Toronzo Cannon - Leaving Mood
  • 01 She Loved Me
  • 02 Chico's Song
  • 03 Come On
  • 04 I Believe
  • 05 Hard Luck
  • 06 Open Letter (To Whom It May Concern)
  • 07 I Can't Take Her Nowhere
  • 08 Leaving Mood
  • 09 She's Too Much
  • 10 You're a Good Woman
  • 11 Earnestine
  • 12 Do I Move You?
  • 13 Baby Girl
  • 14 Not Gonna Worry
  • 01 She Loved Me
    Genre: Blues
    MP3 (03:48) [8.72 MB]
  • 02 Chico's Song
    Genre: Blues
    MP3 (04:07) [9.41 MB]
  • 03 Come On
    Genre: Blues
    MP3 (03:40) [8.4 MB]
  • 04 I Believe
    Genre: Blues
    MP3 (05:10) [11.84 MB]
  • 05 Hard Luck
    Genre: Blues
    MP3 (05:36) [12.81 MB]
  • 06 Open Letter (To Whom It May Concern)
    Genre: Blues
    MP3 (04:18) [9.84 MB]
  • 07 I Can't Take Her Nowhere
    Genre: Blues
    MP3 (04:18) [9.83 MB]
  • 08 Leaving Mood
    Genre: Blues
    MP3 (03:42) [8.48 MB]
  • 09 She's Too Much
    Genre: Blues
    MP3 (03:57) [9.03 MB]
  • 10 You're a Good Woman
    Genre: Blues
    MP3 (04:14) [9.69 MB]
  • 11 Earnestine
    Genre: Blues
    MP3 (03:34) [8.17 MB]
  • 12 Do I Move You?
    Genre: Blues
    MP3 (03:54) [8.94 MB]
  • 13 Baby Girl
    Genre: Blues
    MP3 (04:23) [10.05 MB]
  • 14 Not Gonna Worry
    Genre: Blues
    MP3 (05:37) [12.87 MB]
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Toronzo Cannon
Leaving Mood
Delmark DE 817

With Leaving Mood, Toronzo Cannon stepped into the big leagues of the next generation of Chicago bluesmen. Powered by his raw, beefy guitar playing and tough, impassioned vocals, Toronzo was truly making his own contemporary blues statement, presenting a slew of striking, original songs with performances full of swaggering power and confidence.
He’s honed his music at literally hundreds of gigs in Chicago’s blues clubs. He has spent a lot of years and paid a lot of dues getting ready to make his national blues debut. You can hear it all here, as Toronzo Cannon stakes out his place at the forefront of today’s Chicago blues.

1. She Loved Me 3:45
2. Chico's Song (for Chico Banks) 4:03
3. Come Home 3:36
4. I Believe 5:07
5. Hard Luck 5:32
6. Open Letter (To Whom It May Concern) 4:14
7. I Can't Take Her Nowhere 4:14
8. Leaving Mood 3:39
9. She's Too Much 3:53
10. You're A Good Woman 4:11
11. Earnestine 3:30
12. Do I Move You? 3:51
13. Baby Girl 4:20
14. Not Gonna Worry 5:37

Toronzo Cannon, vocals/lead guitar
Lawrence Gladney, rhythm guitar
Roosevelt Purifoy, piano, organ, rhodes
Larry Williams, bass
Marty Binder, drums
Carl Weathersby, guitar (5,11)
Matthew Skoller, harmonica (2,6,9)

CP 2011 Delmark Records
Send for free catalog of jazz & blues:
Delmark Records, 4121 N. Rockwell,
Chicago, IL 60618

1. She Loved Me 3:45 (Cannon)
2. Chico's Song 4:03 (for Chico Banks) (Cannon)
3. Come On 3:36 (Gladney)
4. I Believe 5:07 (Cannon/Gladney)
5. Hard Luck 5:32 (Cannon/Gladney)
6. Open Letter (To Whom It May Concern) 4:14 (Cannon/Gladney)
7. I Can't Take Her Nowhere 4:14 (Cannon/Gladney)
8. Leaving Mood 3:39 (Cannon/Gladney)
9. She's Too Much 3:53 (Cannon/Gladney)
10. You're A Good Woman 4:11 (Cannon/Gladney)
11. Earnestine 3:30 (Cannon)
12. Do I Move You? 3:51 (Nina Simone, Waterford Music Inc., ASCAP)
13. Baby Girl 4:20 (Gladney)
14. Not Gonna Worry 5:37 (Mike Wheeler, Mwheel1 Music, ASCAP)

