My NEW Youtube Video – 14 Female Roadhouse Blues Artists You Should Know

If you get a chance, please check out my new Youtube Video, 14 Female Roadhouse Blues Artists You Should Know on the Ben Vee channel. And please also comment on the video (or here) with the number of the artists that you were aware of previously on the list…..I gotz to know 🙂

Here is a list of the artists, their latest studio recording, and a link to a video from their careers that is on Youtube. I hope ya enjoy!!

Shemekia Copeland – Done Come Far – Hit ‘Em Back

Samantha Fish – Faster – No Angels

Eva Carboni – Smoke & Mirrors – Smoke & Mirrors

Jackie Venson – Love Transcends – Always Free

Joanne Shaw Taylor – The Blues Album – Just Another Word

Diuanna Greenleaf – I Ain’t Playin – Back Door Man

Janiva Magness – Hard to KIll – Strong As Steel

Polly O’Keary & the Rhythm Method – 50 – Black Crow Callin

Beth Hart – A Tribute to Led Zeppelin – Bad Woman Blues

Teresa James & the Rhythm Tramps – Rose Colored Glasses – The Day the Blues Came to Call

Demetria Taylor – Do What I’m Supposed To Do – 83 Highway

Angel Forrest – Angel’s 11, Vol II – Hold On Tight Mr. I’m Alright

Ana Popovic – Like It On Top – You Got the Love

Bonnie Raitt – Just Like That…. – Made Up Mind


#blues #roadhouseblues #bluesrock

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. He also has a personal 24 hour stream devoted to the Roadhouse Blues… WRHB as well as a Youtube channel.

A Blues Hound Howlin’ At the Moon – Todd Sharpville’s MEDICATION TIME

The new Todd Sharpville album Medication Time, that is due out July 8th on Dixiefrog Records, is a powerhouse blues recording that is sure to garner nominations for album of the year. Exhilarating on some tracks and pensive and thoughtful on others, the new album bubbles with energy from a life lived in the blues.

Some people encounter deep sadness and tragedy in their lives and never recover. Others, like Todd, rise from the ashes of a personal meltdown with a renewed sense of purpose. Almost two decades ago, Todd suffered a nervous breakdown after losing custody of his children during a divorce. Severe depression and suicidal thoughts led to a stay in a mental institution. The ability to continue playing and writing music during his stay as well as the support of family and friends (including fellow bluesman Larry McCray from Detroit) got him through the worst of times and honed his blues talents in the fiery cauldron of depression and recovery.

The new album features 12 songs of which 9 are originals. Two of the recordings have been released as promotional videos and both are well worth the time to watch. (Both are also available on my Youtube Channel playlist for cool roadhouse blues.) Todd and Larry McCray do a really creative animated video for the song Brothers From Another Mother. And Todd does an intensely personal video performance of the Dylan tune, Walk Out In the Rain.

There is also an interesting and powerful blues’d up rendition of the Dire Strait’s tune, Money for Nothing, included on the recording. Guest artist Sugar Ray Norcia heightens the intensity, resentment, and jealousy of the lyrics on vocals; it is well worth a listen. My favorite on the album is the blues rockin’ tune, God Loves A Loser and I also love Get Outta My Way, the slow pretty I Don’t Need to Know Your Name (with a fabulous sax solo) and his rousing version of the Bruce Springsteen song, Red Headed Woman.

Undergirding this powerful recording is Todd’s guitar virtuosity and the production values that Duke Robillard, a two time Grammy Nominee and multiple Blues Music Award winner, brings to any recording that he produces. Todd got his start back in 1992 with the album Touch of Your Love. It won Best Album and Best Guitarist awards at that year’s British Blues Awards. I have a strong feeling that Medication Time will do the same this time around!


#blues #roadhouseblues #bluesrock #britishblues

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, does weekly sets on the SecondLife grid, and writes about the blues at http://www.benveeblues.com from his home in Connecticut. He also has a personal 24 hour stream devoted to the Roadhouse Blues… WRHB as well as a Youtube channel.

Trio of 2022 Canadian Releases You Need to Give a Listen

Would you like to listen to some new roadhouse blues tunes? Here are some Canadian artists that you ought to lend an ear!!!

The Hogtown Allstars – Hog Wild (Stony Plain Records 2022)

Featuring Chuck Jackson and Gary Kendall (of Downchild fame), this Canadian group, The Hogtown Allstars, cranks out some lively jump blues and a bit of classic R&B. Also loved the title cut, Hog Wild.

