Ready for a Road trip? Take along the Roadhouse 66 Best Blues Songs of 2021!

It’s summertime here in the northern hemisphere and many of us will be taking road trips to see family and friends. Whether the journey is an hour away or across the continent, here are the Roadhouse 66 best blues songs of 2021 to listen to along the way. And this year, for the first time, the playlist is available on the Ben Vee Youtube channel and on the Ben Vee Spotify account. I hope you enjoy reviewing and listening to the songs. And bear in mind that music is not a sports competition…..whether the song is listed at number 4 or number 64, these are all truly great tunes culled from an initial list of over 4,000 new songs that I reviewed or streamed during the course of 2021!! And if you have a comment or want to tell us what your best roadhouse blues song of 2021 was, just leave a comment below.

The Roadhouse 66 Best Blues Songs of 2021 Top Ten

#1 Altered Five Blues Band – Full Moon, Half Crazy

Another in a long series of vibrant upbeat tunes from this amazing band out of Wisconsin, the group is powered by the voice of Jeff Taylor.

#2 Christone “Kingfish” Ingram – Long Distance Woman

The Kingfish is a true superstar of the contemporary blues and…..he is only 23!! He first came to my attention four or five years ago and his musical trajectory just keeps rising and rising!

#3 Dion – I’ve Got to Get to You (ft. Boz Scaggs, Mike Menza, and Joe Menza)

His career started over 60 years ago and at the age of 82 he is still kickin’ out some badass blues songs!

#4 Colin James – Open Road

Stevie Ray Vaughan opened the door for him in the 1980’s and in the years since he has become a mainstay of the Canadian music scene. This is the title cut from his latest album that was also the Roadhouse Blues 61 best album of the year!

#5 Tommy Castro – Somewhere

This California based bluesman is a personal favorite. I have seen him in concert 3 times and he is an absolutely incredible performer. He also walked away from this year’s Blue Music Awards in Memphis with a bevy of the top awards. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

#6 J Lee and the Hoodoo Skulls – Highway

This blues rock band out of the UK just cranks out some badass music!

#7 Atomic 44s – Fade to Black

I tried to see this southern California band last summer when I went to visit my younger daughter. They are the perfect roadhouse blues band. Unfortunately, COVID cancelled the show. I hope to see them on a future trip!

#8 JP Williams Blues Band featuring Ekat Pereya – Mighty Dangerous Boogie

I just love JP’s style of roadhouse blues. And I appreciate the fact that he appeared in chat on several of my BluesMusicFan Radio shows during 2021.

#9 Polly O’Keary & the Rhythm Method – I’m Not Guilty

A long time star of the blues from the American northwest, Polly O’Keary has paid her blues dues! I just love her voice!

#10 Blues Traveler – Roadhouse Blues

John Popper and company do an amazing blues version of the Doors classic. Easily one of my favorite tunes of 2021….I wonder why?!!

The entire Roadhouse 66 Best blues songs of 2021

The Roadhouse 66 list includes perennial music stars like Melissa Etheridge, Jimmy Barnes, Billy Gibbons, Van Morrison, and Doobie Brothers as well as personal favorites like Uncle Watson’s Widow, Mike Zito, Carolyn Wonderland, the Black Keys, and Davy Knowles. There are a slew of contemporary blues stars on the list such as Eddie 9V, Joanne Shaw Taylor, the Record Company, and Sue Foley. Also included are some rising stars of the genre that you may not have heard before; 8 Ball Aitken, Veronica Lewis, Ben Levin, Hendrikse, and AJ Fullerton to name just a few! I hope you get a chance to listen to all of them sometime soon. Just remember you can use my playlists on Youtube and Spotify to listen to them all and hopefully buy and download a few….the ultimate compliment to the artists!!

