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
Got some roadhouse blues for ya…..Sunday Wilde, Mike Goudreau, Tullie Brae, Crystal Shawanda, Fruteland Jackson….and many more. Just click on the link or type in http://www.bluesmusicfan.com, grab your favorite drink or smoke, and enjoy the tunes from 12-2 pm EST today, Tuesday, April 28th!
The year 2019 was a banner year for the roadhouse blues across the world. From Australia to Copenhagen and along all points in between, both debut artists and well established performers released a stunning number of new recordings. Every month my in box and my mail box were full of some fabulous blues recordings which makes picking the Ben Vee Roadhouse Blues 66 this year much more daunting.
This year’s list includes classic blues, roots oriented blues, R&B, soul, contemporary blues and blues rock artists with songs that span the genre from “almost the blues” tunes to the stellar classic blues sound of Mary Lane. Given that many of us have some extra time on our hands due to the ongoing global pandemic, I hope you enjoy downloading and listening to every one of these songs.
The position of the songs on the list is of little consequence…you might list them in a different order and get no argument from me. Whether it is song #23 by Samantha Fish or number 66 by the Coyote Kings, all of these tunes made my playlists for my roadhouse blues shows at http://www.bluesmusicfan.com, got mentioned on my Ben Vee Facebook page or Twitter account, and/or got written about on this website at http://www.benveeblues.com during 2019. All 66 are representative of the energy and vitality that permeates the modern contemporary blues….by and large they are upbeat…sometimes loud…and truly international.
The Top Ten (in no particular order other than #1)
#1 Mary Lane – Blues Give Me a Feeling (2019 Travelin’ Woman)
Mary Lane, from Chicago, recorded the Roadhouse Blues 66 number one tune of 2019 at the age of 83!! How cool is that! She is one of the last living legendary singers of the blues to have been part of the great migration from the American Deep South to Chicago in the 1940’s. Just a fabulous tune!
Big Daddy Wilson – Crazy World (2019 Deep In My Soul)
An expat from the United States who has lived in Germany for years, Big Daddy aces an sumptuous slow soul ballad.
Altered Five Blues Band – Mischief Man (2019 Ten Thousand Watts)
Led by the deep blues voice of Jeff Taylor, this group out of Wisconsin once again makes one of my top performer annual blues lists.
Keb’ Mo’ – Cold Outside (2019 Oklahoma)
I played this song over and over when it came out on the album this past summer. You can nevah get enough of Keb’ Mo’!
Christone Kingfish Ingram – Fresh Out (2019 Kingfish)
A 20 year old with a debut album that features a cut with Buddy Guy as well as another with Keb’ Mo’. Life is good for this very talented young man.
Jontavious Willis – Low Down Ways (2019 Spectacular Class)
Another young blues artist that attracted the attention of Taj Mahal as well as Keb’ Mo’, Jontavious has stardom written all over him. It will be interesting to see how he evolves as a blues artist as the years roll by.
Tiffany Pollack & Eric Johanson – Blues In My Blood (2019 Blues In My Blood)
This blues duo hails from my hometown of New Orleans. Tiffany has a haunting voice that is framed by a strong beat and memorable guitar licks by Eric on this song.
Beth Hart – Bad Woman Blues (2019 War In My Mind)
Beth just has a great time with this tune and shows off the chops that have made her a fan favorite amongst blues rockers.
Brandon Santini – Drive You Off My Mind (2019 The Longshot)
This long time resident of Memphis had a great year in 2019. He was my 2019 Roadhouse Bluesman of the Year for both this album and one he did with Tennessee Redemption. A great voice and world class harmonica player; what’s not to like!
Allman Betts Band – Shinin’ (2019 Down to the River)
The sons of the Allman Brothers pick up where their dads left off! Not much else to be said but get yer tickets when they get close by!!
As you look through the rest of the list and hopefully listen to many, if not all, of the tunes, I hope you get an appreciation for what I term as the roadhouse blues. From its roots in the deep American south, the blues has grown and expanded to become a worldwide phenomenon. (And if someone you know states “the blues is dead” just show them this list and ask them how so?!) I am proud to be one of the DJs and influencers helping get the word out about just how great this music is!!!
