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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Bob Dorr And The Blue Band Update

OK, so I told you that there probably wouldn't be a Blue Note this week. Frankly, I've become addicted to writing these notes. Bear with me (or is that bare with me?) while I get a handle on this addiction. For goodness sake, I've got the hippy hippy shake...

Primarily, I wanted to let you know that there are only 36 more tickets available for the Iowa Public Radio Blues Cruise Riverboat Boat Ride fundraiser this Friday night. Ride the Spirit of Dubuque Riverboat from 7:30-10:30p, dance on the deck to the music of the Blue Band and meet other Iowa Public Radio junkies (there's that addiction thing again) all while helping to raise money to support the production costs of homegrown Iowa shows like the programs I produce. Fun and funds. Great combination. You can still order advance tickets by calling 800-772-2440, ext. 0. Don't miss the boat!...

Also, the t-shirt printers have promised to have the 2009 Tour shirts finished by Thursday night, so the boat will be your first chance to get this year's collectors apparel...

After playing a wedding dance on Saturday, we're off to the Mt. Horeb WI Summer Frolic. We play the beer tent 5-8pm. I'm hoping to stop at the Mustard Museum on the way there so I can purchase and proudly wear a Poupon U t-shirt at the gig!...

Next week, Friday (6/12) finds us at the Cambridge IA (off of I-35 between Ankeny and Ames) (finally, a short drive for Lucinda!) Jubilee Days celebration, 8-mid. Saturday (6/13) we play a 25th wedding anniversary for a couple in Maquoketa. We played their wedding a quarter century ago! YIKES!...

It's the webmistress' birthday weekend so wish her a happy birthday, encourage her to dance on the bar, challenge her to put her foot behind her ear (I saw her do that back in her 30s!) and BRING CAKE!...

I have decided that I am too young to pass up the offer of early retirement from the University of Northern Iowa. I'm one of the youngest people eligible for this program and I've GOT to do it. It looks like my end date will be Dec. 31 (New Year's Eve will be my retirement party! Book your room at the Hilton Garden Inn NOW!) I have made an offer to Iowa Public Radio to continue to produce some of the shows I currently produce in my garage as an "independent producer/contractor." They are interested, but have to find the money first. I'd love to remain a part of the IPR programming staff. I hope it works out, but if it doesn't, it's a been a fabulous run. (it all works out in the end, if it's not working out, it's not the end)...

And speaking of radio show production, IPR is still planning on going ahead with letting me have a 90 minute blues show Sunday evenings 5-6:30p, starting Sun. July 12. That's 38 days from today. We still don't have a name for that show. Do you have any suggestions?...

Many, many, many people on this list have written to give their take and encouragement regarding the decision to take the early retirement. Thank you for taking the time to help me make the best decision. If it goes totally bust, can I live in your basement?! See yas on the Blue Highway, play yer washboard tie at the Poupon U graduation ceremony, bring CAKE for the webmistress b-day party and always remember we love you! Bob Dorr & The Blue Band

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Koko Taylor: Let The Good Times Roll

Great color footage of Koko Taylor in Canada performing an old Louie Jordan hit, plus another one of her hits I'm A Woman her answer to Muddy Waters, I'm A Man:-) I am not positive, but I think the guitar player is Matt "Guitar" Murphy.

Koko Taylor: Ernestine

Koko from the PBS blues series. This was from the Father and Sons episode which featured Chess records, and Chicago blues.

Koko Taylor: Wang Dang Doodle

Classic Chicago Blues. Koko Taylor with Hound Dog Taylor and possibly Buddy Guy on guitar. This was Koko's Signature song, in fact according to her website it was the last song she performed in public just a month ago at the BMAs.

Koko Taylor RIP

Bad news, one of the last big icons from the glory days of Chess records has died. Koko Taylor the queen of the blues is gone. Bob Corritore has passed along the news from Tim Kolleth of Alligator Records.

Koko Taylor was one of the greats discovered by Willie Dixon, he introduced her to Leonard Chess and the rest is history. God bless you Koko! May you rest in peace.


Acording to Koko's website (click here) Koko died from complications of surgery. There is a nice short bio there as well.

From Bob Corritore

June 3, 2009

  • RIP Koko Taylor 9/28/1928-6/3/2009: This just in from Tim Kolleth of Alligator Records: "It’s with a heavy heart and deep sadness that I must inform you of the passing of The Queen of the Blues, Koko Taylor. There will never be another one like her. That’s all I can say right now except to thank all of you for playing her music all these years. I can only encourage you to keep her spirit, her voice and her timeless music alive. She will be missed forever here."
Update From Bob Corritore

