Bob Corritore’s “From The Vaults” Series
Chicagoan Bob Corritore studied blues harmonica and received playing tips from Carey Bell, Big Walter Horton, Junior Wells and others. When he was twenty-five he moved to Phoenix, Arizona eventually opening his own blues club named The Rhythm Room. With his house band, The Rhythm Room All-Stars, he backed musicians when they came to town. Corritore has been nominated for seven Blues Music Awards including three for Best Instrumentalist – Harmonica. He won a BMA in 2011 for the Historical Blues Album of The Year. Corritore has released fourteen previous albums under his own name although he appears on over seventy more. Corritore has just released three new albums of unavailable and/or unreleased gems from his vast tape archives.
Travelin’ The Dirt Road
Vizztone Label Group/SWMAF Records
Dave Riley was born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi in 1949. He lived with his grandparents and worked in the cotton fields until moving to Chicago to live with his parents. Riley once saw Howlin’ Wolf perform but his parents would only let him sing gospel. After serving in Vietnam he began working as a prison guard and spent time shaking his alcohol and drug addictions. In the 1970’s he played bass and sat in with Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, Buddy Guy and Howlin’ Wolf. In 1973 he gave up his musical career to raise his son Dave, Jr. Riley formed his own band in 1996 with Junior on bass. He had some earlier albums but began a collaboration with Corritore and together released “Travelin’ The Dirt Road” on Blue Witch Records in 2007. This re-issue contains the original ten tracks with the addition of two previously unreleased gems. Riley and Corritore collaborated two more times, their last release being 2013’s “Hush Your Fuss!” also on Vizztone. On “Travelin’ The Dirt Road”, Riley, guitar and vocals; along with Corritore, harmonica; are accompanied by Johnny Rapp, guitar; Matt Bishop, piano; Riley, Jr. or Paul Thomas, bass; and Tom Coulson, drums. Highlights include “I’m Not Your Junkman”, and the title track.
Phoenix Blues Sessions
Vizztone Label Group/SWMAF
Guitarist Kid Ramos has been a member of both The Fabulous Thunderbirds and The Mannish Boys. He has five solo albums the last being 2018’s “Old School” on Rip Cat Records. “This album represents the collaborative recordings of Kid Ramos and Corritore from the late 1990’s to early 2000’s. Originally rushed to release as a benefit album for Kid in 2012 during his cancer scare”. The original release has been remastered and reimagined and includes eight of the original ten tracks with the addition of four more previously unreleased. Ramos and Corritore are joined by Johnny Rapp, guitar and mandolin; Henry Gray or Tom Mahon, piano; Paul Thomas or Mario Moreno, bass; and Chico Chism, drums. Six different vocalists take turns including Nappy Brown, Big Pete Pearson, Chief Schabuttie Gilliame, Dr. Fish, Gray, and Chism. This is a collector’s delight
Pianist Henry Gray is a 2017 Blues Hall of Fame inductee who performed for seven decades; and played with Robert Lockwood Jr, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Billy Boy Arnold and The Rolling Stones. He has eight Blues Music Award nominations including a 2016 nomination for “The Henry Gray/Bob Corritore Sessions, Vol.#1: Blues Won’t Let Me Take My Rest”. Gray passed away on January 17th, 2020 at the age of 95.
The Gray/Corritore Sessions Vol.#2 were recorded by Tempest Recordings’ Clarke Rigsby between 1996 and 2016. Contributing are guitarists John Brim, Robert Lockwood Jr, Bob Margolin, Eddie Taylor Jr, Jimi Primetime Smith, Johnny Rapp, Illinois Slim, Johnny Burgin, Chris James, and Kirk Fletcher. Bassists include Patrick Rynn, Troy Sandow, Bob Stroger, Paul Thomas, Pops McFarlane and Mario Moreno. Drummers include Chico Chism, Brian Fahey, Marty Dodson and Steve Cushing. Additional vocalists Tail Dragger and Chief Schabuttle Gilliame also guest. The album is co-produced by Corritore and Rigsby. Gray sings on eight tracks including his own “Cold Chills”; Fats Domino’s “Don’t You Lie To Me”; Don Robey’s “Mother-In-Law Blues”, and Hank Ballard’s “The Twist”. These sessions are a tribute to the memory of Gray, a great pianist and vocalist.
Corritore is a traditionalist always helping to preserve the real deal blues. These three albums are highly recommended.