Blues News


Great shame - VERY under-rated bluesman.
BRIAN SMITH and Freddie Snack

November 2, 2009

A One Month European Tour for Dave Riley, Bob Corritore & Tomcat Courtney! During the month of November Bob Corritore will be doing a series of concerts and festivals in Switzerland and France with Dave Riley and Tomcat Courtney! Most of these shows will be done as a duo or trio but on November 14th the Rhythm Room All-Stars will gather for a full band presentation for Tomcat Courtney's set at the Lucerne Blues Festival. Here is the schedule:

Nov 6th through Nov 15th - Lucerne Blues Festival, Lucerne, Switzerland. Note that Dave Riley and Bob Corritore perform a number of private festival events throughout the week and then open the festival on Thursday, Nov 12th. Then on Saturday November 14th, Tomcat Courtney will appear with the Rhythm Room All-Stars (Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn and Brian Fahey). Also appearing will be Dorothy Moore, Lurrie Bell with Eddie Shaw, Mud Morganfield, Mark Hummel & The Blues Survivors with Rusty Zinn, Bryan Lee & The Blues Power Band, Eugene "Hideaway" Bridges, B.B. and The Blues Shacks, J.W. Jones, Marcia Ball, C.J. Chenier & The Red Hot Louisiana Band, Elias Bernet & Friends.

Then it is off to France where Dave, Bob, and Tomcat will perform as a trio for a two week series of shows:
Nov 18th - Poissy Prison, near Paris, France .
Nov 19th - School appearance near Mantes, France
Nov 20th - School appearance near Mantes, France
Nov 20th - Blues sur Seine Festival, France. Also appearing are James Hunter, Lucky Peterson, Zac Harmon, Bob Walsh, Black Diamond Heavies, C.J. Chenier & The Red Hot Louisiana Band, Peaches Staten, and many others
Nov 21st - Nuit du Blues, Montfort sur Meu, France
Nov 22nd - Blues Station, Tournon d’Agenais France
Nov 23rd - Meeting in Tournon d’Agenais France with press and students
Nov 24th - Rat Pack Club, Clermont Ferrand, France
Nov 26th - La Mamiselle in Saubrigues, France
Nov 28th - Beautiful Swamp Blues Festival in Calais, France. Also performing are Eddie C. Campbell, Zac Harmon, Diunna Greenleaf, Finis Tasby & Alex Schultz, Blues Conspiracy, Carl Weathersby & Nora Jean Bruso, and Malted Milk.

Special thanks to The Lucerne Blues Festival, Blue Witch Records, and Denis Leblonde of Tempo Spectacle for making this tour possible. We are looking forward to being reunited with our many European friends!

Blues Blast Music Award Winners! Chris James & Patrick Rynn win Best Artist Debut! Simply a spectacular time in Chicago on Thursday at the 2nd Annual Blues Blast Music Awards, held at Buddy Guy's Legends! This show brought in performers from all around the country and blues fans from all around the globe. With a huge lineup of performing artists and presenters, the show went perfectly on schedule with each artist given a 10 minute slot. It created a fast pace program that never felt bogged down. Each of the 25 or so performance segments were well played and warmly received. What attendees got was an amazing sampling of many of today's most active blues performers. There was a great vibe throughout the night with fans, media, labels, artists, and blues folks in general coming together to reflect on the activities and successes of the current blues world. The 2009 Blues Blast Music Award Winners are: 
Best Contemporary Blues Recording: The Insomniacs / At Least I'm Not With You

Best Traditional Blues Recording: Various Artists / Chicago Blues: A Living History
Best Blues Song: Albert Castiglia / "Bad Year Blues"
Best Blues Band: Nick Moss & The Flip Tops
Best Male Artist: Elvin Bishop
Best Female Artist: Robin Rogers
Best New Artist Debut Recording: Chris James & Patrick Rynn / Stop And Think About It
Sean Costello Rising Star Award: Kilborn Alley Blues Band
Lifetime Acheivement Award: Koko Taylor
Thanks to Bob Kieser and everyone at Illinois Blues and Blues Blast Magazine for this spectacular recognition of acheivement in the industry and for throwing a "must attend" blues party with warmth and hospitality. To enjoy the Illinois Blues website click here. To see the latest issue of Blues Blast Magazine, which has an article reflecting on this great event click here.

RIP Norton Buffalo 9/28/51 - 10/31/09. Harmonica virtuoso Norton Buffalo passed away on Oct 31st, 2009 after a battle with cancer. Best known outside of blues circles for his work with rock luminaries such as Steve Miller and Bonnie Raitt, Buffalo also worked within the blues field with Elvin Bishop and Roy Rogers. He was a spectacular player who created a very unique style which often did not follow the traditional blues harmonica sound. This might be exemplified by Buffalo's wild solo on Bonnie Raitt's hit remake of Del Shannon's "Runaway". For a complete Norton Buffalo obit by Ben "The Harpman" Cox in Juke Joint Soul click here.

