Tuesday Roadhouse Blues Nooner

Join us on http://www.bluesmusicfan.com for Ben Vee’s Tuesday Roadhouse Blues Nooner featuring tunes by Joe Bonamassa, Widow Blue, Beth Hart, John Hiatt, Gary Moore, Genevieve Chadwick, Ally Venable, Joanne Shaw Taylor, and many more!!  It starts at 12 Noon EST….be there!!!

Below is the intended playlist.

ARTIST TITLE
Gerry Joe Weise B Flat Jazzy
The Kentucky Headhunters Boones Farm Boogie
Willie Nelson Heartbreak Hotel (With Leon Russell)
Melissa Etheridge The Shadow of a Black Crow
Alvin Lee My Baby’s Come Back To Me
Willie May You Know I’m Lying
Widow Blue Slow Blues and a Shot of Gin
Ally Venable Running After You
Mean Gene Kelton Texas Honey
Genevieve Chadwick Yes You Did
Glen Hansard Roll On Slow
John Hiatt Over The Hill
Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa Miss Lady
Joanne Shaw Taylor I’ve Been Loving You Too Long
Sonny Landreth Bound By The Blues
Tom Hambridge Little Things (ft Sonny Landreth)
Tiffany Pollack & Eric Johanson Diamonds On The Crown
Tab Benoit Cherry Tree Blues
Lisa Mann Hard Times, Bad Decisions
Karen Lovely Never Felt No Blues
Long John And The Killer Blues Collective Cold Blood Blues
Janis Joplin One Good Man
Paul Personne & Lost In Paris Blues Band I Don’t Need No Doctor
Joe Bonamassa Midnight Blues (Live)
Gary Moore If You Be My Baby
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Layla Zoe – Gemini

layla zoe 1

Great art takes you out of your comfort zone. It often makes you look at life through another lens: Salvador Dali‘s dripping clocks (The Persistence of Memory) or Picasso‘s cubism (Girl Before A Mirror) are two examples.  They distort your perception of what should be and then challenge you to think and perceive in new ways. Layla Zoe’s new album, Gemini, did that for me. I have followed her career for awhile and have found her to be a powerful and sexy Canadian singer of the roadhouse blues; I did not expect the edginess,  depth, and emotion of the lyrics and songs on this album. It has changed my perception of her. She is not just another blues singer with a great voice; she is a crown jewel of the roadhouse blues and worthy of elevation to the same status I give Jeff Healey, her countryman.

As the title cut states she lives two different places …in the pain and the power.  Part of the album is power blues rock, part is great roadhouse tunes, another piece is beautiful  acoustic delta blues, and part is some intensely dark blues portraits of people in pain and crisis. The graphic explicitness of a few of the lyrics will probably offend some (and limit mainstream air play) as she relates through song riveting images of individuals at the crossroads.

layla zoe gemini

I can think of no other contemporary blues or blues rock artist that has put herself on the line and just laid it out there like Layla Zoe has on this album.  Certainly because of her voice, there are the inevitable comparisons to Janis Joplin. But in Layla’s case, I don’t think she is living the darkness in life (as Janis and Amy Winehouse did with their heavy drug use) as much as bringing it to vivid clarity for us.  As she relates in the song, The Deeper They Bury Me, the truth indeed will set you free. And she lays bare on several songs the deep and lonely truth of what the blues is for those in despair: equal parts anger, a need for revenge, and a profound sadness.

There are 20 songs on this double CD and normally I note each of the individual cuts that I liked the most on albums I review.  In this case, no one single will do justice to Layla’s talent or the portraits she conveys in song on this album. Certainly, Are You Still Alive Inside, a beautiful slow tempo blues rocker should get a lot of airplay. But you need to buy the album and experience her music in toto.  Afterwards, I’d love to hear what you think as comments on this web page!

Layla Zoe – Gemini (Self Release 2018)

Ben’s IN THE BIN Blues Reviews – September 14, 2018

Here’s a trio of albums I really enjoyed listening to this summer……

Ally Venable Band – Puppet Show  (Connor Ray Music 2018)

Ally Venabl

A blues rocker who looks like a super model and plays a guitar like a super star, this nineteen year old from Texas does a great job on her second album, Puppet Show.  She gets some contributions from Lance Lopez, Steve Krase, Gary Hoey, and Eric Steckel….all blues stars in their own right and a sure sign of what they think of her talent. Loved the slow blues grinder, Comfort in my Sorrows, and enjoyed Backwater Blues, Survive, and the title cut Puppet Show.

Crystal Shawanda – Voodoo Woman (New Sun Records 2017)

crystal shawanda

Born and raised in Canada and now based in Nashville, this native American has an incredible voice that encompasses the best of Koko Taylor, Etta James, and Janis Joplin.  The song, Bluetrain (Slight Return)/ Smokestack Lightning Revisited, is a powerful original tune that I really love.  And she does a great job on covers of Ball & Chain, Hound Dog, Voodoo Woman, I’d Rather Go Blind, and Wang Dang Doodle.

The Lucky Losers – Blind Spot (Dirty Cat Records 2018)

lucky losers

Though they are San Francisco based and recorded the album in San Jose, California, I could have sworn Cathy Lemons and Phil Berkowitz took a pirogue down some black water bayou in southern Louisiana and recorded their third album, Blind Spot, under the shade of a moss covered oak tree next to the water.  She and Phil seem to bring out the best in each other as they take a joyful romp through what I call the “down the bayou” blues….music that is blues infused with a healthy dose of R&B, soul, and a bit of funk. I loved Alligator Baptism, It’s Never Too Early, Love Is Blind, and Supernatural Blues.  And The River is a fantastic showcase for Cathy’s voice.  This album has my early nod for nomination as one of the five best albums of 2018.  It also features some great guitar work by special guests Laura Chavez and Kid Andersen as well as some bad ass guest sax by Nancy Wright and even some violin by Annie Staninec.