|Birth name||Robert Joseph Corritore|
|Born||September 27, 1956|
Chicago, Illinois, United States
|Occupation(s)||Harmonicist, songwriter and record producer|
|Years active||Late 1970s–present|
|Labels||HighTone, Delta Groove, various|
Bob Corritore (born Robert Joseph Corritore; September 27, 1956) is an American blues harmonica player, record producer, blues radio show host and owner of The Rhythm Room, a music venue in Phoenix, Arizona. Corritore is a recipient of several industry honors, including a Blues Music Award, Blues Blast Music Award, Living Blues Award and a Keeping The Blues Alive Award and more. His accomplishments include producing one album that was nominated for a Grammy Award and contributing harmonica on another.
Early life and education
Corritore was born in Chicago, Illinois, United States, but was raised from infancy in suburban Wilmette. At age 12, he began a love affair with the blues after hearing a Muddy Waters song on the radio. Shortly thereafter, he received his first harmonica from his younger brother. He took to it immediately and began teaching himself the instrument by playing along with records and using Tony "Little Son" Glover's book, "Blues Harp" -- the go-to instructional volume of the era -- as a guide. As soon as he was old enough, Corritore began attending blues concerts whenever he could, seeing Sam Lay and Waters perform at his high school and Jim Brewer, Eddie Taylor, Wild Child Butler and Detroit Junior in a nearby pizza parlor before venturing to Maxwell Street, the open-air market on Chicago's near South Side, where he caught Big Walter Horton and Big John Wrencher in action.
After graduation from New Trier East High School, Bob attended the University Of Tulsa, where he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. He returned to Chicago, where he worked a job by day and pursued his musical education at night. As his skill and confidence improved in his later teens, he started playing in support of Willie Buck and Tail Dragger Jones. His first paying gig came in Buck's band at age 23 alongside Louis and Dave Myers, Johnny "Big Moose" Walker, Odie Payne Jr. and Taylor.
Corritore's first live performance came in his teens on Maxwell Street when John Henry Davis invited him to sit in for five or six numbers. He subsequently started attending performances at clubs on the South and West Sides, where he was mentored by Louis Myers, Lester Davenport, Junior Wells, Big Leon Brooks, Little Mack Simmons, Big Walter and others, who regularly invited him on stage to play.
Corritore began a career in music production in 1979. He recorded harmonica player Little Willie Anderson, creating his own label, Blues On Blues Records, in the process. Released as Swinging The Blues and produced with the assistance of future Grammy winner Dick Shurman and Delmark Records owner Bob Koester, the LP debuted the same year and was reissued 13 years later in CD format on Earwig Music. A second release, Big Leon Brooks' Lets Go To Town, followed in 1982.
In 1981, Corritore relocated to Phoenix, Arizona, where he was joined a few months later by Louisiana Red. The pair worked together in duo and full-band formats for the next year before Red relocated to Germany. Corritore subsequently joined a succession of bands fronted by regional favorites Big Pete Pearson, Janiva Magness, Tommy Dukes and Buddy Reed. Years later they worked together again when Corritore produced Louisiana Red's Sittin' Here Wonderin' (1995) (Earwig Music). Since 1984, Corritore has been hosting "Those Lowdown Blues," a five-hour Sunday night on KJZZ (FM).
Two years later, Corritore recruited former Howlin’ Wolf drummer Chico Chism to relocate from Chicago to Phoenix for various band and studio projects, a relationship that endured until his death in 2007. Corritore opened The Rhythm Room music venue in Phoenix in 1991. It has served as his home base ever since. He and hIs house band, the Rhythm Room All-Stars, have backed dozens of high-profile blues musicians, both at the club and in recording sessions, a roster that includes Bo Diddley, Pinetop Perkins, Ike Turner, Nappy Brown, Eddy Clearwater and many others.
His first release as a front man, All-Star Blues Sessions, came in 1999 on the HighTone label with Corritore playing in support of 16 blues artists, including Diddley, Chism, Robert Lockwood Jr., Henry Gray and other talents. That release established Corritore as both a harmonica player and producer in the blues community in a career that has included several subsequent releases under his own name, often sharing billing with other traditional blues artists, including John Primer, Gray, Kid Ramos and Dave Riley.
