Best of the Blues 2019 – Five Most Creative Songs of the Year

The year 2019 was an exciting and invigorating one for blues lovers with the largest number of new albums released that I can recall since at least 2012. Amongst all the songs that I heard and spun for the year (and that was thousands!), these five struck me as the most creative in terms of the sound or lyrics or voice or a combination of all three!! (Links to the songs on Spotify or Youtube are shown in blue.)

HeavyDrunk – If I Loved You Hard Enough (Holywater 2019 on 4142 Music)

With lyrics that are Shakespearean in terms of the pathos and images created for your mind to wrestle with, If I Loved You Hard Enough is about a dysfunctional love that has spanned the lovers lives since they were kids. The opening lyrics portray a shocking scene at a Piggly Wiggly parking lot and it just gets better from there!

The song was written by Rob Robinson, the leader and front man for the Leipers’ Fork Tennessee soul blues band and is just one of many great tunes on the album Holywater. Rob also owns and operates a roadhouse style eatery south of town called Puckett’s…..mhmm…fine food and great roadhouse blues..I gotz to get there soon!

Amnesia Blues BandFast Johnny Cool (Hailstone 2019 on CDBaby)

Amnesia Blues Band hails from Gippsland, Australia. Paul “Buck” Buchanan is the lead vocalist and primary songwriter and they have penned an incredible song, Fast Johnny Cool, on their latest album Hailstone. An infectious bass driven beat and a great voice frame a song about a battle of guitar players at a low down roadhouse.

I got to chat with them a couple of months ago and they warned me not to visit them “down under” with a great voice or guitar. Listen to the song…you will know what they mean!

Jason Ricci & the Bad KindBreak in the Rain (My Chops Are Rolling 2019 on EllerSoul Records)

A transplant from Maine to my hometown of New Orleans, Jason Ricci is one of the great harmonica players of the blues genre. Break in the Rain has an insistent beat with fabulous guitar licks, some awesome harmonica riffs, and lyrics about a day jumpin’ in puddles and layin’ in the tall grass… naked! Hell yeah!

The song was written by band member and guitarist John Lisi. The Bad Kind band also includes Jason’s wife, Kaitlin Dibble, on backing vocals on the song. I hope to see them perform tunes from My Chops Are Rolling the next time I am back down in the Big Easy!

Ghost Town Blues BandDirty (Shine 2019)

One of traits of some blues lovers is a kind of conservatism about what is and is not the blues. There are any number of blues purists out there that I respect but don’t agree with. As B.B. King stated once in an interview that I saw, it was only natural for the blues to evolve as more and more people were exposed to it and began to play and interpret it from their own individual perspectives. First it was the delta acoustic blues. Then it was electrified when it moved into urban areas like Chicago. Eventually it was rocked up by the British blues bands of the last sixties. And now we have the wide variety of contemporary blues that I love and spin regularly. I use the term “roadhouse blues” to describe this fascinating mix of modern blues with rock, soul, rhythm and blues, gospel, swing, roots music, and, yes…even a bit of rap influence!

On their latest album, Shine, Ghost Town Blues Band out of Memphis includes an original and creative song entitled Dirty. It’s a southern blues rockin’ tune about dealin’ with the life that fate sometimes deals and includes the tasteful use of rap. It is just such a natural fit for the song and blues in general. Kudos to the band for having the creativity (and bravery to face the blues purists) with such a fine recording! And people certainly love the album. It rose to number one on the Billboard Blues Charts soon after it’s release this past October.

Left Lane Cruiser Smooth Commander (2019 Shake & Bake on Alive Records)

Left Lane Cruiser hails from Indiana and is a duo consisting of singer/guitarist Joe Evans IV and Pete Dio on drums/percussions. One of the songs on the new album SHAKE & BAKE is entitled Smooth Commander and it is about a sojourn across the world and his father’s love for the blues. The use of a resonator guitar is awesome and Joe’s voice is distinctive. And as he sings in the song, the blues will bring everybody around…..that it will surely do!!!

And kudos to the renown illustrator William Stout for providing such a creative album cover!


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.

Nov 19th – A Roadhouse Blues Nooner Tuesday on BMFR from 12-2 pm EST

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.