HOROJO TRIO – Set the Record (Stony Plain Records 2022)

Featuring JW Jones, an incredible guitar player, the fantastic voice of Jeff Rogers, and the steady drumming of Jamie Holes, this Canadian band’s debut album Set The Record features an array of R&B and soul tunes that I loved listening to: Hard As I Can, Man of Steel, A Little Goes a Long Way, and Real Deal….(and that they are!).

Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne – From Chicago to Paris (Stony Plain Records 2022)

The new recording, From Chicago To Paris, is a tribute by Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne to the music of Memphis Slim and Willie Dixon, two icons of the blues. Kenny is an expat from the United States and a long time resident of Canada who is one badass keyboard player and a master of the boogie woogie blues style. The album features 17 selections of which I loved Rock and Rolling This House and The Way She Loves a Man the best.


#blues #roadhouseblues

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. He also has a personal 24 hour stream devoted to the Roadhouse Blues… WRHB as well as a Youtube channel.

The Kenneth Brian Band – Keys to the Kingdom (2022)

Kenneth Brian is from Gainesville, Florida and his music reflects a delightful mix of the sounds that have emanated from that small college town area over the years; Tom Petty, the Allman Brothers, and Lynyrd Skynyrd to name just a few. The new 10 song CD, Keys to the Kingdom, is southern rock infused with the blues and it’s a badass listen! His slide guitar work is stellar and puts him in the company of some other contemporary roadhouse bands that I enjoy; the Allman Betts Band and the Tedeschi Trucks band.

My favorite song on the album is the last tune, Rimrock, where he lets it rip on the guitar. I also enjoyed You’ve Got to Live which is some crankin’ blues rock. When Kenneth slows it down, as he does on the songs Hard Heart, Crazy, and Love, you get a feel for both his songwriting talent and his artistry on the guitar.

There are those that will argue vociferously that southern rock is not part of the blues. I respond that almost every southern rock artist and band that I can think of are ingrained with the blues and it bleeds all over the music. Kenneth Brian is part of that tradition and his music is certainly part of the roadhouse blues that I love to spin……Give it a listen!!

The Kenneth Brian Band – Keys to the Kingdom (Southern Shift Records 2022)


#blues #roadhouseblues #bluesrock #southernrock

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. He also has a personal 24 hour stream devoted to the Roadhouse Blues… WRHB as well as a Youtube channel.

The Duke Robillard Band – They Called It Rhythm & Blues (Roadhouse music review)

Back in the days before satellite radios and the compact disc, I used to make long night trips from New Orleans to Houston to be ready for a morning business meeting. I loved to spin the radio dial listening for the crisp sound of one of those 50,000 watt clear channel AM radio stations out of Little Rock, Memphis, and even distant Chicago layin’ down the blues. And after listening to the new Duke Robillard Band recording, it is though I found the sweet radio spot once again on one of those road trips where for 18 bluzin’ songs I am catapulted back to the days when jump style rhythm and blues reigned supreme. Great vocals, infectious beats, tasty piano, blazin’ guitars, and brash horns were the signature of those tunes then……and they are now on They Called It Rhythm & Blues.

To produce great rhythm & blues requires an incredible mixture of talents and they are all available on this fantastic recording. Duke Robillard is in fine form on the guitar and vocals for 4 of the tunes. He is joined by regular band mates Mark Teixeira (drums), Bruce Bears (piano, organ), Marty Ballou (bass), Doug James (saxophone), and Chris Cote (vocals). And guest appearances by John P. Hammond (2 songs), Kim Wilson (2 songs), Sue Foley, Michelle Willson (2 songs), Mike Flanigan, Mark Early, Sugar Ray Norcia (2 songs), Doug Woolverton, Matt McCabe, and Anita Suhanin are the perfect compliments to the Duke Robillard sound.

Given my proclivity for upbeat tunes it should come as no surprise that my favorite tune on the new recording is Tell Me Why with Kim Wilson on vocals. Kim hasn’t lost a thing since his days with the Fabulous Thunderbirds and if this tune doesn’t make ya move a bit as you listen, you need to check your pulse and make sure you are still livin’ !!! An exceptional song on the album is No Good Lover with the Duke and Sue Foley on vocals and includes a stellar performance on the drums by Mark Teixeira. Mark is a percussion machine for all 3 minutes and 38 seconds of the tune…..simply badass!! I also loved Here I’m Is and Fools Are Getting Scarcer with Chris Cote on vocals, Rambler Blues sung by Sugar Ray Norcia, and both the songs performed with John Hammond on vocals and guitar, Homeless Blues and No Place To Go. And Michelle Willson has the perfect voice for Champagne Mind and Trouble in Mind.