Southwest Musical Arts Foundation to release a complilation of Phoenix Blues from the 1950s and 60s! Though Phoenix is not often celebrated as a town with a rich blues history, there was and is currently a substantial black community and great music scene happening. Southwest Musical Arts Foundation will release a testiment to that fact with a limited edition, collectors issue titled Flyin' High, A Collection Of  Phoenix Blues, Rhythm, and Spirit from the 1950's and 60's. The CD's 27 tracks include Big Pete Pearson's first recordings, Reverend Louis Overstreet, J.C. Arline, The Lone Wolf, Duke Draper, Maxine Johnson, John "Oklahoma Zeke" Lewis, Dumas King, Roosevelt Nettles, Budd Spudd & The Sprouts, Jimmy Knight, Baby Jean, the Curtis Gray Combo, and more. Look for this release in early 2010. To see the cover art for Flyin' High, click here, and to read the extensive liner notes by John Dixon, click here.

Harmonica "Down Home Shakedown" on YouTube! Please enjoy this wonderful musical gathering with Big Mama Thornton, Big Walter Horton, J.B. Lenoir, Dr. Ross, and John Lee Hooker, all taking turns at harmonica on a rockin' show closer that Big Mama declares "The Down Home Shakedown". It is great to see all those rich musical personalities on stage together and it is unique to hear J.B. Lenoir and John Lee Hooker performing as harmonica players. This was filmed in 1965 in Germany as part of the American Folk Blues Festival. To see this clip click here. - Bob Corritore

October 27, 2009

Off to Chicago for the Blues Blast Music Awards! Bob heads back to his hometown to participate in the 2nd annual Blues Blast Music Awards, hosted by Illinois Blues. The BBMAs happen on Thursday, October 29, 7pm at Buddy Guy's Legends, 754 S. Wabash Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605. Bob will be playing harmonica with Chris James & Patrick Rynn who's successful CD Stop And Think About It on the Earwig Record Label has earned two nominations: "Best New Artist Debut" for the CD Stop And Think About It on the Earwig Music label and "Best Blues Song" for the song "Mr. Coffee". The great lineup for the show includes Kenny Neal, Nick Moss & The Flip Tops, Lurrie Bell, Billy Branch, Shirley Johnson, Albert Castiglia, John Primer, Billy Boy Arnold, Matthew Skollar, Carlos Johnson, Eden Brent, Cedric Burnside & Lightnin Malcom, Chris James & Patrick Rynn, Bob Corritore, Kilborn Alley Blues Band, Robin Rogers, The Insomniacs, Dave Herrero, Guy King, and Dave Gross. For more information on this event click here . Thanks to Illinois Blues for bringing people together to reflect on this year's blues releases and achievements through this awards ceremony. For more information of the Blues Blast Music Awards, and to sign up for the Blues Blast newsletter, click here.

Earwig 30 year anniversary show documentary to be televised! This information is copied verbatum from Betsie Brown's press release:

Blues Legends David "Honeyboy" Edwards, Johnny Drummer, Big Jack Johnson, John Primer, and Aron Burton will come to national television on MHz Worldview this holiday season. On November 27, 2009 the 2-hour broadcast premier entitled "Earwig Music Presents Six Generations of the Blues From Mississippi to Chicago” takes an in depth look at contemporary Chicago Blues and traces it's roots to rural Mississippi. Interviews with the artists follow the 30-year history of the Chicago based Earwig Records and offers a unique perspective on the Chicago Blues scene. The two-hour special is produced by the award winning roots music television production group and features live performance footage from the 2nd annual Blues on the North Shore concert. The show hosted by Sirius XM Radio's Bill Wax presents the best of the Earwig artists in this beautifully edited footage from the Delta to Chicago. celebrates the amazing journey of the Earwig Label with rare incendiary performances of Chicago Blues masters and passionate storytelling by Johnny Drummer, Aron Burton, and David "Honeyboy" Edwards. For blues fans this is a "must see" show that will be distributed by MHz Worldview to public broadcast affiliates nationally.

Grammy Award winning producer, Scott Shuman, Blues On the North Shore founder/presenter, Lynn Orman and Earwig Music President Michael Frank are the creators of this 2 hour broadcast premier. The television show captured a historic gathering of blues legends - Big Jack Johnson, John Primer, Honeyboy Edwards, & Willie "Big Eyes" Smith. It also features the new generation of Earwig Music artists, Chris James, Patrick Rynn and Rob Stone, with guest appearances by Bob Corritore, Allen Batts, Kenny 'Beedy Eyes' Smith, Tom Crivellone, Rodney Brown and more.

The broadcast premier is part of an ongoing production of blues music programming and content created by the online TV network, which is just now emerging on the national scene. The small but dedicated production group presents performances by blues mavericks such as Zac Harmon, Michael Burks, Bugs Henderson and The Bel Airs, as well as the legendary Chicago artists such as Johnny Drummer and Honeyboy Edwards. The website,, offers free views and downloads of hundreds of incredible performances shot in Sony HD and provides a virtual stage for artists that fans can visit. To see previews of the 2-hour concert event and to find air dates for the B.B. King's Bluesville radio interview & concert preview with Sirius XM Radio's Bill Wax and television listings for the November 27 broadcast click here .