As a harmonica player, he has guested on albums by R.L. Burnside, Pinetop Perkins, Dave Mason, Zac Harmon, Louisiana Red, Nappy Brown, Diunna Greenleaf, Bob Margolin, Bill Howl-N-Madd Perry, Dave Specter, Smokin’ Joe Kubek, Mannish Boys, Kilborn Alley Blues Band, Tomcat Courtney, Big Pete Pearson, Sam Lay, Mud Morganfield, Johnny Tucker, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Ben Levin, Tom Walbank, Deb Ryder, Adrianna Marie, Sugaray Rayford, Tony Holiday, The Freemonts and several others. And he has served as producer for releases by R.L. Burnside, Mojo Buford, Kim Wilson, William Clarke, Chism and compilations released by several labels. The Wilson album -- Smokin' Joint, released on M.C. Records in 2001 -- was a finalist in the best traditional blues category at the 44th Annual Grammy Awards. He has released albums on the HighTone, Blue Witch, Delta Groove and SWMAF labels, as well as his current home, VizzTone.
Corritore has appeared at major blues events around the world including Chicago Blues Festival, Lucerne Blues Festival and Bellinzona Blues Sessions (Switzerland), Edmonton Blues Festival and Calgary Blues Festival (Canada), King Biscuit Blues Festival and Big Blues Bender (U.S.), Bossa Y Jazz and Pocas de Blues (Brazil), Cognac Blues Festival and Bay-Car Blues Festival (France), Marco Fiume Blues Passions Festival (Italy), Moulin Blues Ospel (Holland), Blues At The Savoy (Finland), Hondarribia Blues Festival (Spain), Lahnsteiner Blues Festival (Germany), Boquette Blues Festival (Panama) and more. He has also performed at the Kennedy Center, The Strathmore, The Dodge Theater, AVA Amphitheater and other prestigious venues.
An official endorser of Hohner harmonicas, Corritore regularly leads harmonics master classes at the Blues Foundation's annual International Blues Challenge week in Memphis. The editor and main writer of the Bob Corritore Blues Newsletter, his 2020 album, The Gypsy Woman Told Me, a partnership with John Primer, was a finalist for traditional blues album of the year in the Blues Blast Music Awards after winning the same honor for Don't Let The Devil Ride in 2019.
Awards and honors
- 1999: Inducted into the Arizona Blues Hall of Fame.
- 2001: Kim Wilson's Smokin' Joint album, which Corritore produced, was a Grammy finalist in the traditional blues category
- 2007: Phil Gordon, the mayor of Phoenix, proclaimed September 29 as "Bob Corritore Day."
- 2007: Corritore appeared on Pinetop Perkins' On The 88s: Live in Chicago, a finalist in the traditional blues category at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards
- 2007: Honored by the Blues Foundation with a Keeping the Blues Alive Award for his radio work
- 2007: Blues Music Award nominee along with Dave Riley in the acoustic blues category for their CD, Travelin' The Dirt Road
- 2011, 2013 and 2019: Blues Music Award nominee for harmonica player of the year
- 2012: Living Blues magazine Readers Poll honoree as harmonica player of the year
- 2014: Blues411 Jimi Award winner for harmonica player of the year
- 2016: Blues Music Award nominee along with Henry Gray in the historical album category for their CD, Blues Won't Let Me Take My Rest Vol.1
- 2017: Blues Music Award nominee along with Big Jon Atkinson in the traditional album category for their CD, House Party At Big Jon's
- 2019: Blues Blast Music Award winner in the traditional album category for Don't Let The Devil Ride