ARTISTTITLE
1Altered Five Blues BandFull Moon, Half Crazy
2Christone “Kingfish” IngramLong Distance Woman
3DionI’ve Got To Get To You
4Colin JamesOpen Road
5Tommy CastroSomewhere
6J Lee and the Hoodoo SkullsHighway
7Atomic 44sFade To Black
8JP Williams Blues Band featuring Ekat PereyraMighty Dangerous Boogie
9Polly O’Keary & The Rhythm MethodI’m Not Guilty
10Blues TravelerRoadhouse Blues
11Mike ZitoDreaming Of You
12Billy F GibbonsStackin’ Bones (Feat. Larkin Poe)
13Markus K.Rollin’ and Tumblin’
14Sean ChambersRockin’ Daddy
15Carolyn WonderlandBroken Hearted Blues
168 Ball AitkenWhat Goes Up
17Eddie 9VDog Me Around
18Sue FoleyHurricane Girl (ft. Jimmie Vaughan)
19The Black KeysCoal Black Mattie
20Uncle Watson’s WidowNasty Dogs Funky Kings Precious and Grace
21Melissa EtheridgeFor The Last Time
22Jimmy BarnesEnd Of The Road
23Joanne Shaw TaylorStop Messin’ Round
24Steve MarrinerTake Me To The City
25Simon Kinny-LewisSwamp Rat
26Chickenbone SlimServe It to Me Hot
27The Dirty Mojo Blues BandMy Little Sue
28The Doobie BrothersCannonball
29Dirty Dave OstiRiver Of Shame
30Eldon Backhouse And The Electric Blues BandAnother Man
31Band Of FriendsLivin’ Like a Trucker
32Steve CropperShe’s So Fine
33Joe MetzkaWalk
34Tom Feldmann and Noah LevyGoing Away Baby
35The Record CompanyToday Forever
36The Kokomo KingsShe´s Shaking Up A Storm
37SuperdownhomeHomework
38Vintage TroubleLow Down Dirty Dog
39Delta FuseLetter on the Table
40Gov’t MuleSnatch It Back And Hold It
41AJ FullertonThe Forgiver And The Runaway
42Davy KnowlesOne & The Same
43Captain Morgan ExpressHanging Tree
44Quinn SullivanWide Awake
45Dave KalzShes Got A Hemi
46The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn BandToo Cool To Dance
47Tommy ZTommy Guns
48HendrikseTry to Save Your Soul
49Andy LindquistThe River Queen
50Big Chief Monk BoudreauxChoo Choo
51Dionne BennettFull Time Job
52CactusPreaching Woman Man Blues
53Bernie MarsdenMe And My Guitar
54Teresa James and The Rhythm TrampsGonna Rise Together
55Ben LevinI Can’t Stop It
56The LiberatorsWrong Distraction
57Trainman BluesTroubled Mind
58Mike Goudreau BandTonight’s The Night For Big Fun
59Van MorrisonDeadbeat Saturday Night
60The Immediate FamilySlippin’ and Slidin’
61Colin Linden4 Cars
62WellBadOne Kiss Too Late
63Dennis SiggeryGypsy Woman
64Early Times & The High RollersDo What She Do
65Selwyn BirchwoodI’d Climb Mountains
66Veronica LewisPut Your Wig On Mama

#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.

Best Blues Songs of 2021 on Today’s Ben Vee Roadhouse Blues Nooner 12-2 pm ET

There isn’t much good to say about the year 2021 other than, while we were all still hunkered down because of the pandemic, blues artists continued to produce some fabulous music. Join us today as I play some of the tunes included in my Roadhouse 66 Best Blues Songs of 2021. I will feature the top ten tunes of the year by Tommy Castro, the Altered Five Blues Band, Dion, Christone Kingfish Ingram, Colin James, J Lee and the Hoodoo Skulls, the Atomic 44s, the JP Williams Blues Band, Polly O’Keary & the Rhythm Method, and Blues Traveler. Which one was my number one tune for 2021? You will just have to tune in at http://www.bluesmusicfan.com from 12-2 pm ET today and listen along!

For those of you that can’t tune in, I have already posted the entire Roadhouse 66 Best Songs of 2021 playlist on my Ben Vee Spotify account for you to peruse and I will be posting the list to my Ben Vee Youtube channel tomorrow. (Previous year lists for 2017-2020 are also on my YouTube channel.) A review of the 2021 list will be posted here on my blues blog by the end of the week. It is a joy to put together these annual lists of my favorite 66 tunes from among the 6000 or so songs that I spin for the year. I hope you get as much enjoyment from reviewing my selections, listening to them….and hopefully downloading….your favorites!!

Roadhouse Blues Nooner on BluesMusicFan Radio (12-2 pm EST)

Hope you get a chance to listen in today to the Ben Vee Roadhouse Blues Nooner on http://www.bluesmusicfan.com from 12-2 pm EST. We will roll out with a Faces tune featuring Rod Stewart from back in the day and then spend the rest of the show spinning some incredible new contemporary blues from artists all over the USA and around the world:Manny Fizzotti, Joe Louis Walker, Natalia M. King, Malted Milk, Bad Temper Joe, Colin James, Carolyn Wonderland, and a whole bunch more!!

