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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Bob Corritore Year In Review

Got this email from Bob Corritore outlining his year in review. Bob is one of the good guys who not only is an outstanding performer, but a great promoter of the blues.

December 31, 2007

  • Great Year at KJZZ: Bob's radio show Those Lowdown Blues on KJZZ turned 23 years old. It was honored by The Blues Foundation with a KBA Award (Keeping The Blues Alive) in which Bob went to Memphis to receive a special award. Every week, this is a time that Bob gets to play music from his vast collection of blues recordings. Some special shows that come to mind are:

The annual Phoenix R&B show with Bob's radio mentor John ("Johnny D") Dixon

An amazing on-air performance by Tomcat Courtney and Chris James

Pinetop Perkins: The 94 year old blues piano master gave a two hour interview as we played and commented on many of his historical records with Earl Hooker, Muddy Waters, Jimmy Rogers, and others

Jerry Lawson, former lead singer of The Persuasions, stopped by to share his latest release with his new A Capella group, Jerry Lawson & Talk Of The Town. Jerry's interviews always include lots of delightful "on the spot" singing

A weekend with guests Henry Gray, Billy Flynn, and Eddie Kobek joining Big Pete Pearson and The Rhythm Room All-Stars

An interview and live performance with Phoenix's blues boss, Big Pete Pearson

Randy Chortkoff guesting and playing some of his spectacular productions from his Delta Groove record label and before

A five-hour tribute to Chico Chism on the day of his passing frantically put together by Bob and his loyal blues assistant Jennifer Waters (thank you, Jennifer) which included loving commentary mostly received that day by Koko Taylor, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, Sam Lay, Tail Dragger, Hubert Sumlin, Richie Villiger (formerly of the Lucerne Blues Festival), Johnny Rapp, Chris James and Patrick Rynn, Lil' Ed, Kim Wilson, and many others. It was the hardest show ever on so many levels; but it was so important to give this great bluesman his due. He added so much to the Phoenix Blues Community and to the blues world at large

A tribute show to the late Ike Turner, of which about four of the show's five hours were focused on Ike's amazing recorded contributions to blues. Many listeners commented that they never realized all that Ike had done: recordings with B.B. King, Elmore James, Howlin' Wolf, Charlie Booker, Otis Rush, Jackie Brenston, Little Milton, Billy "The Kid" Emerson, Boyd Gilmore, Ike and Tina Turner, and much more

A live on-air performance by Johnny Rawls where he went back to his gospel roots

Thanks to Scott Williams and everyone at KJZZ for providing a safe and supportive home for a blues radio show.

  • Press Recognition:

Three blues magazines did feature articles on Bob Corritore: ABS Magazine (France), Blues Magazine (France), and Big City Blues (U.S.)

Also great mentions with photos in Juke Blues (UK), Soul Bag (France), Two'j Blues (Poland), Baker Street (France)

Juke Blues Magazine (UK) did a spectacular article about my friend Middle Walter (by Dave Williams and Cilla Huggins) where they included my recollections plus photos and posters of Middle Walter from my archives

Charlie Hussey interviewed Big Pete Pearson and Bob Corritore for his radio show, Blues Train, aired in Dublin Ireland

Living Blues interviewed Big Pete Pearson

Cover Story on Big Pete Pearson in Virus De Blues (France)

Voice of America ran features on both Big Pete Pearson and Bob Corritore

Feature article on Big Pete Pearson in Blues News (Finland)

Numerous mentions and features in Blueswax

Plus great reviews of this year's releases from all the blues magazines (thank you)

  • CDs/DVDs Released:

Big Pete Pearson/I'm Here Baby (Blue Witch) with The Rhythm Room All-Stars (Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey) plus guests Ike Turner, W.C. Clark, Joey DeFrancesco, Johnny Dyer, Kid Ramos, Chico Chism, Johnny Rapp, and more. Produced by Bob Corritore.

Pinetop Perkins/Born In The Honey (Vizztone) with one cut produced by Bob Corritore that features backing by Bob, Johnny Rapp, Paul Thomas, and Chico Chism.

Nappy Brown/Long Time Coming (Blind Pig) with one cut featuring Bob Corritore, Henry Gray, Kid Ramos, Johnny Rapp, Mario Moreno, and Chico Chism. That one track was produced by Bob Corritore and the rest of the CD produced by Scott Cable.

