Telecastin’ the night away on Arlen Roth’s Tele Masters

Released in the early 1950’s, the Fender Telecaster was the first commercially successful solid body guitar and has been used by blues, rock, and country bands ever since because of its distinctive tone (and relatively cheap price!). Famous artists like Buck Owens, Albert Collins, and Muddy Waters played the Telecaster in the fifties and Keith Richards and Jimmy Page have used it in an exquisite manner since the 1960’s.  On his new album, Tele Masters, Arlen Roth displays his own love and mastery of the Telecaster with a stellar set of 16 tunes.

Arlen Roth_buick and telecaster

Over the years, Arlen has performed with Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, Levon Helm, Ry Cooder, Johnny Winter, Rick Vito, and Sonny Landreth (click here for a great live performance by them of Blues Attack ) to name just a few.  He has been voted one of the 100 Most Influential Guitarists of All Time by Vintage Guitars magazine….and my bet is that many of you have never heard his music!  Well, I hope we can change that after a listen to this inspiring new album.

The list of artists that contributed to this effort is impressive.  The most notable to regular readers of my blog is Joe BonamassaJoe’s Blues is Bonamassa’s tribute to the legendary Albert Collins and is a must have for collectors of Joe’s tunes. Also contributing on the recording are Steve Cropper (yeah THAT Steve Cropper), Vince Gill, Brad Paisley, Jack Pearson, Albert Lee, Jerry Donahue, Johnny Hiland, Bill Kirchen, Brent Mason, Will Ray, Red Volkaert, Cindy Cashdollar, Billy Panda, Bryan Sutton, Tommy MacDonald, and Steve Wariner.  The drummer on the album and its producer is one of my favorite people, Grammy Award winner Tom Hambridge who plays with Buddy Guy.  Tom’s production of the songs brings out the best in Arlen and showcases the distinctive attributes of the Telecaster in a way that is engaging and entertaining.  The album is primarily instrumental but features several songs with vocals that I really loved.

Arlen Roth_TeleMaster album

Jack Pearson, a notable musician and singer who played with the Allman Brothers Band and also toured with Gregg Allman, is featured on vocals and guitar on two awesome blues cuts: I Can Fix It (where he and Arlen do a great job of trading guitar licks) and on an inspiring version of Key to the Highway.  The fabulous Steve Cropper contributes vocals and guitar licks on the bluesy White Lightning.  All three cuts will get significant airplay during my upcoming sets on http://www.bluesmusicfan.com.

But what truly underpins this album is the guitar artistry of Arlen Roth. He recorded his first album in 1978 and now, fifteen albums later, we hear his guitar playing at its very best.  Besides the blues tunes, he romps through a haunting rendition of Ghost Riders in the Sky, a lovely cover of Tennessee Waltz with his daughter, Lexie Roth, on vocals, cranks it up on Rumble, and then lays down the case for why the Telecaster is such a great guitar on the badass instrumental, Tuff Tele.

This album is worth spending an evening with as I have done.  Get yourself a drink, a smoke, or whatever relaxes you and telecast the night away with Arlen Roth and friends.


2019 Aquinnah Records

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Alligators, Aussies, Boston Beats, & Roadhouse Blues on BMFR 3-5 pm EST w/Ben Vee

Gonna feature recording done by artists on Alligator Records (a great blues label) as well as a couple of Australian performers, several Boston area groups, and, of course, plenty of contemporary upbeat blues from 3-5 pm EST today, Thursday, Feb 21! Tune in at http://www.bluesmusicfan.com.  Below is the intended playlist, so if ya hear somethin you luv, you can find it…download it…and help the roadhouse blues to thrive!

