The latest from Bob Corritore
June 20, 2008
- Tomcat Courtney at the Rhythm Room This Weekend: Down-home blues great Tomcat Courtney performs two nights, this Friday and Saturday, June 20 and 21, 2008 at the Rhythm Room in Phoenix, Arizona. He will be backed by The Rhythm Room All-Stars (Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey). Look for some amazing real-deal blues to be performed! The Rhythm Room is located at 1019 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ 85014. Doors open at 8pm, cover charge is $7. Rack Shack Barbeque will be available at these events. These nights will be patio smoking only events; no indoor smoking will be permitted. Check out Johnny Meister's podcast interview with Tomcat Courtney for The Blues File, complete with samples from Tomcat’s highly acclaimed new release Downsville Blues on Blue Witch Records (click here). Also, check out yet more rave reviews of this CD just posted by clicking here. To see a photo page of Tomcat Courtney complete with some vintage shots, click here.
- Chris James and Patrick Rynn CD Release on Earwig Music Announced! This just made public: look for the June 24, 2008 release date of Chris James and Patrick Rynn's new CD, Stop And Think About It on Chicago's Earwig Music Label. The CD features Chris's great guitar work and vocals, Patrick's solid bass playing, and their clever yet traditional songwriting collaborations. This CD means serious business, and the lineup of special guests boasts Sam Lay, David Maxwell, Julien Brunetaud, Eddie Kobek, Bob Corritore, Jonny Viau, Allen Ortiz, Johnny Rapp, and more! Chris James and Patrick Rynn are long time partners in the blues. They met in Chicago in the early 1990s and their 18 years of playing together has found them in the bands of Sam Lay, Jody Williams, Detroit Junior, Rob Stone and the C-Notes, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, and countless others. They have played all over the world. Bob partnered with Chris and Patrick in a revised Southwest version of the Sam Lay Blues Band in the early 1990s and in the last 4 years, they have played together in The Rhythm Room All-Stars and numerous studio projects. Look for CD release parties on July 18 and 19, 2008 at Patrick's II in San Diego, and August 1 and 2, 2008 at the Rhythm Room in Phoenix (with special guest Sam Lay). To see the Rhythm Room flier with the cover art, click here. Congratulations to Chris and Patrick.
- 2 great new CDs by Veteran Chicago Blues Harmonica Players Billy Boy Arnold and Willie "Big Eyes" Smith: It is greatly appreciated when, at this point and time, a true Chicago blues harmonica record is released. We are happy to report two amazing new releases by veteran Chicago harmonica masters: Billy Boy Arnold Sings Sonny Boy on the Electro-Fi Label finds Billy Boy paying tribute to his mentor John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson (the first Sonny Boy), with a brilliant set featuring mainly Williamson songs, plus a couple originals perfectly performed in the Sonny Boy style. Also, just released is Willie "Big Eyes" Smith's self produced Born In Arkansas on the Big Eye record label. Though well known as a drummer in the Muddy Waters band, Willie recently stepped out as a harmonica player/frontman with his 2006 HighTone release Way Back. This new CD continues in the same direction, with 13 original songs featuring great harmonica playing and singing. Both releases feature top-notch bands with similar lineups: Billy Boy Arnold's CD has Billy Flynn, Mel Brown, Bob Stroger, and Willie "Big Eyes" Smith (on drums), and Willie "Big Eyes" Smith's CD features Billy Flynn, "Little Frank" Krakowski, Barrelhouse Chuck, Bob Stroger, and Kenny "Beedy Eyes" Smith (Willie's son) on drums. Both these great CDs present the true spirit of Chicago blues, and are cause for celebration!
- Pinetop Perkins' 95th Birthday Celebration July 7, 2008 at Antone's: Legendary piano great Pinetop Perkins will be celebrating his 95th birthday with a party at Antone's Nightclub in his current residence of Austin, Texas on Monday, July 7, 2008. The lineup per manager Pat Morgan will be an array of great Texans, including Gary Clark, Jr., Marcia Ball, Diunna Greenleaf, Derek O'Brien, Ronnie James, and more. The celebration will also include an appearance by the mayor, and a mayoral proclamation. At his senior age, Pinetop is still putting on great performances and is looking great. His recent release Pinetop Perkins And Friends, produced by Michael Freeman for the Telarc Record Label, with a star-studded cast of special guests, is getting great reviews from all around the world. What a blessing Pinetop is!
- Tail Dragger, Bob Corritore and Chris James Live Performance on YouTube! This just posted on YouTube: here is a performance video of Tail Dragger singing "Moaning At Midnight" backed by Bob Corritore, Chris James, Karl Meyer, Rick Kreher, and Twist Turner. This was from Cadillac Zack's American Blues Legends Showcase at Reggie's in Chicago, on the night of June 7, 2008. To see this film clip, click here. Special thanks to Scott Dirks, who filmed this clip and posted it on YouTube. Tail Dragger and Bob will perform together at the 2nd Annual Labor Day Down Home Blues Festival on Sunday, August 31, 2008 at the Rhythm Room, with the complete lineup and details soon to be announced.
- Mississippi Valley Blues Fest in Davenport, Iowa to go on Despite Flooding; Change of Venue Considered: The Mississippi Valley Blues Festival is one of the most highly regarded blues festivals in the US, featuring great lineups each year, as well as workshops and kids educational programs. Bob Corritore will perform at the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival on July 4, 2008 with The Rhythm Room All-Stars featuring Big Pete Pearson, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, Brian Fahey, and Bob Corritore. They will be part of an amazing lineup that also includes Koko Taylor, Billy Boy Arnold with Jody Williams, Denise LaSalle, , Big George Brock, Marie Knight, Phil Guy, John Németh with Junior Watson, Jimmy Thackery, Tinsley Ellis, Teresa James, Steve James, Paul Geremia, Kilborn Alley Blues Band, The Kinsey Report, Kal David, Elvin Bishop, Otis Taylor, Doug MacLeod, and much more. For a complete list of performers and times, click here. Bob will also conduct a blues harmonica seminar at the festival. Other seminars on various topics will be held by Steve James, David Horwitz, Jimmy Thackery, Del Ray, and many others. David Berntson will host the kids BlueSKool program. Due to the massive flooding of Iowa areas surrounding the Mississippi river, the festival website reports the following: "Blues Fest Will Go On - Come Hell Or High Water. We have received many inquiries about whether the IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival will be held this year due to the major flooding occurring in the region. Well rest assured, the fest will occur. The Mississippi River has crested and its water are starting to recede, but realistically, it is unlikely that will occur in time for LeClaire Park to be made ready for the Fest on July 3-5. Alternate sites are being considered. An announcement will be made early next week on the location of this year's Blues Fest. Thanks to all of you who have expressed your concerns and words of encouragement."