2011 Recap. 2011 was a year filled with touring, recording, musical growth and career building. It was the year highlighted by my CD, Bob Corritore & Friends / Harmonica Blues on the Delta Groove label, winning a Blues Music Award! It was a year when I received both BMA and Living Blues Award nominations for best harmonica player. It was the year my nightclub turned 20 years old, my radio show (Those Lowdown Blues on www.kjzz.org) turned 27, and I turned age 55. It was also a year of grieving and funerals, as so many of the most celebrated blues elders, some of whom were my close friends and musical associates, were laid to rest. I played many great festivals, concerts, club dates, and far too many memorial shows. I played great harmonica on releases by Louisina Red, Diunna Greenleaf, and Little Victor. The recording efforts of last year will also turn into numerous releases for this year. I feel both overwhelmed and grateful as I look back at this time in my life. It was a year where I felt very fulfilled and reinforced, stood on some important stages with great players, made sensational recordings, and I played my heart out regularly. Thank you for allowing me these great things
CDs and DVDs Released. I was associated with 6 releases this year, either as a harmonica player, or producer, or both and for one release I was the writer of the liner notes. Here is a listing of this year's crop of releases.1) Louisiana Red with Little Victor's Juke Joint / Memphis Mojo (Ruf Records) I play harmonica on about half the tracks. Powerful downhome blues by this legendary master! !2) Diunna Greenleaf / Trying To Hold On (Blue Mercy). I produced 6 of the 13 tracks on the CD and play harmonica on 4 of them. A simply brilliant songwriter-oriented blues CD.3) Little Victor / Boogie All Night (El Toro). I had the privilege of playing on one track of this wild CD!4) 2010 BMAs DVD (Blues Foundation) -This DVD presents highlights of the 2010 Blues Music Awards. I appear on one song performing with Louisiana Red & Little Victor.5) 17th Annual Lucerne Blues Festival CD (Lucerne Blues Festival). A souvenir CD for the festival. I played on and produced one track on this CD.6) Lazy Lester / You Better Listen (BluesTown Records). I did not perform on or produce this one, but I did write the liner notes for this very cool CD.
Recording Sessions and DVD Filming, This year I spent a huge amount of time in the studio working on many projects. I produced part of, and oversaw last year's long awaited CD by Diunna Greenleaf, Trying To Hold On. Mud Morganfield flew me into Chicago to produce and play on his first national release, Son Of The Seventh Son, out March 20th on Severn Records. Mud's CD has an all-star band consisting Billy Flynn, Rick Kreher, Barrelhouse Chuck, E.G. McDaniel, Kenny Smith, Harmonica Hinds and myself. Dave Riley and I recorded our 3rd CD tentatively called Hush Your Fuss due out later this year. We spent allot of time writing new material for this one and did a number of sessions to accomplish this one. I produced a great CD called Tail Dragger & Bob Corritore / Long Time Friends In The Blues which will be out early this year on Delta Groove! That CD will feature the great backing of Henry Gray, Kirk Fletcher, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey. Clarke Rigsby and I also did live recording sessions at the Rhythm Room with Tail Dragger and the Rhythm Room All-Stars with Kirk Fletcher, and The Dave Riley / Bob Corritore Juke Joint Blues Band (These will be combined with other Rhythm Room live recordings for a 20 year anniversary CD). I also did sessions with Valerie June, and Magic Slim & The Teardrops, and I contributed harmonica parts to recordings with Louisiana Red, Lucius Parr, and rock legend Dave Mason. Clarke and I mixed Amanda Taylor's track picks for a forthcoming CD documenting the 2010 harmonica extravaganza, Amanda's Roller Coaster with Billy Boy Arnold, James Cotton, Lazy Lester, Kim Wilson, Paul Oscher. James Harman, Al Blake, Dave Riley & Bob Corrritore, and many more! My 2 song set at the 2011 BMAs in Memphis was filmed with a band that included Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, Eddie Shaw, David Maxwell, Jimi Bott, Chris James & Patrick Rynn. A commemorative DVD will come out early this year. I also played harmonica for a live performance filming of Sam Lay and The Bob Riedy Blues Band at Dell Rhea's Chicken Basket in Willowbrook, IL on June 11. This will eventually be a part of documentary produced by the Chicago Blues Foundation. Am I forgetting anything?