The broadcast will air in its entirety on November 27, 2009 at 9 p.m. EST with an encore performance at 11 p.m. EST and in February 2010 in celebration of Black History Month. For airtime in your city please visit MHz Worldview by clicking here .

Sunnyland Slim on YouTube! Please enjoy this stellar performance by a true blues piano master. Sunnyland Slim was a crucial figure in the development of Chicago Blues and even introduced Muddy Waters to the Chess Brothers! Sunnyland is shown alone at the piano, and his deeply rooted style is really highlighted on the song "You Put That Thing On Me". To see this clip click here

Recap of Arkansas Blues & Heritage Trip. There is nothing quite like the Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival (AKA the King Biscuit Blues Festival) in Helena, Arkansas. This is Sonny Boy Williamson II country and the great blues legacy of this region is always well represented by the fest. Southern hospitality is the order of the day and the blues audiences at the festival are there for the real deal blues. This year festival entertainment coordinator Jerry Pillow retired and turned over the booking to Sterling Billingsley, a fine musician who understands the fine points of the festival's great tradition. Over it's three day program, the festival presents a wonderful sampling of earthy, real deal blues which attracts musicians and fans from near and far.
Dave Riley and I arrived in Helena on Tuesday, a couple days in front of the festival to promote and tighten up details for our Saturday CD Release party at the Delta Cultural Center annex and Dave's Friday memorial tribute set to his former musical partner Sam Carr. This was the first out of state blues event I have attended since my recent break up with my beautiful, long time companion Kim Danielson (she is preparing for her doctorate in education and is moving in the direction of that career). So the first days of my festival experience were filled with questions from mutual friends about her very noticable absence. She was missed by many people, especially myself. But the job at hand was to enjoy the rich experience of this festival, both as a performer and a fan. After checking in at Bubba's Blues Corner and The Delta Cultural Center on Wednesday, I met up with Dave Riley at an informal pre-fest jam held at Bunky's where we played a few together with Carla Robinson, Big Red, Mose Taylor, Loren Seeley, his daughter Jennifer, Diamond Jack Holzworth, and others.
Thursday's activities began with Dave and I appearing on Sonny Payne's legendary King Biscuit Time radio show at KFFA. Sonny is a true radio icon who has been on the air for some 60 years, including the pioneering broadcasts with Sonny Boy Williamson II. After Sonny's traditional opening greeting "Pass the biscuits please, it's King Biscuit Time" followed by the customary Tommy Dorsey Boogie Woogie, he played some Robert Lockwood, Jr., had a guest appearance by acoustic blues artist Donna Herula, and then ended the show with an interview and live performance with Dave, myself and Tom Coulson. From there it was to the festival to enjoy sets by Charlotte Taylor, Johnny Billington (great down home set!), and J.P. Soars (2009 IBC winners). I ran into many friends as the blues family gathered. I had my second interview of the day with blues Cheryll "Bluebird" Koehne of KBCO 97.3FM out of Boulder Colorado. I left the festival early to head to Clarksdale to attend Broke and Hungry Records CD release party for Jimmy "Duck" Holmes / Ain't It Lonesome, at Red's. I am a big fan of this artist, and label owner Jeff Konkel had emailed me a personal invitation earlier in the week. Jimmy's set was spellbinding and the echo of his powerful performance was my company on the ride back to Helena that night.
On Friday I got to be just a fan and enjoy the Festival. It was a rainy and cold day, and some of the acts on the smaller stage were apparently shut down due to the weather conditions. I arrived during a great set on the main stage by Harmonica Shaw from Detroit. His band that day featured Little Boogie Boy from the Netherlands on guitar. I had never seen Shaw perform before and it was raw and powerful in the best of ways. We were introduced after his set by Electro-Fi label chief Andrew Galloway, and Shaw and I became immediate friends. Shaw, Arthur Williams and I enjoyed clowning around with our harmonicas and taking photos together while Kevin Naquin performed a solid set of Zydeco. Dave Riley came on after that for his highly anticipated memorial set honoring the late Sam Carr, who died just a couple weeks before. Each year at the festival, Dave was the featured frontman in Sam's band, The Delta Jukes, so this set was symbolic for both artist and audience alike. Dave was joined by Big Jack Johnson for a truly touching memorial featuring two of Sam Carr's closest musical collaborators. The next set was by jazz saxophonist Red Holloway, a Helena native, who performed a strong swinging, jazz/blues repertoire. During part of Red's set I was interviewed on film by Lon Michaelson of Twin City Blues . I ran into my dear friend RJ Mischo and his wife Heidi who now live in Arkansas. RJ had appeared the night before as a guest of the Cate Brothers. RJ and I spent quite a bit of time hanging out at the fest and we went over to the smaller stage to check out St. Louis harmonica wizard, Arthur Williams. In Arthur's band was the spectacular, 18 year old blues guitar great, Marquise Knox, who I had befriended 2 years prior at the Paul Butterfield Conference in Clarksdale. I caught most of their great set before heading back to the main stage to see Willie "Big Eyes" Smith and Hubert Sumlin perform a stellar program of classic Chicago blues. Willie and Hubert's band included Bob Stroger, Little Frank Kakowski, and Jimmy Mayes. The Chicago blues continued in fine form with Billy Boy Arnold's perfect set featuring Billy Flynn on guitar. Though sets by Michael Burks and Bobby Rush were to follow I had dealt with enough rain and cold and decided to save myself for the next day's activities.
