August 25, 2011
- Edmonton's LaBatt Blues Festival reflections. Thanks to festival producers Cam Hayden and Carrol Deen for an amazing experience last weekend at Edmonton's Labatt Blues Festival, in the Canadian province of Alberta. What makes this festival so special is the loving, knowledgeable lineup that Cam and Carrol book each year, combined with a great venue, stage, and sound system, an impeccable volunteer staff, and a warm and appreciative blues-loving audience. I had the privilege of playing 2 slots on 2 separate days at the festival: Saturday with the Dave Riley / Bob Corritore Juke Joint Blues Band bringing a rural Mississippi flavor to the proceedings, and on Sunday with the Delta Blues Harp Blast which boasted a top shelf lineup of Randy Chortkoff, Mitch Kashmar, Bob Corritore, and Big Pete plus Kirk Fletcher, Paris Slim, Rob Rio, Willie Campbell, and Jimi Bott. I was very proud of my contributions to the festival which also included being called up for a couple numbers on the set with Diunna Greenleaf & Blue Mercy to perform songs from Diunna's new CD, Trying To Hold On. Other acts that performed at this 3 day blues extravaganza were David Gogo Reba Russell Band, Kim Wilson's All-Star Blues Band with Kim, Billy Flynn, Kid Ramos, Randy Bermudes, and Richard Innes, Duffy Bishop Band, Chubby Carrier & The Bayou Swamp Band, John Nemeth Soul Revue, Nick Moss & The Flip Tops with special guest Guitar Shorty, David Vest, Sean Carney, and RJ Mischo with Mike Morgan & The Crawl, It was also great to see blues the many blues VIPs in attendance: Bill and Shelia Wax, Holger Petersen, Peter Dammann, and Squrl Curley. Thanks to Cam and Carrol and all the kind people of Edmonton for a really wonderful time and an amazing blues presentation.
- Arcola Records releases Son House 1968 Seattle Concert and interview! The tiny Arcola Records label is known for releasing wonderful glimpses of great traditional blues and jazz artists, mostly recorded in the 1960s and 1970s. The latest offering presents a 2 CD Son House issue featuring Son's 1968 Seattle concert finding the artist in top form. Also included is an interview in which Son House describes his early life and musical influences. Interspersed with Son House's dialog are the vintage recordings of Son and the artists he speaks of in the interview, including Willie Brown, Charlie Patton, Rube Lacy and Robert Johnson. Thanks to Arcola for such a thoughtful presentation of this amazing blues artist. For more about this release click http://www.arcolarecords.com/sonhousecd.htm
- Blues & Rhythm Magazine's interview with Bob Corritore is now online! Thanks to interviewer Mike Stephenson and the UK based Blues & Rhythm Magazine for running a Bob Corritore cover story in their June 2011 issue. Included in the interview are stories of Big Leon Brooks, Little Willie Anderson, Chico Chism, Louisiana Red and many more of Bob's associates. To see the article and it's beautiful graphics click http://www.bobcorritore.com/images/BR260-Bob-Corritore.pdf. To see the cover click here.
- One week left for Blues Blast Music Award voting! The Blues Blast Music Awards are now in their 4th year and are now considered to be an industry institution with a wide international voting base, and a well attended annual awards ceremony. Voting for the 2011 Blues Blast Music Awards is currently in progress and will continue until August 31st. Voting is open to anyone who is a Blues Blast Magazine subscriber. Subscriptions are free, and you can sign up as part of the voting process. Bob Corritore & Friends / Harmonica Blues has been nominated for a Blues Blast Music Award in the category of "Traditional Blues CD." To see a complete list of all nominees, and to vote please click http://www.thebluesblast.com/, and then click the voting link. The awards ceremony, put on by Blues Blast Magazine, is always a big blues party filled with many blues celebrities. It will take place on Thursday, October 27th, at Buddy Guy's Legends, 700 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago, IL 60605
- Pinetop Perkins Foundation keeps Pinetop's legacy alive! The legendary Pinetop Perkins left us earlier this year after a long and musical life of 97 years. While alive he touched everyone who he came in contact with. His legacy continues with his namesake foundation. Formed in 2009, the Pinetop Perkins Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide encouragement and support for young people at the beginning of their musical career; and help provide care and safety for elderly musicians at the twilight of their career. Fulfilling the first part of their mission, the Foundation offers an annual Youth Workshop Series to bring world-renowned blues artists for instruction and mentoring to young musicians. To find out about the 2012 workshop series and to find out more about the foundation's many activities check out the website at http://www.pinetopperkinsfoundation.org/. To see a photo page devoted to the great Pinetop Perkins, click on http://www.bobcorritore.com/photos62.html. Note that the annual Pinetop Homecoming at Hopson's Plantation in Claksdale, Mississippi will take place on Sunday October 9th, the day after the King Biscuit Blues Festival. This will be the first time that the event will be held posthumously, but Pinetop will surely be there in spirit.
- New Blues Club opening in Chicago! Our friend Dave Katzman reports of his involvement in a new blues venue in Chicago! Dave writes "I'm partnering with Mike Hanely to open a blues club here on the near West Side. It's the Water Hole at 14th and Western. The opening night is August 27 and features a 7pm early show with Eddie Taylor Jr and Billy Flynn, followed at 9:30 with The Dave Herrero Band with special guests Jimmy Burns, John Primer, Peaches Staten, Mary Lane, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, and Tail Dragger. The club has been in operation for many years but we are upping the game and rebuilding a new hard core blues destination on Chicago's Blues map." The club's facebook page brags of blues 5 nights a week. Thanks Dave, for this great news!