December 9, 2011
- Pinetop Perkins appears Friday at the Rhythm Room! The legendary Pinetop Perkins, now 97 years old, makes an appearance on Friday, December 10th, at the Rhythm Room, in Phoenix. He will be backed by the Rhythm Room All-Stars (Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey). Pinetop Perkins is best known as the longtime pianist in the Muddy Waters band who replaced Otis Spann. Pinetop made his first recording for Sun Records with the Earl Hooker band in 1953. Pinetop has won numerous Blues Music Awards, Grammy Awards, and will soon be receiving a 2011 Govenor's award from the state of Mississippi (click here to read about it). His latest release, Pinetop Perkins & Willie "Big Eyes" Smith / Joined At The Hip, on the Tel-Arc label has just been nominated for a Grammy! For more information on Pinetop Perkins' show at the Rhythm Room this Friday and to buy tickets click here. Note the Rhythm Room All-Stars also perform Saturday at the Rhythm Room.
- Phoenix Harmonica Showcase tonight at the Rhythm room. Tonight the Rhythm Room presents a Phoenix Harmonica Showcase with host band The Rocket 88s featuring Bill Tarsha. Other harmonica players include Sugar Bear, Gypsy, King Gypsy, Doc, Robert Jackson, Harmonica Boyd, John Calley, Walking Cane Mark, Paul Klapper, Roy Pinn, Campfire Rick, Blind Ronnie, Chicago Lenny, Steve Passerelli, Tumbleweed, Rob Hale, Keith Rogers, Rockin' Rueben, Sam McRae, Larry Polk, Ray DeSylvester, Dwight Miles, Dennis Karp, Bruce Wilson and Bob Corritore. The doors open at 7pm and the show kicks off at 8pm. The Rhythm Room is located at 1019 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85014.
- Blues Grammy nominations announced! It is always fascinating to see who makes the final nomination cut in the Grammy's. For the most part the nominees are seasoned blues veterans, but this year's nominees also include a pop artist who crossed over for a one album project, and a youthful blues-rock guitarist who has included some seasoned blues veterans in his project. Whatever your feelings about this are, these are the folks that earned this honor through the Grammy nomination process.Best Traditional Blues Album
1. James Cotton - Giant!
2. Cyndi Lauper - Memphis Blues
3. Charlie Musselwhite - The Well
4. Pinetop Perkins & Willie "Big Eyes" Smith - Joined At the Hip
5. - Play Blues, Ballads, & Favorites
Best Contemporary Blues Album
1. Solomon Burke - Nothing's Impossible
2. Dr. John - Tribal
3. Buddy Guy - Living Proof
4. Bettye LaVette - Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook
5. Kenny Wayne Shepherd ft. Bryan Lee, Buddy Flett, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, and Hubert Sumlin - Live In ChicagoSome blues associated artists also appear outside the blues categories. We see nominations for the , and & the Sons of MudboyMaria Muldaur in the Best Traditional Folk Album category. Also Chubby Carrier has made it into the category of Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album. Congratulations to all the nominees.,
- Bob Corritore & Friends / Harmonica Blues in the news! Delta Groove Newsletter! We have recently posted the 60th review of Bob Corritore & Friends / Harmonica Blues (click here, to see). Harmonica Blues has had 4 months on the Living Blues Radio Charts with a peak position of #2, 14 weeks on the Roots Music Report Blues Chart with a peak position of #4, and 9 weeks on the House of Blues Radio Hour Chart with a peak position of #8. It has been and continues to be featured on both XM / Sirius Bluesville and Music Choice. Thanks to everyone at Delta Groove for a grand promotional effort. Bob's release will be highlighted in the forthcoming Delta Groove Newsletter which should be out soon (to sign up for Delta Groove's great newsletter, click here).
- Pocono Blues Festival discontinued. The Pocono Blues Festival, headed by Michael Cloren, has always represented the highest mark for US blues festivals. Sadly, due the economic slowdown, the Pocono Blues Festival has been discontinued just short of it's 20th year. To read more about this occurance on the festival website, click here. Thanks to Michael, and all the folks at this festival, for many years of providing a great platform for blues music to be heard.
- Son House 1969 live concert to be released by Arcola Records! Bob West of Arcola Records reports of a new new Son House CD, due out in early 2011. It will be a 2 CD release of Son House's 1969 Seattle concert plus an interview that Bob did with Son at the same time. Bob Groom and Dick Waterman have authored the liner notes for this release. Arcola Records is a small but mighty label with a catalog of important blues CDs, recorded in the 1960s and 1970s, by Furry Lewis and Bukka White (together), Henry Townsend, Big Al Calhoun (an amazing CD by this obscure St. Louis harmonica player with Henry Townsend on guitar), Sunnyland Slim, and Babe Stovall. The Arcola catalog also includes a number of jazz titles. For more information on Arcola Records, click here.
- Sonny Boy Williamson II on YouTube! Please enjoy this wonderful preformance of Sonny Boy Williamson at the 1963 American Folk Blues Festival in Germany. Accompanying Sonny Boy is the great Otis Spann on Piano, Willie Dixon on the bass, Billy Stepney on drums, and Matt "Guitar" Murphy. Sonny Boy sings "Nine Below Zero" (Click here, to see).