Saturday's main focus was the CD release party at the Delta Cultural Center Annex celebrating Dave Riley and my new release Lucky To Be Living, on the Blue Witch Record label. Our band included Dave, myself, Dave "Yahni" Riley, Jr. on bass and Tom Coulson on drums. It was great to showcase our musical chemistry and perform songs from the new CD to a full house of enthusiastic blues fans. Special thanks to Delta Cultural Center chief Terry Buckalew for setting this show up and for lending me his great Fender Vibrolux amp. After the CD release party was wrapped up, I went to the smaller stage to play a set with my friend Mississippi Spoonman with special guest Big Jack Johnson. Spoonman had called me that morning to invite me and I was honored to accept. After Spoonman's rowdy party blues set, I headed back to main stage and briefly got to say hello to John Hammond while catching Anson Funderburgh's dynamic show that featured the great vocals and harmonica of Lee McBee (what a great combination!). That set was followed by Pinetop Perkins & Bob Margolin with Bob Stroger on bass and Willie "Big Eyes" Smith on drums. Bob invited 3 harmonica players; Billy Boy Arnold, Billy Flynn and myself to join the band at various parts of the show. Of the two songs I played with Bob, one was a touching tribute to Sam Carr, which I was proud to participate in. Pinetop was in unbeleivable form that day and rocked extra hard. At 96 years old he is a modern miracle! During parts of this show I was in the backstage trailer hanging with Billy Boy Arnold who was being quizzed by the young Clay Swafford about the meaning of words used in some of the classic blues recordings of the 1950s and before. Billy Boy graciously and articulately answered his young student's questions. I enjoyed West Coast harmonica ace, Mitch Kashmar's show before calling it a day. I missed the fest closer of Jackie Payne and Steve Edmondson who I understand put on a dynamic set of their trademark soul and uptown blues.
Sunday it was off to Clarksdale for the annual Pinetop Perkins homecoming at Hopson's Plantation which is always on the Sunday after the Biscuit. I arrived in Clarksdale early and decided to stop by Cathead and Blues Source. The main street, Delta Avenue, was filled blues fans with a big congregation in front of Cathead, which had live music performing in front of the store. I stopped in to say hi to Roger Stolle and "Tator", and to browse at the great selection of CDs, blues magazines and folk art offered by the store. I then stopped in to say hello to Gary Miller at Blues Source, another great blues record store just down the street with its own spectacular presentation. Then off to Hopson where Dave and I were the first scheduled performance at the Pinetop Perkins' Homecoming. It was wonderful to play in front of so many blues musicians and dignitaries. While Dave and I performed our version of the Frank Frost song "Ride With Your Daddy Tonight", Arthur Williams who played harmonica on the original recording came up to the stage to signal his approval. Our publicist, Betsie Brown was on hand to cheer us on. It was an honor to kick off this event, which then featured great sets by Willie "Big Eyes" Smith and his band, Bob Margolin with Peter Dammann and Clay Swafford, Guitar Mikey (who we mistakenly listed as Little Mikey in a prior newsletter), Super Chikan, Michael Burks, Little Boogie Boy, Blue Mother Tupelo, King Edward, Jimmy Mayes, Jacob Hiser of the Hiser Brothers,and many others. Guitar Mikey did a notable job coordinating the many guest artists that apperaed that day. By having an early performance, Dave Riley and I were able to really enjoy all the other musicians and blues people at the event. I was interviewed by Shelia Hardwell of the Associated Press who were doing a piece on Pinetop and the event. The Blues Foundation set up a tent just outside of the commisary and were recruiting membership. Bob Margolin and I had the rare opportunity to sit on the front porch and hang out for a good half hour. Special Thanks to Patricia Morgan who lovingly puts the event together. In addition to being Pinetop and Willie "Big Eyes" Smith's manager, Patricia is also the newly elected president of the Blues Foundation. Many people were headed to Red's later that night for more live blues but as things were winding down at Hopson, I made the trip back to Helena to prepare for the next day's travel back to Phoenix.
Some of the many people that I saw during this trip were Jay Sieleman, Priscilla Hernandez, and Joe & Sara Whitmer of the Blues Foundation, Charles and Lori Ragsdale, Robert Jr. Whitall and Shirley Mae Owens of Big City Blues Magazine, the Carr family, Tom Foley, Kimbeaux Welsh, Billy T, Jimmy Prichard , Patrick Recob , Adam Gussow, David Berntson (Crossroads Learning Experience), Jimmy Markham and his wife, Barry Nowlin, Leigh Portwood (Mississippi Blues Trail Markers), Dorothy Hill (thanks Dorothy for the nice atrticle and slideshow in Blues Source), Bob Kieser (Illinois Blues), Cricket (Baton Rouge Blues Society), Greg Cook (Delta Cultural Center), Amy Brat, Lois Clark, Keith Robb, Dirk Wissbaum (Blues Source), Jocelyn Richez, Andre Cochepin-Mingarro, Dusty Scott of Dusty Blues, Bruce Iglauer of Alligator Records, Dave Beardsley of STL Blues, Blues Sister Jeanie, Rayne Gordon, Deanna & Charles Montgomery, Charlie Johnson (Omaha Blues Society), Billy "T", Don Buroker, Jim Jones, Jean-Pierre Urbain (ABS Magazine), Michel Hofkens and Paul Vissers of, Terry Allen, Henry J. Provost, Kim Mason, Charlie Johnson, 19th Street Red, Jim Mills, Deak Harp (who reports that he is now with Kilborn Alley Blues Band), Carl Foster, John Fewkes, Monte Adkison, Sandy Salings (Mark Salings's widow), Mad Dog Dave (president of the Windy City Blues Society), Jurgen & Liz Lottmann, Pat Kelso (KUAF 91.3 FM), Dainne Bruce Dunklau (photographer), Brian Sivils, Maile Alday (Los Angeles Blues Society), Manu Frangeul, Jay Sheffield, Heidi Knochenhauer, Dave Wright (WEFT 90.1 FM), Ellen Pfieffer Agnew, George Roberts, Tammie King , Belinda Foster, Shuffle Shoes & Skyy Dobro (WKCC 91.1 FM), Gene Tomko , Nanny Kajuiter and Onno Wink (Blueswereld ), Robin Collins, Hurricane David, Monte Adkinson  of the Suncoast Blues Society, Dietmar Hoscher of Concerto Magazine in Austria, Tommy Potter, Janella Harbison from Bubba's Blues Corner, Teddy of Teddy's Juke Joint, Pam Linton of the Baton Rouge Blues Society, my friends at the Foxglove Bed and Breakfast (John Butkiewicz, Wes & Linda Moore, Henri Bellows, Robin Cash, Mark Davierizo, David Schnur, Paul Parker, Francie Flower, John & Lisa Groff), Fred Williamson, Lorey Maurer (VP of the Los Angeles Blues Society), Gary Stutts, Kim Welsh, David Hanks Dunavent, Junkyard Dog, Chris Frey, Otha Collins, James Helfrich, Rod Gilstrap, Pat Warford (President of Blues Society Of The Ozarks), Joe Middleton, Liz Sander, Pamela McMillan (Guitar Mikey's lovely lady), Guy Malvezzi, Bear Longman, George & Kathie Lorah, CJ Jenkins, Sue Roper, Sam Hobart, Mary Rogers, John Darkhorse of KSMU 91.1 FM, J Hughey Burchfield, Bobby Rush, and Mike & Gwynn Hatfield, Dennis Brooks, Diedra, and Michelle Moore. Please forgive me for the many names I could not remember to include. In summary, this was a wonderful visit to an area so important to the blues, where fans gathered to celebrate their love and respect of this music and its traditions.