Awards, Nominations, and Recognition. Bob and his musical collaborators were associated with numerous awards and achievements this year:- Bob Corritore & Friends / Harmonica Blues won a 2011 BMA (Blues Music Award) in the "Historical Album" category. Bob's first BMA win!- Bob Corritore was nominated for a 2011 BMA for "Instrumentalist - Harmonica" and the other nominees were Charlie Musselwhite, James Cotton, Kim Wilson, and Paul Oscher (some pretty amazing company to be associated with). Congratulations to Charlie who won the award!- Bob Corritore was nominated for a 2011 Living Blues Magazine Award for "Most Outstanding Musician - Harmonica" and the other nominees in that category were James Cotton, Billy Boy Arnold, Charlie Musselwhite, and Sugar Blue (again, some pretty amazing company to be associated with). Congratulations to James Cotton who won the award.-Bob Corritore won the Big City Blues Magazine's 2011 Happy to Have the Blues Awards in the very light-hearted category of "Best Hair 'Do' - Male.'-Bob Corritore received a Certificate of Special Recognition form the Office of the Governor of the State of Arizona. Click here http://www.bobcorritore.com/images/BC%202011%20101.jpg.- Diunna Greenleaf / Trying To Hold On was nominated for a 2012 BMA in the Traditional Blues Album category. Diunna was also up for a Koko Taylor Traditional Blues Arist (Female) category.- Diunna Greenleaf / Trying To Hold On and Louisiana Red / Memphis Mojo were tied for 1st place in the October Powerblues Chart with Little Victor / Boogie All Night was in second place! Bob played harmonica on all three of these!- The Rhythm Room received a 2011 New Times "Best Of Phoenix Award" in both the Critics and Readers Choice categories for "Best Blues Club"- Chico Chism, Bob Corritore's longtime musical partner, was inducted into the Arizona Musicians and Entertainers Hall of Fame in a ceremony on February 13, 2011 at the historic Orpheum Theater in Phoenix. Chico spent the last 20 years of his life as a member of the Phoenix music community and contributed greatly to its blues scene. Bob presented the award to Chico's daughter Audrey.
Festivals, gigs and great on-stage moments! 2011 was blur of one great show after another. It seems like I was playing almost every week. I was flying all over the place and playing at some of the most prestigious festivals in the country and around the world with some of favorite artists. I worked with a wide array of people; The Rhythm Room All-Stars (Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, Brian Fahey), Dave Riley / Bob Corritore Juke Joint Blues Band (Dave Riley, Bob Corritore, Dave "Yahni" Riley, Jr., Brian Fahey) or the Dave Riley / Bob Corritore Duet, The Delta Groove Harp Blast (an amazing revue!), Mud Morganfield Blues Band, Tail Dragger, Henry Gray, Louisiana Red, Jessi Colter, The Mannish Boys, Bob Margolin, Diunna Greenleaf, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, Kenny Smith, Hubert Sumlin, Billy Flynn, The Bob Riedy Blues Band with Sam Lay, Eddie Shaw, Morry Sochat, Valerie June, Cleome Bova, Tommy Dukes, George Bowman, and others. Here is a rundown of my shows this year in chronological order:
The year was off to a running start with a Tail Dragger live recording session at the Rhythm Room! the band included Kirk Fletcher, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, Brian Fahey and myself. Clarke Rigsby of Tempest Recording recorded 2 solid nights of heavy Chicago blues on January 7th and 8th.
-The following weekend went from back in the alley to uptown as country legend Jessi Colter had me accompany her in her January 7 performance at a ChildsHelp VIP fundraiser dinner at the Paradise Valley Country Club in the audience were Jane Seymour, John O'Hurley, former president Dan Quayle and senator Jon Kyl. A complete 360 from the weekend before.
-Janiva Magness invited me onstage to join her on a Robin Rogers song during her January 14th show at the Rhythm Room.
