Ben’s Thursday Roadhouse Blues – 3 pm EST

The 1950’s were a magical time for the blues.  The electric guitar was taking the world by storm and blues artists were its vanguard.  It was also a time when the blues and rock & roll were virtually indistinguishable.  Today’s set celebrates the songs and sounds of the fifties as I play both brand new and classic upbeat roadhouse blues from that era on http://www.bluesmusicfan.com. Tune in at 3 pm EST!!

Below is the intended playlist.

ARTIST TITLE
Elmore James Blacksnake Blues
Arlen Roth White Lightning (ft Steve Cropper)
Peter Ward A Westerly Sunday Night (ft Sugar Ray Norcia)
Mark Wenner’s Blues Warriors King Bee
Peter Ward Train to Key Biscayne (ft Johnny Nicholas)
Howlin’ Wolf Back Door Man
Joe Bonamassa I Can’t Be Satisfied (Live)
Mary Lane Leave That Wine Alone
Harpdog Brown Thinkin’ and Drinkin’
Brandon Santini Drive You Off My Mind
Ronnie Earl And The Broadcasters It Takes Time
Elmore James Fine Line Mama
Crystal Shawanda Hound Dog
Mark Wenner’s Blues Warriors Hello Josephine
Buddy Guy Nine Below Zero
Brian Holden Smokin’ Hot
Peter Ward Coffee Song (ft Michelle Willson)
Big Joe Turner Shake, Rattle & Roll
Hound Dog Taylor Give Me Back My Wig
Chuck Berry House Of Blue Lights
Elvis Presley Ain’t That Loving You Baby
Omar Kent Dykes & Jimmie Vaughan Baby What You Want Me To Do/Bright Lights Big City
James Cotton Honest I Do
Luther Allison Parking Lot
The Derek Trucks Band Good Morning Little Schoolgirl
Joe Bonamassa Shake for Me (Live)
The Rides Talk to Me Baby
Sonny Boy Williamson Help Me
Eugene Hideaway Bridges I Can’t Stop Loving You Baby
Mark Wenner’s Blues Warriors Rock a While
Cyndi Lauper Crossroads (Feat. Johnny Lang)
Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin Sit Down, Baby
Advertisements

Mary Lane – Lady Regent of the Chicago Blues

She is 83 years young and along with Buddy Guy, who has called her “the real deal”, they are the reigning regents of the Chicago Blues.  And it does not get better than Mary Lane’s new album Travelin’ Woman.

Mary Lane Travelin Woman

The personification of the “great migration” of African Americans from the cotton fields of the American south to the city of Chicago both before and after World War II, Mary sings the blues the way only someone that has endured the degradation and hard times of segregation, and still maintained their pride and spirit, can.  Heartfelt and upbeat, the 10 songs on this album are a testament to the power of song sung by a voice of greatness.

The title cut, Travelin’ Woman, is a reminisce about her journey from Arkansas to the blues stages of Chicago that she shared with B.B. King, A.C. Reed, Elmore James, Magic Sam, Junior Wells, and Howlin’ Wolf. Blues Give Me a Feeling is a great tune about her love affair with the American music genre. Some People Say I’m Crazy, Bad Luck and Trouble, Ain’t Gonna Cry No More, Ain’t Nobody Else,  and Rain in My Heart are all bad ass Chicago blues. And amidst all these great songs, Leave That Wine Alone, is my hands down favorite.

Mary Lane

Produced by Jim Tullio, who also co-wrote most of the songs on the album, the CD features guest appearances by Billy Branch, Corky Siegel, the late Eddie Shaw, Indiara Sfair, Gene (Daddy G) Barge, Colin Linden, and Dave Specter.  This is only her second album, the first was done twenty years ago or so, but she has been a fixture on blues stages all over Chicago for decades. Man…the rest of us have missed it until NOW!

Also, filmmaker Jesseca Ynez Simmons is putting the finishing touches on a documentary about Mary’s life entitled I Can Only Be Mary Lane.  I am looking forward to its release and being able to see it!

Folks, you absolutely HAVE to listen to this slice of blues greatness! Mary Lane has sowed the blues for over sixty years…..with Travelin’ Woman she finally reaps the recognition and fame that she has long deserved.  Keep crankin’ out the blues Mary…we are all now your loyal subjects!

Women of the Blues Records 2018

Colin James – Miles To Go

Colin James 1

Colin James got his start back in the eighties sharing a stage with Stevie Ray Vaughan. In the ensuing years, this Canadian artist has released nineteen albums and assembled a presentation case full of JUNO and MAPLE BLUES awards.  With the release of his new album, Miles To Go, he is certain to add to the collection.

On the latest recording, he pays his respects to some of the greats of the blues (Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Arthur Crudup, Blind Willie Johnson, Blind Lemon Jefferson, and Walter Davis) by bringing their songs a renewed liveliness. For some, they are almost note for note homages; on others he reworks the originals with a flair that is uniquely Colin.  His respect and love of the blues shines through in all cases.  He also includes two songs that he wrote, 40 Light Years and I Will Remain. The latter is a beautiful tune that should get a lot of airplay as time goes by.

