News from Bob Corritore

Posted on 9/22/2010 by Monica Yasher

Happy Birthday B.B. King! Born September 16th 1925, in Itta Bena, MS, B.B. King is universally aclaimed as the king of the blues. Happy birthday to a man who has, is, and continues to be the most noble representave of the blues genre!

Amanda's Roller Coaster Sold Out! Amanda's Roller Coaster tickets are now officially sold out with the exception of a few exotic sponsorship packages (one that includes a golf outing with Kim Wilson and Amanda!) and a few remaining tickets to Sunday's show. Please note that the Thursday pre-party is a separate ticket and is currently not sold out. For those new to this news letter, Amanda's Roller Coaster is a spectacular 3 day harmonica happening that takes place at the Rhythm Room on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, October 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. Acts include James Cotton, Billy Boy Arnold, Lazy Lester, Kim Wilson, Paul Oscher, James Harman, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Johnny Dyer, Bharath Rajakumar, Johnny Sansone, Jerry Portnoy, Dave Waldman, Bob Corritore, Troy Gonyea, RJ Mischo, Steve Marriner, Billy Flynn, Scott Dirks, Chef Denis Depoitre, Lynwood Slim, and Vincent Bury. The spectacular backing musicians for this event are Larry Taylor (bass & guitar), Randy Bermudes (bass), Richard Innes (drums), Jason Moeller (drums), Junior Watson (guitar), Billy Flynn (guitar), Jon Moeller (guitar), Mike Keller (guitar) & Barrelhouse Chuck (Piano), plus Hubert Sumlin will perform with James Cotton, and Dave Riley will appear with Bob Corritore. The recently added pre-party on Thursday, Sept 30th, has taken on a life of its own. For the pre-party the host band will be the Nighthawks, who will perform a set, followed by a harmonica showcase that will include an ever growing list that currently includes Bill Tarsha, Martin Lange, Ronnie Shellist, Randy Chortkoff, Thomas Fiacco, Little Barry G, Dennis Gruenling, Jerry Swartz, Mark Heffington, Ed Marien, Mr. & Mrs. Alaimo, Ken Johnson, Greg Johnson, and Kim Field! Advance tickets to the pre-party are a separate ticket and can be purchased through Ticketmaster.

RIP Foster "Mr Tater, The Music Maker" Wiley - Unknown birthday to September 10, 2010. Foster "Mr.Tater, The Music Maker" Wiley was a popular street singer who resided and performed in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Mr.Tater passed away on Friday, September 10th, of kidney failure. He was best known for his daily appearances just outside the storefront of Cat Head Delta Blues and Folk Art, where owner Roger Stolle always made him feel welcome. Mr. Tater's rough and tumble blues style, and warm, toothy smile became emblematic of his home town. He recorded a few locally distributed albums and appeared on a number of anthologies and documentaries. Mr. Tater will be missed by all.

RIP Ken Schoppmeyer March 15, 1950 - August 31, 2010. Harmonica player / vocalist Ken Schoppmeyer was one of the seminal figures of blues music in San Diego, and is often credited with helping establish San Diego's blues scene four decades ago. He founded and fronted a popular San Diego based band called King Biscuit Blues in the 1960s, and often times "King Biscuit" was used as his moniker. He died in Oceanside this week at the age of 60, the victim of suicide, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner. Ken's wonderful playing advanced San Diego's awareness of blues harmonica and his band was a proving ground for many of that town's best blues players.


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.

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
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Fri: Northeast Photographer - Nelson Onofre
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Jim Stick in Colorado
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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.

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