High Noon Roadhouse Blues on BMFR

Join me today for my Roadhouse Blues Nooner from 12 to 2 pm EST at http://www.bluesmusicfan.com. Got tunes by Link Wray, Vidar Busk & His True Believers, C.W. Stoneking, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Bulldoze Blues Band, Mia Dyson, Steve Earle & the Dukes, and plenty more!

Below is the intended playlist:

ARTISTTITLEALBUM
Link WrayRambleWraymen Unbound
Mike ZitoNo Particular Place to GoRock ‘n’ Roll: A Tribute to Chuck Berry
Chuck BerryToo Much Monkey BusinessThe Definitive Collection
Jimmy BarnesShake Rattle And RollBest Of The Soul Years
Vidar Busk & His True BelieversShe’s So Fine (LIve)Stompin’ Our Feet With Joy
Ghalia & Mama’s BoysPress That TriggerLet The Demons Out
Travellin’ Blue KingsStraight EightWired Up
The YardbirdsI Ain’t Done WrongGreatest Hits Volume One 1964-1966
C.W. StonekingSpoonfulThe Dig – Australian Blues Project
Ray Wylie HubbardRoll And I TumbleDelirium Tremolos
Andrew Robert EustaceFree ManStories
JJ Grey & MofroOn FireOrange Blossoms
Shaun MurphyNickel and a NailCry of Love
Tab BenoitRaided That JointThese Blues Are All Mine
Bulldoze Blues BandBaby What You Want Me To DoComes Alive Again
Jeff BeckBlues De Luxe (ft Rod Stewart)Truth
Warren HaynesI’ll Be The OneTales Of Ordinary Madness
Susan TedeschiJust Won’t BurnBeautiful Women In Blues 2
Geoff Achison & The SouldiggersChasing My TailLittle Big Men [ Jupiter 2 ]
Mia DysonRock Me BabyThe Dig – Australian Blues Project
Riff RidersRumorsHIt the Road
Ariel PosenGet You Back (Live)The Live Sessions
Steve Earle & The DukesChampagne CorollaJ.T.
Tommy CastroLeaving Trunk (Live)Killin’ it live
Pat SmillieAin’t No Doubt About ThatLonesome For A Long Time
Southern AvenueLuckyKeep On

2021 Roadhouse Blues on BMFR at 12 pm ET (Thank God 2020 is Gone)

Get your day bluzin’ with me at http://www.bluesmusicfan.com from 12-2 pm ET. Glad to see 2020 go and got some hot new roadhouse blues tunes to get 2021 rollin’ from Marc Amacher, Eel Pie, Pat Smillie, Lynne Jackaman, Jo Harman, and many more!

Below is the intended playlist:

ARTISTTITLEALBUM
Ole Frimer BandBrush With The BluesLive In Eppingen
Marc AmacherCaddy (Unmastered)The Roadhouse Session
HeavyDrunkPick You Up Along The WayHolywater
Endrick & the SandwichesYou Can’t Judge A Book By It’s CoverGreen Room Rumble
Robert PlantCharlie Patton Highway (Turn It Up, Pt. 1)Digging Deep: Subterranea
Red RedIn The PinesPromo Single
Kiko Garcia BandOne More TroubleCheap Talk
Sunday Wilde and The 1 Eyed JacksShow Me MercySunday Wilde & The 1 Eyed Jacks
Harpdog BrownWhiskey BottleWhat It Is
Eel Pie49th Sky BluesEel Pie
Bones OwensLong Long TimeMake Me No King
Pat SmillieBroke Down Chevy #2Promo Single
Danny BrooksMe & Brownie McGheeAre You Ready? The Mississippi
Jo HarmanNo One Left To Blame (radio)Promo Single
Lynne JackamanI’ll Allow YouOne Shot
Reverend NathonDarker Shade Of BluesVolume 1
GokseninThe Blues Is My BusinessWomen’s Blues
Andy WattsBlues On Fire (ft Joe Louis Walker)Blues On Fire
Big Bone DaddyKnock KnockGot It
Johnny IguanaShake Your MoneymakerJohnny Iguana’s Chicago Spectacular!
Johnny BurginBlues Falling (Feat. Charlie Musselwhite)Live
Dave SpecterThis Time I’m Gone for GoodMessage in Blue
Johnny Fink and the IntrusionIt’s AlrightJFI
Jeremiah JohnsonBlues In Her EyesStraitjacket
Avey Grouws BandCome And Get This LoveThe Devil May Care
JP Williams Blues BandCigar Box BoogieEverblue
Marcus MaloneStand Or FallStand Or Fall

End of the Year Roadhouse Blues on BMFR from 12-2 pm EST

Join me today at High Noon 12 pm EST for some end of the year Roadhouse Blues on http://www.bluesmusicfan.com. I have new contemporary blues tunes by RJ and the Houndogs, Bette Smith, The BluesBones, George & Noriko, Austin John, and many more.

