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Saturday, January 3, 2009
Some cool blues shows are coming to Storm Lake the next few weeks. First it is the return of the Blues history concert series. Once again I am teaching Blues history at Buena Vista University, located on the frozen shores of Storm lake! This year we have on January 9th, The Eric Hovey Band, on January 13th Bob Dorr, and Jeff Peterson of the Blue Band, and on January 15th The Tom Gary Blues Band with special guest Ronn Hill. Ronn is suppose to play with us on the 15th, and this will be the first time he has played in over a year! So this should be a great show! Ronn now lives in Chicago, but he has also been blues and soul legend in every town he has lived in. Born in Des Moines, he has also established himself in not only Chicago, but also in Albuquerque New Mexico, and Las Vegas Nevada.
Also a couple more cool shows coming up. On January 9th Eric Hovey is playing at the Lake Ave Lounge. This is a cool retro bar located on Lake Ave in downtown Storm Lake. It is in the old Masons building, and has been refurbished to its classic 1950s look! Eric is performing from 9-1 on Friday January 9th, and on January 10th The Tom Gary Blues Band will have its CD release party from 8-12! These are some great shows so all of my Iowa readers head on down to Storm Lake and see some legends in blues!!!!!!
Thursday, January 1, 2009
December 31, 2008
- 2008 Recap: 2008 was the year that Little Walter was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a Grammy® was awarded to a CD that featured Robert Lockwood, Jr., Pinetop Perkins, Henry Townsend, and Honeyboy Edwards, Cadillac Records (a movie about Chess Records) was released, and a president was elected that had Howlin' Wolf on his IPod! For me personally, this has been another great year of musical growth, recognition, and accomplishment. Though financially hampered at times due to the rough U.S. economy, progress was nonetheless made. I am very grateful for the huge support system around me and the interest and acceptance that my music has been shown. A heartfelt thank you to everyone!
Festivals and great gigs: So many great on-stage moments this year! I did many great shows with The Rhythm Room All-Stars (Big Pete Pearson, Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey), Dave Riley & Bob Corritore, and Tomcat Courtney, which are the three acts who I most regularly work with. Also, some great shows with Louisiana Red, Bob Riedy, Sam Lay, Eddy Clearwater, Tail Dragger, Diunna Greenleaf, Bob Margolin, Johnny Dyer, Paris James, Fiona Boyes, and more. I had some great sit-in moments last year with Billy Flynn, The John Németh Band featuring Junior Watson, Smokin' Joe Kubek Band featuring B'Nois King, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, Elmore James, Jr., and Rob Stone and the C-Notes. Of course the majority of gigs were at my nightclub and home base, the Rhythm Room; but I also played many festivals and had three European trips this year. To recap some of the gig highlights:
The 3rd Annual Delta Groove Showcase (a huge and amazing event), in Tunica, Mississippi where The Rhythm Room All-Stars hosted a Blue Witch Records Revue set featuring vocalists Tomcat Courtney, Big Pete Pearson, Dave Riley, and Chris James (May 9, 2008)
The Lodge at Geneva Ridge in Lake Geneva Wisconsin, for a Bob Riedy Blues Band reunion show, with Eddy Clearwater, Sam Lay, Gabriel Butterfield, Chris James, and Patrick Rynn (October 30, 31, and November 1, 2008)
Aula de Cultura de Collblanc in Barcelona, Spain with Dave Riley (December 12, 2008) (Thank you, Vicente "Harmonica" Zumel)
Jazz Cava in Terrassa, Spain with Dave Riley (December 13, 2008) (Thank you, Vicente "Harmonica" Zumel)
Chief Schabuttie Gilliame's induction into the Arizona Blues Hall Of Fame with a wide array of hall of famers performing. Dave Riley and I kicked it hard on a nice band set with Brian Fahey on the drums. Congratulations, Chief! (December 28, 2008)
CDs Released: Bob Corritore's harmonica appeared on three CDs this year: Tomcat Courtney/Downsville Blues on Blue Witch Records (produced by Bob), Chris James and Patrick Rynn/Stop And Think About It on Earwig Music (produced by Chris and Patrick), and Louisiana Red/Back To The Black Bayou on the Bluestown Record label (produced by Little Victor).
Recording Sessions: I did some great sessions this year with Big Pete Pearson, Tomcat Courtney, Diunna Greenleaf, Bob Margolin, Tail Dragger, Eddie Taylor, Jr., and Louisiana Red. Special Thanks to Clarke Rigsby of Tempest Recording, John Wroble and Jeff Harris of Porcupine Studios, Dave Shirk of Sonorous Mastering, and Tony Amato of Amato Image Design.