Listening to this album while I wrote this review was a joy. I invite you to buy this superb recording when it goes on sale on March 18th and be transported back for 67 minutes to the days when they called it the rhythm & blues…….it was a great sound then….and still is now!!

The Duke Robillard Band – They Called It Rhythm & Blues (2022 – Stony Plain Records)


#blues #roadhouseblues #bluesrock

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. He also has a personal 24 hour stream devoted to the Roadhouse Blues… WRHB

Albert Castiglia- Roadhouse blues review of I Got Love recording to release on March 25th

Albert Castiglia is the consummate contemporary bluesman and with the release of his new album, I Got Love on March 25th, he confirms his place among the great artists of the blues. His style is a vibrant mesh of the guitar energy of Elmore James and Stevie Ray Vaughan, the low down blues vocals and six string mastery of Luther Allison, and a touch of the funkiness of James Brown. His music is meant to be played loud in a way that Howlin’ Wolf and Hound Dog Taylor would appreciate. And the lyrics to the songs on the recording are intense personal vignettes of the highs and lows of his everyday life during what has certainly been the Great Depression for music performers.

The new album is produced by another of my roadhouse blues favorites, Mike Zito, and will be released on Gulf Coast Records. Albert is backed by an impressive group of musicians including Justine Tompkins (bass and vocals), Ephraim Lowell (drums and vocals), and Lewis Stephens (Hammond B3 organ and piano). There are 10 originals on the recording and one cover of the Melvin Taylor tune, Depression Blues.

My favorite song on the album is Take My Name Out of Your Mouth. It will give you a great overall glimpse of his vocal talent, his songwriting ability, and, oh my lord, his guitar playing. Other badass blues rockin’ tunes on the album include What’s Wrong With You?, Double Down, and Burning Bridges. The title cut, I Got Love, is loud and brash and has hit single written all over it. For a glimpse of the harshness of life down on the streets during the pandemic, give a listen to Freedomland and You Don’t Know Hell.

We are starting to kick our way out of the harsh cocoon of Covid regulation and just in time it has been announced that Albert will be touring with Mike Zito for the upcoming “Blood Brothers” tour. Twenty dates have been scheduled starting on March 24th in Omaha Nebraska. (Tour Promo). I can’t envision a better representation of the current state of the roadhouse blues than these two artists on the same stage together. Get your tickets soon…..I just don’t believe they will last that long. I am going to try to make the last announced show on April 16 in Fall River, Massachusetts. Leave me a comment if you plan to attend a show…..and once you do, post a comment with your thoughts.


#blues #roadhouseblues #bluesrock

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. He also has a personal 24 hour stream devoted to the Roadhouse Blues… WRHB

Mike Zito – Blues for the Southside

Mike Zito was born and raised in south St. Louis. By reputation, it is a tough place to grow up…a place where the blues aren’t just notes floating in the air or lyrics in a song. Mike chose to return to his roots for his latest recording, Blues for the Southside. Literally surrounded by family and friends from his high school years, Mike and his very talented band cranked out live versions of 14 of the songs from his 25 year career plus a new instrumental, the title cut, that is an instant classic.

Mike now lives in Texas. And during the first year of the pandemic, one of the joys I can recall was watching Mike playing live on Facebook from a small room (or perhaps the garage) of his home. His band was scrunched in with him and they are having a blast. Mike told stories, jokes, and casually played songs and requests from the internet audience. It was magical. That same spirit is captured on the new recording. And watching his entertaining banter and incredible musical talent makes it easy to understand why the recording label that he and Guy Hale own, Gulf Coast Records, has so quickly attracted a large group of very talented fellow artists since its inception in 2018.

The double album recording features Doug Byrkit (vocals/ bass), Matthew Johnson (vocals/drums), Lewis Stephens (piano/organ), with special guest appearances by Gulf Coast Record artists Tony Campanella (guitars), Dave Kalz (guitars as well as a friend from the old neighborhood) and an impromptu performance by guitar maestro Eric Gales. Eric literally showed up backstage, picked up a guitar, and then comes out and launches into an epic jam with the band of the Jimi Hendrix tune, Voodoo Chile.

