Best of the Blues 2019 – The Ben Vee Roadhouse Blues 66

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!!!


ArtistSong TitleAlbum
1Mary LaneBlues Give Me A FeelingTravelin’ Woman
2Big Daddy WilsonCrazy WorldDeep In My Soul
3Altered Five Blues BandMischief ManTen Thousand Watts
4Keb’ Mo’Cold OutsideOklahoma
5Christone “Kingfish” IngramFresh Out (ft Buddy Guy)Kingfish
6Jontavious WillisLow Down WaysSpectacular Class
7Tiffany Pollack & Eric JohansonBlues In My BloodBlues In My Blood
8Beth Hart Bad Woman BluesWar in my Mind
9Brandon SantiniDrive You Off My MindThe Longshot
10The Allman Betts BandShinin’Down to the River
11Amnesia Blues BandFast Johnny CoolHailstorm
12HeavyDrunkIf I Love You Hard EnoughHolywater
13Mindi Abair and the BoneshakersWho’s Gonna Save My SoulNo Good Deed
14Walter TroutMe My Guitar and the BluesSurvivor Blues
15Coco MontoyaLights On But Nobody’s HomeComing In Hot
16Ghost Town Blues BandShineShine
17Chris O’Leary7 Minutes7 Minutes
18Tedeschi Trucks BandThey Don’t ShineSigns
19Van MorrisonThree Chords and the TruthThree Chords and the Truth
20Terry HanckHowlin’ For My Darlin’I Still Get Excited
21Kenny Wayne ShepherdWoman Like YouThe Traveler
22Zack Walther BandBad GirlThe Westerner
23Samantha FishDirtyKill or Be Kind
24Giles RobsonDon’t Give Up on the BluesDon’t Give Up on the Blues
25Lucky PetersonPack It Up50: Just Warming Up!
26Heather NewmanI’m Coming For YouRise from the Flames
27Left Lane CruiserSmooth CommanderShake and Bake
28Delbert McClintonA Fool Like MeTall, Dark, and Handsome
29Miss Bix and the Blues FixFollow Me DownWe Don’t Own the Blues
30Ash GrunwaldAin’t My Problem (ft The Teskey Brothers)Mojo
31The Texas HornsI’m Doin’ Alright (ft. Carolyn Wonderland)Get Here Quick
32The Mike Duke ProjectI’m Not Sad Tonight….Took a Whlle
33Ronnie Earl & the BroadcastersBaby How LongBeyond the Blue Door
34Travelin’ Blue KingsNinety MinutesWired Up
35Al BasileSo Called Story TellerB’s Hothouse
36Ida Bang & the Blue TearsShelter MeGood to Me
37Arsen ShomakhovWomen and WhiskeyRainy City Blues
38Elles BaileyHelp SomebodyRoad I Call Home
39The Teskey BrothersSo Caught UpRun Home Slow
40Kerry Pastine and the Crime SceneDown DownCity of Love
41Tad RobinsonReal StreetReal Street
42Sugaray RayfordThe RevelatorSomebody Save Me
43Southern AvenueWhiskey LoveKeep On
44Honey HoundsShine OnThe Flame
45Zac HarmonGypsy RoadMississippi BarBQ
46Annika ChambersI Feel the Same (ft Paul DesLauriers)Kiss My Sass
47Tennessee RedemptionBack To TennesseeTennessee Redemption
48Ivy FordStart a FightHarvesting  My Roots
49Wentus Blues Band w/ Duke Robillard 2:19Too Much Mustard
50Rockin’ Johnny & QuiQue GomezEverybody Loves My BabyDos Hombres Wanted
51Albert CastigliaHeavyMasterpiece
52Seth RosenbloomBroke And LonelyKeep On Turning
53Arlen RothI Can Fix It (ft Jack Pearson)Tele Masters
54Eliza NealsPawn Shop Blues (Roadhouse)Sweet Or Mean
55The Kokomo KingsHeatwaveFighting Fire with Gasoline
56Robin TrowerComing Closer to the DayComing Closer to the Day
57Blue Moon MarqueeAs I Lay DyingBare Knuckes & Brawn
58Peter WardTrain to Key BiscayneTrain to Key Biscayne
59Duke RobillardDon’t Bother Trying To Steal Her LoveEar Worms
60Harpdog BrownThinkin’ and Drinkin’For Love & Money
61Brother YusefI’m a BluesmanJook Joint Jam
62Manx Mariner ManlineRattlesnakeHell Bound for Heaven
63Josh NewcomGirl Got the MojoThe Blues Gonna Getcha
64Savoy BrownConjure RhythmCity Night
65Big Wolf BandBe FreeBe Free
66Coyote KingsDrive MeRocket

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.

