Bob sent his year in review email, and I just wanted to pass it along.
January 4, 2010
2009 Recap. 2009 was filled with great tours, club and festival dates, record releases, wonderful recognition, and personal achievement. On the down side the recession was felt by everyone, I dealt with a dislocated shoulder (it's much better now), and I parted ways with Kim Danielson, my loving partner of six years. But through it all, I felt that all my blues associates and myself moved forward and made some very substantial things happen. 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!
CDs (and LPs) Released:
I was associated with 7 CD releases in 2009, either as a player, producer or both!
Big Pete Pearson & The Rhythm Room All-Stars / Live at Lahnstein (Collectors Only label). This CD is a bootleg. I guess you are on the road to making it when people start bootlegging your live performances.
Various Artists / Broadcasting The Blues (Southwest Musical Arts Foundation) A 25th anniversary celebration of Bob Corritore's radio show with Billy Boy Arnold, Otis Clay, Johnny Rawls, Lowell Fulson, Lazy Lester, Tomcat Courtney, Chief Schabuttie Gilliame, Henry Gray, Johnny Dyer, and more!
Recording Sessions and Video Filmings. Great sessions in 2009 with Dave Riley, Big Pete Pearson, Chris James and Patrick Rynn, Henry Gray, Eddy Clearwater, Tomcat Courtney, Louisiana Red, Bharath & His Rhythm Four, Elmore James, Jr., The Sugar Thieves. I also participated in 2 major blues filmings: A Bob Riedy Chicago Blues Band Reunion with Eddy Clearwater, and the Six Generations Of The Blues filming at SPACE in Evanston, Illinois where I performed with Chris James & Patrick Rynn with Willie "Big Eyes" Smith and Allen Batts in the band. Also filmed that night were Honeyboy Edwards, Big Jack Johnson, Johnny Drummer, John Primer, Rob Stone, and Aron Burton.
Nominations & Awards and Recognition. Bob and his associates were up for numerous awards this year.
Big Pete Pearson's song "Finger In Your Eye" and Chris James & Patrick Rynn's song "Your Gone" received nominations from Radio Baker Street from France for "Single de L'Annee" or the "Single Of the Year".
Congratulations to these BMA nominees who have participated in Bob's recording projects past and present: Henry Gray (a frequent recording collaborator), David Maxwell, Duke Robillard, Mookie Brill, Bob Stroger, Larry Taylor, Kim Wilson, Rick Estrin, and Eddie Shaw.
Festivals and great gigs: Another amazing year filled with great on-stage moments! I performed a number of shows with The Rhythm Room All-Stars (Big Pete Pearson, Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey), Chris James & Patrick Rynn (who do gigs under their own name as well as with the Rhythm Room All-Stars), Dave Riley & Bob Corritore, Tomcat Courtney, and Louisiana Red, I also appeared with the Bob Riedy Blues Band with Eddy Clearwater, Henry Gray, Elmore James, Jr., Chief Schabuttie Gilliame, Paris James, Jessi Colter, and Mississippi Spoonman (with Big Jack Johnson). I also enjoyed some great sit-in experiences with Bob Margolin, Tail Dragger, Rockin' Johnny, Eddie C. Campbell, Janiva Magness, The Rocket 88's, Dave Waldman, Ardella Williams, Scott Dirks, Willie Buck, Kaz Kazanoff, Tommy Castro, Egidio "Juke" Ingala, Jerry Lawson, Ronnie Whitehead, C.J. Chenier, JW Jones, Mighty Mike Schermer, Nina Curry, and more! I did two European tours, and one Canadian blues festival appearance. I performed at two live filmings.
Here is a recap of some of the great gigs and performances of the year:
A benefit for the New Arid Club, a Phoenix organization benefiting homeless and at risk people. Dave Riley and I were part of the event. (Jan 24).
