Primer and Bob Corritore
Knockin' Around The Blues
seems like John Primer and Bob Corritore
should have crossed paths musically before now.
Primer was beginning to play the clubs of Chicago in
the ’70s, as part of Junior Wells’ house band, while
young Corritore was taking in the blues from the
audience about the same time. Primer paid his dues
in the Windy City backing Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters
(in his last band), James Cotton, and Magic Slim (a
13-year partnership) before striking out on his own,
while Corritore ended up in Phoenix, where he became
one of the driving forces behind that city’s blues
scene as a master harmonica player, club owner, DJ,
and record producer.
Anyone who calls themselves a fan of Chicago blues had to get a
little hop in their step when they first laid eyes on Knockin’ Around
The Blues (Delta Groove), Primer and Corritore’s first collaborative
effort. Hopefully, it won’t be their last. Backed by a powerhouse unit
that includes piano man Barrelhouse Chuck, guitarists Billy Flynn and
Chris James, bassists Bob Stroger and Patrick Rynn, and drummers Kenny
“Beedy Eyes” Smith and Brian Fahey, the pair tear through a classic set
of blues standards.
In addition to tunes from Chicago icons like Little Walter (“Blue and
Lonesome”), Jimmy Reed (“The Clock”), Willie Dixon (“Just Like I Treat
You”), and Robert Lockwood (“Little Boy Blue”), Primer and Corritore
also tackle tunes from Bob Jones (“Leanin’ Tree”), Robert Kelton (“Man
or Mouse”), and Texas bluesman Lightnin’ Hopkins (“Going Back Home”).
Primer is in excellent voice and his guitar work is as stinging and
concise as ever. Corritore is always a pleasure to listen to, whether
backing Primer or out front, as on his own aptly titled “Harmonica
Joyride,” and both are well-versed in the traditional Chicago blues
Over the past year or so, there have been some excellent traditional
Chicago blues recordings released, and Knockin’ Around The Blues
is as good or better than any of them. It’s sad that we had to wait so
long for John Primer and Bob Corritore to get together, but boy, did
they make up for lost time.
--- Graham Clarke