The Arkansas Blues & Heritage Festival has a keen understanding of this sacred ritual and facilitates the proceedings with grace and dignity. In addition to honoring Sam Carr this year, many also reminisced other fallen blues heros which were part of the festival tradition; Robert Lockwood, Jr., Frank Frost, John Weston, Sam Myers, and Willie King. The additional satelite activities happening around Helena and in nearby Clarksdale were also a big part of this rich experience. A heartfelt thank you to the Arkansas Blues & Heritage Festival for upholding and reinforcing the glory of the blues tradition, and for offering this gathing place for those of like mind.

October 21, 2009

RIP Dennis Brooks 3/28/50 - 10/20/09 Dennis Brooks is best known as the founder and former president of Memphis' Beale Street Blues Society. He passed away on Tuesday, October 20th of a sudden heart attack. He was 59. Dennis was known by all as a tireless friend and supporter of the blues. He saw that blues artists would always have an airport pickup or a place to stay. Born and raised in Memphis, Dennis embraced his hometown music. He helped along and booked many artists including Blind Mississippi Morris, Richard Johnston, Super Chikan, Slick Ballinger and Jessie Mae Hemphill. He did extensive volunteer work for the Blues Foundation, Memphis in May and Blues Ball, produced the first Jug Band festival in Memphis, and he was a contributor to this newsletter. Dennis was also very involved in Memphis' Jewish community.  Just minutes before his heart attack he was enjoying a deep discussion on the blues with his friend Heidi Knochenhauer. Rest in peace Dennis, you served the blues well.  Thanks to Charley Burch, Bruce Iglauer and Joe Whitmer for providing this information.