On the album, Mike also does a fantastic cover of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Texas Flood. He and Dave Kalz share the blues magic on The Road Never Ends. The recording also includes live versions of some my favorite Zito tunes including First Class Life, Mississippi Nights, and Make Blues Not War. And as I stated earlier, the instrumental Blues for the Southside is absolutely beautiful. To top it all off, the album closes with a rousing version of a tune written by another guy from St. Louis you might know, Chuck Berry. Mike’s cover of Johnny B. Goode should bring a smile to your face.

If you need a musical “pick me up” on any given day from now to forever, purchase and download a copy of this memorable live recording. It will have you dancin’ around your chair and will remind you of just why you love the roadhouse blues…and Mike Zito!

Mike Zito – BLUES FOR THE SOUTHSIDE (Gulf Coast Records 2022) (Available February 18th)


#blues #roadhouse blues

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. He also has a personal 24 hour stream devoted to the Roadhouse Blues… WRHB

Roadhouse Bluzin’ In – New Music on the Way (Feb 10)

The year 2022 already shows a lot of promise in terms of new roadhouse blues music releases by both established artists and up & coming groups. Some familiar names in the blues world (Keb Mo’, Tinsley Ellis, John Mayall, Eric Gales, North Mississippi Allstars) have all released new albums in the last several weeks that should be on interest to roadhouse blues listeners. If you like your blues loud and rocked, check out Andy Lindquist‘s new recording, My Name is Mud. And blue rock instrumental listeners should enjoy Steve Vai‘s new release Inviolate. John Mellencamp also has a new recording Strictly A One Eyed Jack out that is coated with a pleasant blues roots vibe and includes a couple of guest appearances by Bruce Springsteen.

Later this month, Beth Hart will release A Tribute to Led Zeppelin. The album represents a return to her early days of performing in the mid 1990’s as a full fledged blues rocker. I can’t wait to hear the entire album based on a couple of videos that I have heard so far. Another album due out next week that I already have a promo copy of is Mike Zito’s Blues for the Southside. It is a live recording done in his hometown of St. Louis and will give you a good feel for just how powerful a presence and performer he is while on tour. And an album that I did a review of last month, Booze, Blues, & Southern Grooves by Reddog and Friends will also officially hit the stores and music download websites next week. Also looking forward to the new Bernard Allison, Micki Free, and Dan Patlansky as well as releases by Professor Louie and the Crowmatix and Joan Osborne.

In March, new recordings by long time favorites Albert Castiglia, Sugaray Rayford, Duke Robillard, and Larry McCray are due out. And Kenny ‘Blues Boss’ Wayne will release an album that is a tribute to Memphis Slim & Willie Dixon. I have a promo copy of it sitting here on my desk…I will let ya know what I think in due course.

Overall, a whole bunch of new badass contemporary blues, blues rock, and roots blues is on the way. I call it the roadhouse blues…..and the roadhouse blues is off to a great start in 2022!

Here is a complete listing of releases that I am tracking:

Out now:

Andy Lindquist – My Name Is Mud

Bob Stroger & the Headcutters – That’s My Name (Delmark Records)

Angela Easley – Rise

Keb’ Mo’ – Good To Be

Robbin’ Ford & the Blue Line – Live At Yoshi’s 1996

Tinsley Ellis – Devil May Care

Willie & the Bandits (UK) – When the World Stood Still

John Mayall – The Sun Is Shining Down  featuring Marcus King, Buddy Miller, Mike Campbell

Eric Gales – Crown – featuring Joe Bonamassa

North Mississippi Allstars – Set Sail

Steve Vai – Inviolate

John Mellencamp – Strictly A One-Eyed Jack

Upcoming Releases – During February:

Beth Hart – A Tribute to Led Zeppelin (Feb 25)

Bernard Allison – Highs & Lows

Micki Free – Turquoise Blue

Reddog and Friends – Booze, Blues, and Southern Grooves

Dan Patlansky – Shelter of Bones

Mike Zito – Blues for the Southside (Live) (Feb 18)

Joan Osborne –  Radio Waves

The Kenneth Brian Band – Keys to the Kingdom

Kathy Murray & the Kilowatts – Fully Charged

The Love Light Orchestra – Leave the Light On

Professor Louie and the Crowmatix – Strike Up the Band

Upcoming Releases – March:

Sugaray Rayford – In Too Deep (March 4)

Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne – Blues From Chicago to Paris: A Tribute to Memphis Slim and Willie Dixon

The Duke Robillard Band – They Called It Rhythm & Blues

Big Daddy – It’s a Mad Mad Bad Dad World (March 11)

