Between his weekly radio show on KJZZ
and his work as entertainment director of the Rhythm Room
, Bob Corritore
has long held the title of the Valley's greatest advocate for traditional blues and roots music. Born in Chicago in 1956, Corritore heard Muddy Waters' music at age 12 and was hooked on the blues for life. At 18 he started going to the city's blues clubs and sitting in. Knowledge and experience were eagerly gleaned from the veteran mainstays of the scene who recognized his sincerity and enthusiasm and offered mentoring and harp tutoring. He formed Blues Over Blues Records, recording gritty harmonica albums by Little Willie Anderson and Big Leon Brooks which were later reissued by Earwig. In 1981 he moved to Phoenix and found his livelihood as a harp player. Soon afterward he lured bluesman Louisiana Red to the vicinity and recorded an album by Red which was issued on Earwig some fifteen years later. Drummer and vocalist Chico Chism is another local presence who moved to Arizona at Corritore's behest. In between a blur of steady live work, Corritore has contributed to releases by Texas Red, Lucius and Lamar Parr and some anthologies, and become "the area's leading bluesicologist." With all his varied endeavors on behalf of the blues, he still views himself as a harp player first and foremost.
In Arizona, Corritore has taken many of the local and national artists with whom he has been associated into the studio, and All-Star Blues Sessions
presents highlights from 1986-98. Distinction, diversity and empathetic settings characterize every track. No crossover here; we're talking about The Real Thing, skillfully and lovingly recorded and compiled. Corritore shows that his playing is accomplished and flexible enough to sound at home with all the ensembles he has gathered together to record, so that both he and the featured artists are well showcased. Clearly not all of that brightness in the southwest is the desert sun; some of it is the blues torch burning where Bob Corritore has carried it from Chicago along with his harmonicas. There's a lot more in the vaults from where this set emerged, so maybe the release of future compilations can become a highly anticipated annual event like other All-Star galas. Meanwhile, one gathering of this magnitude is more than worth the price of admission! Bob Corritore plays Hohner harmonicas exclusively, hosts the weekly radio program "Those Lowdown Blues" on KJZZ
(Sunday nights from 6 until 11 on 91.5 FM in Phoenix, Arizona, 89.5 in Cottonwood, 90.1 in Prescott, 98.9 in Tucson, 991. in Kingman), and is the owner of the Rhythm Room
, 1019 E. Indian School Road in Phoenix.
Now hear Bob's radio program, "Those Lowdown Blues," anywhere in the world via web streaming. Click here
to listen on the web. Bob's show airs 6 to 11 pm mountain time each Sunday Night. Read all about Bob's show on the KJZZ