The new Altered Five Blues Band album HOLLER IF YOU HEAR ME is out today and it is a baker’s dozen of badass blues. One of the stellar groups of the contemporary blues, this five member band out of Milwaukee cranks out 13 infectious tunes with a rhythm that drags you to the dance floor. Led by the barrel chested voice of Jeff Taylor, this musical ensemble, with the help of Grammy award winning producer Tom Hambridge, have created a sure fire 2021 album of the year nominee.
The album comes out of the gate with the title cut, Holler If You Hear Me. Come join the party….let’s ramble and roll…whole lotta shakin’ gonna move your soul….Raise your hands…move your feet…everybody now ….feel the beat. Those lyrics should be on the door mantle of every roadhouse blues joint from Copenhagen to Chicago to Adelaide!
Guilty of a Good Time is another genre defining tune which echoes my sentiments about the roadhouse blues; it’s about hand rolled cigars and a big bar tab among like minded friends! It also features some awesome guitar licks by Jeff Schroedl. If You Go Away (She Might Come Back), All Suit No Soul, and In the Name of No Good are all “pull your Baby to the dance floor” tunes. There are also a couple of belly rubbing tunes in Holding On with One Hand and Leave Before I Let You Down.
If there is one song on the album that kind of brings it all together….the voice of Jeff Taylor….the roadhouse beat….the talent of a tight band with Jeff Schroedl on guitar, Alan Arber on drums, Mark Solveson on bass, and Raymond Tevich on Keyboards, it is Full Moon, Half Crazy! Give it a listen!
The album ends with a heartfelt upbeat tribute to the men and women of the blues that laid the groundwork for all of us that perform, spin, and write about the blues today: Big Shout Out. It includes a literal who’s who of the blues and is a great list of artists for those new to blues to use to become acquainted with in this incredible musical genre.
To say I enjoyed listening to this album while writing this review would be an understatement. It is everything that you could hope for in a roadhouse blues recording; vibrant, upbeat, great musicians, and insightful, witty and thoughtful lyrics. And mark my words…if this recording doesn’t get an album of the year nomination then it is time for me to stop reviewing albums……and that ain’t gonna happen!!!
Altered Five Blues Band – Holler If You Hear Me (2021 Blind Pig Records)
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
Over the next several months a number of new roadhouse blues albums will be released. This is just a sampling that includes artists with well established reputations as well as several “up ‘n comers” that I think you will like.
Due in September
Avey Grouws Band – Tell Tale Heart
This band from Iowa was one of my favorites for 2020 and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us in 2021!
Colin Linden – bLOW
Tas Cru – Broke Down Busted Up
Robert Jon & The Wreck – Shine a Light on Me Brother
Another great band from California with a southern blues rockin’ style.
Teresa James & the Rhythm Kings – Rose-Colored Glasses Vol. 1
One of the great voices of the contemporary blues.
Tony Holiday – Porch Sessions Vol. 2
I loved the first Porch Sessions album. This one should be good too!
Altered Five Blues Band – Holler If You Hear Me
Featuring Jeff Taylor, who is an awesome singer, this band out of Wisconsin is a perennial roadhouse favorite.
Due in October
The Doobie Brothers – Liberte
They have had a long and storied career. I have listened to all 4 of the singles released so far and the southern blues rock vibe is great.
Sue Foley – Pinkey’s Blues
A Canadian artist with strong ties to Austin, Texas who is a great guitar player, singer, and songwriter.
Due in November
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss – Raise the Roof
It has been a long time coming but the new collaboration between these two superstars picks up right where they left off!
Due in Early 2022
Eric Gales – I Want My Crown
Produced by Joe Bonamassa. Should be an incredible blues rock recording.
Elles Bailey – Shining in the Half Light
This British talent is a roots blues and blues rocker with a great voice and style.