- TheDave Riley / Bob Corritore Juke Joint Blues Band appeared many times at the Rhythm Room with Jan 21st being the first of the year.
- The mighty Mud Morganfield (eldest son of Muddy Waters) played a 2 night run at the Rhythm Room backed by the Rhythm Room All-Stars on January 28 and 29.
-A trip to Memphis to IBCs would not be complete without attending Bob Margolin's famous jam at the Rum Boogie. This happened on Feb 4 and was the first of many times that Bob Margolin would play together during the year.
-I played a couple Chico Chism songs with Hans Olson at the Arizona Musicians and Entertainers Hall of Fame event at the historic Orpheum Theater in Phoenix. I also presented the award to Chico's daughter Audry Donson who flew in from Chicago for the event.
-Dave Riley and I opened the Blues Blast Festival after-party with a duo set at the Rhythm Room before Johnny Rawls kicked off the jam. I would get up later in the night and play with Johnny and members of Trampled Under Foot.
-On Feb 23 Dave Riley and Bob Corritore did a seminar and acoustic performance for the Arizona Audio Video Club. we won allot of fans that night.
-Another great gig with the Dave Riley / Bob Corritore Juke Joint Blues Band on Feb 26.
-The Dave Riley / Bob Corritore Band did a 2 night live recording on March 18 and 19th with the 18th being Dave Riley's birthday!
-On April 1th Dave Riley and I did a guest set with the Rocket 88s who I had the pleasure of working with quite a bit throughout the year.
-It was up north to Cottonwood, Arizona the next day (April 2) to headline the Old Town Blues Festival with a great array of Arizona talent.
- Dave Riley and I were in Tacoma, Washington on April 9th to headline the Gray Sky Blues Festival. Gary Grape, the festival promoter had us play with the marvelous rhythm section of Scott Simmons and Andrew Cloutier. Dave and I sat in with Maia Santell and the V-Knights (all brother child prodigy blues band). we also did a few numbers at the after party hosted by Randy Oxford.
-On Tuesday April 12, Dave and I performed a short set for the Japan Earthquake Relief Benefit at the Rhythm Room (Thanks for organizing this Gypsy). I also played a fun set that night with Paris James.
-Rhythm Room All-Stars played at the Rhythm Room on April 29 and 30 with special guest George Bowman.
- May 5 Bob played at the Blues Music Awards with a dream band of Jimi Bott, Eddie Shaw, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, David Maxwell, and Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, who came up on the second song to do a Pinetop Perkins tribute of "Big Fat Mama" which he sang and did a harp duet with Bob. This set was right after Bob Corritore & Friends / Harmonica Blues won a BMA for "Historical Album".
-2 days and very little sleep later the Dave Riley / Bob Corritore Juke Joint Blues Band took the stage on May 7 at the amazing Moulin Ospel Blues Festival in the Netherlands. That was the start of a tour which found us at Goor Blues in Gooreind, Belgium on May 8, The legendary Banana Peel in Ruiselede, Belgium on May 9, De Kroeg in Geldrop, Holland,on May 10, Muziekodroom Club in on May 12, the Amsterdam Harmonica Meetup Group on May 13 (thanks George Reijnders), and Hunky Dory in Leiden, Holland on May 14th. A great week of playing!
-May 21 found Dave Riley and I back at the Rhythm Room doing a short set at the annual Chico Chism Memorial Birthday Show.
-I appeared at The Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival on Saturday, May 28th as a guest of the Mannish Boys backing Finis Tasby on a couple Lowell Fulson songs.
-The following week I was reunited with my dear friend Louisiana Red for 2 nights of joy at the Rhythm Room on June 3 and 4. the Rhythm Room All-Stars were the backing with Chris James playing amazing accompaniment in Red's totally down home numbers.
