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Friday, November 7, 2008

Bob Corritorie Blues News


From The Bob Corritorie Blues newsletter:

November 5, 2008

After the gig on Saturday, Kim and I drove to Chicago in preparation for Sunday’s Blues Blast Music Awards at Buddy Guy's Legends. This was the first year of these awards, which promises to be an annual event. Bob Kieser and Ann Caldwell from IllinoisBlues.com ran a very successful, well-organized show that was filled with hospitality. Performers included Magic Slim & The Teardrops, Lurrie Bell, Nick Moss & Gerry Hundt, Tim "Too Slim" Langford (from Too Slim and the Taildraggers), John Németh, Kilborn Alley Blues Band, Eden Brent, Sugar Ray Norcia, Teeny Tucker, and Gina Sicilia and Dave Gross, and the duo of Dave Riley and myself. The winners included The Holmes Brothers - State Of Grace for Best Contemporary Blues Recording, Lurrie Bell - Let's Talk About Love for Best Traditional Blues Recording, Nick Moss - "Mistakes from the Past" for Best Blues Song, Magic Slim & The Teardrops for Best Blues Band, Buddy Guy for Best Male Artist, Koko Taylor for Best Female Artist, John Németh - Magic Touch for Best New Artist Debut Recording, and John Németh for the Sean Costello Rising Star Award. Presenters included James Walker (primary reviewer for Blues Blast Magazine), Ben Cox (also a reviewer for Blues Blast Magazine), August "Lordy" Lord (writer for Chicago Blues Beat), Linda Cain (of Chicago Blues Guide), Eric Steiner (President of the Washington Blues Society), Bev Sites, and Matt Eimer (festival promoter for the Simply Blues Festival in Fort Madison, Iowa). Some of the celebrities in attendance were Ben Cox of Juke Joint Soul, Mark Thompson, Cindy and Cheryl from Chicago Blues Guide, Jerry Del Giudice from Blind Pig Records, Marty Salzman, manager of Magic Slim, Johnny Drummer (with whom I reminisced about seeing him as a featured vocalist with The Aces during the early 1970s), Lonnie Brooks (who I found out was a neighbor and good friend of Dave Riley’s), Kate Moss of Blue Bella Records, Pat Smillie, and others. Though Dave and I did not win in our nominated category, we were thankful for the honor of being part of this great event.

After Sunday night, all my scheduled performances were over; so on Monday, I made it a point to stop by to visit my dear friend and longtime mentor, Bob Koester at his famous record store, the Jazz Record Mart. Bob Koester and I visited for about an hour and a half, as I listened to him tell his pearls of wisdom and stories of his adventures in the music business. I had arranged to also meet Chris and Patrick, Bill Dahl, and Scott Dirks there, making it a great afternoon of story telling and record shopping. That night I took Kim to one of Chicago’s many excellent restaurants, Rhapsody, which was in walking distance of our hotel. The next night was the main reason for our extended stay; to attend the election night Obama rally at Grant Park. Please note that politics is not the focus of our newsletter; but I will say this: aside from my support of Obama, he was the only candidate to buy a full page ad in Living Blues Magazine, and has recently been the subject of numerous blues and R&B songs; also of note were his blues fundraisers at Rosa’s Lounge during his past campaigns. Rolling Stone Magazine reported in a candidate IPod playlist comparison that Barack had included Howlin' Wolf among his favorite music. As we piled into Grant Park, the joy and hopefulness was contagious among the quarter million people who were there. Since we did not have tickets to get up close, we were in an outlying area of the park, where we watched CNN on a Jumbotron (there were a number of screens scattered throughout the park). As we settled into our spot, we realized that we had landed in the exact area that was where at the 2006 Chicago Blues Festival, we had a wonderful backstage conversation with Robert Lockwood, Jr., and Kim and I reflected on this great man and wished he was still alive to see this moment. During the CNN announcements, commentator Roland Martin referenced Chicago Blues, and before Obama’s acceptance speech, one of the songs played was a version of "Sweet Home Chicago". Aside from all of these blues connections, it was great to be back in my hometown and be a part of this amazing moment in American history. We write this newsletter as we wait in the airport on Wednesday morning, ready to head back to Phoenix, after the most satisfying of trips.

-Bob Corritore

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