Rhythm Room All-Stars Appear Friday and Saturday at their Home Base: Come see The Rhythm Room All-Stars this weekend at the Rhythm Room! The Rhythm Room All-Stars lineup consists of Big Pete Pearson, Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey. They appear this Friday and Saturday, October 23rd and 24th, 2009 at their home base of the Rhythm Room. The Rhythm Room is located at 1019 E. Indian School Rd. in Phoenix. Doors open at 8pm, cover charge is $7. These nights will be patio smoking only events; no indoor smoking will be permitted. Rack Shack Barbeque will be available at these events.

Rootstime interview with Bob Corritore online! Bob Corritore was interviewed by Rootstime in May at the Spring Blues Festival in Belgium. To see this interview including photos click here then go to interviews. Thanks to Freddy Celis and everyone at Rootstime for this honor!

Dave Riley & Bob Corritore #1 on Collectif Des Radios Blues! Thanks to all the blues radio hosts in Europe and Canada who helped to make Dave Riley & Bob Corritore #1 on the CRB charts! Click here and scroll down the page to see the the Blues Radio Airplay section. Note also that Dave & Bob's CD Lucky To Be Living on the Blue Witch Record label is #2 on the Power Blues charts (also listed on same page).

2009 inductions into the Arizona Blues Hall Of Fame! Congratulations to Long John Hunter, Tom Walbank, Scotty Spenner, and Big Nick & The Gila Monsters for their recent induction into the Arizona Blues Hall Of Fame. To see the ABHOF Website and the full list of ABHOF inductees click here .

Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival Recap coming soon! A complete recap of the amazing Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival, and Pinetop's Homecoming at Hopson's Plantation will be included in next week's newsletter.

Bukka White on You Tube! Since Bukka White was recently honored with 2 new Mississippi blues trail markers, it seems appropriate to share some nice film clips of this true blues master. Bukka's trail markers were unveiled on October 14th in Aberdeen and Houston, Mississippi. Please enjoy Bukka performing "Mama Dont Allow" (click here), and "Poor Boy A long Away From Home" (click here ).

October 19, 2009

RIP Johnny Jones 8/17/36-10/16/09 Nashville blues and soul singer/guitarist Johnny Jones passed away on Friday Oct 16th. He was 73. Born in Edes, Tennessee and raised in a gospel oriented family, Jones became influenced by the blues of Memphis and Chicago and picked up guitar along the way. He moved to Chicago in the 1950s and worked gigs with Junior Wells and Freddie King. He moved to Nashville in the 60s and worked as a session guitarist and cut a few singles under his own name. He appeared on the Beat TV show as a second guitarist in Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown's Band. In later years Jones owned and operated a Soul Food restaurant but was rediscoved through the efforts of Fred James and European festival bookers. This led to festival appearances, a new European interest in this seasoned veteran, and some CDs. A wonderful guitarist with a warm and passionate voice, Johnny Jones will be remembered as a great blues artist to those lucky enough to have known him. Please note that this artist should not be confused with the blues artist of same name, who was famous for his piano work with Elmore James. For the complete story click here

October 13, 2009

RIP Freddie Robinson 2/24/39 - 10/8/09
Guitarist/vocalist Freddie Robinson, who would later become known as Abu Talib, passed away at a hospital in Lancaster, California on Thursday, Oct 8th at age 70 after a battle with cancer. A spectacular guitarist with leanings in both blues and jazz, he was highly respected among his peers. Born in Memphis on February 24th, 1939, and raised in various towns in Arkansas, Robinson would move to Chicago in 1956. His first recorded work was later that year backing Birmingham Jr. (AKA Birmingham Jones) on the Ebony single "Birmingham 's Late Hours" b/w "Your Too Bad". He then did some great session work for the Chess label, backing Little Walter, Jimmy Rogers, and Howlin' Wolf on a number of classic sides. He first recorded as a leader during the 1960s for the Queen, Raries, Limelight and One-derful record labels. During the late 1960's he settled in California where he joined Ray Charles band for a period before re-emerging as a band leader. He went on to cut many spectacular albums, most notably At The Drive-In with the song "Bluesology" which is a spoken story with musical examples of the memorable times at Theresa's basement blues bar in Chicago's south side. Robinson’s discography includes records with Harold Burrage, Bobby Bland, Louis Myers, Big Leon Brooks, Lee Shot Williams, Stanley Turrentine, Blue Mitchell, Jimmy McCracklin, Monk Higgins, John Mayall, Shakey Jake, Gary Sloan, and Mitch Kashmar. In 1975 he embraced the Islam religion and a few years later changed his name to Abu Talib, though he sometimes used his established moniker when recording. Freddie Robinson was simply a cool guy; always perfectly dressed in the most soulful of clothes, always articulate in his speech, and always brilliant in his playing. To see a detailed Freddie Robinson discography (with some omissions) click here. Thanks for all the great music Freddie. We will remember you always.

