THE HENRY GRAY AND BOB CORRITORE SESSIONS
VOL. 1–BLUES WON’T LET ME TAKE MY REST
DELTA GROOVE MUSIC DGPCD 169
LET’S GET HIGH–BLUES WON’T LET ME TAKE MY REST–I’M IN LOVE AGAIN–RAMBLIN’ ON MY MIND–WORRIED LIFE BLUES–THEY RAIDED THAT JOINT–RIDE WITH YOUR DADDY TONIGHT–TROUBLE BLUES–I’M GONNA MISS YOU–THAT AIN’T RIGHT–CAN’T AFFORD TO DO IT–BOOGIE WOOGIE BALL–HONEY DON’T LET ME GO–SHE DON’T MOVE ME NO MORE
Pianist Henry Gray may be best-known for his work with Howlin’ Wolf from 1956-1968. After that, he backed the likes of Bo Diddley, Jimmy Rogers, and Little Walter, among many others. He has been working with Arizona-based harp man Bob Corritore since 1996, and, over those nineteen years, comprising some twelve recording sessions, they have a virtual treasure trove of recordings from which to draw. One of those sessions occurred on January 25, 2015, Henry’s 90th birthday. Just released on the Delta Groove label is “Vol. 1–Blues Won’t Let me Take My Rest,” featuring fourteen cuts, all but four previously unissued.
Henry takes the vocal on ten cuts, and a literal “who’s who” in contemporary blues guest star and round out the set. Throughout, Henry and Bob let their immense talents drive this music, each seemingly knowing where the other is going without missing a beat.
The party starts with Willie Smith on drums and backing vocals as Henry and Bob urge everyone to “Let’s Get High,” while Nappy Brown adds his suave style on “Trouble Blues.” Henry rocks the boogie on “They Raided That Joint,” and both these cuts feature the mighty Kid Ramos on guitar.
Bob’s usual duet partner, Dave Riley, adds vocals on “Ride With Your Daddy Tonight,” while John Brim adds guitar and vocals on “That Ain’t Right.” Robert “Jr.” Lockwood takes the vocal turn on the Robert Johnson classic, “Ramblin’ On My Mind.”
Picking favorites was nearly impossible, but two cuts stood out for us. Henry has the vocal on a sweet read of “Can’t Afford To Do It,” with guitar from Big Jon Atkinson. And, the ol’ Tail Dragger himself name-checks all the backing players from Henry on down in the raucous party anthem, “Boogie Woogie Ball.”
Henry Gray and Bob Corritore are national treasures, and their music is respected by everyone in the blues community. Hopefully, we won’t have long to wait before volume two of “Blues Won’t Let Me Take My Rest!” Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.