Below is the intended playlist:

ARTISTTITLEALBUM
Sonny LandrethThe Milky Way Home (Live)Recorded Live in Lafayette
Bills, TheAsking For MoreTil The Blues Have Gone
Seasick SteveToes In The MudLove & Peace
Eddie 9VBrighter DaysBrighter Days (digital 45)
The Lucky LosersHalf a NothingGodless Land
Larkin PoeHoly Ghost FireSelf Made Man
R J and the HoundogsCut LooseSwamp Religion
New Moon Jelly Roll Freedom RockersNight Time (feat Jimbo Mathis)Volume I
Bette SmithFistful of DollarsThe Good, the Bad and the Bette
Curtis and the ShakerzThe Blues Down In My SoulPromo Single
Brigitte PurdyMemphis HotlineSingle release
Fantastic NegritoChocolate SamuraiHave You Lost Your Mind yet?
The War and TreatyBeautiful (feat. Jason Isbell)Hearts Town
The BluesBonesBetter LifeLive on stage
George & NorikoKuroishi Yosare BushiHowlin’ Sun
George & NorikoQueen Of UndergroundHowlin’ Sun
The Bush LeagueI Feel Like Going HomeHere We Are …Again
Eric JohansonDown To The BottomBelow Sea Level
BackslidersShake Em On DownBonecrunch
GA-20Sit Down BabyPromo Single
Austin JohnTake It Easy BabyDiggin’ In
Jimmie VaughanI Ain’t Gonna Do It No MoreThe Pleasure’s All Mine
Trainman BluesI’m FirePromo Single
Thorbjorn Risager and The Black TornadoCome On InCome On In
The Barrett Anderson BandEmma LeeHypnobooge
The Immediate FamilyCruel TwistSlippin’ and Slidin’
Henrik Freischlader BandWhat Have I Done to YouMissing Pieces
BeauwaterNodding OffWho Works For Who?
Alberta & The Dead EyesHopscotch BluesNo, No. You Go.

Leslie West ….Dead at 75….One of the Greatest Blues Rockers of all time!

For my generation, we were introduced to Leslie West via the group Mountain. And over the years, I enjoyed listening to a series of awesome blues rock albums that he put out. Now it is reported that Leslie passed away right before Christmas. He will be missed!!

In 2004, Leslie put out the song “If Heartaches Were Nickels” featuring a young singer and guitar player, Joe Bonamassa, who was then relatively unknown. Written by Warren Haynes (Gov’t Mule, the Allman Brothers), the song was also covered by Joe on his first album. I hope you get a chance to give it a listen and to remember the life and times of Leslie West….dead at the age of 75. Rest in Peace Brother!!

The Snowed In Roadhouse Blues 3-5 pm EST On Blues Music Fan Radio

The first winter storm of the year has struck…..but the blues roll on! Tune in today from 3 to 5 pm EST for my Snowed In Roadhouse blues featuring Jay Stollman, GG Davies, Crystal Shawanda, Samantha Martin, and many more at http://www.bluesmusicfan.com.

Here is the intended playlist:

ARTISTTITLEALBUM
Shuggie OtisCold ShotPlays the Blues
Samantha Martin & Delta SugarBetter To Have NeverThe Reckless One
Dave KellerOne More Tear (Feat. Annika Chambers)You Get What You Give: Duets
Curtis SalgadoThe Longer That I Live2020 Blues Sampler Alligator Records
Eva CarboniWages of SinItalia Square
Jay StollmanBack to MemphisRoom for One More
Anthony Rosano and The ConqueroosLove Got a Hold on MeAnthony Rosano and the Conqueroos
Crystal ShawandaMove MeChurch House Blues
Harpdog BrownBetter Days (Featuring Kid Andersen)Travelin’ with the Blues
Johnny BurginLate Night Date Night (Feat. Rae Gordon)Live
Shaun MurphySoul ShakeFlame Still Burns
Dave KeyesNot So Nice AnymoreThe Healing
John GintyDamage ControlBad News Travels
Rita Engedalen & Margit BakkenThey’re Still Passing ThroughWomen In Blues: Broken Soul Blues
Willie MayJoanna ConquerorBlues For Sugar
Harmonica Shah & Howard GlazerMy Bottle Is My Bank AccountAin’t Gonna Worry About Tomorrow
Bonnie Raitt, Keb’ Mo’ and Alan DarbyMillion MilesEric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival 2019 (Live)
Citizen Cope and Gary Clark Jr.Son’s Gonna RiseEric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival 2019 (Live)
Eric Clapton with Andy Fairweather-LowLay Down SallyEric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival 2019 (Live)
Luca BurgalassiThe Real MeCome To My World
Monti AmundsonLesson Or TwoI See Trouble
Jeremiah JohnsonMuddy Black WaterUnemployed Highly Annoyed
David GogoChristine!Promo Single
GG DaviesWhen the Drought BeginsPromo Single
Johnny Mastro & Mama’s BoysTonight We RideCaptain Trappiste Vol. 2
Chris AntonikLong Way To Go (Feat. Steve Marriner)Better For You

