From the fifties onwards, the Blues was an urban music played on electric instruments in a band setting, but many performers still payed homage to their roots in country blues.
ERIC CLAPTON/B.B. KING – RIDING WITH THE KING
It’s hard to imagine what the blues would be without collaborations between giants of the genre. When two great voices combine to form one, the results can be delightful. And Riding with the King is no exception. Released in 2000, the Eric Clapton/B.B. King collection of duets has all the charm you’d expect from two masters of the form.
GUY DAVIS – BUTT NAKED FREE
Guy really gets into his stride on this album. With delicate arrangements of mandolin, organ and accordion, the result sounds full but not over-produced and superb rocking Blues like ‘Waiting for the Cards to Fall’ show Guy can write a song too.
TAJ MAHAL – ESSENTIAL TAJ MAHAL
This 36 track double CD starts with Taj’s early Blues and covers some Hawaiin and Latin material. Only his childrens albums and his most recent works are not here.
KENNY WAYNE SHEPHERD – TEN DAYS OUT
This remarkabel document gives amazing value with a 15 track album and accompanying DVD. Several of the players made their swan-songs here as they have since passed away.
SEASICK STEVE – MAN FROM ANOTHER TIME
The ultimate solo album, with only Dan on drums, this is a some extrordinary Blues. Watch out for the ‘hidden track’ embedded in ‘I’m So Lonely I Could Cry’.
LITTLE MILTON -BEST OF LITTLE MILTON. CHESS 50TH ANNIVERSARY.
Milton was at Chess for nearly ten years and you can hear the progression towards him becoming a soul singer.
MAGIC SLIM – SNAKEBITE
Most of these songs are Slim’s own compositions and he absolutely nails every one.
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BREWER PHILLIPS – GOOD HOUSE-ROCKIN’
Brewer did not make his name as a bandleader, but he could have given it a good shot. This collection has him and Ted Harvey, joined by some friends, giving up some rawboned Blues that comes from the heart.
LEFTY DIZZ – AIN’T IT NICE TO BE LOVED
What this record lacks in production values, it makes up for in enthusiasm. Lefty writes some good songs too!
PAUL ‘Wine’ JONES – MULE
Both of Paul’s albums are full of hard driving, raw Blues that makes no compromise with commercialism.
JAMES ‘Son’ THOMAS – BEEFSTEAK BLUES
Playing acoustic and electric guitars, and showing some style with his bottleneck, ‘Son’ gives up some old-school Delta Blues.
CHRIS THOMAS KING – RED MUD
Chris includes a few of his own compositions with covers of some classic Delta numbers. The duets with his Dad are a highlight, and Chris’s guitar work is superb.
BEN HARPER – GET UP!
Ben and Charlie combine like a single mind to provide some wonderful Blues. With a small band, Ben’s slide-guitar and Charlie’s harp produce a thing of beauty.
SONNY RHODES – BLUE DIAMOND
Thirteen tracks of ‘throwback Blues’ as Sonny sounds like somebody from another era. Includes a twenty minute interview as a bonus track.
LITTLE JIMMY KING – LITTLE JIMMY KING AND THE MEMPHIS SOUL SURVIVORS
Little Jimmy’s debut album gives him the opportunity to show his chops, with some smokin’ guitar and a soulful voice.
SUGAR BLUE – SUGAR BLUE
Sugar is on top form, with some immaculate phrasing in his solos.
JOE LOUIS WALKER – COLD WAS THE NIGHT/ GIFT
The Boss Talkers back Joe to the hilt and a horn section makes this some hard edged Soul/Blues.
JONNY LANG – WANDER THIS WORLD
Jonny demonstrates a range of styles here, from Memphis Soul to straight Blues, and shows an authentic voice that speaks of experience beyond his tender years
SONNY LANDRETH – SOUTH OF I-10
This album made a big impression when it was released in 2003, and it has been re-issued on Sonny’s own label.
CATFISH KEITH – A FISTFUL OF RIFFS
‘Jitterbug Swing’ and ‘Sweet Pea’ show off Keith’s voice and have some great songs but, for me, his playing on tracks like ‘Dark was the Night’ make this album a must.
GARY CLARK Jr. – BLAK & BLU
There are 12 original Clark compositions here, joined by a medley track of ‘If You Love Me Like You Say’ by Albert Collins and the Hendrix number ‘3rd Stone from the Sun’.
SUPER CHIKAN – BLUES COME HOME TO ROOST
These 14 tracks from the quirky Delta Bluesman are a great introduction to his work.
DEREK TRUCKS – SONGLINE
This is quite a diverse collection, with African and Middle-Eastern flavours, plus pure Blues like Crow Jane and Chevrolet all given Derek’s distinctive treatment.
WASHBOARD WILLIE – MOTOR CITY BOOGIE
Willie shows his vocal chops, and some finger-wizardry, on this collection of his singles and a few classics as a bonus.
NICK GRAVENITES – MY LABORS AND MORE
Nick sings and plays keyboards, with some of Mike Bloomfield’s best guitar work, on ten of Nick’s own songs and an Otis Rush classic.
BILLY BRANCH – HARP ATTACK
A hot backing band and crisp production allows a lot of space for these four guys to fill, and the results won them a Grammy.
MICKEY BAKER – ROCK WITH A SOCK
Mickey is an underated guitarist, whose work back in the 50s as a session player and a solo instrumentalist was highly influential.
FENTON ROBINSON – SOMEBODY LOAN ME A DIME
There is some superb Blues guitar on this album and Fenton wrote most of the material too, with his version of ‘Texas Flood’ an exception.
ROD PIAZZA – KEEPIN’ IT REAL
Thirteen tracks of modern Blues that take the best Chicago traditions and re-invigorate them with West-coast energy.
BIG JOE TURNER – THE VERY BEST OF BIG JOE TURNER
This 16-track compilation is remastered from the Atlantic originals to give a bright, upfront sound and includes all Big Joe’s major hits. It concentrates on up-tempo material rather than Blues ballads, but represents outstanding value.