- 2020: Blues Blast Music Award nominee along with John Primer in the traditional album category for their CD, The Gypsy Woman Told Me
- 2021: Living Blues magazine Critics Poll winner in best blues albums of 2020 category along with John Primer for The Gypsy Woman Told Me
- 2021: Blues Blast Music Award nominee in the traditional album category for Bob Corritore & Friends: Spider in My Stew
- 2021: Blues Blast Music Award nominee in the historical or vintage category along with Henry Gray for Cold Chills and with Kid Ramos for Phoenix Blues Sessions
- 2021: Inducted into the Arizona Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame
- 2022: Blues Music Award nominee for harmonica player of the year
- 2022: Blues Music Award nominee in the traditional blues album category for Spider in My Stew
- 2022: Blues Blast Music Award nominee in the traditional blues album category along with Louisiana Red for Tell Me 'Bout It
- 2022: Blues Blast Music Award nominee in the historical or vintage category for Down Home Blues Revue
|Album title||Record label||Accreditation||Year of release|
|All-Star Blues Sessions||HMG/HighTone Records||Bob Corritore||1999|
|Travelin' the Dirt Road||Blue Witch Records||Dave Riley & Bob Corritore||2007|
|Lucky to Be Living||Blue Witch Records||Dave Riley & Bob Corritore||2009|
|Harmonica Blues||Delta Groove||Bob Corritore & Friends||2010|
|The Kid Ramos/Bob Corritore Phoenix Blues Sessions||SWMAF [South West Musical Arts Foundation] Records||Kid Ramos & Bob Corritore||2012|
|Longtime Friends in the Blues||Delta Groove||Tail Dragger & Bob Corritore||2012|
|Knockin' Around These Blues||Delta Groove||John Primer & Bob Corritore||2013|
|Hush Your Fuss!||SWMAF Records||Dave Riley & Bob Corritore||2013|
|Taboo: Blues Harmonica Instrumentals||Delta Groove||Bob Corritore||2014|
|The Henry Gray/Bob Corritore Sessions, Vol. 1: Blues Won't Let Me Take My Rest||Delta Groove||Henry Gray & Bob Corritore||2015|
|House Party At Big Jon's||Delta Groove||Big Jon Atkinson & Bob Corritore||2016|
|Ain't Nothing You Can Do!||Delta Groove||John Primer & Bob Corritore||2017|
|Don't Let The Devil Ride!||SWMAF Records/VizzTone||Bob Corritore & Friends||2018|
|Do The Hip-Shake Baby!||SWMAF Records/VizzTone||Bob Corritore & Friends||2019|
|The Gypsy Woman Told Me||SWMAF Records/VizzTone||John Primer & Bob Corritore||2020|
|Travelin' The Dirt Road (deluxe reissue)||SWMAF Records/VizzTone||Dave Riley & Bob Corritore||2020|
|The Kid Ramos/Bob Corritore Phoenix Blues Sessions (deluxe reissue)||SWMAF Records/VizzTone||Kid Ramos & Bob Corritore||2020|
|The Henry Gray/Bob Corritore Sessions, Vol. 2: Cold Chills||SWMAF Records/VizzTone||Henry Gray & Bob Corritore||2020|
|Spider in My Stew||SWMAF Records/VizzTone||Bob Corritore & Friends||2021|
|Tell Me 'Bout It||SWMAF Records/VizzTone||Louisiana Red & Bob Corritore||2022|
|Down Home Blues Revue||SWMAF Records/VizzTone||Bob Corritore & Friends||2022|
|So Far||VizzTone||Bob Margolin & Bob Corritore||2022|
|You Shocked Me||SWMAF Records/VizzTone||Bob Corritore & Friends||2022|
|Album title||Record label||Accreditation||Year of release|
|For Our Children||Radioactive||Various Artists||1978|
|Ominous Clouds||Last Flash||Various Artists||1982|
|Blue Saguaro||Fervor||Various Artists||1993|
|Raw As Hell||Cher-Kee||Chico Chism||1995|
|Yoakum Texas Blues||PAU||Lucius Parr||1996|