The Almost to 2021 Roadhouse Blues Nooner on BMFR

This godforsaken year is almost done!! Join me today, December 15th, for some contemporary blues on http://www.bluesmusicfan.com from 12 pm to 2 pm EST! I have some Mark Knopfler, Bonnie Raitt, Lee O’Nell Blues Gang, Alastair Greene, the Brother Jon Band, and many more! Below is the intended playlist…..and….they make GREAT Christmas gifts to friends and family!

ARTISTTITLEALBUMLABEL
The Fabulous Thunderbirds(Rockin’) Winter WonderlandAn Austin Rhythm And Blues Christmas
Jimmie VaughanThe Pleasure’s All MineThe Pleasure’s All Mine
Mojo Blues BandDo Me Up Good (Live)Shutdown
John HiattOver The HillThe Eclipse SessionsNew West Records
Andrew RiverstoneWhen The Wind Changes (Beside With Me)Andrew Riverstone
Mark KnopflerBlood and WaterPrivateering
Van MorrisonCeltic New YearMagic Time
Grainne DuffyNo Matter What I DoVoodoo Blues
Bonnie RaittLove LetterRoad TestedCapital Records
Lee O’Nell Blues GangDifferent Shades Of LoveDifferent Shades Of Love
Keb’ Mo’Merry Merry ChristmasMoonlight, Mistletoe & You
Irma ThomasOld Habits Are Hard to BreakRollin’ Into Memphis: Songs of John Hiatt
Duke RobillardI Ain’t Gonna Do ItBlues Bash With Duke Robillard and FriendsStony Plain Records
Kim WilsonSlow DownTake Me Back
Peter Veteska & Blues TrainYou Give Me LovingGrass Ain’t Greener On The Other Side
Gov’t MuleWhen The World Gets Small [feat. Steve Winwood]Shout!
Joe BonamassaWhy Does It Take So Long To Say GoodbyeRoyal Tea
Alastair GreeneBayou MileThe New World Blues
Julian SasThe Blues Won’t StayBound To Roll
Andy WattsStraight Shooting WomanSuperGroove
Dudley TaftThe End Of The BluesCosmic Radio
Eric SteckelSince I Been Loving YouGrandview Drive
Félix RabinSay (You Won’t Leave Me)Pogboy
Geoff EverettLeavin’ trunkSwamp FrogGeoff Everett
Brother Jon Band990 DaysOpen JamSelf Release

Roadhouse Bluzin’ the 10th on Blues Music Fan Radio 3-5pm EST

Got some great roadhouse blues for ya today on http://www.bluesmusicfan.com from 3 to 5 pm EST. Spinnin’ tunes by Anson Funderburgh, Kiko Garcia, Cathy Grier, Larkin Poe, Boogie Bombers, Tab Benoit, and many more!

You can find the intended playlist at http://www.benveeblues.com. (They make great Christmas gifts too!!!)

ARTISTTITLEALBUM
Anson Funderburgh and the RocketsIt’ll DoTell Me What I Want To Hear
The Tasty KingsIt’s Me, BabySeven Nights to Rock
Travellin’ Blue KingsI Don’t Wanna StopWired Up
King Bee and The StingersBuzz AwhileMeet Me In Memphis
Rae Gordon BandGet Right With The WorldWrong Kind Of Love
Kiko García BandSayMojo Ringer
Glen HansardRoll On SlowBetween Two Shores
Jimmie VaughanBad Bad WhiskeyThe Pleasure’s All Mine
Jonny LangMatchboxLie To Me
Ozgur HazarLet Me Be Your ManSad And Blue
Mojo Blues BandAfter YouShutdown
The B. Christopher BandIt’s AlrightTwo Rivers Back
Sonny GreenI Beg Your PardonFound! One Soul Singer
Dennis Herrera Blues BandMean Ole Texas Shuffle (feat. Anson Funderburgh)Livin’ Life Not Worryin’
Jose RamirezGasoline and MatchesHere I Come
Dave Riley & Bob CorritoreTravelin’ The Dirt RoadFrom The Vaults: Travelin’ The Dirt Road
Anthony Rosano and The ConqueroosGive Me StrengthAnthony Rosano and the Conqueroos
Cathy GrierGet Me AwayI’m All Burn
Blues ArcadiaBad BoogalooCarnival Of Fools
Boogie BombersBack to New OrleansBoogie Bonanza
Tab BenoitAin’t Gonna Do ItLive: Swampland Jam
Tiffany Pollack & Eric JohansonBlues In My BloodBlues In My Blood
Larkin PoeFly AwayKindred Spirits
Andrew RiverstoneOne Foot In The BucketAndrew Riverstone
Layla ZoeThis Love Will LastNowhere left to go
Brandon SantiniDrive You Off My MindThe Longshot
David Rotundo BandSo Much TroubleSo Much Trouble
Artur MenezesUntil I Can SeeFading Away