- The following week was off to the Chicago Blues Festival with a string of numerous shows. I played during the Pinetop Perkins tribute set at the Kick-off Party at Buddy Guy's Legends on June 9th (this was the last time I saw Willie "Big Eyes" Smith perform and he was just amazing!) . The next day I played with Sam Lay and the Bob Riedy Blues Band at the Windy City Blues Society Stage, and later that afternoon I had an impromptu acoustic duet with Rocky Lawrence at the Best Buy tent. That night I was at Smoke Daddy with Billy Flynn where I played some songs behind Milwaukee Slim as well as doing a kicking harmonica solo and a accompanying Billy on a Jimmy Rogers song. On Saturday, June 11, I played in Willowbrook at Dell Rhea's Chicken Basket with Sam Lay and the Bob Riedy Blues Band, this show was filmed for a future documentary. On Sunday June 12 I played the Front Porch stage of the Chicago Blues Festival with the Mud Morganfield Band with Barrelhouse Chuck, Billy Flynn, Rick Kreher, E.G. McDaniel, Kenny "Beedy Eyes" Smith. Harmonica Hinds did the first half of the show and I played the second with Hinds coming back up for a 2 harp blowout on the last song! To see a nice clip from this show click http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6UeeNFIM8E&feature=player_embedded. Later that night I appeared at Smoke Daddy as part of Morry Sochat & The Special 20s "Half Chicken Special Show" with both Billy Flynn and I as featured special guests. Rick Estrin, Joe Filisko, Dave Waldman, Willie Buck, Scott Dirks, Mojo Mark, Andrew Diehl, Deak Harp and others all played for great festival wrap up!
-Valerie June came to visit and we had 3 great musical days together. She came in on the 28th and we spent that day working up songs and playing records, the next day we opened for Jimmie Vaughan at the Rhythm Room, and on June 30 we did a duet recording session at Tempest Recording. What a wonderful talent she is!
-Dave Riley and I did a tour of Brazil with promoter Adrian Flores in July. Dave and I just love this country for it's warm, musical people and the great food. We played July 9 and 10 at the Pocos de Caldas Jazz & Blues Festival, July 15 at Patio Havana in Buzios, July 16 in Natal at the Bosa Y Jazz Fest and July 17 at Pipa Beach (where I also sat in on a number with Jefferson Goncalves and Taryn Szpilman). Thanks to Adrian Flores and Luciano Boca.
- After hearing about the Edmonton's Labatt Blues Festival for years I was finally able to experience it's magic. On Saturday, August 20th The Dave Riley / Bob Corritore Juke Joint Blues Band band provided a great set of our unique brand of down home blues for the fest. The next day, August 21, I sat in on a couple of songs from her new album Trying To Hold On which, was the first time I played those songs since we recorded them. I then played on the debut performance of the Delta Groove Harp Blast! Quite a maiden voyage as this show was pure harmonica fireworks! The great band incuded Jimi Bott, Willie J Campbell, Kirk Fletcher, Frank "Paris Slim" Goldwasser, and Rob Rio! I opened the set, followed by Randy Chortkoff, Big Pete, Mitch Kashmar, and a harmonica finale with all 4 of us plus R.J. Mischo. What an honor to be associated with this noble project and pretigious label. This was a very satisfying festival and I felt like each of my 3 appearances at the show brought a different aspect of my playing to the stage.
- The Rhythm Room All-Stars with special guest Dave Riley appeared Friday and Saturday, September 8 and 9.
-The Rhythm Room 20th Anniversay Celebration happened Friday, Saturday, and Sunday September 16, 17, 18. We celebrated the 2 decade mark with a spectacular star studded weekend of musical presentation! Many bands and artists played over this 3 day blues and soul marathon, but my contributions to the proceedings were as follws: On Friday I sat in with Tommy Castro on a Jimmy Reed song, Saturday was billed as "Bob Corritore & Friends" and included Mud Morganfield, Bob Margolin, Diunna Greenleaf, Dave Riley, Billy Flynn, Barrelhouse Chuck, Mookie Brill and Brian Fahey. This show happened just days after Willie "Big Eyes" Smith passed. Each of us had close releationships with Willie and this night became an unofficail memorial tribute to our friend. Friday was a full day of 11 Phoenix bands, Dave Riley and I did a set and I also contibuted to George Bowman's set with Lucius Parr, and to Tommy Dukes set. These three days were a powerful musical statement from Phoenix's blues and roots concert club!