ARTISTTITLECountry
Manny FizzottiSliding AwayItaly
FacesThree Button Hand Me DownUK
Joe Louis WalkerTwo Trains RunningUSA
Son Of DaveGimme A DoctorUK
Natalia M. KingPink Houses (Feat. Elliott Murphy)France
Mick Schafer BandDon’t Wanna B JudgedUSA
Zoom With Shawn KellermanBorn To Sing The BluesCanada
Jesse RoperDoes Anybody KnowCanada
P K MayoTruthUSA
Santana ft. Chris StapletonJoyUSA
Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night SweatsI’m On Your SideUSA
Eric GalesI Want My Crown  (Feat. Joe Bonamassa)USA
Altered Five Blues BandAll Suit, No SoulUSA
The Head Hunters Blues BandForty Days And Forty NightsUK
Black PumasI’m ReadyUSA
Manny FizzottiTurn Me OnItaly
Malted MilkLet Me RideFrance
Circle Of MudNative ManFrance
Andreas Diehlmann BandMade It My WayGermany
Bad Temper Joe3rd Floor Elevator BluesGermany
Colin JamesRaging RiverCanada
The Doobie BrothersCannonballUSA
Carolyn WonderlandBroken Hearted BluesUSA
Phillip-Michael ScalesWhen They Put Me in My GraveUSA
Simon Kinny-LewisJust Need A Kind Hearted Woman ( Feat Robben Ford )Australia
Gov’t MuleMake It RainUSA
Tommy CastroBluesman Came To TownUSA
Christone “Kingfish” IngramThat’s What You DoUSA

An enticing Open Road to the Blues with some new Colin James

Every life is an open road. It’s a lyric from the title cut for Colin James‘ 20th album which was released this week. In Colin’ case, the certainty and direction of his musical journey was cemented when fate intervened back in the 1980’s in his hometown of Regina, Saskatchewan. A late no show and a desperate last minute search for an opening act for Stevie Ray Vaughan led to Colin. After the show, Stevie told him , “I’m opening doors for you….walk through them!”.And that he did!!

In 1988, Colin released his first self-titled album which contained two self-penned hits, Voodoo Thing and Five Long Years that garnered him the first of his 7 JUNO awards and a spot touring with Keith Richards. Over the ensuing years, Colin has rocked it, been credited with reviving swing music in Canada, and, with the last three albums, solidified his standings as one badass roadhouse bluesman.

The OPEN ROAD album is an impressive collection of original songs as well as covers of tunes he recalls first firing his imagination at the age of 12. It has rockin’ blues songs, traditional blues numbers, and beautiful roots tunes. Overcoming the challenges of the pandemic, Colin drew together the talents of Chris Caddell (rhythm guitar), Steve Pelletier and Norm Fisher (bassists), Simon Kendall and Jesse O’Brien (Hammond B3 organ), and Geoff Hicks (drums) to make the recording. It was mixed at the famed Abbey Roads Studios in London by producer Dave Meszaros. And the product, which includes guest appearances by Steve Marriner (harmonica) and Jerry Cook and Steve Hilliam (saxophone) is in my opinion his best overall release to date and worthy of consideration as one of the best blues recordings of 2021 world wide, not just in Canada. To give you a feel for just how good it is, I use a 5 star rating system for songs and there are 13 on the Open Road recording. My overall rating is an incredible 57 out of a possible 65. As context, my normal rating for an album I considered great would be 40 to 45! This recording is special!!

The album opens with some tasty guitar pickin’ on the Tony Joe White song As The Crow Flies. Colin then takes on challenge of covering an Albert King tune, Can’t You See What You’re Doing to Me. He follows that up with some badass lowdown blues on That’s Why I Am Crying. The fourth song Open Road was written by Colin and Craig Northey. It is insightful observation on life and the travails of a traveling musician. On the fifth tune, Change It, Colin pays tribute to his fateful meeting with Stevie Ray with a song written by Doyle Bramhall. The album also contains two songs written by Colin and Colin Linden, another of my favorite Canadian artists, Raging River and There’s a Fire. Colin cranks out a signature rockin blues tune, Leave This House, that he wrote with Tom Wilson as the seventh cut. Colin’s version of the Bob Dylan song, It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry is a showcase for his voice and some more tasty guitar licks. And he absolutely aces another Dylan tune, Down On the Bottom, that served as one of the “promo singles” released back in September. Colin also delivers a fabulous cover of the John Lee Hooker song, Bad Boy. One of my all time favorite bluesmen is Otis Rush and the recording of It Takes Time featuring some exquisite harmonica by Steve Marriner is just simply badass roadhouse blues! And to top it all off, the last song on the album is a soulful rendition of Otis Redding‘s I Love You More Than I Can Say.

