Dave Riley & Bob Corritore – Travelin’ The Dirt Road
Originally released on Blue Witch records in 2007, Bob Corritore has remastered and updated this great album of 10 original Dave Riley cuts and a pair of tunes written by Dave’s longtime friend and bandmate John Weston. Recorded over three sessions in 2005 and 2006 in Tempe, AZ, the songs feature the fine guitar and vocals of Dave Riley and the always stellar harp of Bob Corritore. Two of the tracks are newly released. Joining Dave and Bob are Johnny Rapp on guitar for 10 tracks, Matt Bishop on piano for a pair of cuts, Dave’s son Dave, Jr, ion bass for 8 songs, Paul Thomas on two tracks on bass, and Tom Coulson on drums for 10 tracks.
Riley goes acoustic with Dave in support without backing on a pair of cuts, “Overalls” and Safe At Last.” Both have a great down home, front porch feel to them, where one can imagine being in the Mississippi Delta on a hot afternoon sipping some iced tea or lemonade and listening to these two just play and sing effortlessly and joyfully. The album opens with the swinging “I’m Not Your Junkman,” a song about Dave’s trash talking woman. There is some nice guitar work and of course Corritore blows impressive harp. The title track follows, a driving cut with impressive harp soloing. “Come Here Woman” follows the first acoustic cut, a slow and low down and dirty blues. With harp and ax laying it out for us. “Let’s Have Some Fun Together” is next and features a pretty instrumental opening. More great harp and guitar and, of course, Riley’s passionate vocals.
The pace picks up a bit with “My Baby’s Gone;” Riley sings that he moans for his baby but the pacing expresses hope. We get a nice piano solo here, the first of three. “Voodoo Woman, Voodoo Man” is up after that, more slow blues with expressive vocals, harp and guitar and some piano thrown in the mix for fun, too. Up next is “Way Back Home” where Riley plays and sings with intensity. Corritore stays solidly great and the piano adds dimension to the mix. “Doggone Blues” features more slow and pretty blues. The guitar and harp are intense and the vocals are filled with grit. “Country Tough” picks up the pace again tempo-wise and offers variety. A big guitar intro opens “Friends” as Riley again sings with passion and Corritore plays more mean harp. The other acoustic cut concludes the album.
Bob Corritore’s vault of music is like a diamond mine; it has so many gems in it ready for the picking, cleaning up and releasing. I enjoyed listening to and reviewing their first collaborative album together Lucky To Be Living in 2009 on Blue Witch (along with 2013’s Hush Your Fuss! and relish finally adding this set of tunes to my collection. It’s really great stuff!