Guest writer Bob Corritore

Posted on 5/16/2010 by Monica Yasher

It's been a while since we had Bob's writings on our site. There is a lot of catching up to do. So, let's get started:

Blues Stage at Simi Valley Festival! Bob Corritore to guest with Candye Kane! Delta Groove Records will host it's annual All-Star revue this year as a blues stage with two days of non stop entertainment at the 21st Annual Cajun Creole Music Festival on Saturday May 29, and Sunday May 30 (Memorial Day Weekend), in Simi Valley, California. Artists from the Delta Groove and Eclecto Groove labels appearing at the festival include the Jackie Payne / Steve Edmondson Band, Arthur Adams, Lynwood Slim with the Igor Prado Band, The Insomniacs, the Kirk Fletcher Band, Los Fabulocos featuring Kid Ramos, The Soul of John Black, The Hollywood Blue Flames, Mike Zito, Candye Kane (with guest appearance by Bob Corritore), the legendary Elvin Bishop and a very rare Southern California appearance by The Mannish Boys! Simi Valley’s Cajun Creole Music Festival, now with a Blues Infusion, is put on every year by the Rotary Club, with one hundred percent of the profits going to charity.For more information, please visit the festival’s website at

Blues On The North Shore's "Harp and Soul Festival" to be Chicago Blues Festival Preparty! Blues powerhouse, Lynn Orman, is the mastermind behind Blues On The North Shore, which has grown into a series of events that will take place around the Chicago Blues Festival. The series kicks off on Thursday, June 10th, 2010 with the "Harp and Soul Festival" at SPACE in Evanston, a wonderful music venue co-owned by blues guitarist Dave Specter. The line up includes the legendary Willie "Big Eyes" Smith (blowing harp and fronting his band), International Blues Challenge winner, Grady Champion, Earwig recording artist, Rob Stone, and the evening will commence with a CD pre-release party for Bob Corritore's new Delta Groove release Harmonica Blues. Bob's band that evening will include Billy Flynn, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, Bob Riedy, and Kenny "Beedy Eyes" Smith. Copies of the CD will be available for the first time at this event! Bill Wax, host of B.B. King’s Bluesville on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio, will be the master of ceremonies. The three day Chicago Blues Festival will commence the next day so this event starts the party!

Bob Corritore signs with Delta Groove! The Delta Groove record label has emerged as an industry leader in blues music, with great releases of both contemporary and traditional blues, a groundbreaking marketing strategy, and an exciting roster of talent. Label chief Randy Chortkoff and Bob Corritore have been close friends and collaborators for over 25 years, and share a common love and dedication to traditional blues. So Bob's signing with Delta Groove is a natural merging of blues energies. On August 17th Delta Groove will officially release Bob Corritore and Friends / Harmonica Blues. This release will be a celebration of the 40th anniversary of Bob's harmonica playing (Bob started at age 13). The 15 tracks included feature Bob performing with a simply amazing list of special guests that includes Koko Taylor, Little Milton, Robert Lockwood, Jr., Pinetop Perkins, Honeyboy Edwards, Nappy Brown, Eddy Clearwater, Louisiana Red, Carol Fran, Dave Riley, Big Pete Pearson, Tomcat Courtney, The Rhythm Room All-Stars, Chief Schabuttie Gilliame, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, Eddie Shaw, Chico Chism, Bob Margolin, Kid Ramos, David Maxwell, Eddie Taylor, Jr., Bob Stroger, and more. These sides are selected highlights from Bob's extensive master tape vaults, and were recorded between 1989 and 2009 (20 years!). A number of CD release parties and pre-release parties will happen around various festivals including a June 9th pre-release celebration at SPACE in Evanston, as part of this year's Blues On The North Shore (an event that coincides with the Chicago Blues Festival and is presented by Lynn Orman).