ARTISTTITLE
Johnny BurginLouisiana Walk (Feat. Nancy Wright)
Frank ChristopherSave Me From Myself
Al BasileSo Called Story Teller
Gregory SuttonJust One Dollar
Frank MagnoliaGot Juice Got Gas
Gracie CurranThings We Love
Tennessee RedemptionWe Got A Thing Going On
Bob Corritore and FriendsI’m Gonna Keep What I’ve Got (feat. Mighty Joe Milsap)
Altered Five Blues BandHalf Of Nothing
Luxuriant SedansWalk In My Shadow
GA-20Naggin’ On My Mind
James HarmanPump Our Own
Amnesia Blues BandNever Loved You Anyway
Giles RobsonLife, With All Its Charms
Ash GrunwaldAin’t My Problem (feat. The Teskey Brothers)
Holler and the BonesJimmy James
Tedeschi Trucks BandWalk Through This Life
HeavyDrunkPick You Up Along The Way
The Allman Betts BandLong Gone
Mark CameronNext Stop Is The Blues
Chris O’LearySecond Time Around
Josh NewcomGirl Got The Mojo
Griff Hamlin and The Single Barrel Blues BandNothing Better
Sparky ParkerThis Old Thing
Gov’t MuleWorried Down With The Blues
Tullie BraeBreak These Chains (Feat. Brandon Santini)

Got the Post Labor Day Roadhouse Blues on BMFR

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!

Here is the intended playlist:

ARTISTTITLE
Gerry Joe WeiseBlues Down Under
Mighty Mike SchermerUp All Night
The Allman Betts BandDown To The River
Little QueenieWhatever You Had
Tab BenoitA Whole Lotta Soul
Tiffany Pollack & Eric JohansonGet Lost With Me
Angel ForrestRoll On Down
Popa ChubbyLaya What Ya Tryin to Do
David GogoFrom a Buick 6
Ben LevinLonesome Whistle Blues
Billy Boy ArnoldCatfish
Arsen ShomakhovNo More!
The Kokomo KingsTied To The Tracks
Mick ClarkeBackroom Boy
Amnesia Blues BandNo Escape From The Blues
MonkeyJunkHot Hot Papa
Ghalia & Mama’s BoysHey Little Baby
Beth HartBad Woman Blues
Altered Five Blues BandLet Me Be Gone
Julian SasDon’t Let Me Down
U. Pasanen BandSilent Man
Coco MontoyaGood Man Gone
Travellin’ Blue KingsI Don’t Wanna Stop
Jimmy ThackeryEmpty Arms Motel
Guitar ShortyA Little Less Conversation
The NighthawksHeartbreak Shake
Kelly Bell BandI’m Gone!

The Mid August Roadhouse Blues on BMFR

Join me today at 3 pm EST on http://www.bluesmusicfan.com for some mid August Thursday afternoon roadhouse blues on http://www.bluesmusicfan.com.

Here is the intended playlist:

ArtistTITLE
Mindi AbairHaute Sauce
24 PesosI Am The Blues
Robin TrowerComing Closer to the Day
Rudy RottaNo One Cares
The Weary TimesAnymore
Amnesia Blues BandChampagne & Reefer
Altered Five Blues BandDon’t Rock My Blues
Dave AlvinEast Texas Blues
The Teskey BrothersMan Of The Universe
Ryan Foret And Foret TraditionHarry Biscuit And The Jam
Tab BenoitMedicine
Tiffany Pollack & Eric JohansonBlues In My Blood
Shane DwightLevy Girl
Luther AllisonBad Love
Hubert SumlinBring Your Love To Me
Z.Z. HillDown Home Blues
Freddie KingHoochie Coochie Man
Albert KingAngel Of Mercy
B. B. KingBlue Shadows
Etta JamesCigarettes & Coffee
Big Daddy WilsonAint Got No Money
Sugaray RayfordDark Night of the Soul
Frank BeyWhere You Been So Long
Michael LeeGo Your Own Way

A Two for Tuesday Roadhouse Blues Nooner on BMFR

Time for the Tuesday Roadhouse Blues Nooner with Ben Vee on http://www.bluesmusicfan.com! It starts today (July 30th) at High Noon EST and will feature tunes that are related to each other by some measure.

Below is the intended playlist. See if you can pick out why I related the tunes!