October 6, 2009

Off to the Biscuit. Dave Riley / Bob Corritore CD Release Party Saturday at the Delta Cultural Center. The Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival, formerly known as the King Biscuit Festival, presents a three day run of great blues music from Thursday October 8, to Saturday Oct 10, in beautiful Helena, Arkansas. Helena is a town rich in blues history, and is most famous for the influential Sonny Boy Williamson II live blues broadcasts on the King Biscuit Time radio show on KFFA  which was heard throughout the south. This year the festival will feel the absence of the recently deceased Sam Carr who's legend was celebrated each year with a regular performance. Dave Riley, who played regularly with Carr will honor his late friend with a memorial set at 2:35 on Friday on the main stage. Other acts appearing in this years lineup are Hubert Sumlin, Willie Big "Eyes" Smith, Pinetop Perkins, Bob Margolin, Bobby Rush, Billy Boy Arnold, Lil' Dave Thompson, John Primer, The Cate Brothers, Harmonica Shah, Red Holloway, Michael Burks, Jackie Payne & Steve Edmondson, Mitch Kasmar, Arthur Williams, Eddie Cusic, Robert Belfour, Lonnie Shields, Super Chikan, Bill "Howlin' Madd" Perry, Big Jack Johnson, Anson Funderburgh & The Rockets, John Hammond, Reba Russell. Hamilton Loomis and much, much more. To see the complete schedule and to see the fest's wonderful website click here. In addition to the proper festival acts, Cherry Street will be filled with vendors and street musicians, Bubba's Blues Corner (one of the coolest blues record stores in the universe) will be open extra hours and the Delta Cultural Center will host (open to the public) broadcasts by legendary blues DJ Sonny Payne on KFFA As a satellite event of the festival, the Delta Cultural Center will also present a Dave Riley & Bob Corritore CD Release party for their new CD Lucky To Be Living on the Blue Witch record label. The Party starts at 3:00PM on Saturday, October 10th at the Delta Cultural Center Annex, 223 Cherry Street, Helena, AR, 72342 (a few storefronts down from the Delta Cultural Center). Please join  Dave Riley & Bob Corritore along with Dave Riley Jr. on bass and Tom Coulson on drums for a performance of straight down home blues. Thanks to Terry Buckalew and Carla Robinson for setting up the CD release party!

Pinetop's Homecoming. Each year on the Sunday after the blues fest, the unofficial afterparty is the Pinetop Perkins. homecoming bash at Hopson's Plantation in Clarksdale, Mississippi. So on Sunday, October 11th, beginning at 2pm, the party will start. The sheer number of musicians that perform at this event each year is simply beyond belief. The musicians listed to appear so far are Bob Margolin, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, Bob Stroger, Little MikeyDave Riley & Bob Corritore, Frank Krakowski, Kenny Smith, Clay Swafford, Hubert Sumlin, Halldor Bragason (from Iceland), and Blue Mother Tupelo. Special thanks to Patricia Morgan, the newly elected president of the Blues Foundation, and is the manager of Pinetop Perkins and Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, who promotes this event each year. Pat is a simply amazing woman, who, in addition to the demands of looking out for Pinetop, makes sure that this event is flawlessly organized; kudos to Pat.

Big Pete Pearson / Finger In Your Eye in preliminary list for Grammy nomination! The Grammy process starts by a label submitting possible entries to the academy, a committee reviewing those submissions, a preliminary "long list" which is voted on my NARAS members, and then the final 5 or 6 that make to the ballot from which the winner is decided by a second more formal vote. An actual Grammy "nominee" would properly be that final 5 or 6 in the short list. It is however an honor to make it to the point of the long list and Big Pete Pearson / Finger In Your Eye has made it to that list in the category of "Best Traditional Blues Album". The "Trad Blues" long list this year has a total of 34 titles being considered, and along with Big Pete's are CDs by our friends, Henry Gray, Duke Robillard, David Gross, Rick Estrin, Julien Brunetaud, Byther Smith, Nick Moss, Big Bill Morganfield, Johnnie Bassett, Koerner & Glover, Big Bill Morganfield, Saffire the Uppity Blues Woman, Chicago Blues / A Living History, John Hammond, Terry Hanck, Zakiya Hooker, Luther Kent, and more! It is an honor to have made it this far and in such good company. On a sad note, it appears that blues no longer has a category of it's own on the Grammy ballot. Now blues and other types of music are lumped together in a category called "American Roots" which contains Traditional Blues Album and Contemporary Blues Album, along with other subcategories of Folk, Bluegrass, Americana, Hawaiian, Zydeco and Native American Music.

