Guest: Bob Corritore Newsletter

Posted on 1/02/2010 by Monica Yasher

(Arizona) Tomcat Courtney to headline Santa Barbara Blues Society event! 80 year old Texas blues master, Tomcat Courtney will headline the Santa Barbara Blues Society's Member Appreciation night on Saturday January 9th, at the Earl Warren Showgrounds, in beautiful Santa Barbara, California. The 2008 release, Downsville Blues, on the Blue Witch Records, has given Tomcat Courtney some long overdue world-wide attention, after decades of being San Diego's hidden blues treasure.

More information of the Blind Racoon IBC Showcase. Dave Riley & Bob Corritore will appear as part of the roster of the Blind Racoon Showcase on Friday January 22nd at Kings Palace, on Beale Street in Memphis. The event takes place from 11:30 to 5pm. This showcase coincides with the International Blues Competition, where hundreds of blues bands from all around the world come to compete. In addition to all these bands, many labels, press, and blues dignitaries also attend the IBC.

Blues Blast 2010 Festival Lineup and Preparty Announced! Each year the Phoenix Blues Society presents Blues Blast, a festival that combines top national talent with some of Phoenix's homegrown talent. This year the event happens on the afternoon of Saturday Feb 27th, and the lineup includes Big James Montgomery & The Chicago Playboys, Candye Kane, The Insomniacs, The Sugar Thieves, The Jump Back Brothers, and Tom Walbank & Athur Migliazza.

The night before, on Friday Februaly 26th, the Rhythm Room will host a preparty with Mud Morganfield, the oldest son of Muddy Waters who voice and look really capture the style and spirit of his father. Backing Mud will be the Rhythm Room All-Stars with Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, Brian Fahey, and special guest Johnny Rapp. The Rhythm Room All-Stars featuring Big Pete Pearson will also host the Blues Afterparty / Celebrity Blues Jam on the night of Feb 27th.

Henry Gray Up For Offbeat Music Award! Andy Cornett reports that Henry Gray has been nominated for the prestigious Louisiana based Offbeat Magazine's "Best Of Beat' Awards in two categories; "Best Male Blues Performer" and "Best Blues CD". These nominations coincide with Henry's recent Blues Music Award nomination for best blues instrumentalist in the piano category.

Henry Gray, now 84 years old, is still is vibrant and growing piano force on the blues scene. He brings with him all his great Chicago Blues history as a participant in some of the greatest classic recordings by Howlin' Wolf, Jimmy Rogers, Jimmy Reed, Billy Boy Arnold, and others. Henry represents the blues well.

Honeyboy Edwards appeared on NBC Today Show, and to receive Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award! The 94 year old delta bluesman, Honeyboy Edwards, appeared on national television with an appearance on the Today Show Sunday, December 20th. This was arranged through the efforts of Lynn Orman of Orman Music and Media Group. News has also come down the pike that Honeyboy Edwards is to receive a lifetime achievement award at the Grammy's, in a special private ceremony that will honor musicians and achievers from all aspects of the music industry. Honeyboy is also prominently featured in the documentary film Six Generations Of The Blues, a film by Scott Shuman, which looks at the 30 year history of Chicago's Earwig Music, and it's founder Michael Frank.

Louisiana Red Honored with France's Academie Charles Cros Award! Little Victor reports that Louisiana Red / Back To The Black Bayou on Ruf Records has received France's Academie Charles Cros Award for "Best Blues Album 2009". Little Victor, who produced and plays on this wonderful record, describes this award as the French equivelent to the Grammy. Congratulations to Louisiana Red for this well deserved recognition.

Ray Flerlage Blues Photos Posted Online. Unseen Little Walter Photos included! Ray Flerlage was an amazing Chicago based photographer, who's many brilliant blues images from the early 1960s are considered of great historic importance. Many examples of these photos appear in Ray's book Chicago Blues As Seen From The Inside, published in 2000. His photos have graced the covers of such Chess albums as J.B. Lenoir / Natural Man, Buddy Guy / I Was Walking Through The Woods, and Little Walter / Confessin The Blues and Delmark Records' Junior Wells / Blues Hit The Big Town and Blues Piano Orgy (Various Artists) . Ray passed away in 2002, but his work has recently appeared on the Cache Agency website. Included are some newly unearthed Little Walter photos including a great stage shot of Johnny Young, Robert Nighthawk, and Little Walter performing together. Also included online are Ray's photos of Howlin' Wolf, Arvella Gray, B.B. King, Jimmy Reed, John Lee Hooker, Koko Taylor and Lightnin' Hopkins (together), Memphis Slim, Muddy Waters, Otis Rush, Son House, Willie Dixon, and more.

Here is the previous Bob Corritore Newsletter.


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

You may like to read the review of Bob's new CD: click here

Copyright © 2010 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!

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