- I celebrated my 55th birthday on September 24 (My actual birthday is sept 27th). I brought in Magic Slim & The Teardrops for the proceedings. I have known Magic Slim since I was 18 years old so it was very symbolic that he was the band to perform at this fife milestone. Dave Riley and I opened up with a duo set and we called up Jessi Colter and Jerry Lawson for a song each during our set. Slim was just great and he had me join him for the 2nd set. Slim reminded me of the afternoon at Florence's on Chicago's South Side in the late 1970s when I tried my first (and last) pig ear sandwich. The next day we did a 4 song recording session at Tempest and that night I flew into Chicago to attend Willie "Big Eyes" Smith's funeral.
- This year's King Biscuit Festival in Helena, Arkansas was a very powerful musical experience. Then again, it always is. Being in the heart of the Deep South really connects you to the roots of this music. During the week (from October 4th to 9th, I performed 3 memorials for Pinetop and Willie with Bob Margolin, Bob Stroger, Kenny Smith, Little Frank, Clay Swafford, and Jimmy Mayes. On one of these tributes I also played a very powerful set with Hubert Sumlin. All of these memorials were very moving and spiritual. It was great to see Kenny Smith up front singing and I see that as a future direction for this talented young man. I also played 2 great shows with Dave Riley (one at the Delta Cultural Center Annex and one at Hopson's Plantation in nearby Clarksdale, Mississippi) The DCC show featured Yahni on bass and the great Wes Starr on drums. I also played a wild set with Ernest "Guitar" Roy at the festival. I also played a great set with Helena legend C.W. Gatlin and played with Cleome Bova, Big Red, Levee Town (with Cheryl Arena and Deak Harp), Sterling Billingsley, and members of Reba Russell's band. Always an amazing time at the Biscuit!
- I went to Chicago for the Blues Blast Music Awards on Oct 27 and set up shows before and afterwards. The night before the awards I was part of the VizzTone Label Showcase with host Bob Margolin at SPACE in Evanston. I played a few that night backing Bob, and the Italian blues singer Gloria Turrini. I also played a song that night with David Katzman and had a nice green room jam with Dave Specter. Then the glorious Blues Blast Music Awards, Dave Riley and I did a powerful 2 song set. I was also asked to perform a memorial tribute set for Robin Rogers with Tony Rogers and Sharrie Williams (that was very powerful!) and I played with Teeny Tucker on her part of the show. the Blues Blast Music Awards has really become a must attend event over the years. The following night (October 28) I played a nice show with the Bob Riedy Blues Band at Dell Rhea's Chicken Basket.
-On November 1st I left for Switzerland to participate in the Lucerne Blues Festival. I arranged for a great band that included Tail Dragger, Henry Gray, Kirk Fletcher, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, Brian Fahey and myself. I also was part of the Delta Groove Harp Blast with Mitch Kashmar, Randy Chortkoff, Big Pete, Jimi Bott, Willie J. Campbell, Kirk Fletcher, and Alex Schultz. I did numerous shows throughout the week with both bands. Performances began on November 4th where the Tail Dragger / Henry Gray package played for a "Blues Night" concert at La Poste in the Swiss town of Visp. then numerous shows throughout the week with both bands. On one of these shows Tail Dragger, Chris James and myself performed for the mayor and a group of city officials. Tail Dragger crawled on his belly while singing for the Mayor! The festival had me do a speech for the festival sponsors at a special dinner. I also sat for a song or two on the sets by Joe Louis Walker and Terrance Simien. This festival is so amazing and it was one of the great highlights of the year! I returned home on November 15th with a smile on my face.
- On Thursday, December 8 I was featured along with about 20 other Phoenix based harmonica players for our annual Blues Harmonica Showcase, hosted by the Rocket 88s.