Roadhouse Bluzin’ on December 08 2020

Join me today for some great contemporary blues on http://www.bluesmusicfan.com from 12 to 2 PM EST. Have music by Eric Clapton, Jack de Keyzer, Shaun Murphy, Layla Zoe, Buddy Guy, Janiva Magness and many more!

Below is the intended playlist:

ARTISTTITLEALBUM
John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers Feat. Eric ClaptonHideawayBluesbreakers
Kai StraussGuest In The House Of The BluesIn My Prime
Eric ClaptonI’m Tore DownGroaning The Blues
Jack de KeyzerOn The MoneyTribute   MP3 VERSION
Shaun MurphyLiving In The Palace Of The KingFlame Still Burns
Steve StrongmanJust Ain’t RightTired of Talkin’
Layla ZoeThis Love Will LastNowhere left to go
The Tasty KingsEvery NightSeven Nights to Rock
Robert Connely FarrAll GoodCountry Supper
Black Tongued Bells, TheSixteen TonsEvery Tongue Has A Tale To Tell
David Rotundo BandI Must Be CrazySo Much Trouble
Wily Bo Walker & Danny FlamTime To Forget You (Bourbon & Candlelight Mix)Time To Forget You (Bourbon & Candlelight Mix)
Buddy GuyChecking on My BabyMy Time After Awhile
Luther AllisonGive It AllTime
Travellin’ Blue KingsInto the NightWired Up
Jimmie VaughanIt’s Love Baby (24 Hours A Day)Baby, Please Come Home
Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double TroubleHoney BeeCouldn’t Stand The Weather
NiecieWaiting For The Shoe To DropTrouble With A Capital T
Danielle NicoleSave MeCry No More
Voodoo WaltersHey Now BabyBlues in the Time of Covid
Miss EmilySometimes It’s Better to LoseMiss Emily Live At The Isabel
The Alastair Greene BandBack Where I BelongTrouble At Your Door
Grainne DuffyRoll ItVoodoo Blues
Paul Boddy & The Slidewinder Blues BandMoney On LoveFriends Of Tuesday
Janiva MagnessDirty WaterStronger For It
Red RedLong Black TrainSingle
King KingWhen My Winter ComesMaverick (Deluxe)
When Rivers MeetI’d Have FallenWe Fly Free
Artur MenezesFading AwayFading Away

A Bin Full of Roadhouse Blues 2020 (They Make GREAT Christmas Gifts) – Part One

So you still have people on your Christmas list to shop for or maybe just a little something for yourself? No problem!! Here are some roadhouse blues albums that will endear you to your friends and help out the blues artists….all of whom have been financially struggling during this hideous year while producing some fantastic tunes!

Steve Strongman – Tired of Talking (Stony Plain Records 2020)

Steve Strongman drifts effortlessly from traditional blues to R&B and soul and then to roots acoustic music on this fine album, Tired of Talking. This Canadian artist sings, plays the guitar, dobro, and does some damn fine harpin’ also. He’s good enough to have opened for B.B. King, Johnny Winter, and Buddy Guy and that is damn sure good enough for me….and hopefully for YOU! Give Just Ain’t Right a listen!

Grainne Duffy – Voodoo Blues (2020 Independent Release)

With a powerful gritty soulful voice, this Irish lass has delivered a masterful roadhouse blues recording with the release of her seventh album, Voodoo Blues. Part roots blues, southern rock, and blues rock, overall it is representative of the talent and bright future that she has. Her style is ready made for live performances and festival appearances. As soon as the pandemic recedes, expect to hear a lot more from her! Give the title cut, Voodoo Blues, a listen….see what I mean!!