I have been told that the average music lover buys a dozen or so albums a year. In what is fast becoming the new age of the single, I highly recommend that you purchase the entire recording to truly appreciate what an incredible recording this is! And in the coming months, I will be more than willing to hit the open road to see Colin James work his musical magic on stage….how about you?

Colin James – Open Road (2021 Stony Plain 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

Roadhouse Blues News – New Singles You Need to Hear!

Hope you enjoy the video links to these new single releases by 4 contemporary roadhouse blues artists that I absolutely love!

Tommy CastroSomewhere

A California bluesman with a southern soul, Tommy Castro premiered his new single on August 9th. The album will be released September 17th and is entitled Tommy Castro Presents A Bluesman Came To Town.

Joe BonamassaNotches

Joe’s new single for his yet untitled new album bears the strong influence of Australia. Featuring the use of the didgeridoo and Australian musicians Lachy Doley, Mahalia Barnes, Bunna Lawrie, the song is somehow still vintage Joe B!

Teresa James & the Rhythm TrampsTakes One to Know One

Teresa is truly one of the great voices of the contemporary roadhouse blues and has been for a long time. This single is from the new album Rose-Colored Glasses Vol. 1 due out on September 17th.

Colin JamesDown On the Bottom

Featuring stellar guitar licks, Colin covers a Dylan tune with a blues rockin’ delivery that has made him one of Canada’s favorite performers over a career that spans 30 years.


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

The Mid Winter Roadhouse Blues on BMFR 12-2 pm EST

With most of the North America in deep freeze, seems like a perfect time to relax indoors and listen to some contemporary blues! Join me from 12 to 2 pm EST for my Roadhouse Blues Nooner on http://www.bluesmusicfan.com. I have tunes by Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Larkin Poe, the Atomic 44s, Avey Grouws Band, the Band of Heathens, a new Rolling Stones release, Curtis Salgado, Ghalia Volt, and many more.

This is the intended playlist:

ARTISTTITLEALBUM
New Bayou Swamp BandSlow Sweaty Swampy BluesBayou Detective
Jack J HutchinsonHip Slickin’Back To The Blues
Avey Grouws BandRise UpThe Devil May Care
The Atomic 44sThe BoogeymanPromo Single
The Rolling StonesTerrifying (Remastered)R & B
Kirsten ThienI Gotta ManTwo Sides
Ghalia VoltReap What You SowOne Woman Band
The Band Of HeathensBlack CatStranger
David GogoFrom a Buick 617 Vultures
Larkin PoeMississippiVenom & Faith
Seasick Steve & The Level Devils8-BallCheap
Hazmat ModineCrust of BreadBox of Breath
Wooden HorseMean Old FriscoSingle
JankyThree Ways From SundayHill Country Foot Stomp
Georgia RandallIsolation BluesHound Dog
Curtis SalgadoI Don’t Do That No MoreDamage Control
Johnny Burgin feat. Anson FunderburghCherry On TopPromo Single
James ArmstrongBlues Been Good To MeBlues Been Good To Me
The Lucky LosersAlligator BaptismBlind Spot
Blues ArcadiaSeven Days A WeekCarnival Of Fools
Vanja SkyLow Down And DirtyBad Penny
Val Starr & the Blues RocketWhether Blues (remix 2020)Single Release
Kenny Wayne ShepherdEverybody Gets The BluesLedbetter Heights
Brad James SwallowMelon PatchSingle Release
Bluesman Tom LarsenRolloverThe Hard Way
Odds LaneHard RainLost & Found
Colin JamesSoul of a ManMiles To Go

BMFR Roadhouse Blues Nooner for May 5, 2020

Kind of an eclectic set of the roadhouse blues today with contemporary blues, roots blues, some soul, and a bit of blues rock. A number of tunes are by artists that won awards at Sunday night’s Blues Foundation award ceremonies for 2019.

Hope ya have a chance to tune in from 12 to 2 pm EST today on http://www.bluesmusicfan.com. And since most of us are at home, freshen up your coffee or whatever you are drinking….kick back….and enjoy the tunes.