Press and Recognition: Powerblues Charts: Dave Riley and Bob Corritore/Travelin' The Dirt Road was #1 on the Powerblues Charts in January, Tomcat Courtney/Downsville Blues was #2 for July/August, and Chris James and Patrick Rynn/Stop And Think About It was #1 in November. Living Blues Radio Charts: Chris James and Patrick Rynn/Stop And Think About It debuted the Living Blues Radio charts in September at #8, was #6 in October, and #11 in November; Big Pete Pearson's CD, I'm Here Baby on Blue Witch Records, was named among the top 50 blues CDs by Living Blues. Spain's SBB Blues Magazine (Societat de Blues Barcelona)(Hivern 2008 issue), listed Big Pete Pearson/I'm Here Baby on Blue Witch Records as # 6 in the "Top Blues En La FM Estatal" chart.
Interviews: Published Bob Corritore Interviews included BluesWax (click here to see), La Taberna del Blues (Spain) (click here to see), Blog Critics (click here to see) and a cover story in Belgium's Back To The Roots Magazine (click here to see). Radio Interviews: Bob was interviewed by Roy Prescott for his Blues Summit radio show from 93.5 WMWV of Conway, New Hampshire, by David Baerst of the French blues radio show Route 66, by Clarence Stevens of Blues You Can Use of WGVE 88.7 of Gary, Indiana, Robert Barclay, whose blues show Juke Joint airs on WCMU 89.5FM in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, and by Charlie Hussey, host of the Dublin, Ireland blues radio show Blues Train. J.P. Savouyaud of France's Virus De Blues aired a radio show titled Bob Corritore and Friends which featured numerous projects spanning Bob's career. Filmed interviews were conducted by Jeffry Dyson of the Blue Shoe Project about Bob's long friendship with Robert Lockwood, Jr.. Special thanks to the many publications, websites, and radio shows who kept who reviewed, played, and celebrated the music I was a part of and who consistently kept my name out there.
Nominations and Awards: Being recognized for a job well done is always a pleasure; 2008 was a good year and the awards and nominations were many, including:
Bob's harmonica was also a part of three other 2008 Blues Music Award nominated releases: Nappy Brown/Long Time Coming on Blind Pig Records (Traditional Blues Album Of The Year), Pinetop Perkins/On The 88's - Live In Chicago on Sagebrush Productions/Vizztone Label Group (Blues DVD), and Various Artists/House Rockin' And Blues Shoutin!: Celebrating 15 Years Of The Rhythm Room on Blue Witch Records (Historical Album Of The Year).
Rhythm Room Concert Club: My nightclub presented a wide array of blues shows. National acts and Phoenix-based acts included Janiva Magness, Bill Lupkin, Little Charlie & The Nightcats, Johnny Rawls, The Fremonts, Zac Harmon, Candye Kane, Tomcat Courtney, Louisiana Red, John Németh with Junior Watson, Rod Piazza & The Mighty Flyers, San Pedro Slim, Jackie Payne/Steve Edmondson Band, Sam Lay, Bob Riedy, Tail Dragger, Eddie Taylor, Jr., Johnny Dyer, Long John Hunter, Phillip Walker, Elmore James, Jr. with Cadillac Zack, Doyle Bramhall, Guitar Shorty, Fiona Boyes, Chief Schabuttie Gilliame, Ronnie Baker Brooks, The Insomniacs, Sistah Blue, Patte' Williams, George Bowman, Rocket 88s, Mr. Boogie Woogie with Guitar Ray, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, Too Slim and the Taildraggers, Tommy Dukes, Hillstomp, Cold Shott and the Hurricane Horns, Samuel James, Hans Olson, Bad News Blues Band, Big Pete Pearson, and of course The Rhythm Room All-Stars. Special thanks to Rhythm Room general manager Mona Watkins and assistant manager Jen Newhouse for holding down the fort while I am out traveling and touring. Thanks also to all the staff and patrons of the Rhythm Room, and to Martin Elmers, Randy Ledbetter, and Melissa Testa from the adjacent Rack Shack Barbeque.
