John Primer And Bob Corritore

John Primer And Bob Corritore
Knockin’ Around These Blues

Delta Groove Music (DGPCD159)

By Georgetown Fats
May 2013

In the wrong hands of less talented musicians, three chords repeated systematically over a twelve bar progression of music quickly becomes unimaginative and boring. Add some cover tunes from the heavily mined Chicago blues standards and lesser musicians can produce positively yawn inspiring material. In the right hands with qualified musicians the yawn inspiring quickly becomes awe inspiring.

On Knockin’ Around These Blues, John Primer and Bob Corritore show their considerable talent on what should be a mandatory tutorial for legions of weekend warriors and middle-aged garage blues bands.

Having apprenticed as a sideman for Junior Wells before being recruited for Muddy Waters’ band, Primer (guitar and vocals) has an obvious blues pedigree; adept at the Chicago blues shuffle on guitar and no slouch vocally either. On harp, the understated Corritore proves to be more than just another businessman with a weekend jones for the blues. Corritore the blues music entrepreneur fits in perfectly with his musical abilities. Both Corritore outlets are solely interested in the preservation of the blues.

From the opening count off of Jimmy Reed’s “The Clock,” Primer and Corritore lock in immediately with their amazing backing band. From Barrelhouse Chuck’s piano flourishes to Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith’s work on the drums, each individual musical track is stacked perfectly to compliment the featured performers.

On the Corritore-penned “Harmonica Joyride,” Corritore steps to the forefront with this uptempo musical shuffle. Though clearly possessing the chops worthy of Lil Walter or contemporary harmonica shredders, Corritore’s harp work on his own track is decidedly understated and open. “Harmonica Joyride” is a nuanced instrumental worthy of numerous repeated spins and capable of bringing the music nerd out of most listeners.

Closing out the disk with Lightening Hopkins’ “Going Back Home,” just enough of the Texas blues is mixed into Primer and Corritore’s Chicago shuffle. Pulling the metronome back ever-so-slightly, “Going Back Home” is the perfect wrap-up to this disk by a man who has made musical history side-by-side with some of the greats (Primer) and a man who clearly displays the many lessons learned watching those greats perform (Corritore).

While there is no musical ground broken on Knockin’ Around These Blues, it doesn’t make this collaborative effort anything less than musical greatness. At just 10 tracks Knockin’ Around These Blues is far too good of a disk to be this short. Hopefully Primer and Corritore will be touring in support of Knockin’ Around These Blues; if this wonderful piece of blues music history is this good recorded then it has to be only better live.

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