Johnny Iguana – Johnny Iguana’s Chicago Spectacular! (Delmark Records 2020)

If you love some rockin’ vibrant piano blues….have I got the album for you or someone you know! This badass blues man hails from Chicago and on Johnny Iguana’s Chicago Spectacular, he does rousing covers of 44 Blues, Down in the Bottom, Shake Your Moneymaker, and Stop Breaking Down. He was part of Junior Wells Band for a time and has toured or recorded with Buddy Guy, Billy Branch, Billy Arnold, and a number of other Chicago blues greats. Now, on his first album as the band leader, Johnny pounds the ivories through some great contemporary songs as well as blues classics. Cool tunes from a great guy!!

Brother Jon Band – Open Jam (Independent Release 2015)

I’m honored that so many independent artists choose to send me copies of their recordings. Just recently, I got one from Minneapolis that just blew me away. The Brother Jon Band has a badass roadhouse blues sound that is reminiscent of Canned Heat and the Black Crowes with hints of Guns ‘N Roses. Music like this brings back a lot of memories. Give WHEN SHE CRIES a listen (on Spotify) or BOBBY’S BLUES (on Youtube) and see if you don’t agree and then go to this link and download the album, Open Jam!

Duke Robillard – Blues Bash with Duke Robillard & Friends (Stony Plain Records 2020)

Photo by David Lee Black

I absolutely love 1950’s style upbeat blues. It was an era when the blues was in the process of giving birth to rock ‘n roll and the Duke captures the essence of that golden era for music with the new Blues Bash with Duke Robillard & Friends recording. It is an excellent album to have playing for small Christmas party gathering. The tunes are danceable, bright, and energetic. (Try Do You Mean It! This Grammy nominated artist and five time winner of the Blues Music Award as best guitarist has been thrilling audiences all over the world since 1967 and this recordings demonstrates why he won’t be stopping anytime soon.

Kerry Kearney – Tales from the Psychedelta (2020 Highlander Records)

A slide guitar player who I would put up against the likes of Sonny Landreth and Derek Trucks, Kerry Kearney is a Long Island native who released his 18th recording this year, Tales From The Psychedelta. It is actually a compilation album that includes tracks that are no longer in print making it a nice gift for those familiar with him as well as new fans. Listen to his vocals and the badass guitar licks on Voodoo Down The River and I think you will understand why I named this album one of the 40 best blues rock albums of 2020 earlier this week.

Michael “Iron Man” Burks – Show of Strength (2012 Alligator Records)

Michael Burks’ Show of Strength album is one that I place among the pantheon of stellar blues recordings alongside works by Luther Allison and Buddy Guy. Tragically, Michael never got to hear the final mix of his work. He died suddenly of heart failure while returning from a tour of Europe. A son of Arkansas, Michael was the complete blues man; a showman, stellar guitar player, and he possessed a powerful voice that dripped with the soul. There isn’t a bad song among the 12 tracks and my personal favorite is Storm Warning. You can’t go wrong with this as a stocking stuffer for a friend or family member.


Ben Vee started out spinning songs on terrestrial radio and at nightclubs back in the 1970’s in his home state of Louisiana. After a career in the construction business, he returned to DJing in 2011. He now hosts two shows each week on http://www.bluesmusicfan.com and writes about the blues at http://www.benveeblues.com from his home in Connecticut.

The term “roadhouse blues” refers to modern contemporary blues that are primarily upbeat in nature and incorporate the influence of rock, roots music, soul, and R&B.

The Ben Vee Roadhouse 40 Best Blues Rock Albums of 2020

I am publishing my annual lists early this year with the hopes that people who follow me will give the gift of music for the holidays to friends and family to financially help a group of creative people that have been particularly hard hit by public gathering restrictions. No single working group other than restaurant workers has been hit as hard during the pandemic as artists and musicians. My heart goes out to them and 2021 can’t get here soon enough!

My criteria for picking the 40 best blues rock albums that I have heard during 2020 are pretty simple: 1) A judgement of the body of work on the recording, not just the fact that it may have a hit single. (Which I address in my annual Roadhouse 66 Best Blues Songs of the Year review.) 2) In the blues community there is a lot of respect given to artists and groups that “have paid their dues” through years of recording and performing which I reflect in my weighting of selections for the list. With that stated…..get your credit cards ready and your favorite music purchase app loaded….and chose a couple or more of these albums to help the blues community survive the 2020 pandemic!!

