Dave Riley

Travelin' the Dirt Road

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Travelin' the Dirt Road is nothing more or less than two bluesmen -- harmonica player Bob Corritore and singer-guitarist Dave Riley -- and a handful of friends cutting loose on acoustic and electric blues. Even though all of the songs on Travelin' the Dirt Road are originals, Corritore and Riley are less interested in innovation than delving deeply into blues tradition. In a sense, the three primary elements, Riley's rich vocals, his stinging guitar work, and Corritore's lively harp work, share the stage together, delivering full-bodied arrangements. Lyrically, songs like "Let's Have Some Fun Tonight" and "My Baby's Gone" haven't traveled very far from the original blues' template: men love women, make love to women, and get left by women. Good times, it seems, are always followed by bad times, and while these clich├ęs (and the sexism that comes with them) are sometimes difficult to take seriously, they -- the lyrics -- may be little more than an excuse to hear a singer like Riley wrap his vocal chords around them. Many of these songs run four, five, six, and even seven minutes, allowing Corritore and Riley plenty of space to jam. With the addition of bass, drums, a second guitar on many cuts, and an occasional piano, Travelin' the Dirt Road is a solid and enjoyable outing.

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