Dave Riley & Bob Corritore #5 on September Living Blues Chart plus new reviews! A big thank you to all the blues DJ’s who have given spins to Dave Riley & Bob Corritore / Lucky To Be Living on the Blue Witch record label. Jim McGrath reports that L2BL was # 5 on the Living Blues radio chart for the month of September! Also please check out all the new wonderful reviews we have posted (click here to see). L2BL is also "album of the month" on The Blues Connection out of The Netherlands, and #10 on the Roots Music Report blues chart of 9/25/09! A heartfelt thanks for all the support! Much appreciation to Betsie Brown of Blind Raccoon for orchestrating a great campaign for this release.

Arizona Blues Showdown Winner Announced! Congratulations to Arizona Showdown winner, The Sugar Thieves, formerly known as the Mikel Lander / Merredith Moore Band. The Sugar Thieves will represent Phoenix at the 2010 International Blues Challenge put on by the Blues Foundation in Memphis on January 20, 21 and 22. This will be a return IBC appearance for the band as they competed last year also. Thanks to Kyle Diebler and the Phoenix Blues Society for another well run Arizona Blues Showdown.

Blues Blast Music Awards Lineup. The Blues Blast Music Awards, put on by Illinois Blues and Blues Blast Magazine, happens on Thursday, October 29, 7pm at Buddy Guy's Legends The lineup for the show includes Kenny Neal, Nick Moss & The Flip Tops, Lurrie Bell, Billy Branch, Shirley Johnson, Albert Castiglia, John Primer, Billy Boy Arnold, Matthew Skollar, Carlos Johnson, Eden Brent, Cedric Burnside & Lightnin Malcom, Chris James & Patrick Rynn, Bob Corritore, Kilborn Alley Blues Band, Robin Rogers, The Insomniacs, Dave Herrero, Guy King, and Dave Gross. For more information on this event click here . Thanks to Illinois Blues for bringing people together to reflect on this year's blues releases and achievements through this awards ceremony. For more information of the Blues Blast Music Awards, and to sign up for the Blues Blast newsletter, click here.

More Info On The Devils Music TV Series. More light on the filming of the televised BBC blues series called The Devils Music has come in from Alan Balfour from the UK. This fills in some information on the story told in the newsletter of Sept 24th (Click here to see). Alan reports: "They were filming/recording in various parts of Mississippi, Memphis, Chicago, New York and St Louis from January 20th through to February 3rd, 1976. There were 5 half hour programs all shown at the ungodly hour of 11.15pm on November 14th, 21st, 28th, and December 5th and 12th, 1976," Thanks Alan.

RIP Alex "Easy Baby" Randle 8/3/1934 - 9/25/2009 : This sad news from Chicago area bassist and record producer Karl Meyer about the passing of Chicago blues harmonica great Easy Baby: Alex Randle, known to the world as "Easy Baby", passed away Friday, September 25, 2009 after suffering from pneumonia. He was 75 years old. Alex "Easy Baby" Randle was born 1934 in Memphis, Tennessee. For the first seven years of his life, he lived in Michigan City, Mississippi, with his grandmother and uncle, before moving back to Memphis to attend school. His grandmother and uncle were harmonica players; so, it was natural for Easy Baby to pick up the harmonica. In the early 1950's, when Easy Baby was still a teenager, he began playing professionally around Memphis while working a variety of odd jobs, including installing floors and shining shoes. While playing in the juke joints and gambling houses in Memphis, he befriended Howlin' Wolf, James Cotton, and Joe Hill Louis, among others. In 1956, Easy Baby moved to Chicago. Throughout the 1950's, 1960's, and 1970's Easy Baby sang and played all over Chicago, while working as a mechanic. He worked a long stint at the Rat Trap Inn in Chicago during the 1970s and made appearances at the Chicago Blues Festival in 1998, 2000, and 2003. Easy Baby released 2 records under his own name: Sweet Home Chicago Blues on the Barrelhouse label and If It Aint One Thing It's Another on the Wolf record label. Additionally he had cuts on 3 harmonica anthologies: Bring Me Another Half-A-Pint on Barrelhouse, Low Blows on Rooster, and Blues Harmonica Orgy on Random Chance. Unreleased sides exist recorded for Steve Wisner during the 1970s which will someday see the light of day. Easy Baby had a beautiful high register voice and a sparse harmonica style (specializing in Chromatic and third position). He was a kind and gentle man and was one of a dwindling number of the old school Chicago blues harmonica masters. Click here to see Karl Meyer's tribute page to Easy Baby.

RIP Terry Scott. 10/3/1948-10/1/2009- Terry Scott is best known as the Vice President of the Phoenix Blues Society where he served the blues community with great dedication. Terry will be remembered as well for his work with Child Protective Services. He passed away Thursday, October 1st, after a long battle with cancer. He was 60. He will be greatly missed by all that knew him.

John Lee Hooker on You Tube. Please enjoy this 1960's film clip of John Lee Hooker performing a solo version of his classic "Boom Boom". Hearing this song without a band makes you realize the forcefulness of John Lee Hooker's guitar. To see the clip click here -

Bob Corritore  -Blues News-

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