Website: We have greatly expanded the photo section of www.bobcorritore.com as well as adding numerous articles, reviews, links, and our new international section. New photo pages include tribute pages to Tail Dragger, Ike Turner, Johnny Dyer, Robert Nighthawk, Honeyboy Edwards, CD cover art of this year's releases, the 2007 Lucerne Blues Festival, and a look at the work or photo collections of Bob Riedy, Lindsay Shannon, and the amazing André Hobus photo library. Please note also that all past newsletters are archived in the What's New! section of www.BobCorritore.com.
Those Lowdown Blues on KJZZ: It is always my pleasure to be able to share my favorite music with the Phoenix community. With this being the 24th year of the radio show, much of this year was spent going through the archives in preparation for the 25th anniversary CD, which presents historic on-air performances from 1984 through 2008 (click here to see the album artwork of this soon to be released CD). We had great interviews with Bob Porter (a true blues radio icon), John "Johnny D" Dixon (doing our annual look at the 50s and 60s R&B scene of Phoenix), Janiva Magness, Dave Riley, Louisiana Red, Johnny Rawls, Long John Hunter, and others. Special thanks to my KJZZ assistant Jennifer Waters for her invaluable contributions, as well as program director Scott Williams, and retiring station manager Carl Matthusen. Thanks also to Tony Tingle who worked very hard to help the anniversary CD move forward.
Passings: There were many significant losses to the blues world this year. Each person had their own unique contributions to the music we love and will be greatly missed: Uncle Jesse White, Big Joe Turner (a different musician than the famous Atlantic Records vocalist), Bob Enos (of Roomful of Blues), Schoolboy Cleve, Buddy Miles, Jeff Healey, Francis Clay, Calvin Owens, Dillard Crume, Jr., Bill Coday, Lula Reed, Oscar McLollie, Skeeter Brandon, Sean Costello, DC Minner, Danny Rhodes, Chris Gaffney, Jimmy McGriff, Bo Diddley, Chuck Carbo, Jimmy Moore (of the 5 Royales), Isaac Hayes, Alex "Lil’ Bill" Wallace, Lee Young, Jerry Wexler, Maurice Reedus, Hosea Leavy, Phil Guy, Pervis Jackson (of The Spinners), Little Arthur Duncan, Pete Allen, Norman Whitfield, Nappy Brown, Fernest Arceneaux, Earl Palmer, Dee Dee Warwick, Nathaniel Mayer, Levi Stubbs (of The Four Tops), Studs Terkel, Rudy Ray Moore, Mae Mercer, Doris Carr, Robert Lucas, Alice Mae Burnside, Pat Ramsey, Chico Banks, Odetta, Bobbye King, Texas Pete Mayes, Eartha Kitt, and Robert Ward.
The promise of 2009 is great with new releases, gigs and festivals on the schedule, recording sessions, and many other exciting plans. Thanks to all the friends and fans who have shown such support and encouragement. Thanks to great musicians that I have been so privileged to work with. Thanks to the clubs, festivals, and booking agents that believe in me and my musical associates. Thanks to Dale Baich and Beth Lipham of Blue Witch Records, the Phoenix Blues Society, Jerry Del Giudice and Edward Chmelewski from Blind Pig, Scott Cable, the producer of the Nappy Brown/Long Time Coming CD, Michael Frank from Earwig Music, Randy Chortkoff of Delta Groove Productions, Pete Carlson from Sagebrush Productions, Chip Eagle, Richard Rosenblatt and Bob Margolin from the Vizztone Label Group, Jostein Forsberg from Bluestown Records, and Little Victor for including me on his Louisiana Red production. Thanks to Bill and Sheila Wax, Illinois Blues, and The Blues Foundation. Thanks to Scott Dirks for all the valuable work he does behind the scenes in the blues. Special thanks also to photographers David Blake, Jen Taylor and Scott Allen of Vivid Pix, Aigars Lapsa, Dragan Tasic, Sylvia Pitcher, Daniel Swadener, Art Tipaldi, David Horwitz, Nena Anderson, Tony Tomlinson (of The Fremonts), Donovan Allen, Dusty Blues, Jef Jaisun, The André Hobus Library, Jim O'Neal, and many others, too numerous to name, whose great images were featured on CDs and the website. Thanks to the writers and publications who covered my work in the blues. Thanks to my lovely Kim Danielson who stands by my side through it all. A heartfelt thank you to everyone.
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Get Tom Gary on stage, and the passion for the music pours out. He and his bandmates rip through classic blues and tight, original stuff with a jumping beat.
Away from the footlights, the resident bluesman is so laid back you can hardly stand it.