Various Artists/House Rockin' & Blues Shoutin' (Blue Witch) was produced by Bob Corritore & Clarke Rigsby and features live at the Rhythm Room performances by The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Robert Lockwood, Jr., Floyd Dixon, The Mannish Boys featuring Finis Tasby, Billy Boy Arnold, Sonny Rhodes, Paul Oscher, Big Pete Pearson & The Rhythm Room All-Stars, Louisiana Red, Chief Schabuttie Gilliame, Johnny Dyer, Henry Gray, Kid Ramos, and Long John Hunter.

Dave Riley & Bob Corritore/Travelin' The Dirt Road (Blue Witch) produced by Bob Corritore.

Thank you to my dear friend Clarke Rigsby of Tempest Recording for being my recording partner through the years, and for delivering the quality in recording and mixing. Thanks to John Wroble and Jeff Harris of Porcupine Studios for being my patient post production saints. Thanks to Dave Shirk of Sonorous Mastering for his amazing touch, and for Tony Amato of Amato Image Design for some spectacular and soulful cover art. A big thanks to Dale Baich, Beth Lipham, and Judy Marut from Blue Witch Records for three wonderful releases this year, and for their unbelievable ability to make a label a family. Thanks to Karen Leipziger for a stunning publicity campaign on this year's three Blue Witch Releases. Also, thanks to the publicity teams at Blind Pig Records, Vizztone, and Delta Groove for their great efforts in putting the word out. Lots of great recordings in the pipeline and more announcements of releases to follow shortly.

  • Awards, Recognition, and Nominations:

KBA Award: Bob Corritore's radio show was honored by The Blues Foundation with a KBA Award for public radio; it is awarded to individuals or groups who have furthered the cause of this music form.

New Times Best Of Phoenix: The Rhythm Room received editorial awards for "Best Club For Blues" and "Best Gig Posters", as well as Reader's Choice Award for "Best Club For Blues". KJZZ has yet again won the New Times Best Of Phoenix Reader's Choice Award for "Best Blues/Jazz Radio Station".

Phoenix Mayor's proclamation of "Bob Corritore Day": Saturday, September 29, 2007 was proclaimed "Bob Corritore Day" in honor of Bob's cultural contributions to the city. The particular day was chosen to coincide with Bob's 51st birthday party.

Big Pete #1 on Powerblues Radio Chart, January 2007: Click here for the chart listing. Powerblues is a classification made by French blues radio show hosts and appears both on the Powerblues web site and in the popular French rock magazine Crossroads.

Grammy® nomination under the Traditional Blues Category: The Pinetop Perkins CD On The 88's - Live In Chicago on Sagebrush Productions/Vizztone Label Group has made it into the final five in the Grammy® nominations under the Traditional Blues Category. On this CD are 9 live tracks recorded in Chicago, with a band that includes Willie "Big Eyes" Smith (drums), Bob Stroger (bass) and "Little Frank" Krakowski (guitar). Also included is one bonus studio track called "Rather Quit Her Than Hit Her" recorded in Phoenix by Bob Corritore (producer) and Clarke Rigsby (engineer), that features Pinetop backed by Chico Chism (drums), Johnny Rapp (guitar), Paul Thomas (bass), and Bob Corritore (harmonica). This is the first time that a recording with Bob's harmonica playing has been up for a Grammy®!

Blues Music Awards nominations: Bob Corritore is proud to be associated with many great projects nominated for awards this year: Dave Riley and Bob Corritore's album Travelin' The Dirt Road on Blue Witch Records was nominated as Acoustic Album of the Year, Pinetop Perkins' CD/DVD Born In The Honey on CDMojo was nominated for Best DVD of the year, House Rockin' And Blues Shoutin!: Celebrating 15 Years Of The Rhythm Room on Blue Witch Records was nominated for Historical Album of the Year, and Nappy Brown's album Long Time Coming on Blind Pig Records was nominated for Traditional Blues Album of the Year.

Independent Music Awards nominations: Big Pete Pearson was nominated for Independent Music Awards in the category of "Best Blues Album" for I'm Here Baby on the Blue Witch record label, and "Best Blues Song of the Year" for the title cut of that record.

