Monday, March 12, 2012

Tail Dragger And Bob Corritore Are Long Time Friends

Chicago blues performer, Tail Dragger has a new release in collaboration with Bob Corritore on Delta Groove, Longtime Friends In The Blues. Tail Dragger has built a career on his Howlin’ Wolf inspired style while Corritore is not only a fine harmonica player, but also a terrific producer of classic Chicago styled blues recordings. Corritore and Tail Dragger met the day after Wolf passed in 1976 at a tribute to Wolf and became friends, hence the album title. Corritore has assembled a terrific band here that includes former Howlin’ Wolf pianist Henry Gray; guitarists Kirk Fletcher and Chris James with patrick Rynn on bass and Brian Fahey to help evoke the spirit of the great Wolf.

Tail Dragger certainly does a credible job in suggesting the music of the legendary Wolf and the solid band provides performances firmly in Wolf’s style. The guitarists Fletcher and James certainly along with pianist Gray, Corritore’s harp embellishments and the rock solid rhythm provide of pastiche of Wolf’s recordings . The sound of Wolf is evoked from the opening moments of I’m Worried and Sugar Mama (the latter includes Gray sharing the vocal); through the relentless Through With You; the driving shuffle of Done Got Old; the rollicking Boogie Woogie Ball that spotlight’s Gray two-fisted piano; and the closing Please Mr. Jailer, where Tail Dragger pleads to the judge let his woman go free when she is accused of murder but she wouldn’t hurt a flea.

Tail Dragger is not quite as powerful a singer as Wolf was, and his diction is a bit slurred, but like his prior recordings on Delmark, has provided us with solid and idiomatic recordings backed by a thoroughly idiomatic and sympathetic backing band. There are mostly originals in a Wolf vein that are nicely performed. This certainly will appeal to fans of Tail Dragger as well as lovers of traditionally oriented Chicago blues.

I received a review copy from Delta Groove Productions. Here is a video of Tail Dragger and Bob Corritore.

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