- Corrected Chicago Blues Guide link! In our newsletter of November 17th, we posted a broken link to the Chicago Blues Guide's coverage of the 3rd annual Blues Blast Music Awards that happened on October 28th at Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago. Linda Cain has written a wonderful reflection of this great event (including some nice photos) that has appeared on the Chicago Blues Guide website. Click here to see the correct link! Thanks to Bob Kieser of Blues Blast Magazine for once again throwing this spectacular and well run event!
- Brazil Recap! The blues family as I would define it, would be the world-wide network of blues lovers connected by the commonality of their deep love for blues music. I have often been deeply touched by the "family" connections, as I travel to play various festivals and concerts, both in North America and in Europe. Dave Riley and I recently had the honor to travel to Brazil (or Brasil as it is spelled in it's own country) to do a few concerts. This was our first time in South America and we were greeted with open arms. We were brought over by Adrian Flores, an Argentina born blues promoter, now living in Brazil, with a long resume of blues activity (blues drummer and vocalist, concert organizer, label owner, producer, and former blues radio show host, and blues club owner). Also in Adrian's team was Luciano "Big Mouth" Boca, a fine blues harmonica player, band leader, promoter and an official endorser of the Brazilian harmonica company Hering Harmonicas. Dave and I had two concerts together. Dave was able to stay an additional week and do two additional shows while I returned home for my previous commitment to do a show at the Tempe Center For The Arts.Dave and I flew in on separate flights and met up at the airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil. It was a great coincidence to run into my old friend Teddy Morgan at the airport customs line as we both arrived in the country. It was here we met Adrian, Luciano, and their friend and aspiring harmonica player, Barney Virlei, who would be our driver for a good part of the trip. We had a 3 or 4 hour drive from Sao Paulo to Pocos de Caldas, where our first show would be. The drive involved some sight seeing. We stopped at a wonderful restaurant where waiters would bring skewers of various delicious meats, each with a unique and wonderful flavor. Dave Riley normally does not embrace the cuisine of a foreign country ("Where is the McDonald's?"), but he really took to the the Brazilian dishes. I really enjoyed the popular Brazilian specialty of chicken hearts, which I had never tasted before. At another point on this drive we stopped at a rest area and Dave and I took photos with some little monkeys who were easily persuaded from their tree by the lure of a banana. When we arrived at our destination we settled into our rooms, cleaned up, and had a nice dinner before rehearsing with Adrian Flores for the next night's show. Our first show was at an old train station that had been converted into a venue, and had become the home of a regular community concert series. Luciano Boca's band opened before Dave and I took the stage. Luciano and his son, Pedro Otávio, would later join us as special guests at the end of our set. It appears that the community was really primed for the show as we had a full house and an amazingly warm response. Thanks to Luciano's promotional efforts and to the kind people of Pocos De Caldas. To see the poster for this event click here.The next day started with a trip back to the Sao Paulo airport to catch a flight to beautiful Porto Alegre. This show featured Dave and I in duet setting in a beautiful concert room at a bank that hosts regular jazz and blues concerts. Once again we were treated to an enthusiastic full house. This audience in particular was a very blues knowledgeable bunch, with folks eager to purchase our hard to come by American blues CDs. While on the road with Adrian Flores, I was very impressed by his many stories of bringing blues acts to South America. He has promoted tours with Phil Guy, John Primer, Hubert Sumlin, Lefty Dizz, Magic Slim, Eddie C. Campbell, Little Mack Simmons, James Cotton, Billy Branch, James Wheeler,and Larry McCray. He played me numerous, priceless recordings from blues artists appearing on his former radio show, as well as some great live concert recordings. He gave me a present of a stack of wonderful CDs from his Blues Special record label including a Little Mack Simmons release that was done just a few months before Mack's passing. Adrian has also recorded a whole CD where he sings blues in Spanish to a traditional Chicago blues backing (Note that the language of Brazil is Portuguese while other countries in South America speak Spanish). Adrian really lives the blues and has done this music a great service by tirelessly promoting it to the South American people. His contributions are simply amazing.That was it for my shows, but I opted to take an extra day and a half in Sao Paulo where I would visit my friend Ivan Marcio, another fine Brazilian harmonica player that I met on-line a few years ago through Myspace, and would later meet in person at the Chicago Blues Festival. Ivan has worked and recorded with the Igor Prado Band who currently have an excellent new release out with Lynwood Slim on the Delta Groove label called Brazilian Kicks. Ivan recently released a CD called Chicago Blues Session Vol 1 recorded in the windy city in 2008. He played me some duet sessions he did with Jon McDonald that will be released in a forthcoming CD. Ivan took me around for some nice meals and some coconut milk (straight from the coconut). He also took me to an amazing store in Santos, Brazil, called Harmonica Master. This store is completely devoted to blues harmonica, and while there I met owner Rodrigo Morenno, and music writer Eugenio Martins Jr., who interviewed me for a future article. Ivan Marcio is also an official endorser of Bends Harmonicas, which is yet another Brazilian harmonica manufacturer. While I was at Harmonica Master, I was pleasantly surprised to learn of the many fine blues harmonica players living in Brazil.In summary, I am now in love with Brazil, for its warm, beautiful people, the great food and culture, and for the blues scene it so joyously supports. Dave Riley and I both had the greatest time, and we are very excited to go back for a festival appearance in July. Obregado (that's thank you in Portuguese). To see a photo page of some of the sites of our trip to Brazil click here.-Bob Corritore