He claims to have formed his latest group, the Tom Gary Blues Band, out of "boredom," and says the foursome isn't big on a lot of rehearsal - in fact, their performance schedule is structured mainly by the agrarian calendar - bass player Don Demers farms near Truesdale.
The guys may play blues, but they don't live it. "Everybody is pretty relaxed in this band, there's no drama. We just show up and do the gig, and try to have some fun with it," Gary says.
The music takes shape rapidly - among them, the bandmates have over 100 collective years of experience on stage. All four contribute vocals with their various styles matched to favorite tunes.
Storm Lake's own blues crew will again be featured at the Cherokee Blues & Jazz Festival - one of Iowa's premier celebrations of the genre.
Catch the Tom Gary Blues Band at the Pub Crawl Friday, January 2, 9 p.m.-midnight at The Gathering Place. Admission is $10, and covers five acts that night at Corvo's, The Copper Cup, Cherokee Bowl, The Other Place and The Gathering Place.
Other Festival Events include a Jam Session Sat., Jan. 3, noon-3 p.m. at The Gathering Place, another Pub Crawl Saturday night 9-midnight; the Grand Concert Saturday night at 6:30 at the WIT Convention Center with pianist/vocalist Kelley Hunt and The Erick Hovey Band; a Brunch Buffet Sunday 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. at The Gathering Place; and a Music Clinic for students on January 16 at Cherokee Middle School.
The Festival is a favorite of Gary's. "No matter how cold or snowy it is, people come out. And the great people who do this festival not only take care of the music fans, they treat the musicians just wonderfully."
In fact, the band might not exist if it wasn't for the festival.
When Gary made the move from the urban scene to come to Storm Lake to teach, the pianist/vocalist was invited to a jam at the festival. Jim Adamson, festival booster, was impressed and realized how much Gary missed performing. "He was the one who kind of hooked me up with the guys who became the band," Gary said.
They stepped to the forefront with a well-regarded concert during the last Star Spangled Spectacular, and one at the Buena Vista University Blues Concert Series, which ties in with an interim class Gary teaches on the roots of the musical genre.
The band has been together about a year and a half - a long shelf life in a genre where musicians' collaboration commonly comes and goes. "I'm pretty sure this is the longest I've ever been together with the same band," Gary says.
When he isn't performing, the bluesman teaches art at Laurens-Marathon school and is an adjunct professor of history at BVU. He is a historian of the blues, with an in-depth blog site and articles published delving such subjects as the musical activity in the African American population of Des Moines in the era of Duke Ellington and Nat King Cole. He launched an internet radio station, too.
The Tom Gary Blues Band recently released its first full-length CD, "Yesterday and Today, with 15 tracks written by Gary, including local favorites like, "Sings Like an Angel," "Iowa," "Court Ave" and "Holly Golightly Blues." He says it is the culmination of 13 years of songwriting labors.
While live music is struggling in general, the blues is eternal, Gary feels.
"I guess it is the history of the music partially, and the stories it tells. Blues music isn't really sad, it actually tends to be up-tempo. Everybody has a different reason for liking it," he says. "Although people in northwest Iowa haven't had a whole lot of contact with African American culture in the past, people seem to be pretty happy with the music."
Nearly everything in popular music today has its roots in blues, he suggests - not just rock, but also modern jazz, country, even hip hop. "Cab Calloway was doing rap music in the 1930s, they just hadn't invented the name for it yet," Gary says.
The band has no huge aspirations. All members have their day jobs, and their goal isn't fame - just helping to keep their brand of music alive and local audiences nodding their heads and tapping their feet to the beat.
They would like to expand their repertoire and their performing range a bit, and probably tackle another CD project, Gary says.
"We don't have to play for a living, luckily," he says. "Personally, I need to play."
Gary is in the process of arranging his next Blues Series, and will soon announce three public concerts to be held with some of the region's top talent later in January.
A CD launch party will also be scheduled soon for the "Yesterday and Today" disk, which is available at cdbaby.com. The band will also be appearing in the Iowa Great Lakes region next month with final details of that show still being worked out.
Lets us remember these performers and promoters of the blues. If I have missed anyone, and I am sure I have please email and I will add them to the list.
Texas Pete Mayer
Alice Mae Burnside
Rudy Ray Moore
Dee Dee Warwick
Little Arthur Duncan
Weeping Willie Robinson
To check out individual obits please click on the obit 2008 tag below.
Monday, December 29, 2008
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