Review: John Primer And Bob Corritore – Knockin’ Around These Blues

Posted on: Monday, May 20, 2013

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John Primer And Bob Corritore – Knockin’ Around These Blues

(Delta Groove Music: DGPCD159)

Here’s an essential purchase for those who like their Chicago blues served up with no frills, but with some inspired song choices and a marvellous cast of musicians helping out John Primer (guitar and vocals) and Bob Corritore (harmonica) . . . . whose paths first crossed when a young Corritore would watch Primer ply  his trade whilst a member of Junior Wells band at Theresa’s on Chicago’s South Side.

Primer was later recruited by Muddy Waters, while Corritore had relocated to Phoenix, Arizona, where he has become a major figure on the blues scene, not just as a player, but also club owner, DJ and record producer. Here they unite on an affectionate tribute to the ‘Windy City’ blues, with also on board Barrelhouse Chuck (piano), Billy Flynn (guitar), Chris James (guitar), Bob Stroger (bass), Patrick Rynn (bass), Kenny ‘Beedy’ Eyes Smith (drums) and Brian Fahey (drums) . . . a ‘heavyweight’ gathering indeed!

The ten songs on “Knockin’ Around These Blues” include some always associated with Chicago, penned by the likes of Little Walter, Willie Dixon and Robert Lockwood Jr., as well as a Bob Corritore and John Primer original and a Lightnin’ Hopkins number. The music gets off to a fine start with Jimmy Reed’s “The Clock”, with that instantly recognisable laid back groove that grabs you straight away. Next up is a lengthy work out on Little Walter’s “Blue And Lonesome”, that gives all a chance to stretch out . . . fine harmonica here from Corritore with Primer’s vocals of the highest quality, and sterling support from the whole band.

Primer’s “When I Get Lonely” is a standout, with some superb piano from Barrelhouse Chuck; the whole ensemble are grooving nicely on the Chicago shuffle of “Cairo Blues”, and Bob Corritore gets a showcase on his self-explanatory instrumental “Harmonica Joyride” . . . .the tune incorporating echoes of the Chicago harmonica legends such as Little Walter, Junior Wells and James Cotton. The slow blues of Robert Lockwood Jr’s “Little Boy Blue” is another gem – again giving all a chance to stretch out.

Best of all is possibly the closing Lightnin’ Hopkins tune, “Going Back Home”, which weighs in at a hefty 7:54, but with again some fine work all round, with mention for the playing of Chris James, Patrick Rynn and Brian Fahey, with Barrelhouse Chuck’s piano again of the highest calibre.

For those who love the Chicago blues of Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Junior Wells and more . . . no frills, just great music and playing!

GRAHAME RHODES

www.johnprimerblues.com

www.bobcorritore.com

www.deltagroovemusic.com

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