Ben Vee Roadhouse Blues News – Starting out November with Great New Releases

After pent up years in their homes (and make shift studios in garages and basements for most), blues artists have been releasing albums at what has turned out to be a prolific rate in 2022. I have been literally swamped with new recordings from artists all over the globe. Here are several that have come out recently that you need to give a listen!!

Joe Bonamassa – Road to Redemption (EP)

The digital release of Road to Redemption came as a surprise to all of us. There was no pre publicity; it simply dropped on October 21st! It has six songs on the recording; three are curated versions of popular songs from the 2018 Redemption album and three are never before released digital versions of songs that were only available previously on a Target store special edition CD and vinyl copy of the album. Black Roses, which is also being released as a video, is vintage Joe B blues rock as is Somewhere Down the Road. Stronger Now in Broken Places is a pretty tune that highlights Joe’s voice and has some exquisite guitar licks.

Overall it is a great EP and issued just in time for the start of Joe’s next tour. It begins tonight in Springfield, Missouri and over the next month he will be doing 22 dates in the central and western sections of the United States.

Joanne Shaw Taylor – Nobody’s Fool

Joanne Shaw Taylor is one of the world’s preeminent blues rockers with few rivals on the guitar and a fabulous husky R&B voice. What makes this album, Nobody’s Fool, interesting to me is that, though it is produced by fellow blues rocker Joe Bonamassa (and released on his KTBA label), it is actually a contemporary blues release with softer edges that focus more on her voice than her guitar. The title cut, Nobody’s Fool, opens with some Claptonesque licks and proceeds to set the tone for this generally laid back recording. I love Fade Away and Just No Getting Over You. I also enjoyed the cut she does with Joe, Won’t Be Fooled Again. An interesting cut on the recording is a version of Missionary Man she does with Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics. Dave was an early and consistent supporter of Joanne and I believe her cover of the song is a loving tribute to Dave’s encouragement.

Joanne will be doing a dozen or so dates in the United States this month starting with a concert in Carmel, Indiana tonight.

Jeremiah Johnson – Hi-Fi Drive By

Jeremiah Johnson‘s new album, Hi-Fi Drive By is just straight up badass feel good blues. The album opens with ’68 Coupe Deville, a Jerry Lee Lewis style blues rocker, and jets on from there. Jeremiah is from St. Louis and has spent years touring in the United States and Europe kickin’ out jams that will have you movin’ your head and hips. The album has lots of horns, harmonica, and backing vocals that will remind you of “back in the day R&B” that perfectly compliments Jeremiah’s talent on the guitar. My initial rating puts this recording in album of the year territory. I love the songs Ball & Chain, Young And Blind, and the sultry The Squeeze.

Jeremiah will be on the road this month with concert dates around Missouri as well as stops in Indiana and Texas.


#blues #modernblues #contemporaryblues #roadhouseblues #benvee

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 Southern Treasure, Jimmy Hall, releases a new album READY NOW

You probably first heard of Jimmy Hall from his recordings with Wet Willie back in the 1970s. Many of those tunes still are getting a lot of airplay on Classic Rock radio. Over the years, Jimmy has sung on stage and played his harmonica with a Who’s Who of the roadhouse blues and put out some great albums including Rendezvous with the Blues in 1996 that is among my personal blues favorites. He still has one of the great voices of his generation and Joe Bonamassa & Josh Smith bring out the best in him as his producers on the new recording, Ready Now. And Jimmy has an all star list of contributors on the album including Warren Haynes, Reese Wynans, Michael Rhodes, Greg Morrow, and Jared James Nichols as well as Joe and Josh.

The title cut for the recording features Warren and is drenched in the sounds that epitomize Jimmy’s southern style. My favorite song on the recording is A Long Goodbye featuring a stellar contribution on guitar by Joe. Jumpin’ for Joy, Girl’s Got Sugar (featuring Josh), and Love For It are also songs that I loved.

Jimmy Hall has stood at the musical crossroads of the blues, soul, R&B, and southern rock all of his life playin’ his harmonica and singin’ his tunes. There are plenty of places to sit and kickback at that junction from where ever you are. Find yourself a spot, relax, and enjoy this album.

Jimmy Hall – Ready Now (KTBA Records 2022)


#blues #modernblues #contemporaryblues

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.

Roadhouse Music Reviews – The Commoners, Derrick Procell, and The Hungry Williams

Just back from a long weekend in southern California with my younger daughter and her husband. We had a blast…..lots of music, food, friends and tequila! Here are three new recording that I enjoyed listening to on the plane trip there and back.

Butter cake at Nick’s in Laguna Beach with Amanda

The Commoners – Find a Better Way (Gypsy Soul Records 2022)

The debut album, Find a Better Way, by The Commoners out of Toronto Canada is downright badass southern style music. The group is fronted by Chris Medhurst, who’s voice reminds me of another Canadian star, Burton Cummings. Melodious wafts of the sounds of The Black Crowes, the Eagles, and the Allman Brothers also drift through the music. The first video single of the recording, Fill My Cup, should give you a good feel for the talent of the band that includes Ross Hayes Citrullo (lead guitar), Ben Spiller (bass/piano), Adam Cannon (drums) and long time friend Miles Evans-Branagh (organ). Kevin Shirley (of Joe Bonamassa fame) even helps a bit producing the title cut. Overall the album has some mighty fine tunes…..give it a listen!!