The Top Forty Blues Rock Albums (Listings 31 through 40)

These ten selections include Australian Simon Kinny-Lewis performing a rousing rendition of “I Just Want to Make Love To You” and getting help from Robben Ford on the song “Dagger Eyes”. American expat Seasick Steve cranks out a message to all of us to give each other a break, come together, stop the hatred, and get back to “Love & Peace”. Hurricane Ruth is a blues rockin’ Mama out of St. Louis that continues to do an awesome job of rockin’ the blues with tunes like “She’s Golden”. Some of you may not know of King King out of the UK where they are a perennial blues rockin’ favorite. Their lead singer, Alan Nimmo, has a voice you just have got to hear!! Give the song “I Will Not Fail” a listen!! Sass Jordan delivers a purely blues rockin’ album that includes a great version of “One Way Out” by the Allman Brothers and covers of blues favorites “Palace of the King” and “Leaving Trunk”. The UK’s Snowy White recorded with Thin Lizzy and Pink Floyd back in the day and has put out a string of awesome blues rock albums over the years. Give a listen to “One More Traveler” and “Commercial Suicide” from his latest recording to understand why I think it is one of the very best albums of 2020.

Top FortySimon Kinny-LewisAnother Day in San JoseAustralia
Top FortySeasick SteveLove & PeaceUK
Top FortyHurricane Ruth Good LifeUSA
Top FortyDave FieldsForce of WillUSA
Top FortyKing KingMaverickUK
Top FortySass JordanRebel Moon BluesCanada
Top FortyBilly Walton BandDark HourUSA
Top FortySnowy White and the White FlamesSomething on MeUK
Top FortyRae Gordon BandWrong Kind of LoveUSA
Top FortyRobert Jon & The WreckLast Light on the HighwayUSA

Top Thirty Blues Rock Albums (selections 21 to 30)

Our next grouping of artists includes Casey James who is a talented Texan with a Hollywood smile, a great voice, and plays a badass guitar. One testament to his talent is that Roadhouse Hall of Famer Delbert McClinton recorded the song “Bulletproof” with him on the new album. The Allman Betts Band featuring the sons of the Allman Brothers Band released their sophomore album this past summer. Give “Pale Horse Rider” and “Savannah’s Dream” a spin to understand why I believe they will be one of the great touring bands of this decade. I love the depth of sound of big bands and the seven piece ensemble that backs Thorbjorn Risager as the Black Tornado are world class. Thorbjorn’s voice has driven a number of listeners to my Blues Music Fan Radio shows to jump on chat and ask me “who is THAT singing?”. Give the title cut and “Last Train” a listen…you will understand why. Another fabulous voice of the blues is Canadian Crystal Shawanda who belts out “Evil Memory” and “Move Me” on the new recording. Dudley Taft has done well enough in the music biz over the years to purchase Peter Frampton’s studio in Ohio and record some stellar albums there. Give the title cut of Croatia’s Be Sharp Band recording and you’ll understand why I am so high on this European group. One of my picks for breakout group of 2020 has to be the Avey Grouws Band out of Iowa. They have been nominated for a Grammy and their future is very bright!

Top ThirtyCasey JamesIf You Don’t Know By NowUSA
Top ThirtyThe Allman Betts BandBless Your HeartUSA
Top ThirtyThorbjorn Risager and The Black TornadoCome On InDenmark
Top ThirtyDudley TaftCosmic RadioUSA
Top ThirtyAlastair GreeneThe New World BluesUSA
Top ThirtyCrystal ShawandaChurch House BluesCanada
Top ThirtyMarcus KingEldoradoUSA
Top ThirtyAvey Grouws BandThe Devil May CareUSA
Top ThirtyThe Reverend Shawn Amos & The BrotherhoodBlue SkyUSA
Top ThirtyBe Sharp BandAshesCroatia

Top Twenty Blues Rock Albums (Selections 11 to 20)

This selection of albums includes new recordings by perennial favorites Joe Bonamassa, Tinsley Ellis, Joe Louis Walker, Sonny Landreth, and Joanne Shaw Taylor. All of them are super stars of the blues in general and blues rock in particular. And any of their albums would make great stocking stuffers for Christmas! The selection also includes some interesting newer artists. Eliza Neals, from Detroit, can dang sure belt out a tune with feeling. Andy Watts hails from Israel and gets contributions from Eliza Neals, Joe Louis Walker, and a gravely voiced singer by the name of Roy Young on the Supergroove recording. Hailing from New York City, you need to give the fierce vocals and gritty realism of Bette Smith’s lyrics a listen on “Fistful of Dollars”, “I’m A Sinner”, and “Don’t Skip Out on Me”. Another New Yorker on the list, from Long Island, is Kerry Kearney. His new album includes some stellar cover tunes (“Lawdy Mama”, “Mean Old Frisco”) as well as several badass originals including “Voodoo Down the River”. And last but nevah least is the new recording from Jeff Fetterman. Give “49/61” and his incredible cover of “All Along The Watchtower” a spin to understand why I love his talent.