Roadhouse Blues Nooner for Tuesday, Jan 21st, on BMFR

It’s the heart of the winter and a perfect time for some upbeat roadhouse blues! Join me at High Noon EST today for my Tuesday Roadhouse Blues Nooner on http://www.bluesmusicfan.com. Have new tunes by Bywater Call, Tinsely Ellis, Popa Chubby, and a couple of classics by Slim Harpo and Clarence Gatemouth Brown as well as a slew of other contemporary blues tunes.

Below is the intended playlist………..

ARTISTTITLE
11 Guys QuartetRoad Trippin’
Bywater CallForgive
Matt AndersenBetter Than You Want
Clas Yngström & Big Tex ThreeBeyond Here Lies Nothin’
Slim HarpoBoogie Chillun
The Cash Box KingsBack Off
Bob Corritore and FriendsBitter Seed (feat. Oscar Wilson)
Reverend Rusty & The CaseBig Boss Man
Mary LaneBlues Give Me A Feeling
Clarence “Gatemouth” BrownBorn In Louisiana
Rachelle CobaBad Reputation
The Burndown Brothers Blues BandBeautiful Soul
Devon AllmanBack to You
Tony Cuchetti And Joe FlipBig River
Keith StoneBetter Things To Do
Ghost Town Blues BandBefore You Hit The Ground
Barefoot DoctorsBelly Of The Blues
Tinsley EllisIce Cream In Hell
Popa ChubbyIt Ain’t Nothin’
Gema PearlPearl’s Blues (feat. Rick Derringer)
BluesCorpSomething Going Down
Tom The Suit ForstLate Night Train
MonkeyJunkBoogie Man (2014 Remaster)
Sonny LandrethBound By The Blues
Mike Scott & the HoneypotsSweet Misery
Katarina PejakChasing Summer

Thurday Roadhouse Blues on BMFR at 3 pm EST

How about some Thursday September 5th roadhouse blues on http://www.bluesmusicfan.com? Join me on BMFR for some new contemporary blues as well as classics by Albert King, Muddy Waters, Luther Allison, and many more.

This is the intended playlist.

ARTISTTITLE
Mick ClarkeNuthin’burger Blues
Ash GrunwaldWaiting Around To Die (feat. Joe Bonamassa, Josh Teskey & Ian Collard)
Coco MontoyaStop Runnin’ Away From My Love
Mary LaneTravelin’ Woman
Luther AllisonEverything’s Gonna Be All Right
Arsen ShomakhovRain City Blues
George ThorogoodChicago Bound
The Seamus McGarvey BandWillie And The Hand Jive
Johnny Mastro & Mama’s BoysTonight We Ride
Albert KingBorn Under A Bad Sign
Michael OsbornSpellbound
MUDDY WATERS & THE ROLLING STONESHoochie Coochie Man
Freddie KingPalace Of The King
Mighty Mike SchermerHow Much Longer
Mick ClarkeRight And Wrong
Julian SasHowlin’ Wind
Joe BonamassaLove Is A Gamble
Beth HartWar In My Mind
Owen CampbellBreathing Bullets (Album Mix)
The Moon DogsThe Blues’ll Get You
Karen LovelyBlues Ain’t Far Behind
Plain Dirty Blues BandShe Suits me to a Tee
Johnny Fink and the IntrusionLet’s Hear Some Blues
Meantooth GrinDark Was The Night
Gary MooreStill Got The Blues (Single Version)

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

A Roadhouse Quickie for Tuesday, April 16th!

It’s a busy day for me today, but I still have time for a one hour Roadhouse Quickie at 12 Noon EST on http://www.bluesmusicfan.com! Join me for new tunes by Mary Lane, Arlen Roth, Harpdog Brown, the Manx Marriner Mainline, and Big Joe & the Dynaflows!

Below is the intended playlist.

ARTIST TITLE
Arlen Roth Tuff Tele
John Latini Pull Me Up
Genevieve Chadwick One Time Thing
Manx Marriner Mainline Everybody Knows
Harpdog Brown Blue Light Boogie
Mary Lane Blues Give Me A Feeling
Big Jay McNeely & Dana Gillespie Give Me Your Best Shot
Arlen Roth I Can Fix It (ft Jack Pearson)
Big Joe and the Dynaflows Driving Wheel
Slackjaw Don’t Give Me No Jive
Ghalia and Mamas Boys Have You Seen My Woman
RJ & The Houndogs Give Me One Reason
Arlen Roth Joe’s Blues (ft Joe Bonamassa)

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