ARTISTTITLE
Dominic SchoemakerDom’s Train
Blues ArcadiaI’m Your Man
Amnesia Blues BandGotta Move On
Bonita and The Blues ShacksMomma’s Goin’ Dancin’
The Kokomo KingsFooled By The City Lights
Travellin’ Blue KingsI Cannot Believe
Julian SasA Light In The Dark
Brandon IsaakI Wanna Be Your Man
Blue Moon MarqueeHard Times Hit Parade
The Reverend Shawn AmosHave Love Will Travel
Mindi Abair And The BoneshakersVinyl
Boo Boo DavisWhat The Blues Is All About
Southern AvenueWhiskey Love
Tomiko DixonI’m Ready
Zakiya HookerDirty Things
ThirtyTwo20Wildest Dreams
Dominic SchoemakerFly Away
Lachy Doley GroupA Woman
Rob TognoniAnother Tequila
Black WaterWalking Blues
Dan PatlanskyJump On
Jason RicciThink It Over
Brandon SantiniDrive You Off My Mind
HeavyDrunk and the HurricaneMidnight in Harlem
The Rolling StonesThe Harlem Shuffle
Beth HartFat Man
Beth Hart, Joe BonamassaSinner’s Prayer (Live)

BMFR Roadhouse Blues Nooner for July 16th

Click the link for www.bluesmusicfan.com and join me for my Tuesday Roadhouse Blues nooner on BMFR!  Got new tunes from Denmark, Australia, Canada, and all over the USA!

Below is the intended playlist.

ARTIST TITLE
Texas Horns, The Better Get Here Quick
Rockin’ Johnny & Quique Gomez Are You Ever
The Allman Betts Band Shinin’
Amnesia Blues Band Never Loved You Anyway
The Cash Box Kings Poison In My Whiskey
AJ Ghent Long Lost Friend
Josh Smith Let Me Take Care of You
Keb’ Mo’ Ridin’ On A Train
Texas Horns, The Better Get Here Quick
David Gogo Tomcat Prowl
Diana Rein One Foot In
Ronnie Baker Brooks Come On Up (Feat. Felix Cavaliere & Lee Roy Parnell)
HeavyDrunk and the Hurricane If I Loved You Hard Enough
Josh Newcom The Blues Gonna Getcha
Big Wolf Band Loving Like A Fool
Delbert McClinton Lie No Better
Jersey Swamp Cats Shiny Gray Corvette
Gary Nicholson The Blues is Alive and Well
Eric Tessmer Simple Solution
Zac Harmon Gypsy Road
The Weary Times Arms Around Me
Michael Lee Love Her
Mojo Hands Ay La Bah
Terry Hanck I Still Get Excited
The Rudy Boy Experiment Helping Me with My Blues
Harpin’ Wolf & The Black Sheep Don’t Shake My Hand
Simon Kinny-Lewis Nobody’s Fault But Mine
Ivy Ford Not In The Right Way
Mark Cameron Dirty Biscuit

Got the 7-11 Blues at 3 pm EST on BMFR!

I have got a passel of roadhouse blues from Australia, Europe, and across the USA today at http://www.bluesmusicfan.com (BMFR) from 3 to 5 pm EST.  Tune in…I promise ya these are some BADASS tunes!

Below is the intended playlist.

ARTIST TITLE
Ronnie Baker Brooks Pick Power
Christone “Kingfish” Ingram It Ain’t Right
Jimmie Vaughan It’s Love Baby (24 Hours A Day)
The Cash Box Kings Back Off
Peter Frampton Band I Just Want To Make Love To You (Feat. Kim Wilson)
Shemekia Copeland In The Blood Of The Blues
Savoy Brown Ain’t Gonna Worry
Diana Rein It’s You
The Rudy Boy Experiment This is How My Life Goes
John Pops Dennie You Got Another Thing Comin’
Little Billie Band Last Dollar
Josh Smith Half Blues
Keb’ Mo’ I Should’ve
Whitney Shay Love’s Creeping up on You
Southern Avenue Keep On
Michael Lee This Is
Jontavious Willis Liquor
Fruteland Jackson Two Steps To Hell
Lonesome Shack Trying To Forget
HeavyDrunk and the Hurricane If I Loved You Hard Enough
Grizzlee Train Gone Away
The Allman Betts Band Down To The River
Rockin’ Johnny & Quique Gomez The Jinx
Amnesia Blues Band Fast Johnny Cool
David Gogo From a Buick 6
Big Wolf Band Just Can’t Find You
Marcus Malone One More Time