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!!!
|1||Mary Lane||Blues Give Me A Feeling||Travelin’ Woman|
|2||Big Daddy Wilson||Crazy World||Deep In My Soul|
|3||Altered Five Blues Band||Mischief Man||Ten Thousand Watts|
|4||Keb’ Mo’||Cold Outside||Oklahoma|
|5||Christone “Kingfish” Ingram||Fresh Out (ft Buddy Guy)||Kingfish|
|6||Jontavious Willis||Low Down Ways||Spectacular Class|
|7||Tiffany Pollack & Eric Johanson||Blues In My Blood||Blues In My Blood|
|8||Beth Hart||Bad Woman Blues||War in my Mind|
|9||Brandon Santini||Drive You Off My Mind||The Longshot|
|10||The Allman Betts Band||Shinin’||Down to the River|
|11||Amnesia Blues Band||Fast Johnny Cool||Hailstorm|
|12||HeavyDrunk||If I Love You Hard Enough||Holywater|
|13||Mindi Abair and the Boneshakers||Who’s Gonna Save My Soul||No Good Deed|
|14||Walter Trout||Me My Guitar and the Blues||Survivor Blues|
|15||Coco Montoya||Lights On But Nobody’s Home||Coming In Hot|
|16||Ghost Town Blues Band||Shine||Shine|
|17||Chris O’Leary||7 Minutes||7 Minutes|
|18||Tedeschi Trucks Band||They Don’t Shine||Signs|
|19||Van Morrison||Three Chords and the Truth||Three Chords and the Truth|
|20||Terry Hanck||Howlin’ For My Darlin’||I Still Get Excited|
|21||Kenny Wayne Shepherd||Woman Like You||The Traveler|
|22||Zack Walther Band||Bad Girl||The Westerner|
|23||Samantha Fish||Dirty||Kill or Be Kind|
|24||Giles Robson||Don’t Give Up on the Blues||Don’t Give Up on the Blues|
|25||Lucky Peterson||Pack It Up||50: Just Warming Up!|
|26||Heather Newman||I’m Coming For You||Rise from the Flames|
|27||Left Lane Cruiser||Smooth Commander||Shake and Bake|
|28||Delbert McClinton||A Fool Like Me||Tall, Dark, and Handsome|
|29||Miss Bix and the Blues Fix||Follow Me Down||We Don’t Own the Blues|
|30||Ash Grunwald||Ain’t My Problem (ft The Teskey Brothers)||Mojo|
|31||The Texas Horns||I’m Doin’ Alright (ft. Carolyn Wonderland)||Get Here Quick|
|32||The Mike Duke Project||I’m Not Sad Tonight||….Took a Whlle|
|33||Ronnie Earl & the Broadcasters||Baby How Long||Beyond the Blue Door|
|34||Travelin’ Blue Kings||Ninety Minutes||Wired Up|
|35||Al Basile||So Called Story Teller||B’s Hothouse|
|36||Ida Bang & the Blue Tears||Shelter Me||Good to Me|
|37||Arsen Shomakhov||Women and Whiskey||Rainy City Blues|
|38||Elles Bailey||Help Somebody||Road I Call Home|
|39||The Teskey Brothers||So Caught Up||Run Home Slow|
|40||Kerry Pastine and the Crime Scene||Down Down||City of Love|
|41||Tad Robinson||Real Street||Real Street|
|42||Sugaray Rayford||The Revelator||Somebody Save Me|
|43||Southern Avenue||Whiskey Love||Keep On|
|44||Honey Hounds||Shine On||The Flame|
|45||Zac Harmon||Gypsy Road||Mississippi BarBQ|
|46||Annika Chambers||I Feel the Same (ft Paul DesLauriers)||Kiss My Sass|
|47||Tennessee Redemption||Back To Tennessee||Tennessee Redemption|
|48||Ivy Ford||Start a Fight||Harvesting My Roots|
|49||Wentus Blues Band w/ Duke Robillard||2:19||Too Much Mustard|
|50||Rockin’ Johnny & QuiQue Gomez||Everybody Loves My Baby||Dos Hombres Wanted|
|52||Seth Rosenbloom||Broke And Lonely||Keep On Turning|
|53||Arlen Roth||I Can Fix It (ft Jack Pearson)||Tele Masters|
|54||Eliza Neals||Pawn Shop Blues (Roadhouse)||Sweet Or Mean|
|55||The Kokomo Kings||Heatwave||Fighting Fire with Gasoline|
|56||Robin Trower||Coming Closer to the Day||Coming Closer to the Day|
|57||Blue Moon Marquee||As I Lay Dying||Bare Knuckes & Brawn|
|58||Peter Ward||Train to Key Biscayne||Train to Key Biscayne|
|59||Duke Robillard||Don’t Bother Trying To Steal Her Love||Ear Worms|
|60||Harpdog Brown||Thinkin’ and Drinkin’||For Love & Money|
|61||Brother Yusef||I’m a Bluesman||Jook Joint Jam|
|62||Manx Mariner Manline||Rattlesnake||Hell Bound for Heaven|
|63||Josh Newcom||Girl Got the Mojo||The Blues Gonna Getcha|
|64||Savoy Brown||Conjure Rhythm||City Night|
|65||Big Wolf Band||Be Free||Be Free|
|66||Coyote Kings||Drive Me||Rocket|
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.