Blues Give Me A Feeling
Big Daddy Wilson
Deep In My Soul
Altered Five Blues Band
Ten Thousand Watts
Christone “Kingfish” Ingram
Fresh Out (ft Buddy Guy)
Low Down Ways
Tiffany Pollack & Eric Johanson
Blues In My Blood
Blues In My Blood
Bad Woman Blues
War in my Mind
Drive You Off My Mind
The Allman Betts Band
Down to the River
Amnesia Blues Band
Fast Johnny Cool
If I Love You Hard Enough
Mindi Abair and the Boneshakers
Who’s Gonna Save My Soul
No Good Deed
Me My Guitar and the Blues
Lights On But Nobody’s Home
Coming In Hot
Ghost Town Blues Band
Tedeschi Trucks Band
They Don’t Shine
Three Chords and the Truth
Three Chords and the Truth
Howlin’ For My Darlin’
I Still Get Excited
Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Woman Like You
Zack Walther Band
Kill or Be Kind
Don’t Give Up on the Blues
Don’t Give Up on the Blues
Pack It Up
50: Just Warming Up!
I’m Coming For You
Rise from the Flames
Left Lane Cruiser
Shake and Bake
A Fool Like Me
Tall, Dark, and Handsome
Miss Bix and the Blues Fix
Follow Me Down
We Don’t Own the Blues
Ain’t My Problem (ft The Teskey Brothers)
The Texas Horns
I’m Doin’ Alright (ft. Carolyn Wonderland)
Get Here Quick
The Mike Duke Project
I’m Not Sad Tonight
….Took a Whlle
Ronnie Earl & the Broadcasters
Baby How Long
Beyond the Blue Door
Travelin’ Blue Kings
So Called Story Teller
Ida Bang & the Blue Tears
Good to Me
Women and Whiskey
Rainy City Blues
Road I Call Home
The Teskey Brothers
So Caught Up
Run Home Slow
Kerry Pastine and the Crime Scene
City of Love
Somebody Save Me
I Feel the Same (ft Paul DesLauriers)
Kiss My Sass
Back To Tennessee
Start a Fight
Harvesting My Roots
Wentus Blues Band w/ Duke Robillard
Too Much Mustard
Rockin’ Johnny & QuiQue Gomez
Everybody Loves My Baby
Dos Hombres Wanted
Broke And Lonely
Keep On Turning
I Can Fix It (ft Jack Pearson)
Pawn Shop Blues (Roadhouse)
Sweet Or Mean
The Kokomo Kings
Fighting Fire with Gasoline
Coming Closer to the Day
Coming Closer to the Day
Blue Moon Marquee
As I Lay Dying
Bare Knuckes & Brawn
Train to Key Biscayne
Train to Key Biscayne
Don’t Bother Trying To Steal Her Love
Thinkin’ and Drinkin’
For Love & Money
I’m a Bluesman
Jook Joint Jam
Manx Mariner Manline
Hell Bound for Heaven
Girl Got the Mojo
The Blues Gonna Getcha
Big Wolf Band
Ben Vee is an internet DJ and writer from New Orleans that now lives in Connecticut with his wife Annette. He started spinning records back in the 1970’s and has been writing about the roadhouse blues since 2011. He does two roadhouse blues shows each week on http://www.bluesmusicfan.com and he writes about the blues when the urge strikes on http://www.benveeblues.com.
At High Noon today, March 10th, it’s time for the Ben Vee Roadhouse Blues Nooner on http://www.bluesmusicfan.com! Tune in at 12 Noon EST for the best of the new contemporary blues crossing my desk and a couple of classics by the masters of the genre.
Gettin’ ready to start my first Roadhouse Blues Nooner of the new decade!! Come join us on http://www.bluesmusicfan.com at 12 pm EST today, January 7th, for some great contemporary blues by artists like Robert Cray, 11 Guys Quartet, CW Ayon, Hakon Hoye, Hurricane Ruth, the Forrest McDonald Band, and plenty more.