|Desert Blues Volume 1||CDGB||Various Artists||1996|
|Vietnam Blues||Tempest||Sarge Lintecum||1997|
|What Kind of Woman Is That!||Blue Loon||Texas Red||1997|
|Gimme Some a Yo' Sugar!||Owl's Nest||Lisa Otey||1999|
|We Got a Problem||PAU||Lucius Parr||1999|
|Plays Chicago Blues||HighTone||Henry Gray||2001|
|One More Drink||Blue Witch||Big Pete Pearson||2001|
|Rhythm Room Blues||HighTone||Various Artists||2001|
|Blues Vredenburg Utrect Estafette||Sampson||Various Artists||2001|
|Blues Greats||The Blues Foundation||Various Artists||2002|
|American Blues||Putumayo||Various Artists||2003|
|No Monkeys on This Train||HighTone||R. L. Burnside||2003|
|Snakes Crawl at Night||Random Chance||Chief Schabuttie Gilliame||2004|
|No Turn on Red||HighTone||Louisiana Red||2005|
|Born in the Honey: The Pinetop Perkins Story||Sagebrush Productions||Various Artists||2006|
|Way Back||HighTone||Willie "Big Eyes" Smith||2006|
|The HighTone Records Story||HighTone||Various Artists||2006|
|On the 88s: Live in Chicago||Kingston||Pinetop Perkins||2007|
|I'm Here Baby||Blue Witch||Big Pete Pearson with The Rhythm Room All Stars||2007|
|House Rockin' and Blues Shoutin'! Celebrating 15 Years of The Rhythm Room||Blue Witch||Various Artists||2007|
|Lucerne Blues Festival 2007||LBF||Various Artists||2007|
|Long Time Coming||Blind Pig||Nappy Brown||2007|
|Stop and Think About It||Earwig Music||Chris James and Patrick Rynn||2008|
|Downsville Blues||Blue Witch||Tomcat Courtney||2008|
|Back to the Black Bayou||Bluestone||Louisiana Red & Little Victor's Juke Joint||2008|
|2008 Blues Music Awards||Blues Music Awards||Various Artists||2009|
|Live in Lahnstein 2008||Collectors Only||Big Pete Pearson & The Rhythm Room All Stars||2009|
|Feelin' Good||Blind Pig||Jimmy Rogers||2009|
|Finger in Your Eye||Southwest Musical Arts Foundation||Big Pete Pearson||2009|
|Best of 'The Legendary' Sam Lay||SL Records||Sam Lay||2010|
|30th Blues Music Awards||Blues Music Awards||Various Artists||2010|
|Gonna Boogie Anyway||Earwig Music||Chris James and Patrick Rynn||2010|
|Blues for the Gulf.org||VizzTone||Various Artists||2010|
|2010 Blues Music Awards||Blues Music Awards||Various Artists||2011|
|Boogie All Night||El Toro||Little Victor||2011|
|Memphis Mojo||Ruf||Louisiana Red & Little Victor's Juke Joint||2011|
|Trying to Hold On||Blue Mercy||Diunna Greenleaf||2011|
|Lucerne Blues Festival 2011||Lucerne Blues Festiva||Various Artists||2011|
|Gotta Go||PAU||Lucius Parr||2012|
|Montauk Rocks||Oscail Films||Various Artists||2012|
|Son of the Seventh Son||Severn||Mud Morganfield||2012|
|Blues for Children 2012||Hondarribia Blues Society||Various Artists||2012|
|Close to the Bone||Delta Groove||Smokin' Joe Kubek & Bnois King||2012|
|Double Dynamite||Delta Groove||The Mannish Boys||2012|
|The Walter Davis Project||Electro-Fi||Various Artists||2013|
|Trickbag With Friends, Vol. 1||Magic Production||Trickbag||2013|
|Rooster||Indys Records||Clay Swafford||2013|
|Sittin' Right Down and Moan||Harsh Records||Harsh Guitar Mark||2013|
|34th Blues Music Awards||Blues Music Awards||Various Artists||2014|
|Future's Past||Something-Music||Dave Mason||2014|
|Message in Blue||Delmark||Dave Specter||2014|
|Wrapped Up and Ready||Delta Groove||The Mannish Boys||2014|
|Soul Bag - La Sélection Blues & Soul||Soul Bag Magazine||Various Artists||2014|
|Lucerne Blues Festival 2014||Lucerne Blues Festival||Various Artists||2014|