Larry McCray – Blues Without You (March 25) KTBA Records

Albert Castiglia – I Got Love (March 25) Gulf Coast Records


#blues #roadhouse blues

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. He also has a personal 24 hour stream devoted to the Roadhouse Blues… WRHB

Jimmy Johnson – Another Blues Giant passes on

We lost another Blues giant this week with the passing of Jimmy Johnson at the age of 93. Born in Mississippi in 1928, Jimmy was a part of the “great trek north” that brought so many blues men and women to Chicago in the 1940’s and 50’s. Jimmy arrived in the windy city in 1950 and over the next 30 years paid his dues singing, playing the guitar and piano, and touring and performing with the likes of Otis Rush, Albert King, Magic Sam, and Freddie King. He was known for a fluid and understated style on the guitar and his high tenor soulful voice was riveting.

Jimmy broke out on the national blues scene in 1979 when, at the age of 50, he released his first big recording, Johnson’s Whacks, on Delmark Records. Over the ensuing years, he took the blues world by storm becoming a fan favorite in Europe. In 1983, he released an album on Alligator Records, Bar Room Preacher, that is part of my personal album collection and one of the great all time blues recordings.

In 2019, at the age of 91, Jimmy released the recording Every Day of Your Life on Delmark Records that won him the Living Blues award as artist of the Year for 2020. It was not a lifetime achievement award, as many are for albums released late in life by well known artists. The recording is a soaring celebration of the blues that he played and the fact that he laid down the tracks at 91 just adds to the special blues aura that marked his life. In particular, the instrumental, Better When It’s Wet, is simply amazing. And the title cut, Every Day of Your Life, is representative of his soulful blues style and apropo as a fitting final statement from one of the greatest of them all! Take the time to give the album a listen….it will remind you of why you love the blues!


#blues #roadhouse blues

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. He also has a personal 24 hour stream devoted to the Roadhouse Blues… WRHB

Smilin’ Bob Stroger and the Headcutters – Kickin’ out Badass Blues at 90!

Bob Stroger has been a part of the Chicago blues scene since the 1950’s. He has played his bass and recorded with Otis Rush, Jimmy Rogers, Eddie Taylor, Eddie Clearwater, Sunnyland Slim, Louisiana Red, Buster Benton, Homesick James, and Snooky Pryor, among others over the years. He has also been a session musician for the renown blues label, Delmark Records, and appeared on over 30 Delmark recordings. Now, at the age of 90, he has released his first recording for Delmark as the band leader for Bob Stroger & the Headcutters entitled That’s My Name. You aren’t going to get to hear too many more artists from that period laying down new tracks so I heartily recommend you give this album a listen. The thirteen songs include 5 originals and a delightful array of covers of Ma Rainey, Eddie Taylor, Big Bill Broonzy, Casey Bill Weldon, and Herman “JR” Parker Jr. penned tunes.

Bob, playing bass and singing, is backed on the recording by a very tight blues band out of Brazil….the Headcutters. The group consists of Joe Marhofer (Harmonica), Ricardo Maca (Guitar), Arthur ‘Catuto’ Garcia (bass) and Leandro ‘Cavera’ Barbeta (drums). There are also two Brazilian guest artists; Luciano Leaes (Piano and Hammond Organ) and Braion Johnny (saxophones) who also provide memorable moments on the recording.

My favorite cut on the recording is Just A Bad Boy. The group lays down a quintessential Chicago blues tune with the perfect vibe. I also loved the recording ambiance on CC Rider. It gives you the feeling of being amongst a small crowd relaxing in a smokey 50’s Chicago blues bar on a wintery week day; it’s like you are right there in the audience. Additionally, the low down blues, wailing harmonica and sultry piano playing on Outskirts of Town and It Was a Dream are priceless.

Kudos to Julia A Miller and Elbio Barilari at Delmark for bringing this project to fruition. AND a special thumbs up to the Headcutters. The core group along with the two guest artists created some music magic with Bob and I look forward to hearing some of their own recordings in the future.

On the title cut That’s My Name, Bob sings that ” you can call me Bob Stroger, you can call me anything you choose, but my real name is the blues. I am the blues.” And that he is!! The likes of Bob Stroger, who lived the blues in its classic heyday in the 50’s and early 60’s, are passing into music history. Grab some of this history in the making right now while you can and enjoy the baddest of the badass Chicago blues!!

Bob Stroger & the Headcutters – That’s My Name (Delmark Records 2022)


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. He also has a 24 hour stream devoted to the Roadhouse Blues… WRHB