Below is the intended playlist. If ya like em…buy em at your favorite music download site….and help the blues to thrive in 2020!!
Tune in at http://www.bluesmusicfan.com at 3 pm EST today for some more badass roadhouse blues. Got new tunes by Tullie Brae, Samantha Fox, Eliza Neals & Popa Chubby, Albert Castiglia and the Allman Betts Band!
Below is the intended playlist.
Price Of The Blues
The Gordon Meier Blues Experience
Just Keep Ridin’
Living With Yo Mama (Feat. Popa Chubby & Dave Keyes)
Today’s Roadhouse Blues Nooner at 12 PM EST will highlight artists from Canada like Sean Pinchin, Colin James, Neil Young, MonkeyJunk, Layla Zoe, Angel Forrest, and Jeff Healey to name a few. Tune in at http://www.bluesmusicfan.com if ya get the time!
Compiling a list of my favorite roadhouse blues tunes of 2017 has been a labor of love. It includes some perennial favorites and some up and coming new artists. I hope you enjoy reviewing the list and hopefully you will buy and download some of the tunes.
At number one is Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’s, Don’t Leave Me Here, from the fantastic album Tajmo. Two special talents working together have produced the masterpiece of the 2017 roadhouse blues.
Coming in at number two, Walter Trout is a perennial favorite of blues rockers and when you combine his guitar playing with that of Joe Bonamassa you get some very special mojo on the tune We’re All in this Together.
At number three is the Altered Five band song, Charmed & Dangerous, an upbeat badass song that exudes sexual energy from a group based in Wisconsin.
Beth Hart has four songs from the album Fire on Floor in the top 66 and coming in at number four is the title cut. It is a slow intense tune that plays to all of Beth’s strengths as a song writer and performer.
The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band has three songs in the top 66 from his album Lay It on Down. Nothing But the Night comes in at number five. We have tickets to see both him and Beth Hart in July….can’t wait!!
At number six is the song Three Times Your Fool by Washington D.C.’s, the Nighthawks. This is a slow beautiful song for the ages from a group that has been playing the blues for over forty years!
Based out of Denmark, Thorbjorn Risager & the Black Tornado, have four songs in the top 66. At number seven is the title cut, Change My Game. Featuring a full seven piece band with a compliment of some badass horns, this group is easily my favorite European roadhouse blues band.
Californian Tommy Castro & the Painkillers returned to his roots in San Jose to record the album, Stompin’ Grounds, and has four songs included on my list. At number eight is Blues All Around Me. I have seen him in concert a couple of times and can’t wait to do it again!
At number nine is the band Tucci and the song, High Roller, that feature’s Chicago’s own Larry McCray….just some badass blues.
Rounding out the top ten is Dennis Johnson’s rendition of Robert Johnson’s Walkin’ Blues. Dennis is a guitar virtuoso and his talent shines through on the album, Rhythmland.
Some special notes about the rest of the top Roadhouse 66:
Samantha Fish has songs from two different albums included on the list! On one, Hello Stranger, she channels some Amy Winehouse….give it a listen!
Sean Chambers has three songs from his album, Trouble & Whiskey, on the list. The album is one of my favorites of the year.
Hurricane Ruth, from Missouri, has three songs on the list from her album, Ain’t Ready for the Grave. She belts out tunes with power and intensity……you will enjoy… I promise 🙂
Savoy Brown, a British blues band that has been recording for fifty years, has a three songs from their album, Witchy Feelin’, on the list!
John Mayall, the elder statesman of the Roadhouse Blues, has a great song, Blues Midnight on the list.
Van Morrison makes the list with the title cut of his album, Roll With the Punches.
Newcomers Eliza Neal and Anthony Rosano & the Conqueroos are well worth a listen.
The list features 14 female roadhouse blues songs. There are more and more female roadhouse blues singers releasing albums..a fantastic trend for the future.
Here is the full list….enjoy! And you can listen to all of these songs on my 24 hour roadhouse blues stream at Ben Vee’s Roadhouse Blues!