Colin James 2

I enjoyed the smooth blues funk of One More Mile and the upbeat delta sound of Dig Myself a Hole and Soul of a Man.  Colin is truly a master of the grindin blues on I Need Your Love So Bad and a song by Jesse Mae Robinson (a popular and prolific songwriter of the 1940’s and 50’s) entitled Black Night.  My favorite roadhouse tunes on the CD are Still A Fool, Ooh Baby Hold Me, and Tears Came Rolling Down; all are perfect platforms for Colin’s voice and artistry on the guitar.

I went back and listened to some of Colin’s prior work and on this album and his previous one, Blue Highways, he seems to be settling in as a serious blues man. Here’s to hoping that in the many miles he has left to travel that he continues to bring us his unique and insightful rendering of the blues.

Colin James – Miles To Go (Stony Plain Records 2018)

Just Waitin’……..for Steve Krase!

Steve Krase

 

Imagine it’s a Friday night and after a long arduous week, you head to your local roadhouse for a cold beer and some relaxation.  You get your favorite brew and leanin’ against the bar glance around the packed club.  You can hear the clack of balls on the pool tables and the lively chatter coming from tables surrounding the dance floor.  You watch as band members take the small stage and then………Steve Krase begins to crank out some bad ass roadhouse blues from his new album, Just Waitin’.

 

The first thing that will strike you is just how great a harmonica player Steve is.  Self taught, after being inspired by a old Neil Young tune when he was sixteen, Steve has won recognition and accolades from blues organizations in his home base of Houston Texas as well as from blues writers and journals around the United States over the last fifteen years or so for his harp playin’.  Joined on the stage by his studio band of David Carter (lead guitar), Rock Romano (bass), and Tamara Williams (drums), Steve begins to sing and wail on that harp as they play the title cut from his 4th and latest album, Just Waitin on my Brand New Baby. It’s an infectious upbeat tune that will drag you to the dance floor.

 

The second thing that will get your attention about Steve is the energy of the music.  It’s an intense “let’s get it goin'” sound.   All in the Mood and My Baby Walked Off are Howlin’ Wolf tunes that Steve re-energizes after all these years and Dirty Dirty, featuring some great guitar riffs from David Carter, is a perfect roadhouse blues song.  And he can slow it down too so that you can grind with your Baby on the dance floor as you listen to Nobody Loves Me.

 

Steve will also surprise you with the range of artists and songs he draws from for the new album.  Settin the Woods on Fire is a Hank Williams song that is a great showcase for Steve on harmonica.   And you also might get a chuckle, if you are old enough, at the band’s cajun zydeco rendition of the theme song for the legendary TV Series, The Beverly Hillbillies, entitled The Ballad of Jed Clampett.

I encourage you to download Steve’s latest album and use your own imagination as you listen to some GREAT roadhouse blues!

 

Just Waitin’  Connor Ray Music 2018

Joe Bonamassa at his Best! Muddy Wolf at Red Rocks (Live)

When you head north from Vicksburg Mississippi, you travel on the legendary Highway 61. Like a wide Roman road meant to last forever, it is a straight rigid arrow pointed at the temple of the blues, Clarkesdale, 200 miles to the north.  Along its way, you experience miles of miles of flat open cotton land and copses of trees sheltering small stores and the homes of the people that work the fields.  During the summer, it is a hot, hard, sweltering land.  And from this productive soil, much of it reclaimed from the swamps by slaves and their “freed” descendants, rose the sounds and music of the delta blues.  Two of its sons, Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, took that music, electrified it, and at the relatively late ages of 28 and 38 respectively, headed north to Chicago.  They weren’t so much seeking fame and fortune as a bigger stage on which to play and perform the music they loved. Now two generations later, Joe Bonamassa has released a live double album that commemorates their lasting contribution to the blues. Performed at the Red Rocks venue in Colorado, Joe and a solid cast of blues all-star musicians pay tribute to their blues heroes with a stellar list of tunes.

Normally when I review an album, I find one, sometimes two or three, and very seldom more than 4 songs that merit a cigar rating. For this album, EVERY song on it is a Cuban of the finest quality.  Joe has been honing his craft since his discovery as a child prodigy at the age of 12 by B.B. King and he is now the crown prince of the electric blues.  Because of his voice and playing style, he is accessible to lovers of rock as well as the blues.  Because of his incessant touring and recording over the last 15 years, he is the face of the rockin’ blues to the droves of fans that attend his concerts and buy his music. If you don’t know who he is or know much about the current state of the blues, this album will serve as your gateway.  It includes classic tunes from Muddy and Howlin’ like I Can’t Be Satisfied, You Shook Me, Double Trouble, My Home Is In The Delta, How Many More Years, Shake for Me, Evil (Is Goin’ On), Spoonful, and Killing Floor.  It also includes some Joe B. nuggets like Sloe Gin (his “instant” classic from 2007) and the Ballad of John Henry, as well as a couple of cuts from his latest studio album released last fall. Joe’s love for the blues and his profound respect and admiration for the work of Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf comes through loud and clear on this album. Give it a listen. If you aren’t already, you will become a fan of the electric blues and the amazing Joe B.!

Rating: A Box of the finest Cuban Cigars to be shared with friends and family after dinner and drinks!

J&R Adventures CD and DVD formats – 2015