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Monday, January 4, 2010

Bob Corritore Year In Review

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 / Finger In Your Eye (VizzTone / Southwest Musical Arts Foundation)

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.

Dave Riley & Bob Corritore / Lucky To Be Living (Blue Witch Records)

Lucerne Blues Festival 2009 (1 cut by Dave Riley & Bob Corritore and another cut by Tomcat Courtney on this various artists collection).

Jimmy Rogers / Feelin' Good (Blind Pig) Released as a limited edition LP only collectors item. I play on and produced the two bonus tracks on this record.

Louisiana Red / Back to the Black Bayou (Ruf Records). I play on two tracks on this highly acclaimed record produced by Little Victor.

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.

Dave Riley & Bob Corritore / Lucky To Be Living won best blues album 2009 in the Star Blues Awards.

The Song "Lucky To Be Living" is nominated for an Independent Music Award for "Best Blues Song" as is the song "Mr. Coffee" by Chris James and Patrick Rynn

Chris James & Patrick Rynn / Stop and Think About It won a Blues Blast Music Award for best debut Artist. They were also nominated for best blues song for "Mr. Coffee".

Chris James & Patrick Rynn / Stop and Think About It was nominated for a 2009 BMA for "Best New Artist Debut".

Bob Corritore was hailed "Best Blues Man" by the New Times "Best Of Phoenix" Awards. To see this article, click here.

Louisiana Red / Back To The Black Bayou won France's Academie Charles Cros Award for "Best Blues Album 2009".

Louisiana Red / Back to the Black Bayou was nominated for 2 BMAs; "Traditional Blues Album Of The Year" and "Blues Album Of The 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".

Big Pete Pearson / Finger In Your Eye was #1 on the Collectif des Radios Blues charts.

Dave Riley and Bob Corritore were # 1 on the Collectif des Radios Blues charts.

Big Pete Pearson / Finger In Your Eye was # 12 in August on the Living Blues Radio Charts

Dave Riley & Bob Corritore / Lucky To Be Living was # 5 in September and # 10 in October on the Living Blues Radio Charts.

Patrick Rynn (bassist in the Rhythm Room All-Stars) was nominated for a 2010 BMA under the "Best Instrumentalist - Bass" category.

Rhythm Room won New Times readers choice as "Best Blues or Jazz Club" in their "Best Of Phoenix" issue.

Rhythm Room won AZ Central's Critic's Pick as "Best Small Concert Venue". Click here to see.

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.

Dave Riley & Bob Corritore / Lucky To Be Living was nominated for House Of Blues Radio's Record Of The Year.

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:

Dave Riley and I doing a duet opening set for Zac Harmon at the Rhythm Room (January 9)

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).

Performing at Tomcat Courtney's 80th birthday party at Humphrey's in San Diego! What an honor! (Jan 30th).

The Blind Raccoon Showcase with Chris James & Patrick Rynn at the Rum Boogie during the International Blues Competition. Thank you Billy Gibson for lending me your cool Supro amp! (Feb 6).

The 25th Anniversary Party for "Those Lowdown Blues", with the Rhythm Room All-Stars plus Henry Gray, Chief Schabuttie Gilliame, Johnny Rapp, Jerry Lawson, and more! (Feb 20).

Blues Blast Festival, at the Mesa Amphitheater, appearing as part of a Phoenix All-Star show with closed out the festival. (Feb 21)

Blues Blast after-party hosted by the Rhythm Room All-Stars with guest appearances by The Sugar Thieves, Janiva Magness and members of her band, and George Bowman (Feb 21).

The 15th Annual Music Festival and Carnival celebrating Black History Month in Peoria, Arizona, appearing on separate sets with Dave Riley, then Big Pete Pearson (Feb 28)

Dave Riley's 60th Birthday Party at the Rhythm Room. Click here to see a photo of the notorious ass cake (March 7)

Dave Riley & I opened up for T-Model Ford at the Rhythm Room (March 21)

Film Shooting of the reunion of the Bob Riedy Blues Band with the amazing Eddy Clearwater. This at the Rhythm Room (April 17)

Appearing at the Rhythm Room with Tomcat Courtney (May 1st)

The BMAs, appearing with Chris James & Patrick Rynn with special guest David Maxwell. Killer set! (May 7th)

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)

Blues Station, in France with the Rhythm Room All-Stars (May 15)

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)

The Blue Cloud in Belgium. What a warm audience of knowledgeable blues fans! Thanks to Franky Bruneel of Back To The Roots magazine for setting up this tour. (May 17)

Chico Chism's memorial birthday bash. Dave Riley and I appeared at this event which was all about loving the late Chico Chism (May 23)

Quiescence in Phoenix. I appeared with Paris James and Big Pete Pearson (May 28)

Big Pete Pearson CD Release Party for Finger in Your Eye (March 29 and 30)

Fat Tone Guitars in Northbrook, IL. Chris, Patrick, and I did a workshop as part of the Earwig 30th anniversary celebrations of the week (June 11th)

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)

Woodlawn Taproom with Ardella Williams, Dave Waldman, Scott Dirks, Willie Buck

The Cisco Ottawa Blues Festival appearing with the Rhythm Room All-Stars, Louisiana Red, with David Maxwell and Kaz Kazanoff's Texas Horns, adding to each of our 5 sets (July 17, 18, 19)

Louisiana Red at the Rhythm Room (July 24 25)

Down Home Blues Festival at the Rhythm Room with the Rhythm Room All-Stars as host band plus Elmore James Jr., Henry Gray, and Dave Riley (Sept 6)

CD Release Party for Lucky To Be Living (Sept 12)

Old Town Artisans in Tucson for a CD release party for Finger In Your Eye. Pinetop Perkins did a guest set that night. (Sept 18)

The Bisbee Blues Festival with the Rhythm Room All-Stars doing a great set and then backing Pinetop Perkins (Sept 19)

Tempe Center For The Arts, billed as "Bob Corriitore and his Blues Friends" with Dave Riley, Big Pete Pearson, Tomcat Courtney, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey.(Sept 25)

My Birthday Bash at the Rhythm Room with The Rhythm Room All-Stars, Big Pete Pearson, Dave Riley, Tomcat Courtney, Jerry Lawson, and Tomcat Courtney! (Sept 26)

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)

Hopson's Plantation for Pinetop's Homecoming. Dave Riley and I opened up the proceedings with a duet set followed by a non stop array of great talent! (Oct 11)

Buddy Guy's Legends for the Blues Blast Music Awards. Chris James & Patrick Rynn won an award Best Debut Artist! (Oct 29th)

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).

Blues Harmonica Showcase, at the Rhythm Room with around 25 harmonica players and the Rocket 88's as host band (Dec 9th)

Private new years eve party at Riva Yares Gallery performing a show with the great Jessi Colter (Jan 31st)

Plus many great nights at the Rhythm Room performing just some good old plain gigs (non-event shows) with the Rhythm Room All-Stars, Dave Riley and Tomcat Courtney.

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

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