ARTIST TITLE
Johnny Winter Sen-Sa-Shun / Got My Mojo Working
Lonnie Mack Natural Disaster
Delta Generators Strike The Bells
Marcia Ball Dance With Me
Ash Grunwald Shake That Thing
Lonnie Brooks Two Headed Man
Electric Blues Collective Swamp Gas
Meena Send Me A Doctor
Jimmy Thackery Empty Arms Motel
Jimmy Barnes Shake Rattle And Roll
Etta James I’d Rather Go Blind
Dominic Schoemaker Let Me Be Your Lover
Haole Kid Local Boy Blues Project Bluesy White Boy
Savoy Brown Memphis Blues
James House & The Blues Cowboys Boomerang
JJ Grey & Mofro That Boy
Cassie Taylor No Ring Blues
Tinsley Ellis Cool On It
Son Seals Look, Now Baby
Jimmie Vaughan Kinky Woman
Albert Cummings Up Your Sleeve
Janiva Magness Hammer (Feat. Charlie Musselwhite)
A.C. Reed She’s Fine
Delbert McClinton B Movie Boxcar Blues
Peter Parcek Ashes To Ashes
Layla Zoe Get Me Some
Albert Collins I Ain’t Drunk
Chris Smither Up On the Lowdown

 

Joe Bonamassa – Redemption

Joe B 1.jpg

From Joe B.’s fan art work!

 

The synthesis of the electric blues, British blues, delta blues, and progressive and classic rock, Joe Bonamassa merges them all  on his new album Redemption to create an  inspiring anthem to the roadhouse blues.  Since his first solo album in 2000, Joe has been building a loyal following among blues rockers, blues fans, and old time classic rockers yearning for a sound that has largely disappeared from main stream broadcasting.  All of them should be thrilled to listen to his latest recording.

Joe is certainly one of the finest electric guitar players on the planet, has a fantastic voice, and is under rated as a song writer. On Redemption, he showcases all three elements of his talent.  The Ghost of Macon Jones is a blues rock ballad with guitar work that hints at Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers Band and has haunting synthesizer and keyboard play by band member Reese Wynans.  On Molly O, Joe creates a rock masterpiece on par with Led Zeppelin’s KashmirAnton Fig on drums and Michael Rhodes on bass provide an insistent beat as Joe takes his guitar to places only the very best can go. On the title cut, Redemption, the delta and gospel blues merge with Led Zeppelin and Black Country Communion influences to create a fantastic rock paean.  Deep in the Blues is a notable song with that same ethereal quality that Eric Clapton has always brought to his music.

On King Bee Shakedown and Evil Mama,  Joe finds that sweet spot between the blues and rock I call the roadhouse blues on upbeat horns infused tunes. On I Got Some Mind Over What Matters, Joe channels a bit of Muddy Waters on a sweet delta electric blues tune.

When Joe was a youngster, B.B. King invited him on stage to give the audience a glimpse of his talent and on Just Cos You Can Don’t Mean You Should Joe displays some of the same mastery of the electric guitar that the King of the Blues saw almost 30 years ago.

Joe B Redemption

Love is a Gamble is some bad ass grindin’ blues in the mold of Albert King, Freddie King, and Luther AllisonPick Up The Pieces is a down home New Orleans style blues tune with echoes of Dr. John in the rhythms and lyrics. And Stronger Now in Broken Places is a heart tugging acoustic number that highlights Joe’s stellar voice.

Over the years, Joe has recorded several songs that seem directed right at me, a laser pointed straight at my heart. Self Inflicted Wounds joins the songs Drive, Different Shades of Blue, and Driving Towards The Daylight from previous albums as soul searching epics that I will never forget.  On an album filled with great songs, it is my favorite.

Joe has earned the admiration and accolades from  music critics and reviewers like myself since the release of his third album, Blues Deluxe, back in 2003. It is my fervent hope that this album finally takes Joe into the main stream for contemporary rock audience downloads; the final piece in the puzzle. The mainstream contemporary rock genre has been decimated over the years; Joe and his music are the path back!  Redemption is an interesting and intense synergy of the blues and rock and worthy of comparisons with the works of B.B. King, Muddy WatersLed Zeppelin, and Eric Clapton. He has internalized influences from some of the greatest and with Redemption makes the statement that he represents the best of all of them: a blues man, a blues rocker, a rock guitar virtuoso, and, in my opinion, the best roadhouse blues man alive today.

Joe Bonamassa – Redemption (2018 J&R Adventures)

 

P.S. You can listen to Joe and enjoy many more roadhouse blues artists on my 24 hour blues stream at Ben Vee Roadhouse Blues !