Simply The Blues Festival in Fort Madison, Iowa with Chris James & Patrick Rynn as part of an Earwig Music night that also included Johnny Drummer and Liz Mandeville, Thanks to the late Alvin Short for letting me use his wonderful amp! (May 9th)
The Spring Blues Festival in Belgium! The Rhythm Room All-Stars did a great set. The fest lineup was superb and included Joe Louis Walker, Sugar Ray, James Harman, Mac Arnold, Fruteland Jackson (May 16)
Blues On The North Shore, a filming that lead to the documentary "Six Generations Of The Blues" again celebrating Earwig Music. I appeared with Chris James and Patrick Rynn with Allen Batts, and Willie "Big Eyes" Smith! Also appearing were, Johnny Drummer, Big Jack Johnson, John Primer, Rob Stone and the amazing Honeyboy Edwards. A very special night. (June 12th)
Chicago Blues Festival, Front Porch stage, performing a set honoring Sunnyland Slim with Allen Batts, Aaron Moore, Chris James & Patrick Rynn, Kenny Smith, Rob Stone (Rob and I split up the harnonica chores) and Rodney Brown. A great set! (June 13th)
Reggie's in Chicago, performing with Tail Dragger, Rockin' Johnny, and Eddie C. Campbell for a Delmark Records showcase. Also appearing were Johnny B. Moore, Jesse Fortune, Scott Dirks, Nico Wayne Toussaint, Big Jack Johnson, Cadillac Zack and Rick Kreher (June 13th)
CD Release Party for Lucky To Be Living (Sept 12)
The Arkansas Blues & Heritage Festival in Helena, Arkansas, with Dave Riley for a CD release party at the Delta Cultural Center, then a set with Mississippi Spoonman featuring Big Jack Johnson, then a guest appearance on the main stage with Bob Margolin, Bob Stroger, and Willie "Big Eyes" Smith (Oct 10th)
A month long Tour of Switzerland and France! I performed with Dave Riley, and Tomcat Courtney, as well as a couple appearances with the Rhythm Room All-Stars. This tour included the Lucerne Blues Festival, Blues Sur Seine Festival, The Beautiful Swamp Blues Festival, Blues Night in Visp, The Rat Pack Club, Blues Station, Nuit du Blues, La Mamiselle, numerous Blues in the schools, and a performance at a French prison. (the entire month of November).
Interviews Many Interviews this year. Here are the ones that come to mind; La Hora Del Blues from Spain (Monte Adkison, interviewer), IL Blues from Italy (Marino Grande), Blues and Rhythm from the UK (Mike Stephenson), Rootstime (Belgium), Blues Van from Hungary (Attila Horváth), KVMR (Steve Cagel), KJZZ (with Terry Ward) , Arizona Republic (with Larry Rodgers), New Times (Benjamin Leatherman) Six Generations Of The Blues (with Lynn Orman and Michael Frank), KFFA (with Sonny Payne), KBCO (with Cheryll "Bluebird" Koehne), Associated Press (with Shelia Hardwell), House Of Blues Radio (with Elwood Blues), WMWV (with Roy Prescott),Website, Baker Street Blues (Xavier Boulanger), Jazz 'n' More from Switzerland (Marco Piazzalonga), Concerto Magazin of Austria (Dietmar Hoscher), Neue Luzerner Zeitung of Switzerland (Ismail Osman), Le Net Blues of Quebec, Canada (Aldo Druda).
Passings. Always so hard to say goodbye to the many great blues people that passed away. Here is the list of those who have left us. There may be some that I have missed: James Odell Johnson Jr. (of the Whispers), Ray Topping (of Ace Records), Sam Taylor, Claude Joseph Johnson Jr. (of Ray Charles Band), Reverend Leroy Taylor (of the Soul Stirrers), Leroy Cooper, Leslie Carole Johnson (of Mississippi Rag Magazine), Al Harris, David "Fathead" Newman, Hank Crawford, Piney Brown, Snooks Eaglin, Mark Sallings, John Cephas, Willie King, Lester Davenport, Eddie Bo, Mel Brown, Manuel Arrington, Michael "Dr. Mike" James, Ted Jarrett (songwriter "You Can Make It If You Try"), Roosevelt Dean, Rocky Hill, Pee Wee Moore, Stephen Bruton, Ashton Savoy, Koko Taylor. Sam Butera, Nick Holt, Wesley "Junebug" Jefferson, Betty Miller (Southern California Blues Society), Billy Lee Riley, Les Paul, Jim Dickinson, Johnny Carter (of the Flamingos and the Dells), Marie Knight, Jesse Fortune, Kenny Martin, Doris Carr, Sam Carr, Willie "Big Bo" Thomas Jr., Freddie Robinson, Alex "Easy Baby" Randle, Johnny Jones, Dennis Brooks, Luther Dixon, Norton Buffalo, Terry Scott (VP of the Phoenix Blues Society), Sara Moore (Sara's Kitchen), Big John Evans, Alvin Short, Cam Waters and Earl Gaines. Please forgive me if I left anyone out of this list. Each of these people are remembered warmly for their contributions to the blues.
KJZZ. In 2009, it was an extreme honor to celebrate the 25th anniversary of my radio program, Those Lowdown Blues! The anniversary celebration included a commemorative CD called Broadcasting The Blues released on the Southwest Musical Arts Foundation label, featuring magical on air live performances spanning the full 25 years! Special thanks to recently retired station general manager, Carl Matthusen and reassigned Program Director Scott Williams for their many years of support of the program. I look forward to working with KJZZ veteran Bill Shedd as the new Associate General Manager (and effectively the new program director) as we continue the show's grand tradition. It is the greatest of joys to present the blues and its glorious recorded legacy, week after week and year after year. Thank you KJZZ for this honor!