-Just when I thought we were winding down the year, the legendary Hubert Sumlin died. I flew into Chicago for Dec 12 and stayed at Tail Dragger's house. On Tuesday Dec 13 Tail Dragger and I went to the burial and later that night Bob Margolin and I hosted a most amazing tribute show in Hubert's honor at Fitzgerald's in the Chicago suburb of Berwyn, IL. It was really a community event and I did my best to direct the stage and get everyone up. That night I did the opening set with Bob Margolin, Little Frank, Bob Stroger and Jimmy Mayes. I would later back up my close associates Sam Lay, Tail Dragger & Mud Morganfield (with Sam Lay on drums!) Other performers that night were Eddie Shaw, Billy Branch, Zora Young, Gary Martin (Hubert's nephew), Lil' Ed, Kenny "Beedy Eyes" Smith, Mary Lane, Eddie C. Campbell, Ronnie and Wayne Baker Brooks, Scott Dirks, Jonn Del Toro Richardson, Harry Garner, Matt Hill, Richard Rosenblatt, Deak Harp, Dave Herrero, Mark Wydra, Harlan Terson, Rodney Brown, Billy Flynn, Tom Holland, Marty Binder, Michael Coleman, Kenneth Kinsey, Melvin Smith, Jerry Porter, Twist Turner, Big Head Todd, Michael Frank and many others. An incredibly powerful night remembering one of the greatest of Chicago blues musicians.
-On Dec 17th I made my last appearance of the year when Rod Piazza invited me to join him onstage for 2 numbers with his great band. It was wild playing through the Rod amp with that fantastic band.
As I reflect on all of these great shows it is hard for me to believe that I fit all this into one year. I feel very blessed to have all these great shows with great musicians.
Articles, Interviews, and other press. There were 2 Bob Corritore Cover stories in 2011; One for Blues Blast Magazine by Chefjimi Patricola, and the other for Blues & Rhythm Magazine (UK) by Mike Stephenson. My posthumous reflections on Pinetop Perkins and Hubert Sumlin appeared in Blueswax, I did interviews with Blue Moose (Holland), Sonny Payne for the legendary King Biscuit Time broadcast on KFFA (Helena, Arkansas), David Beardsly for the National Blues Museum (St. Louis), Vinni "Bond" Marini for American Blues News, Jim and Diane Bolten of WCTG (Virginia). Bob and Dave Riley did interviews with Marty Kool of KXCI (Tucson) and Adrian Flores for Radio Raw Blues (Brazil). Bob and Tail Dragger did an interview with Dietmar Hoscher for Concerto Magazine (Austria).and Bob was a small part of a Tail Dragger interview by Marino Grande and Matteo Bossi for IL Blues Magazine (Italy). Also a number of my close associates all had Blues Blast Magazine cover stories in which I was mentioned (Thanks to Kenny Smith, Dave Riley, Diunna Greenleaf and Mud Morganfield). The Edmonton Journal (Canada) ran a beautiful article by Roger Levesque on the Delta Groove Harp Blast. Delta Groove Productions (the greatest record label an artist could be signed to!) has sent out many press releases and posted many items with my name and photo. The Chicago Blues Festival currently features a photo of Mud Morganfield and I on their website as a representation of the festival (Click here http://www.explorechicago.org/city/en/supporting_narrative/events___special_events/special_events/mose/chicago_blues_festival.html to see). Kadmus Arts featured a photo from that same performance in their 2011 Festival Year in Review slide show (click http://kadmusarts.com/blog/?p=2332 to see). Thanks to Daniel Liguori and a team of ASU students for making a film documentary on me called The Journey of A Phoenix Bluesman. Many publications also featured reviews and articles on projects and recordings that I have been involved in, and it would be impossible to list each of these. Thanks to all the interviewers, reviewers, and publications for the honor of this attention and support.
Website and Social Media Sites. In 2011 we sent out exactly 46 Bob Corritore Blues Newsletters to a subscription base that is now over 15,000. We keep all the past newsletters on file and you can access them by clicking here (you can access prior years by scrolling to the menu links at the bottom of the page). We added 7 new photo pages to www.bobcorritore.com to an already extensive photo section filled with both current images and classic blues photos from the archives. For an entertaining view of the blues please check out the photo section by clicking here. Thanks to webmaster George Thomas Vaught for his great work and dedication. You can also access these social media:Bob Corritore Fan Page on Facebook www.facebook.com/BobCorritoreBob Corritore on Twitter www.twitter.com/BobCorritoreBob Corritore on Myspace www.myspace.com/bobcorritoreSpecial thanks to social media coordinator Amy Brat.
