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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bob Corritore Blues News

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 Rhythm Room All-Stars appeared Friday and Saturday March 4 and 5 at the Rhythm Room
-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 Hasselt, Belgium 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 KreherE.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 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
-On July 28 through Aug 2. I brought Tail Dragger, Henry Gray, Kirk FletcherThe Rhythm Room All-Stars. to Phoenix for a weekend at the Rhythm Room and to have 2 days in the recording studio. Really a magical combination of musicians! We played and recorded some heartfelt, ferocious blues!
- Dave Riley / Bob Corritore Juke Joint Blues Band played Friday, August 12th at the Rhythm Room and then traveled to Tucson for a great gig on Saturday, August 13th at the Boondocks! Also on the 13th dave and Bob did an interview / live broadcast on Marty Kool's blues show on KXCI!
- 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 ChortkoffBig 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.
- I was reunited with Tommy Dukes on August 27 at his appearance at the Rhythm Room. I used to work in his band in the 1980s. Tommy called me up for a few numbers each set to play the Jimmy Reed songs he loves so much.
- The Rhythm Room All-Stars with special guest Dave Riley appeared Friday and Saturday, September 8 and 9.
-On Sept 15th Dave Riley and Bob Corritore did a concert and seminar with famed blues author Bill Ferris at the Kerr Cultural Center. This was done through ASU's Humanities Department.
-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!
- The Rhythm Room All-Stars with specail guest Dave Riley rocked the house at the Rhythm Room on Friday and Saturday October 14 and 15.
- 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.
- The Dave Riley / Bob Corritore Blues Band did a killer show on November 18 at the Rhythm Room!
The Dave Riley Bob Corritore Blues Band appeared on November 9th at the great Desert Ridge Blues Festival in Arizona..
- On November 25th (the day after Thanksgiving) I did a wonderful gig with the Rocket 88s. Johnny Rapp and I were the special guests that night and it just fell together magically.
- On Dec 2nd I appeared with George Bowman and his band featuring Lucius Parr at the Rhythm Room. I also played a song with Charlie Rae that night.
- The next night, December 3 was another fun night with the Rocket 88s at the Rhythm Room.
- 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.  

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