John Primer & Bob Corritore
The Gypsy Woman Told Me
Vizztone Label Group
John Primer was born in Camden, Mississippi in 1945. He moved to Chicago and was a regular at Theresa’s Lounge. He also played in both Willie Dixon’s Chicago Blues All-Stars and The Muddy Waters Band. After Muddy’s death he joined Magic Slim and The Teardrops. Primer has a total of fourteen Blues Music Award nominations winning twice. He won his first BMA for his role in the Chicago Blues: A Living History The (R)evolution Continues. He is also the 2016 Traditional Blues Male Artist of the Year. This is his nineteenth album.
Bob Corritore was born in Chicago in 1956. He studied the harmonica and received playing tips from Big Walter Horton, Junior Wells, and Carey Bell. He moved to Phoenix and opened his own club called The Rhythm Room. The house band, The Rhythm Room All-Stars, backed musicians when they came to town. He has been nominated for six BMA’s and won 2011’s “Historical Album of the Year”. This is Corritore’s fifteenth recording although he appears on over seventy others.
Primer and Corritore first collaborated in 2013 when they released “Knockin Around These Blues”. The duo followed up in 2017 with “Ain’t Nothing You Can Do!”. This is their third recording together. The album is co-produced by Corritore, Clarke Rigsby and Kid Andersen.
This is old school Chicago blues. The players are Primer, guitar and vocals; Corritore, harmonica; Bob Welsh, piano; Kedar Roy, Mike Hightower or Troy Sandow, bass; and June Core or Brian Fahey, drums. Several guitarists and keyboardists also guest.
Primer and Corritore can be considered historians of the Chicago Blues genre. They open with “Keep A-Driving” written and recorded by Chuck Willis in 1958 on Atlantic Records. The title track, “The Gypsy Woman Told Me”, also known as “Gypsy Woman” is an early Muddy Waters tune probably recorded in 1941. On these the ensemble is Primer, Corritore, Welsh, Roy and Core.
“Knockin’ On Your Door” written by Sax Kari was recorded by Jimmy Reed in 1966 on the Exodus label. “Little Son” Jackson’s “Gambling Blues” dates back to 1949. Sandy Jones’ “Walking The Back Streets And Crying” was recorded by Little Milton in 1972; and was recorded by Albert King two years later. “(My) Imagination” was written and recorded by Sonny Boy Williamson II on Checker Records in 1956.
“I Got The Same Old Blues” from J.J. Cale was recorded in 1974; featured on organ is Andersen. Jimmy Reed’s “Let’s Get Together” was released in 1962. On these guitarist Jimi “Primetime” Smith joins the ensemble.
James A. Lane a.k.a. Jimmy Rogers recorded “Left Me With A Broken Heart” in 1953; Ben Levin sits in on piano. “Ain’t Gonna Be No Cutting Loose” was recorded by Junior Parker on Blue Rock Records in 1969. On these guitarist Billy Flynn joins the ensemble with the rhythm section of Hightower and Fahey. Guitarist Primer also includes two of his own songs: “Little Bitty Woman” and “Walked So Long”; the latter featuring Troy Sandow on bass.
These are traditionally styled versions consummately played. Corritore’s harp is wonderful as it dances throughout the recording. All of Primer and Corritore’s recordings are treasures but especially when they’re together. This is a must to own.