  • Koko Remembrances: I first heard Koko Taylor's "Wang Dang Doodle" in the early 70s on the radio in Chicago. It knocked me out and I was a Koko fan from that point on. I first started seeing her perform live in 1974. She used to play regularly at a North side Chicago bar called Biddy Mulligan’s. She had a great band with Johnny Twist on the guitar, and later Johnny B. Moore. She would tear the house down regularly. I was just 18 and 19 at the time. I often sat with her and her husband Pops on the breaks. Such friendly, wonderful people! They used to let me play a number or two with the band before she hit the stage. One night Pops asked me to come to a band rehearsal to audition. He said that they were thinking about adding another piece to the band. I was still very young at the time, with plans for completing college, and my parents would hear nothing of this, and refused to lend me the car. I really would not have been of the level of playing needed to pass an audition at that point. I still have the torn note card with Koko's number that she gave me to set this up. I went to the 1975 PBS filming of the Blues Summit Concert with Koko, Muddy, Junior Wells, Willie Dixon, Johnny Winter, Dr. John, and others. Once at Biddy Mulligan’s, Paul Butterfield came by and sat in with Koko and her band for a set. Years later after I moved to Phoenix and opened up the Rhythm Room, I was able to book Koko a number of times. It warmed my heart to present her with a photo of her and her late husband that I had taken years before at Biddy Mulligan’s. In 2005, I had one of the greatest thrills of my life which was taking Koko into Rax Trax studio in Chicago and recording a song with her. I put together a great band that included Bob Margolin, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Bob Stroger, and Little Frank, and we knocked out a killer version of "What Kind Of Man Is This". I had arranged this recording session through my friend Bruce Iglauer of Alligator Records who, knowing how important this was to me, was gracious enough to allow me this honor - with the stipulation that I not release the cut for 5 years (I hope to put it out next year). This recording session was a true satisfaction, because I always wondered what would have happened if years before I had gone to that rehearsal. I had this special time with Koko, and it produced a beautiful recorded cut that can live on forever. In the last 5 years, it seemed like I was regularly meeting up with Koko and her family. This would happen at a wide range of places: at the Chicago Blues Festival, where she would have a booth each year, the Blues Music Awards, the Scottsdale Music Festival, the Lucerne Blues Festival, the Grammies®, etc. One time (must have been 2006) at the Chicago Blues Festival, Cookie (Koko's daughter) had my lovely Kim and I stay with Koko for a few hours, and we had such a wonderful time in the green room of the Petrillo Bandshell as Koko sang us some of her favorite tracks from the then forthcoming Old School CD. Just a month ago, she was the highlight performance at the BMAs, as she sang "Wang Dang Doodle" with The Mannish Boys. Koko has been a constant in my life. She has always stood for the tough, real deal Chicago blues, while having a heart of gold, and a simple joy in performing her music. I will miss her greatly.

-Bob Corritore


From Bob Corritore

Koko Taylor Funeral Information: This year's Chicago Blues Festival will be one where Koko Taylor will be thought of by all who attend. Here is the funeral information which will happen in tandem with the festival:

Wake/Visitation (Lie in State)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

4:00pm - 9:00pm

RainbowPUSH Coalition National Headquarters

930 East 50th Street (at Drexel Blvd.)

Chicago, IL 60615

Funeral Services

Friday, June 12, 2009

6:00pm (4:00pm - 6:00pm visitation)

RainbowPUSH Coalition National Headquarters

930 East 50th Street (at Drexel Blvd.)

Chicago, IL 60615

You can post condolences to the family here.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Blues Before Sunset

I must admit I am a bit disappointed that the Blues Before Sunset series has gone monthly. It used to be a weekly concert series at the State Historical Building of Iowa. It was a show that I had a hand in starting a long time ago. I assume that money is probably the issue. The state has been slashing budgets all over the place. I know from past experience that they love cutting the budget for the Department of Cultural Affairs. (yup, who needs culture, teachers, cops, you know the drill)

Blues Before Sunset resumes in June with reduced schedule
Concert series to be offered first Friday of June, July, August, September

The State Historical Society of Iowa announces its 2009 Blues Before Sunset concert series schedule, with blues bands performing the first Friday of each month from June through September.

Now in its 8th season, the 2009 Blues Before Sunset concert series features:

June 5: Hot Tamale & The Red Hots
July 3: Sumpin' Doo
Aug. 7: El Dorados
Sept. 4: Bob Pace Band with Steve George

Each concert will be 5:30-7:30 p.m. the first Friday of June, July, August and September in front of the State Historical Building, 600 E. Locust in Des Moines. Blues Before Sunset is free and family-friendly with beer, wine and assorted beverages for sale. Food vendor Fat Tuesday (Steven James) will be on site and guests are encouraged to bring their own seating.

BBS kicks off June 5, 2009, in conjunction with the Historic East Village's three-day "Flower Power" weekend, which also features The Des Moines Botanical Center's 2nd Annual Flower Power 5k run/walk and 1-mile walk June 6; and the East Village Flower Power Market, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., with flower vendors on the streets, and restaurants and stores open June 7.

Blues Before Sunset is sponsored by the State Historical Society of Iowa with promotional support from 100.3 The BUS and Capital 106.3, "quality music from then and now," and additional support from Baratta's restaurant and the Central Iowa Blues Society.
Call 515-281-4011 for more information.

Andy Coats Update

Hey folks,

I hope everyone is doing well ….. I wanted to give you all a heads up on some upcoming shows and also announce a change in personnel.

It gives me great pleasure to introduce Matt Jenkins, who is the new drummer for the Bank Walkers. Matt’s been playing the drums since he was 10 years old, and has played in numerous bands during his career. He and I met each other after my set at John Dee’s birthday bash in April, and have already played several gigs together. Matt lives with his family in Durham, NC, having moved from Ohio several years ago. Welcome Matt!

Dan Stahl has moved on to pursue other projects and interests, but we’re all still on good terms and wish him the best.

Charlie Foote and Alex Little remain full-fledged Bank Walkers, playing guitar and bass, respectively.

Now, for the show info:

Friday, June 5, 7 - 10 pm
Andy Coats, solo
Port City Java

234 Fayetteville St Mall # 100, Raleigh, NC
***This is part of the “First Friday” event in downtown Raleigh, featuring art galleries, exhibits, and cool live music …. :) Make sure to stop by and see me!

Wednesday, June 10, 10 pm - 2 am
Andy Coats & the BankWalkers, with The Fustics
The Pour House

224 S Blount St., Raleigh, NC 27601

****This will be a cool shared bill with the Fustics, a band from Wilmington who have been tearing up the regional tour circuit. It’s also the local favorite, “Mug Night,” at the Pour House; so make sure to stop by and bring your special mug!

As always, thanks for your support!