jones 8/17/36-10/16/09 Nashville blues and soul singer/guitarist Johnny Jones passed away on Friday Oct 16th. He was 73. Born in Edes, Tennessee and raised in a gospel oriented family, Jones became influenced by the blues of Memphis and Chicago and picked up guitar along the way. He moved to Chicago in the 1950s and worked gigs with Junior Wells and Freddie King. He moved to Nashville in the 60s and worked as a session guitarist and cut a few singles under his own name. He appeared on the Beat TV show as a second guitarist in Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown's Band. In later years Jones owned and operated a Soul Food restaurant but was rediscoved through the efforts of Fred James and European festival bookers. This led to festival appearances, a new European interest in this seasoned veteran, and some CDs. A wonderful guitarist with a warm and passionate voice, Johnny Jones will be remembered as a great blues artist to those lucky enough to have known him. Please note that this artist should not be confused with the blues artist of same name, who was famous for his piano work with Elmore James.

RIP Norton Buffalo 9/28/51 - 10/31/09. Harmonica virtuoso Norton Buffalo passed away on Oct 31st, 2009 after a battle with cancer. Best known outside of blues circles for his work with rock luminaries such as Steve Miller and Bonnie Raitt, Buffalo also worked within the blues field with Elvin Bishop and Roy Rogers. He was a spectacular player who created a very unique style which often did not follow the traditional blues harmonica sound. This might be exemplified by Buffalo's wild solo on Bonnie Raitt's hit remake of Del Shannon's "Runaway".


Bob Corritore is one of the most active and highly regarded blues harmonica players on the scene today. His style passionately carries forward the old school of playing that Corritore learned as a young man directly from many of original pioneers of Chicago Blues. His sympathetic, yet fiery harmonica playing is featured on over 25 releases to date, on labels such as HighTone, HMG, Blue Witch, Blind Pig, Earwig, Putumayo, Random Chance, and the VizzTone Label Group. Many of these acclaimed releases have been nominated for various Handy, Grammy, and Blues Music Awards. Bob is also widely recognized for his many roles in the blues, as band leader, club owner, record producer, radio show host, arts foundation founder, and occasional writer. His amazing website and his weekly e-newsletter reflect a life thoroughly invested in the blues.

Born on September 27, 1956 in Chicago, Bob first heard Muddy Waters on the radio at age 12, an event which changed his life forever. Within a year, he was playing harmonica and collecting blues albums. He would see blues shows in his early teens, including attending a Muddy Waters performance at his high school gymnasium. He would cut his teeth sitting in with John Henry Davis on Maxwell Street until he was old enough to sneak into blues clubs. He hung around great harp players such as Big Walter Horton, Little Mack Simmons, Louis Myers, Junior Wells, Big John Wrencher, and Carey Bell, and received harmonica tips and encouragement from many of them. He would regularly see the Aces, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Billy Boy Arnold, John Brim, Sunnyland Slim, Smokey Smothers, Eddie Taylor, and in many cases became personal friends with these blues veterans. Corritore worked with Tail Dragger, Big Moose Walker, Willie Buck, Louis and Dave Myers, and Eddie Taylor in the late 70s and early 80s. He also produced his first recordings during that time, taking unheralded harmonica greats such as Little Willie Anderson and Big Leon Brooks into the studio to produce their now classic debut albums.

In 1981, Bob ventured southwest to live in Phoenix, Arizona. Within months, his Chicagoland friend Louisiana Red joined Bob, and the two played together around Phoenix for about a year until Red went to live in Germany. Bob quickly joined up with Big Pete Pearson, who was and is the reigning King of Arizona Blues in a musical relationship that continues to this day. He also worked around the southwest with Buddy Reed, Tommy Dukes, Chief Schabuttie Gilliame, and an emerging Janiva Magness in one of her earliest bands. In 1984, Bob supplemented his performances with a blues radio show called Those Lowdown Blues on KJZZ, which is still going strong. In 1986, former Howlin' Wolf drummer Chico Chism moved to Phoenix at Bob's invitation to start a 20 year partnership that lasted until Chico's passing in 2007. In 1991, Bob opened the now famous Blues and Roots Concert Club, The Rhythm Room. Having a club created yet another catalyst for Bob's musical projects. Often he would invite great artists to come to Phoenix, and Bob's band, the Rhythm Room All-Stars would back them on shows and in recording sessions. Bob's archives of these sessions are now famous, and include sessions with Bo Diddley, Little Milton, John Brim, Jimmy Rogers, Henry Gray, Pinetop Perkins, Henry Townsend, Honeyboy Edwards, Big Jack Johnson, Ike Turner, Smokey Wilson. Lil’ Ed, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, Nappy Brown, R.L. Burnside, Robert Lockwood, Jr., Sam Lay, Barbara Lynn, and numerous others.