Top TwentyAndy WattsSuperGrooveIsrael
Top TwentyJoe BonamassaRoyal TeaUSA
Top TwentyTinsley EllisIce Cream In HellUSA
Top TwentyBette SmithThe Good, the Bad and the BetteUSA
Top TwentyJoe Louis WalkerBlues Comin’ OnUSA
Top TwentySonny LandrethBlacktop RunUSA
Top TwentyJeff FettermanSouthern SonUSA
Top TwentyJoanne Shaw Taylor Reckless BluesUSA
Top TwentyEliza NealsBlack Crow MoanUSA
Top TwentyKerry KearneyTales from the PsychedeltaUSA

THE BEN VEE ROADHOUSE TOP TEN BEST BLUES ROCK ALBUMS OF 2020

#10 – Albert CummingsBelieve

Albert Cummings first started recording in the late 1990’s and his stellar guitar playing earned him instant notice. Over the last 20 years, he has released six studio albums prior to this one. Given that he has a day job as a custom home builder, he has not toured as extensively as many of the others on this list. But that hasn’t stopped him from developing a loyal following including one Ben Vee! Give “Call Me Crazy”, “Me and My Guitar”, or his cover of “Hold On” and “My Babe” a spin to get a good feel for his talent.

#9 – Too Slim and the TaildraggersThe Remedy

If ya just want to listen to power trio blues rock to chase the black clouds in your mind away, there is no better remedy than Too Slim and The Taildraggers. Tim “Too Slim” Langford has a distinctive gravely voice and cranks out sonic pyrotechnics that are a meld of Robin Trower and ZZ Top. Give “Devil’s Hostage”, “She Got the Remedy”, and “Reckless” a listen to understand my amazement at the number of people that don’t know who this group is though they have released over TWENTY albums since the mid 1980’s.

#8 – Larkin PoeSelf Made Man

This talented sister duo has taken the world by storm over the last several years and are probably the best selling artists on this year’s list. Their music is highly accessible as evidenced by their crossover appeal to blues, rock, country, and gospel audiences. During the pandemic, I have tuned into several of their live performances on Facebook and it is incredible to watch them just wing their way through their songs while chatting, laughing, and having a generally fine time from a small room. Give a listen to “Every Bird That Flies”, “Holy Ghost Fire”, and “Danger Angel” to understand what all the commotion is about. I can’t imagine you going wrong giving this album as a gift to anyone on your shopping list!

#7 – Savoy BrownAin’t Done Yet

The music of Kim Simmonds and Savoy Brown helped coin the phrase “blues rock” back in the late 1960’s. Over 50 years later, Kim is still producing amazing songs! The title cut is definitive blues rock, “Jaguar Car” will get ya moving in your computer chair, and “Rocking In Louisiana” is a tribute to the music and people of my home state. Every tune on this recording rocks the blues….enough said.

#6 – Anthony GomesContainment Blues

A Canadian blues rocker with a distinctive voice and incredible guitar talents, Anthony Gomes released his first album in the late 1990’s. Over the ensuing years, he has released eight more studio albums and garnered a very loyal following. He has the swagger of a rock star and the persona to match. While he can crank it out with the best of them, he also writes beautiful blues rock ballads like ” Until the End of Time” that is included on the latest release. My bet is if ya love blues rock, you will love “Hell and Half of Georgia”, “Make a Good Man (Wanna Be Bad), and “Tell Somebody”. And kudos to Anthony for having the courage to record “Stop Calling Women Hoes and Bitches”….I’ve had enough of the use of these hateful terms in “pop culture”…how about you?

#5 – Eric JohansonBelow Sea Level

In 2017, Eric Johanson released his debut album BURN IT DOWN on Tab Benoit’s Whiskey Bayou and spent the next two years touring with and opening for Tab. I spun it all the time during my internet radio shows. In early 2019, he made a duet recording with Tiffany Pollack entitled BLUES IN MY BLOOD. I spun it all the time again. Now in 2020, he has released BELOW SEA LEVEL and guess what? I spin it all the time!! Eric, who lives in New Orleans, does a great job of melding the blues with rock in a style that is distinctively his own. On the latest release he expands the limits of the blues with tunes like “Buried Above Ground”, “Down to the Bottom”, and “River of Oblivion”. Ya gotta listen!! Eric is a blues rock star in the making!

