2024 Blues Albums

2024 Blues Albums

Here, we'll be exploring the latest pulse of the Blues scene, showcasing a vibrant array of album releases that promise to keep this timeless genre thriving. From the raw, electrifying energy of seasoned legends to the fresh, innovative sounds of emerging talents, we're diving deep into the diverse world of blues music. Whether you're a devout blues aficionado or a curious newcomer, join us as we traverse the soulful and dynamic landscape of 2024's Blues albums, where every note tells a story and every chord echoes a legacy.


Having cut his teeth as a high-profile frontman for Levon Helm’s band The Barnburners, bluesman Chris O’leary knows a thing or two about melding blues with rock. His latest album, The Hard Line is just the latest in a long line of arguments that O’Leary is among the very best of his craft. His vocals are often rough-hewn as often as they are sensitive and tender. It’s as if someone forgot to tell him that his stylings have to be one or the others. 

The aching ‘I Cry at Night’ is as bursting with vulnerability as its title would suggest. It is possibly the album’s best track. But just as impressive is the upbeat shuffle of ‘Lost My Mind.’ Shifting back and forth between dance-friendly tracks that celebrate life and mournful ballads that seem to welcome the sweet release of death would, in lesser hands, be a clumsy juggling act. But for Chris O’Leary, it’s just what he does. In other words he does blues rock as well as it can be done.


If the blues world of late seems it could use a great deal more of a female presence, it’s worth considering that many blues-belting ladies are in fact doing their thing — but with a fairly low profile. Danielle Nicole is poised to become a star in the blues scene. And her latest effort, The Love You Bleed is just another step toward making this happen.

As a bassist and monstrous vocalist, Nicole hails from Kansas City, Missouri, a major midwestern hub of her chosen genre, as noted for its bluesy atmosphere as it is for its legendary barbecue. Appropriately, every note she sings drips with volcanic hot sauce.

‘Walk on By’ is not to be confused with the Burt Bacharach pop standard. While the earlier tune was full of sadness and regret, Nicole’s song erupts with rage and unspoken vows of vengeance. This track is the sonic equivalent of a hot poker in the belly.

Just as powerful is the ballad ‘A Lover if Forever.’ Armed only with a acoustic guitar and her own vocal chords, it truly provides chills with every line that pours from her gifted voice. If the singer sounds wounded in a typical manner, it’s because your not playing close enough attention. With The Love you Bleed, Danielle Nicole has emerged as one of the best female blues singers of recent years.


In case your wondering, the title of Tinsely Ellis’ latest album is not a comment on his choice of public garb. The Atlanta-based bluesman is indeed fully clothed on his album’s cover. But it won’t take much of a listen to fully understand the inspiration for the title. There’s something about a lone vocalist accompanied by his own acoustic guitar that seems open, vulnerable, indeed, naked. And it is exactly this band of nakedness that Tinsely Ellis’ new album one of the strongest efforts of the past few years. 

The bleak backwoods stomp of ‘Death Letter Blues’ will doubtlessly capture the attention of anyone with a caricatured view of the blues. It is a raw and relentlessly unvarnished as possible, a true masterwork of its sub-genre. But labeling it the album’s best would mean overlooking everything else Ellis has to offer. 

That said, the clever ‘Grown Ass Man’ comes in a close second. It is a bold declaration of independence unlike any other. Checking out Naked Truth should be mandatory for anyone seeking the very best of acoustic blues. 


Anyone who believes that the blues is a genre firmly cemented in somber songs about loss of life and love would be cured of such a view only a few seconds into the latest album by Bob Corritore and Friends. Phoenix Blues Rumble is a joy from beginning to end. It is somehow both adolescent and vintage. 

Harmonica master Corritore is at his very best on the second track of Phoenix Blues Rumble, but for all the unmitigated joy of ‘Come To Me Baby,’ it can’t quite match the fast-paced fun of ‘Walking in the Park.’ In addition to the charming storytelling, there is also a sense of reckless danger. 

Also of note is the album’s dark closer, ‘I’m Evil.’ From anyone blessed with less of a sense humanity, the song would come across as self-pitying. But somehow we know there’s a depth here that doesn’t need to announce itself verbally. The same could be said of the album as a whole. 

Phoenix Blues Rumble is far from a perfect album. It could have gained from better crafted songs and a singer of greater versatility. But it shuffles along nicely and packs the laughs as much as any blues album to come around for a while. 


Blues veteran Seth James has the kind of voice that makes it clear that he’s lived a life — a long life full of stunning ups and downs. And just as his voice tells his story, so does every one of the songs on Lessons. 

The funky blues of ‘Morgan City Blues’ represents the highlights of lessons. With strong lyrics and horns that slide in and out of the melody flawlessly, it is exactly the high-octane song an album like this needs to keep from getting stale. 

Another standout is ‘Maybe Someday Baby.’ Packed with hard-hitting horns and a full throated vocalist, it seems to explode with everything the band has to offer. 

Seth James’ album is truly a magnificent piece of work, blending the hard-hitting with the soft-landing. While it may have benefitted from a more diverse set of compositions, it is important to accept Lessons exactly as it is. Just as it is important to accept lessons exactly as they are. Seth James seems to. He accepts every lesson life gives him and shares it with us in a truly memorable way. This album teaches us everything we need to know about life.