Toronzo Cannon, Cannonball Express, ASCAP
Lawrence O. Gladney, Shy Productions Inc., ASCAP

Album Production & Supervision: Robert G. Koester
Produced by Toronzo Cannon and Steve Wagner
Recorded at Riverside Studio, Chicago on June 2 & 3 , 2011
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Steve Wagner
Mix assistant: Dave Katzman
Photography: Chris Monaghan
Design: Dave Forte

Other Delmark albums of interest:
Quintus McCormick, Put It On Me! (815) with Billy Branch
Hey Jodie! (801)
Willie Kent, Long Way To Ol' Miss (696) with Chico Banks
Syl Johnson, Back In The Game (674) with Hi Rhythm
Talkin' 'Bout Chicago (729)
Little Milton, Live at Westville Prison (681)
Robert Ward, New Role Soul (741)
Shirley Johnson, Blues Attack (798)
Killer Diller (757) with Robert Ward, Johnny B. Moore
Jimmy Burns, Leaving Here Walking (694)
Night Time Again (730)
Back To The Delta (770)
Live at B.L.U.E.S. (789, DVD 1789)

Thanks to God for giving me some talent and a LOT of courage to play my music; to Bob Koester, Steve Wagner and the Delmark family. Special "Shout Outs" to my sister Marcia Cannon for buying me my first guitar, Tommy McCracken, Mike Wheeler, Jennifer Littleton, Al Spears, Lonnie Brooks,
Pete Galanis, Kenny Zimmerman, Chris Harper, Gilles Aniorte-Tomassian, Gasspard Ossikian, L. Panoyan, Jimmy Burns, Pat Smillie, Zegis, The Latvian Blues Band, Big Dog Mercer, Liz Mandeville, Rodney Brown, JC Smith, Dr. Ray Clark and Gayun Ta and Annie. Also B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted, Buddy Guy's Legends, Harlem Ave. Lounge, House of Blues, Lee's Unleaded Blues and all the clubs and fests I've played around the world.

This CD is dedicated to the memories of Chico Banks, Lil Dave Thompson, Little Jimmy King, L.C Walker and L.V. Banks.

For Booking And More Info:
1 (773) 744-0018

Send for free catalog of jazz & blues:
Delmark Records, 1 800 684 3480, 4121 N. Rockwell,
Chicago, IL 60618
CP 2011 Delmark Records

Toronzo Cannon was born to the blues – but for a long time, he didn’t even realize it.

"My grandfather’s records were consistent blues," remembers Toronzo, who was born in Chicago on Valentine’s Day, 1968. "And then when my aunts and uncles would come over, that’s when the blues would be played. Whenever there was a family thing – like my aunt, my uncle, my grandfather’s brother and his wife, they would come over and play cards and all of that stuff, and at family reunions, you [would] hear the music."

It was in the air around the neighborhood, as well. Toronzo grew up on the South Side, not far from Theresa’s Lounge, the legendary little basement juke at the corner of 48th and Indiana where Junior Wells held forth whenever he was in town. "My uncle, Richard Cannon, worked for Theresa’s," he recalls. "He worked down in there; a general overall guy. That’s how he got to play drums with Buddy [Guy] and Junior whenever their drummer was late. I used to go to Baldwin Ice Cream, my brother and sister and I, right down the street from Theresa’s, about half a block. I would look over the banister, because I knew my uncles hung out there. I couldn’t get in, of course, but I would just look down there to see what’s going on. All this stuff started coming back to me when I started playing guitar years later."

By that time, Toronzo was in his early 20s, and he still wasn’t thinking of himself as a bluesman. "I was listening to a John Cougar song; it had a heavy acoustic sound in it. My sister was taking piano lessons, and I asked her, and she bought me an acoustic guitar, a Harmony, at a pawn shop. And that’s how I started.

"I was listening to a lot of reggae, too, at the time; I’d look at videos of Bob Marley playing, and that’s how I learned my chords. I knew of Hendrix, but I didn’t really ‘know’ Hendrix when I started playing guitar. I heard tapes of him, but they were always bootleg tapes, not good quality. But then when I saw a videotape, it just freaked me out."