#4 – Mike ZitoQuarantine Blues

Some people have the talent and inspiration to make the best of any situation. Mike Zito is one of those people. A gifted singer, songwriter, guitar player, producer, and now record company owner, Mike exudes confidence with a proverbial twinkle in his eye. Another artist that I have watched on Facebook several times during the pandemic (and made my first Venmo contribution to on my phone), Mike is as relaxed playing in his home studio as he is before large audiences. I first got turned on to Mike with the release of Pear River in 2009 and he just keeps gettin’ bettah and bettah. Give “After the Storm”, “Dark Raven”, and “Don’t Let the World Get You Down” for a tiny glimpse of his talent. Oh..and by the way…the title cut is my defining song of the 2020 pandemic.

#3 – Wily Bo Walker/Dennis FlamAin’t No Man a Good Man

I’ve been a big Wily Bo Walker fan since I first became aware of him in 2015 and his latest collaboration with Dennis Flam is a jewel of a recording. This British artist channels Dr. John as he weaves music and storytelling into a magical series of songs. The title cut and associated “return” tune “Build My Gallows” are absolutely incredible. So much so that they got stuck in my head for days on end. “Ain’t Hungry No More”, “Fool For You”, “Walking with the Devil”, and “Night of the Hunter” should give you a good feel for his style and talent. Additionally, he does a great cover of “St. James Infirmary Blues” as well as a tune called “Did I Forget” that would fit perfectly during a set at Tipitina’s in New Orleans. If you have friends that enjoy Night Tripper style blues, this album will make a great stocking stuffer for them.

#2 – DionBlues With Friends

Dion started out as a teenage rock and roller back in the early 1960’s. Now in his eighties and still a fantastic artist, a literal who’s who of the music world have gotten together to pay homage to this giant of American music on the Blues With Friends recording. Billy Gibbons, Joe Bonamassa, Bruce Springsteen, Patti Scialfa, Sonny Landreth, Paul Simon, Rory Block, Stevie Van Zandt, Samantha Fish, Joe Louis Walker, Jeff Beck, Van Morrison, and John Hammond all make contributions. This recording is not only a great blues rock album, it will almost certainly be in contention for the prestigious 2020 Blues album of the year award at next year’s Blue Music Foundation ceremonies in Memphis.

My favorite cuts are “Blues Comin’ On” with Joe Bonamassa, “I Got Nothin'” with Van Morrison and Joe Louis Walker, “Way Down (I Won’t Cry No More)” with Stevie Van Zandt, and the contemporary gospel song “Hymn to Him” with Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa.

You can’t go wrong giving this album as a Christmas present to anyone you know that loves music. On an interesting side note, this is also the first label release for Joe Bonamassa’s new recording company, Keep The Blues Alive (KTBA)….quite an impressive start!

#1 – Walter TroutOrdinary Madness

At the age of 69, Walter Trout has released possibly the greatest album of his long and storied career, Ordinary Madness. He started out in the late 1960’s playing bars and juke joints in his home state of New Jersey alongside other bands including one that featured another blossoming talent, Bruce Springsteen. By the time the eighties rolled around, his guitar playing and love of the blues had landed him gigs with John Lee Hooker and Canned Heat and drawn the attention of John Mayall. In 1984, he became another of the legendary guitarists (e.g. Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Mick Taylor) to play in the Bluesbreakers.

In 1989, he started his own band and became an overnight sensation in Europe. He played and released albums there for almost ten years before his United States solo debut in 1998. And during the past decade he has released eight of what I consider to be the finest albums of the blues rock genre including one, Luther’s Blues, that paid homage to the great Luther Allison.

Walter’s blues are often described as hard core, a term that reflects as much how he lived his life as the music he played. Renowned for his live performances, the constant touring lead to bouts with alcoholism that culminated in liver failure in 2014. He was able to receive a life saving transplant that year and returned to performing in 2015 with an album, Battle Scars, that chronicled his desperation and fears while awaiting a suitable matching liver.

Ordinary Madness is an unapologetic blues rock recording with songs that address his observations on life and time (“Final Curtain Call”, “The Sun Is Going Down”, “Ordinary Madness”) and thoughts on love and relationships (“All Out of Tears”, “Heaven in Your Eyes”, “My Foolish Pride”). My favorite three songs on the album are “Up Above My Sky”, “Make It Right”, and the simply incredible “Wanna Dance” which is likely to be my favorite single for 2020 when I publish my Roadhouse 66 list of the best songs of the year.

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All in all, it was an incredible year for fans of the blues rock genre. I hope you enjoyed reviewing the list and PLEASE download one or more of these albums to help the artists that you enjoy listening to.


Ben Vee started out spinning songs on terrestrial radio and at nightclubs back in the 1970’s in his home state of Louisiana. After a career in the construction business, he returned to DJing in 2011. He now hosts two shows each week on http://www.bluesmusicfan.com and writes about the blues at http://www.benveeblues.com from his home in Connecticut.