As they are released or if I am lucky enough to make the early distribution list, you will find songs from these albums in rotation on my 24 hour roadhouse blues stream at WRHB. They will also be featured during my future Ben Vee Roadhouse Blues shows on BluesMusicFanRadio from 12-2 pm EDT on Tuesdays and from 3-5 pm EDT on Thursdays.
There is so much great new Roadhouse contemporary blues being created around the world that is very hard to keep up…..but I do it! Join me today at http://www.bluesmusicfan.com from 12 to 2 pm EDT for music by Ghalia Volt, Lindsey Alexander, Brad Palmer, Tami Neilson, Joe Lewis Band, Tinsley Ellis, The Blues Side, Robbert Duijf, the J. Houston Band, and many more.
Here is the intended playlist. I publish it in the hopes that you will enjoy several of the tunes and then whip out a credit card number at your favorite music download website and buy ’em!!
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.
It’s cold outside here in the eastern United States! Keep that blood flowin’ hot by tuning in for my roadhouse blues Nooner at http://www.bluesmusicfan.com. Got tunes by Gracie Curan, Tennessee Redemption, Chris O’Leary, Gov’t Mule, and a bunch more. CYA at High Noon EST for two hours of the best upbeat blues that I can deliver.
Below is the intended playlist.
Louisiana Walk (Feat. Nancy Wright)
Save Me From Myself
So Called Story Teller
Just One Dollar
Got Juice Got Gas
Things We Love
We Got A Thing Going On
Bob Corritore and Friends
I’m Gonna Keep What I’ve Got (feat. Mighty Joe Milsap)
This tune will raise the hair on your arms….it is that incredible. An awesome and creative mixing of the venerable Amazing Grace with another all time classic House of the Rising Sun is one of them once in a generation tunes. Hope you enjoy it as much as I have. The cut is from their album Conspirators.
Building on the success of their last hit single, Charmed & Dangerous, this new tune is vibrant and upbeat with the great voice of Jeff Taylor and some incredible guitar playin’ by Jeff Schroedl. I love EVERY tune on the new release Ten Thousand Watts.
Chris hails from New York but you would swear from his voice and tunes that he was from down the bayou in my home state of Louisiana. This cut is from 7 Minutes Late….one of my favorite albums of the year.
An incredible soul blues singer who was born and raised in New York City and attended college in Indiana. Tad traveled to Memphis to record his stellar new album Real Street. This song is the perfect fusion of Memphis soul and the Chicago blues….a damn fine tune. This Friday, October 4th, Tad will have a special album release party at the Jazz Kitchen in Indianapolis. If you live close …..go see him!!!
This tune came out in 2015 from his album Terraplane and just keeps makin’ its way back onto my playlists. Best known for Copperhead Road, Steve is one of the premier songwriters of his generation and, along with Ray Wylie Hubbard, a co-regent of the outlaw blues.
A note about streaming (which is great for exposing new artists and songs)…..it may surprise you to know that for every 10,000 streams of a song, the artist may make as little as $40 (US). But when you buy their CDs, they can make a decent living plying their craft. SO…….if ya love the music…use your favorite site and download the albums. And if you go see the artists live….buy those CDs, tee shirts, and hats at the show…….helps them defray road expenses and, in many cases, eat for the night.
It’s almost High Noon EST and time for my roadhouse house blues nooner on BMFR. Tune in at http://www.bluesmusicfan.com for some great new contemporary blues as well as classics by Southside Johnny, Mike Zito, Neal Schon, and many more.
Got the Post Labor Day Roadhouse Blues on BMFR starting at High Noon EST, Tuesday September 3rd. Join us at http://www.bluesmusicfan.com. Got a great promo cut from Beth Hart’s forthcoming album, new tunes from Coco Montoya and the Altered Five Blues Band, and much more!
Join us for a mix of the contemporary blues during my roadhouse blues nooner today on BMFR starting at High Noon EST. Got some new 24 Pesos, the Altered Five Blues Band, and a fantastic version of Amazing Grace/House of the Rising Sun by Guy Forsyth & Jeska Bailey…ya gotta hear it!