Rhythm Room Concert Club: My nightclub celebrated it's 20th anniversary in September of 2011. We.presented a wide array of blues shows both national and Phoenix based blues acts. This year's blues and blues-oriented shows included Louisiana Red, Tail Dragger, Mud Morganfield, Bob Margolin, Diunna Greenleaf, Henry Gray, Billy Flynn, Barrelhouse Chuck, Mookie Brill, Jimmie Vaughan, Janiva Magness, Guitar Shorty, James Harman, Johnny Rawls, T-Model Ford with Gravel Road and Bill Abel, Valerie June, Dave Riley / Bob Corritore Juke Joint Blues Band, Rhythm Room All-Stars, Rocket 88s, Johnny Rapp, George Bowman, Charlie Rae, Savoy Brown, Rosie Ledet & The Zydeco Playboys, Cold Shott & The Hurricane Horns, Sugar Thieves, Rory Block, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Reba Russell Band, Rod Piazza & The Mighty Flyers, Bad News Blues Band with Long John Hunter, Zac Harmon, Grady Champion, Guy Davis, John Nemeth, Hans Olson, George Thomas & The Flamekeepers, Billy T Band (from Norway), Tommy Dukes, Big Nick & The Gila Monsters, Lucius Parr, Paladins, Coco Montoya, Duke Robillard, Karen Lovely, Delrayz, Soul Power Band, Common Ground Blues Band, Big Daddy D & The Dynamites. Blues Harmonica Showcase (hosted by the Rocket 88s), Hoodoo Kings Reunion, Soul Singers Showcase, Leon Blue, Blues For Paz (hosted by the Blues Dinosaurs), Walter Trout, Chief Schabuttie Gilliame, Kirk "Eli" Fletcher, Peter Karp & Sue Foley, Harper, Repeat Offenders, Scott H. Biram, Damon Fowler, Leon Russell, Eric Gales, Hacksaw Blues Band featuring Ronnie Whitehead, Crosscut Saw, Blue Sky Band Featuring Tina Bailey, Gypsy & The Smokin' Section, Krimson Chord, Paris James, Chris Bell Band, Jimmy Thackery, Francine Reed with the Andy Gonzales All-Stars, Blues Review Band, Arizona Blues Showdown (Contest for IBC), Boogie Woogie Piano Blowout (with Lisa Otey, Carl "Sonny" Leyland, Lluis Coloma, Marilyn Harris), Indigenous, Blues Dawg, Cedric Burnside, Joey DeFrancesco, Donna Herula, Doug MacLeod, Bo-Keys, Sammy Eubanks, Magic Slim & The Teardrops. It was a great year of presenting blues for the Rhythm Room!
Passings. This seems like it was a particularly rough year for the blues as we have said goodbye to many of our most celebrated heroes in the blues. Here is a list of some of those from the blues family who left us in 2011: Bobby Robinson, Ray Galloway, Robert Tilling, Fred Saunders, Blues Sister Jeannie Webster, Clay Hammond, Carl Hodges, Gary Moore, Marvin Sease, Helen Gathers, Tom Leavey, Big Bill Collins, Johnny Nitro, Eddie Kirkland, Big Jack Johnson, Herman "Roscoe" Ernest III, Bobby Phillips, Melvin Sparks, Pinetop Perkins, Sir Lattimore Brown, Lacy Gibson, Jack Myers, Huey P. Meaux, Gil Scott-Heron, L.V. Banks, Cornell Dupree, Benny Spellman, Nick Ashford, Jerry Leiber, Jerry Ragovoy, Jo Jo Williams, Gil Bernal, Terry Lee Taylor, Lil Greenwood, Spurling Banks, James Mason, Honeyboy Edwards, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, Jessy Dixon, Roy Pinn, George "Mojo" Buford, John-Alex Mason, Bob Brunning, Earl Gilliam, Coco Robicheaux, Lee Shot Williams, Doyle Bramhall, J Blackfoot, Howard Tate, Paul Thomas, Dobie Gray, Hubert Sumlin, Martha Chesser (wife of Phoenix blues promoter Bill Chesser), and DJ Gary Miller (of BluesSource).