Favorite cut: More Than Mistakes

Derrick Procell – Hello Mojo (Catfood Records 2022)

Derrick Procell is another of those great talents of the modern blues that you probably haven’t heard of though he was been writing, singing, and performing for well over 40 years. His latest album, Hello Mojo!, is a showcase for his soulful voice and harmonica playing. He has a video out for the first cut from the recording, Skin In the Game, that is contemporary blues at its best.

Though you may not know who Derrick Procell is, my bet is that you have heard his music on True Blood, The Office, Boston Legal, The Americans, or King of the Hill television shows over the years. He has even won a songwriting award at the annual Billboard Magazine get together. And, closer to my heart, he has written music for American Cancer Society events. (As some of you know, I do a fundraiser of my own and participate in the Second Life Relay for Life event for the American Cancer Society each year.)

Overall this album grades out high enough to receive serious consideration for Contemporary Blues Album of the year awards. If you listen to the recording, leave your own comments below. I’d love to know what you think!

Favorite cut: The Contender

The Hungry Williams – Let’s Go (Rochelle Records 2022)

Out this Friday September 9th, on my birthday, The Hungry Williams will be releasing their second album, Let’s Go. When I heard their debut recording in 2019, Brand New Thing, I thought for sure they were from my hometown of New Orleans. Now after listening to the new tunes, I can say confidently that they are a Big Easy R&B band, regardless of their claims to be from Milwaukee!!

The songs on the recording have a largely “back in the day” sound from the 1950’s. There are tunes originally done by Lavern Baker, Big Maybelle, and Fats Domino guitarist Roy Montrell as well as a number of fabulous originals. The band consists of Kelli Gonzalez (lead vocals), Joe Vent (guitar and vocals), Jack Stewart (keyboards), Mike Sieger (bass), John Carr (founder, drums), and a horn section of Jason Goldsmith, Casimir Riley, and Lech Wierzynski.

This past February, they released the first video for the album, Mardi Gras Day in time for the Crescent City holiday. I encourage you to give it a listen. I love good time music that makes you feel good; it’s what the concept of the roadhouse blues is all about!! The Hungry Williams kick out music that is fun and captures the magic of New Orleans….well worth your time!

Favorite cut: Oooh Wow!


#blues #modernblues #contemporaryblues

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.

Al Basile – Through With Cool

Within the pantheon of recognized stars of the contemporary roadhouse blues, there is one and only one cornet horn player that comes to mind. His name is Al Basile and he hails from Rhode Island. Al got his start with Roomful of Blues back in the seventies, played with Duke Robillard in the 80’s, and went out on his own in the nineties. He sings in a classic jazzy blues style and often writes songs in an introspective style observing himself and the world around him and the man can play that cornet!!

Besides being a singer, musician and performer, Al is also a published poet with three released books of poetry to his credit. AND, what I have always found most intriguing about Al is that up until 2005 he balanced a blues career with teaching high school!! Bluesman by night and teacher of English, music, and physics during the day. He had to have been the coolest teacher on campus!! On his latest recording released on August 19th of this year, Through with Cool, Al foreswears cool on the title track but I don’t buy it. One does not give up being cool on your own; I find it to be the observation of others about you (like a nickname) and Al, to put it in roadhouse blues vernacular, is still pretty badass.

For the Through With Cool recording, Al invites along several friends and musicians that have played with him on other recordings. Kid Andersen does a fabulous job on guitars, Mark Teixeira beats out the rhythm on drums, Brad Hallen is on bass, Bruce Bears plays the ivories, Jeff “Doc” Chanonhouse is on trumpet, and a horn player I really like by the name of Doug James is on saxophone and clarinet. They produce a very tight laid back blues sound that is the very definition of jazzy blues cool!

There are 14 tracks on the new recording, these are my favorite three:

  • Uh Huh is a catchy tune that showcases the band’s talents. Al’s solo on the cornet as well as Kid Anderson’s riffs are tasty. I believe the song should get a lot of airplay on blues stations. It certainly will during my roadhouse blues shows.
  • My Hero captures Al’s style in a nutshell; easy accessible jazzy blues with adult observations on life. I like it!!
  • On We Lie On Your Grave, Al’s cornet and Kid’s guitar once again steal the show but they have to compete with some rather unusual mental visualizations on a tune that only Al could write.

In the liner notes for the recording, Al posits whether there is such a thing as “eternal cool”. I answer in the affirmative and encourage him to keep looking at the world and himself and letting us know what he thinks in song and verse. For not matter what he says…..Al Basile will always be pretty cool!

Al Basile – Through With Cool (Sweetspot Records 2022)


#blues #roadhouseblues #music

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.

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