  • Festivals and Great Gigs:

Delta Groove Show at Gibson Beale Street Showcase in Memphis: Big Pete Pearson and Bob Corritore made a guest appearance with The Mannish Boys, in a star-studded show that included the amazing Delta Groove roster, as well as the Blue Bella label. Click here for photos taken that night, and here for the poster

Scottsdale Music Festival with Big Pete Pearson & The Rhythm Room All-Stars opening the day on the main stage and Dave Riley and Bob Corritore playing on the side stage in between sets

Arkansas Blues & Heritage Festival appearing as a guest of the Mannish Boys, playing harmonica behind two Johnny Dyer songs. Also made guest appearances on the sets of Diunna Greenleaf and Mississippi Spoonman & Carla Robinson

KFFA live on-air performance with Dave Riley with hosts Terry Buckalew and Sonny Payne

Dave Riley and Bob Corritore Travelin' The Dirt Road CD Release Party at the Delta Cultural Center

Paul Butterfield Fund and Society's Conference and Gathering in Clarksdale, Mississippi with the Sam Lay Blues Band where Bob also met and played with the talented young bluesman from St. Louis, Marquise Knox.

Lucerne Blues Festival, Lucerne, Switzerland with Big Pete Pearson & The Rhythm Room All-Stars with special guest Bob Margolin

Lionel Hampton Jazz Club in Paris, France with Big Pete and the All-Stars plus Bob Margolin

Big Pete Pearson CD release party at The Rhythm Room

Opening for Bobby Rush with Big Pete Pearson and The Rhythm Room All-Stars

Down Home Blues Festival at The Rhythm Room appearing as house band on a show featuring Honeyboy Edwards, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, Tomcat Courtney, Big Pete Pearson, Chris James, and Paris James

Patrick's II in San Diego with The Fremonts

Liz Mandeville's Chicago Blues Festival After-Party appearing with Aaron Moore and Barrelhouse Chuck

Sam Lay Blues Band gig at The Rhythm Room with special guests David Maxwell and Big Pete Pearson

Chief Schabuttie Gilliame's 81st Birthday Party

Great gigs with San Diego-based Tomcat Courtney at The Rhythm Room

Opening for the Chicago Blues Reunion with Paris James in a small down-home combo setting

Being called up on the Siegel-Schwall Band's set at The Rhythm Room to perform a number with Sam Lay, followed by a harmonica romp with Corky Siegel, Marcy Levy, and myself all trading riffs

Though the saddest day of the year, it was an honor to perform at Chico Chism's repast and honor the man who has filled my life with great music, joy and friendship for over 20 years

Bob Corritore's Birthday Bash with Phillip Walker performing with Bobby Jones! Also on the bill was dear friend and fellow harpman Randy Chortkoff

Mini Colorado tour with Big Pete Pearson

Pinetop Perkins gig at The Rhythm Room

Christmas Blues Party with Henry Gray, Billy Flynn, Big Pete Pearson, and The Rhythm Room All-Stars

Playing at the Farm restaurant in Phoenix with Paris James and Big Pete Pearson

Blues Harmonica Showcase - Calling up Bill Tarsha during my portion of the show to join me for a wild harmonica duet

Sitting in with Fiona Boyes at The Rhythm Room

A powerful night backing Roy Gaines at The Rhythm Room

A cool evening with Mark Hummel and Johnny Dyer with Big Pete Pearson and The Rhythm Room All-Stars opening up at The Rhythm Room

Playing a song with John Németh and Junior Watson at The Rhythm Room

Blues For The City benefit show (put on by the Phoenix Blues Society) appearing with Diunna Greenleaf and Blue Mercy

And of course, all the regular gigs with Big Pete Pearson and The Rhythm Room All-Stars at our home base, The Rhythm Room!

Special thanks to Rhythm Room general manager Mona Watkins who runs The Rhythm Room with such love and dedication that it allows me to concentrate of being an artist and the travel that this entails. Mona, you are the best!

Thank You: For your part in allowing this great year to happen. The new year brings the promise of more great shows, recordings, travel, new friendships and renewed bonds and the sacred gift of blues music. My humble appreciation for your support.

Wishing you a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year,

Bob Corritore

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