Here is the intended playlist:

ARTISTTITLE
Robert Hill BandBig Al
The NighthawksChairman Of The Board
Be Sharp BandMojo Joe
Rynhrd Boegl GroupI Want You To Come Back
Three’s Company BluesSiphon
Kristin DiableGuess It’s Gonna Take Some Time
Red’s BluesFlim Flam Man
Robert Hill BandDogtown Blues
Sweet Mama DeeNever Make Your Move Too Soon
Nico SmoljanAct Like You Love Me
Tony HolidayIt’s Gonna Take Some Time
Southern AvenueWe’re Gonna Make It
Colin James40 Light Years
David GogoVicksburg Call
Nick Moss Band Feat. Dennis GruenlingLucky Guy
Billy PriceWorking On Your Chain Gang
Tad RobinsonChanges
Hazmat ModineGet Get Out
Manx Marriner MainlineRattlesnake
MonkeyJunkIf You Were Mine (2014 Remaster)
Angel ForrestHouse Of The Rising Sun
The Jeff Healey BandWhile My Guitar Gently Weeps
Three’s Company BluesBurn Like Whiskey
Rynhrd Boegl GroupThe Eternal Clock

Ben Vee Roadhouse Blues Nooner 12-2 pm EST Apr 14th

Join me today, April 14th, on BMFR from 12-2 pm EST for a mix of contemporary blues and blues rock that I call the Roadhouse Blues on http://www.bluesmusicfan.com. My Roadhouse Blues Nooner will feature tunes by Nanette Workman, Muddy Waters & the Rolling Stones, Mike Zito, the Be Sharp Band, Layla Zoe, Joe Bonamassa, and many more.

Here is the intended playlist:

ARTISTTITLE
Alex DixonChi-Town Boogie (Instrumental)
Buddy GuyCognac (feat. Jeff Beck & Keith Richards)
Mike ZitoMississippi Nights
John FogertyWicked Old Witch
Muddy Waters & the Rolling StonesYou Don’t Have To Go
Jay StollmanI’d Rather Drink Muddy Water
Mississippi ShakedownTalking to My Baby
Joe BonamassaYou Shook Me (Live)
Colin JamesWalkin’ Blues
Nanette WorkmanRide on
Markey Blue Ric Latina ProjectCome And Go
Carie and The SoulshakersMuddy Said
Tinsley EllisA Quitter Never Wins
Layla ZoeLeave You For Good
Sean ChambersSweeter Than a Honey Bee
Ryan McGarveyBlue Eyed Angel Blues
Rob TognoniComin’ Home Tonight
Savoy BrownVintage Man
Billy F GibbonsHollywood 151
Be Sharp BandAshes
Lance LopezLowdown Ways (Bonus Track)
Anthony GomesOne Last Time
Dave MenikettiSay Goodbye

Roadhouse Blues for March 26th on BMFR 3-5 pm EST

The sun has come out…temperatures are mild….great time for some roadhouse blues on http://www.bluesmusicfan.com from 3-5 pm today, Thursday, March 26th. I will be spinnin’ tunes from the B. Christopher Band, Samantha Fish, John Mayall, Van Morrison, Tommy Castro, Colin James, Janiva Magness, and many more!

The intended playlist is below…if ya like a couple….please take the time to download from your favorite music app! The artists can really really use the money and support in these troubled times!

ARTISTTITLE
The B. Christopher BandStrike Two
Samantha FishHello Stranger
John MayallBlue Midnight
Thorbjørn Risager & The Black TornadoI Used to Love You
Van MorrisonRoll With The Punches
Beth HartLet’s Get Together
Tommy Castro & The PainkillersNonchalant
NiecieThank God For Fools
Colin JamesI Will Remain
Steve KraseBrand New Thing
Janiva MagnessI Can Tell
Coco MontoyaHard As Hell
Ally Venable BandBackwater Blues
Dennis JohnsonWalkin Blues
Sean ChambersAll Night Long
Tinsley EllisNothing But Fine
Jim AllchinVoodoo Doll
Markey Blue Ric Latina ProjectRaised In Muddy Water
Mike ZitoMississippi Nights
Bettye LaVetteThings Have Changed
Sugaray RayfordThe Revelator
Al BasileSo Called Story Teller
Travellin’ Blue KingsNinety Minutes
Manx Marriner MainlineRattlesnake
Ida Bang & The Blue TearsShelter Me
Big Joe SheltonWomen and Whiskey
Ronnie Earl And The BroadcastersI Need You So Bad (ft Michael Ledbetter)