In 1999, Bob released his first CD as a national recording artist, combining some of the highlights of his vaults. The CD was called All-Star Blues Sessions, and was released on the HighTone record label to great fanfare. This momentum created a long series of CDs on HighTone with Bob in the harmonica player/producer role. Bob started breaking into the national circuit in festival appearances with Henry Gray and Louisiana Red. In 2005, Bob brought the Rhythm Room All-Stars Featuring Big Pete Pearson to The Marco Fiume Blues Passions Festival in Italy, which opened a whole new world of European interest in Bob's harmonica artistry. This led to return visits to Europe for various festivals and performances, as well as an ever-growing world-wide fan base. In 2007, the Mayor of Phoenix officially proclaimed September 29, 2007 to be "Bob Corritore Day" in honor of Bob's musical contributions to his community. Also that year, Bob received a "Keeping The Blues Alive" award from the Blues Foundation. Bob's 2007 collaboration with Dave Riley, Travelin' The Dirt Road, was nominated for a Blues Music Award. Bob also contributed harmonica work on the 2008 Grammy®-nominated CD/DVD by Pinetop Perkins, On The 88s. Bob 's prolific activity with the Blue Witch record label as label producer/harmonica player has garnered him additional notoriety. Bob performs regularly with The Rhythm Room All-Stars Featuring Big Pete Pearson, and numerous side projects with Dave Riley, Louisiana Red, Henry Gray, Sam Lay, Tomcat Courtney, Paris James, and others.

For more information, please contact:

Bob Corritore
Phone: (480)994-1234

Copyright © 2009 Copyright Monica L. Yasher. All Rights Reserved.
Photos courtesy of Bob Corritore

To purchase the rights to reprint this article or photographs,
please email myasher.americanbluesblog@gmailcom.

American Blues News Staff

What makes American Blues News unique is our coverage across America. Here is our lineup:

Mon: Memphis Correspondent - Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms
Nighthawk is our resident globetrotter and man behind the scenes, as he tours with the Reba Russell Band.

Tues: New York Correspondent - J. Blake
Blake is the American Blues News review and interview guru. You may catch him out and about in NY playing the blues.

Wed: National Correspondent - Monica Yasher
Monica is our executive director and artist interview specialist. You can catch Monica singing the blues around Pittsburgh or working on some country music songs in Nashville.

Thurs: Washington, DC Correspondent - Virginiabluesman
Geraldo offers inteviews and reviews. You may have seen him at an Ana Popovic concert or conversed with him on her websites, as he offers administrative support with her music.

Fri: Northeast Photographer - Nelson Onofre
Nelson offers a Friday column of blues photography and pictorial support for the interviews covered by the team.

Jim Stick in Colorado
Jim will be focusing on the Blues Festivals in the beautiful state of Colorado, and the artists that live and visit there.

Maureen Elizabeth, our resident art correspondent, will be focusing on blues art as she explores the creation of CD covers, or speaking with artists who also have a love of creating pictorial art in addition to their music! She may also feature some of her good friends in the Pittsburgh area. In her love of art, you may find Maureen's photography accompanying writer's articles on our pages. Maureen is also our marketing director.

Pittsburgh correspondent and photographer, CR Bennett, will share the Pittsburgh scene with all of you. You may also see CR's pictures accompanying other writer's articles.

We head to the big state of Texas! Abby Owen, our Texas correspondent.

Another big area to cover, the West Coast with Casey Reagan, Casey will feature many artists and events on this ocean's shores.

Lastly, we have our roving blues entertainment writer,
Chef Jimi.

And of course, we will surprise you sometimes!

Internet Marketingdata recovery