Delmark Records Activities. The Delmark record label, headed by the unwavering Bob Koester, has been the label most reflective of the Chicago Blues and Jazz Scene over the last 5 decades. Delmark's good will ambassador, Kevin Johnson, reports of a forthcoming CD reissuing Jimmy Dawkins' Leric Record label. Leric put out a number of 45s during the 1980s including singles by Tail Dragger, Johnny Christian, Nora Jean, Queen Sylvia Embry, and others. Other recent Delmark releases include Tail Dragger (both a CD and DVD), Dave Weld, Mississippi Heat, a vintage boogie woogie piano collection, a collection of vintage doo wop from the United label, and a reissue of an 80s Willie Buck LP with Louis & Dave Myers, Little Mack Simmons, and John Primer as the backing band. Delmark has recently reissued a vinyl LP version of The Blues World Of Little Walter, with a forthcoming LP reissue of Junior Wells / South Side Blues Jam. Thanks Delmark Records for your consistently great work on behalf of the blues!

Louisiana Red racks up awards and nominations! Down-home blues master Louisiana Red has always been an amazing force in the blues. With last year's release of Louisiana Red with Little Victor's Juke Joint / Back To The Black Bayou on Ruf Records, Red was propelled into great visibility. That was followed up later in the year with a collaboration with piano ace David Maxwell called You Got To Move on the VizzTone Label Group. Red has recently been recognized with these awards, nominations, and recognitions:

1) 2009 Grande Prix du Disque (for Blues music) in France. This is the French equivalent of the Grammy and it recognized Back To The Black Bayou as the best blues album of last year. The award was signed by French president Nicholas Sarkozy.

2) 2009 Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik (quarterly critics award) in Germany.

3) 2009 Blues News Magazine (Germany) Poll 'best national album of the year' and 'best international album of the year.' This is the first time both awards were won by single artist!

4) Red was honored in March by the Oslo Blues Society in Norway with a "Lifetime Achievement Award"

5) Red will be have a feature interview in a forthcoming issue of Blues Revue Magazine!

6) Red received five Blues Music Award nominations this year! Winners will be announced May 6th in Memphis! Red's nominations were in the following categories: Blues Album, Traditional Blues Album, Acoustic Blues Album, Traditional Male Blues Artist, Acoustic Blues Artist.

RIP Walter "Mississippi Slim" Horn, August 13 1943 to April 14th, 2010. Beloved Mississippi based blues singer Mississippi Slim passed away on Wednesday. He was 66. Slim, known for his multi-colored suits and remarkable stage presence, was a crowd favorite at the Mississippi Delta Blues Festival in 2008. He was born in Shelby, Mississippi, raised in Greenville. He recorded for the Sunflower, LaJam, and G-Town labels.Thanks to Alex Thomas for providing us with this information.

Harmonica Summit DVD filming planned! Amanda Taylor (Kim Wilson's wife) is producing a spectacular gathering of some of her favorite harmonica players. Included in this lineup are James Cotton, Lazy Lester, Kim Wilson, Paul Oscher, Johnny Dyer, Bharath Rajakumar, Johnny Sansone, Jerry Portnoy, Dave Waldman, Bob Corritore, RJ Mischo, Steve Marriner, Billy Flynn, Vincent Bury and a few suprise guests. The excellent backing band for this event consists of Larry Taylor, Richard Innes, Billy Flynn, and Barrelhouse Chuck. The event will happen on Friday and Saturday, October 1st, and 2nd, at the Rhythm Room in Phoenix. It will be filmed and recorded with Clarke Rigsby at the technical helm, and will be released in 2011 on CD and DVD on MC Records. This is a once in a lifetime gathering of some of the greatest living players of the blues harmonica traditions. There is a multi generational "fathers and sons" sub-theme running through this event with ages 22 through 76 represented. There be limited tickets sold. A hotel deal will be made available and we expect tickets to go on sale via Ticketmaster.


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 © 2010 Copyright Monica L. Yasher and Bob Corritore. All Rights Reserved.
Photos courtesy of Bob Corritore

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.

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