|Blues Magazine - The Best of 2014||The Blues Magazine||Various Artists||2014|
|Southside||Nimoy Sue Records||Sugaray Rayford||2015|
|Back Down South||Bluebeat Music||Big Jon Atkinson||2015|
|The Power of My Shoes||Eureka Live||Kathy Boye||2015|
|Blues For Big Walter||Eller Soul Records||Various Artists||2016|
|Hondarribia Blues Festival 2016||Hondarribia Blues Society||Various Artists||2016|
|Alligator||Truax Records||The Fremonts||2016|
|36th Blues Music Awards||The Blues Foundation||Various Artists||2016|
|Grit, Grease & Tears||Bejeb Music||Deb Ryder||2016|
|Soul Bag - La Sélection Blues & Soul||Soul Bag Magazine||Various Artists||2016|
|Kingdom Of Swing||VizzTone||Adrianna Marie & Her Roomful Of All Stars||2017|
|The Tolono Tapes||Run It Back||Kilborn Alley Blues Band||2017|
|37th Blues Music Awards||The Blues Foundation||Various Artists||2017|
|92||MusicMatters||Henry Gray & The Creole Cats||2017|
|Seven Day Blues||Highjohn||Johnny Tucker||2018|
|38th Blues Music Awards||The Blues Foundation||Various Artists||2018|
|Soul Bag - La Sélection Blues & Soul: CD Sampler 037||Soul Bag Magazine||Various Artists||2018|
|Porch Sessions||VizzTone||Tony Holiday||2019|
|Mississippi BarBQ||Catfood||Zac Harmon||2019|
|Before Me||VizzTone||Ben Levin||2019|
|Bliss||Self-produced||Carol Pacey & The Honey Shakers||2019|
|Thankful For The Blues||Bill Perry Music||Bill "Howl-N-Madd" Perry||2019|
|This Guitar And Tonight||VizzTone||Bob Margolin||2019|
|The Rhythm Room||Bar-Bare Records||Willie Buck||2020|
|Knee Deep Into These Blues||784204 Records||Bluesman Mike & The Blues Review Band||2020|
|Tom Walbank Presents 'Hootmatic Blues'||009 Records||Various Artists||2020|
|Album title||Record label||Accreditation||Year of release|
|Swinging The Blues||Earwig Music||Little Willie Anderson||1979|
|Let's Go To Town||Earwig Music||Big Leon Brooks||1982|
|Low Blows - An Anthology of Chicago Harmonica Blues||Rooster Blues||Various Artists||1994|
|Earwig Music Company 16th Anniversary Sampler||Earwig Music||Various Artists||1995|
|Sittin' Here Wonderin'||Earwig Music||Louisiana Red||1995|
|Essential Harmonica Blues||River North Records||Various Artists||1997|
|Not The Same Old Blues Crap||Fat Possum||Various Artists||1997|
|Come On In||Fat Possum||R.L. Burnside||1998|
|Earwig Music Company 20th Anniversary Collection||Earwig Music||Various Artists||1999|
|Champagne & Reefer||Fedora/HighNote||Mojo Buford||1999|
|Smokin' Joint||M.C. Records||Kim Wilson||2001|
|Not The Same Old Blues Crap, Vol. II||Fat Possum||Various Artists||2001|
|Blues On My Radio||Southwest Musical Arts Foundation||Various Artists||2004|
|The Legend Live||M.C. Records||Robert Lockwood Jr.||2004|
|Blood Harmony: A Cappella||Southwest Musical Arts Foundation||The Reed Family Album||2005|
|Chico Chism's West Side Chicago Blues Party||Southwest Musical Arts Foundation||Chico Chism||2006|
|Time Brings About A Change... A Floyd Dixon Celebration||High John Records||Various Artists||2006|
|Broadcasting The Blues||Southwest Musical Arts Foundation||Various Artists||2009|
|Flyin' High - A Collection of Phoenix Blues, Rhythm, and Spirit from the 1950s and 60s||Southwest Musical Arts Foundation||Various Artists||2010|
|Bet On The Blues||Blues Fidelity||Paul Oscher||2010|
|Heavy Hittin' West Coast Harp||Bear Family Records||William Clarke||2019|
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