Rhythm Room Concert Club: My nightclub presented a wide array of blues shows. National acts and Phoenix-based acts included Kim Wilson, Candye Kane, Tomcat Courtney, Long John Hunter, Phillip Walker, Elmore James, Jr. , Henry Gray, Curtis Salgado, Tommy Castro, Janiva Magness, T-Model Ford, Bob Riedy Blues Band featuring Eddy Clearwater, Eric Lindell, Ivan Neville's Dumpstafunk, Leon Redbone, Leon Russell, Guitar Shorty, Smokin' Joe Kubek Band featuring B'Nois King, Saffire - The Uppity Blues Woman, Richie Havens, Soul Of John Black, Gil Scott-Heron , Rod Piazza & The Mighty Flyers, Louisiana Red, Walter Trout, Rick Estrin & The Nightcats, Dumpstafunk, Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, Hillstomp, Rory Block, Chris Duarte, Rumble King, Tab Benoit, Lil' Dave Thompson, Fremonts, Hans Olson, Bad News Blues Band, Delrayz, Rocket 88's, Big Nick & The Gila Monsters, Sugar Theives, Jump Back Brothers, Big Pete Pearson, and, of course The Rhythm Room All-Stars
Other cool things! Tomcat Courtney appeared on the cover of Back To The Roots Mazine (Belgium) with a beautiful in depth article. While I was in Lucerne, Thomas Torkler from Blues News magazine (Germany) presented me with a beautiful 2010 blues photo calendar in which January displayed photo of Chris James & myself playing last year at the Lahnstein Blues festival. We shared calendar status with Buddy Guy, Kim Wilson, B.B. King, Janiva Magness, Charlie Musselwhite, Honey Piazza, and more. What an honor and a surprise! The documentary, Six Generations Of the Blues, was aired nationally in November on the MHz Worldview Network! The Bob Corritore Blues Newsletter was listed in the special thanks of the Freddie King Box on Bear Family. I was able to contribute source material for Little Walter / The Complete Chess Masters, and was credited as such in the booklet.
Special Thanks to the behind the scenes heroes. I could not accomplish the work I do without a brilliant team behind me, so here are some of the people that helped to support the cause in 2009: Kim Danielson who worked tirelessly for my cause until our our September parting of the ways. George Thomas Vaught, best known as the long time friend of Chico Chism, who took over Kim Danielson's work as webmaster and newsletter facilitator, Mona Watkins, the General Manager of the Rhythm Room, who runs the shop while I am off doing blues projects, Jennifer Waters, my blues assistant at KJZZ, The Phoenix Blues Society, who work hard to move the Phoenix Blues scene forward, Tony Tingle, who has done great volunteer work for the Southwest Musical Arts Foundation and who sells CDs at my gigs, Martin Elmers, owner of the Rack Shack Barbecue at the Rhythm Room, Michael Frank of Earwig Music, Dale Baich and Beth Lipham of Blue Witch Records, Bob Margolin, Richard Rosenblatt and Chip Eagle of VizzTone, Jerry Del Giudice and Edward Chmelewski of Blind Pig Records, Randy Chortkoff of Delta Groove Productions, Betsie Brown of Blind Raccoon for her great work as a publicist, Lynn Orman of Orman Music and Media Group, Scott Dirks, Clarke Rigsby of Tempest Recorders, John Wrobble and Jeff Harris of Porcupine Productions, Tony Amado at AI Design, Dave Shirk of Sonorous Mastering, Bharath Rajakumar of Regal Radio Records, Collectif des Radios Blues, Music Choice, Bluesville on Sirius XM, my wonderful band members and musical collaborators, all of the writers, reviewers, photographers, publications, festivals, blues societies, radio show hosts and programmers, friends, and fans who have shown me the warmth of their support. A heartfelt thank you everyone!
The Promise of 2010. I look forward to enjoying channeling the momentum of 2009 into the new year. I am currently finishing up some sides that will comprise half of Diunna Greenleaf CD (Diunna will produce and organize the other half). I am also working on a CD to celebrate my 40th year of harmonica playing with an amazing list of special guests that include Koko Taylor, Jimmy Rogers, Little Milton, Nappy Brown, Honeyboy Edwards, Pinetop Perkins, Robert Lockwood, Jr., Smokey Wilson, Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater, Henry Gray and many more. It will be similar in approach to my 1999 All-Star Blues Sessions CD. Look for that to be released mid year. Also in the pipeline for an early 2010 release on Southwest Musical Arts Foundation Records is Flyin' High; A collection of Phoenix Blues, Rhythm, and Spirit from the 1950's and 60's. Look for a new 2010 CD by Chris James & Patrick Rynn that I play on. I have heard that Earwig Music may release a DVD of the blues documentary Six Generations Of The Blues. Additionaly, I have many masters that are needing to be released and I hope to make as much of that happen as possible in this new year. Who knows where this blues road will take us but it will surely be filled with the joy and support of those like-minded people in our wonderful blues community. Wishing everyone a wonderful 2010!
- Bob Corritore