The pieces were coming into place, but it took some immersion in the live music scene for the aspiring young fretman to find his blues inspiration – which, in his case, meant re-kindling something that had been dormant inside him for years. "When I had a jam to go to," he explains, "it would be a blues jam. My aunt’s records and my grandfather’s records and my uncles’ and all of that started coming back [to me]; I was like, ‘Oh, okay – all right!’ I started putting names with the stuff that I used to hear –the Tyrone Davises and the Johnnie Taylors, and then the Muddys and the Howlin’ Wolfs and all of that-- I just got more into it. Going back, thinking about my grandfather’s music, my aunts and uncles, and Theresa’s, and all that stuff started coming back – ‘Okay, wow, dig this!’ Man, I lived in a rich blues neighborhood and didn’t even know it!"

Toronzo’s first professional gig was with vocalist Tommy McCracken at the Taste of Chicago, the city’s annual lakefront food festival, in about 1997. Since then, he’s become steadily active on the Chicago scene as both a bandleader and a sideman, and he’s also been received enthusiastically overseas. In 2007, his self-released CD My Woman garnered critical and popular acclaim. As this disk shows, Toronzo’s gifts – as both a lyricist and an improviser– continue to develop and become richer. That shouldn’t be surprising, considering the role models he’s acquired over the years.

"Elmore James, J.B. Hutto, Hound Dog Taylor," he enthuses, "those guys put chill bumps on my arms, and they make my eyes well up with tears sometimes. When they come to that down-home, hollerin’ type blues, those cats kill me, man, and I love ‘em. I wanted to kinda give a shout-out to that kind of blues. ‘She Loved Me’ is like [Muddy Waters’ version of Slim Harpo’s] ‘King Bee,’ like a dirty kind of ‘King Bee’-type thing. That was my attempt to touch that -- just like a real dirty, distorted sound."

But "She Loved Me," like most of the other offerings on this disk, is also a finely-honed piece of lyric craftsmanship with a gripping storyline. Toronzo, who drives a bus for the Chicago Transit Authority when he’s not playing music, is a keen observer of the world around him, and a lot of his observations find their way into his songs. "Lotta the stuff," he affirms, "is just sitting on the bus, seeing things, thinking about stuff all day, and I just write stuff down at the red lights. I would pick women up that had that little band, the house arrest band, on their ankle. I see a lot of women going to jail meeting their boyfriends and their baby daddies and all that – I said, I wonder how does it feel for a man to love a woman, and she’s bein’ in and out of jail? And that’s where the song came from."

A similar thoughtfulness runs through the other offerings here. "Open Letter (To Whom It May Concern)," according to Toronzo, is his testament about "how some people on this blues scene conduct their business. And to me it’s not cool, it’s not blues-musician-friendly, and I refuse to be in dog-eat-dog type situations. I see some not-cool things, and it just came out." The unusual vocal mix on this one, he adds, was intentional: "I wanted it to be like I was on a soapbox, and this is the way I felt about certain things."

The title song, with its harrowing gunshot-to-the-temple ending, was yet another example of Toronzo’s determination to express himself, and tell his stories, in his own way. "I wanted it to have a twist," he explains, "because I didn’t want it to just be the regular old, ‘okay, his baby left him,’ or ‘His baby givin’ him the blues, and he’s got his suitcase at the door, and he’s leavin’ . . ." I just wanted a different ending, other than ‘My baby left me,’ y’know?"

But the blues is also about a party, and songs like the hilarious, slice-of-misadventure "I Can’t Take Her Nowhere" and the playfully machismo-laced "Do I Move You" and "Earnestine" (no relation to the Koko Taylor standard of the same name) amply showcase this side of Toronzo’s musical personality. Anyone who’s witnessed him in performance, joking and bantering with the crowd and his fellow musicians, can attest to the joy with which this from-the-heart bluesman purveys his craft. His intention, he says, is to provide his listeners with as wide a spectrum of emotional and musical experiences as possible. Like the music he loves, Toronzo embraces the entire spectrum of the human experience, from joy to sorrow and back again. His goal, he asserts, is to " maybe, not to sound cliche, take ‘em on a roller coaster ride.

"I’m not just one-dimensional."
David Whiteis, September 2011

  • Members:
    Toronzo Cannon, Roosevelt Purifoy, Marty Binder, Shy Gladney, Larry Williams, Carl Weathersby, Matthew Skoller
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