10 tracks/51:57 running time
Presiding Dean of Chicago Blues guitar John Primer, pairs with quite possibly the hardest working harp man in the Blues business, Bob Corritore, for this outing. It is their second date as co-leaders and the accolades continue to pour forth for the both of them including being nominated for this years best Traditional Blues Album on the Blue Blast Magazine ballot.
Primer of course, made his mark in the bands of Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters and Magic Slim before launching his heralded solo career which has garnered him two Grammy nominations, as well as the 2016 Blues Music award for Best Traditional Male Artist.
Along with his heavily conked, I mean coiffed pompadour, Blues Renaissance man Bob Corritore wears many hats; club owner and promoter, record producer, songwriter, radio personality, journalist and editor. Corritore is a prolific cat with a discography seemingly longer than a radio signal in outer space.
Simply stated, Ain’t Nothing You Can Do is fine Chicago Blues. Song titles are culled from the repertoires of Sonny Boy Williamson I, Snooky Pryor, Johnny Temple, Magic Slim, Chuck Brooks, Don Nix, Howlin’ Wolf as well as the songbooks of Primer and Corritore.
This reviewers favorite track is the John Primer penned track 10 “When I Leave Home.” A slow burning grinder that teleports the listener to the dance floor at Theresa’s or the Checkerboard Lounge on Chicago’s South Side.
Kudos of course to the legendary Henry Gray and the late Barrelhouse Chuck for relentlessly driving this rollicking studio band. The 92 year old Gray pounds on tracks 3, 7 and 8 and Chuck is credited on the remaining seven. Supplemental guitar work is provided by Big John Atkinson, also on tracks 3, 7 and 8 with Chris James on the rest. Similarly Troy Sandow handles bass on track 3, 7 and 8, while Patrick Ryan trolls the bottom on tracks 1, 2, 4-6, 9 and 10. Brian Fahey is the drummer throughout.
John Primer’s appointed time in Chicago began in 1963. He is known not only for his tasteful lead guitar licks, but also for his slide guitar technique, distilled from the likes of Sammy Lawhorn, Muddy Waters, Johnny Winters and a sprinkling of Elmore James. This Cd is further testament to his artistry, long known by his peers in the music business and his still growing global fan base.
Corritore’s harmonica riffs are compact and understated, never overpowering the band as some harp players are prone to do. And yes, this recording was done live in the studio with the full band at all times. Touchingly, Barrelhouse Chuck was able to hear the finished product shortly before he passed away on December 12, 2016. He told Bob Corritore he loved the record a week and a half before he checked out.