Don't Let the Devil Ride
This collection of choice Chicago blues covers and idiomatic originals is the latest from harmonica player Bob Corritore. From a variety of sessions, and with a variety of vocalists and musicians he has put together another choice dozen blues performances. Amongst those present here are vocalists Willie Buck, Oscar Willis, Bill 'Howl-N-Madd' Perry, George Bowman, Alabama Mike, Tail Dragger, and Sugaray Rayford. Among the supporting musicians are such guitarists as Big Jon Atkinson, Junior Watson, Jimi "Primetime" Smith, Chris James and Rockin ' Johnny; pianists Henry Gray, Bob Welch and Fred Kaplan; bassists Troy Sandow, Kedar Roy, Patrick Rynn, and Bob Stroger; and drummers Marty Dotson and Brian Fahey. This is not a complete listing of supporting musicians.
Just a few notes on the performances here. Willie Buck contributed the opening Jimmy Reed styled blues, "Woke Up This Morning," with his slightly mush-mouth singing and Corritore's Reed-styled harp playing making for an enjoyable performance. Oscar Wilson handles the singing on a straight cover of Little Walter's recording, "Tell Me Baby," with some real fine harp and Henry Gray pounding away on the piano. Wilson's other vocal is a solid, lazy Corritore original, "Fork in the Road," with Gray present again. It is followed by a lazy, amusing Sugaray Rayford original "The Glide," with a terrific vocal and a clever double entendre lyric. Behind Alabama Mike's moody vocal on a cover of "Laundromat Blues," Corritore plays some blistering chromatic harp. Bill 'Howl-N-Madd' Perry provides a swamp blues feel on his "Willie Mae," with a Gulf Coast rumba groove. On "I Was a Fool," George Bowman's gritty singing is backed by Corritore's big-toned chromatic along with austere backing from Atkinson, Sandow, and Fahey, while on Alabama Mike's "Blues Why You Worry Me?," the backing suggests "Scratch My Back."
Tail Dragger closes out this set for a Muddy Waters' styled blues, "Thundering and Raining," where he sings about a tornado coming and his baby not on the ground. It is not a fancy performance, but sung with heart and ably backed. That pretty much characterizes all the music on this latest album from Corritore. Fans of classic Chicago blues will find much to enjoy here. Recommended.
I received my review copy from VizzTone. This review appeared originally in the July-August 2018 Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 379). Here is a performance by Corritore and Sugaray Rayford.