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 2010: Special thanks to Randy Chortkoff, Jeff Fleenor, Josh Temkin, Frank Roszak, Steve Dixon and everyone at Delta Groove Productions for a really beleiving my artistic efforts and for helping me along this path, George Thomas Vaught, the webmaster and newsletter facilitator, Amy Brat, my Social Media coordinator, Mona Watkins, the General Manager and the Rhythm Room and all the staff, who run the club while I am off doing blues projects, Everyone at KJZZ (particularly Jennifer Waters, my blues assistant), Kyle Deibler and Phoenix Blues Society, who work hard to move the Phoenix blues scene forward, Hohner Harmonicas, Tony Tingle, who has done great volunteer work for the Southwest Musical Arts Foundation and who sells CDs at my gigs, Also thanks to volunteers Linda Marlowe, Shannon Sousa, Melissa Montgomery, Ami Johnson and Daniel Liguori. Martin Elmers, owner of the Rack Shack Barbecue at the Rhythm Room, The Blues Foundation, Michael Frank of Earwig Music, Mark Carpentieri of MC Records, Dale Baich and Beth Lipham of Blue Witch Records, Bob Margolin, Richard Rosenblatt and Chip Eagle of VizzTone, David Earl at Severn Records, Betsie Brown of Blind Raccoon, Mark Pucci of Mark Pucci Media, Joe Filisko, Lynn Orman of Orman Music and Media Group, Scott Dirks, Clarke Rigsby of Tempest Recorders, John Wrobble of Porcupine Productions, Tony Amato at AI Design, Dave Shirk of Sonorous Mastering, , Collectif des Radios Blues, Music Choice, Bluesville on Sirius XM, John "Johnny D" Dixon, Kim Wilson, Amanda Taylor, Franky Bruneel of Back To The Roots Magazine, Art Tipaldi, Brett Bonner of Living Blues Magazine, Little Victor, Eileen Bailey, Barbara Lee, Adrian Flores, Luciano Boca, Cam Hayden and Carol Dean, Vicente "Harmonica" Zumel and his wife Roser, Gary Grape, the amazing Patricia Morgan, the Lucerne Blues Festival, The Moulin Ospel Blues Festival, The Amsterdam Harmonica Meetup Group, 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 2012. I am very excited to continue down this wonderful musical path. Dave Riley will be arriving in Phoenix this week for his annual winter stay. We are wrapping up work on our 3rd CD, due out later this year. On March 20th Mud Morganfield's CD Son Of The Seventh Son will be released March 20th on Severn Records. Tail Dragger & Bob Corritore / Longtime Friends In The Blues will be released in early 2012 on Delta Groove! I will be going to California in about a week to lay down tracks with Mud Morganfield on the forthcoming star-studded Mannish Boys double CD. My harmonica is featured on a few tracks of Lucius Parr's new CD due out in February of this year. Amanda Taylor will likely release the Amanda's Roller Coaster CD which is mixed and ready to go. I will be compiling a Rhythm Room 20 Year Anniversary CD from the many live recordings done at the club over the years! I am playing at the Stompin' At The Savoy Festival in Helsinki, Finland with Tail Dragger and I will play the Simi Valley Cajun and Blues Music Festival with the Delta Groove Harp Blast. I am playing upcoming shows at the Rhythm Room with John Primer, The Rhythm Room All-Stars, Barrelhouse Chuck, Dave Riley & Bob Corritore, The Rocket 88, and Lucius Parr. Also I am scheming with Mud Morganfield, Sam Lay & Bob Riedy, Diunna Greenleaf, and Bob Margolin about some upcoming gigs. Delta Groove Records has plans to really get behind me this year. My radio show Those Lowdown Blues on www.kjzz.org will turn 28 this year and is going strong! Who knows where this blues highway will lead in the year ahead, but I stand ready to embrace all of life's blessings as they present them-self. Here's to a great 2012!