I have started compiling my Roadhouse Blues “Best of” lists and over the next couple of months, they will begin to appear here on my blues blog, on my Youtube Video channel, and on my Spotify playlists. During 2022, I reviewed or sampled over 750 new blues and blues rock albums and over 10,000 songs submitted to me directly or that I received via my association with BluesMusicFan Radio. For 2022, there are three albums that pay tribute to Roadhouse blues rock artists and their music that I think are well worth your time!
Beth Hart – A Tribute to Led Zeppelin (Provogue Records/Mascot Label Group 2022)
Beth Hart has one of the best and most distinctive voices of her generation. She has been a perennial member of my internet radio show playlists over the last decade. She is a California native who got her big break when she won the annual Ed McMahon Star Search competition back in the early 1990’s. One of the highlights of her early concerts were renditions she did of Led Zeppelin tunes. There are videos on the net that show her singing her heart out and even dropping to the floor belting out Zepp tunes Robert Plant style. But as the nineties progressed, Beth got steadily more and more out of control as she dealt with drug issues and she eventually had to take a break to get her life back together. The albums Leave The Light On and My California helped revive her career in the mid 2000’s and she became a favorite amongst blues and blues rock audiences through her association with Joe Bonamassa on the 2011 Don’t Explain, the 2013 See Saw, and the 2018 Black Coffee releases.
In 2022, Beth Hart returned to her blues rock roots with the 12 song release of “A Tribute to Led Zeppelin“. Always known as a high energy concert performer, the power and quality of her voice are a perfect match for the tunes. She covers songs from a number of the eight Led Zeppelin studio recordings including the classics Stairway to Heaven and Kashmir. My personal favorite is her cover of The Rain Song; it is Beth in her full majesty!
The Rock House All Stars – Let It Bleed Revisited – An Ovation from Nashville (Qualified Records 2022)
Released in 1969, Let It Bleed by the Rolling Stones is still considered one of the best rock recording of all time. For a group of Nashville studio musicians, together with a talented array of local vocal artists, to take on the challenge of recreating the songs on the album speaks volumes to the lasting legacy of the initial album. Guided by producers Kevin McKendree and John Heithaus, The Rock House All Stars band does justice to the songs while allowing the vocalists some creativity in the their interpretation of the music on the ten songs.
Jimmy Hall (Wet Willie) roars out of the gate on the album with his cover of Gimme Shelter and is assisted on vocals by Bekka Bramlett, the daughter of Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett. Jimmy has been one of my favorite blues and blues rock singers (and harmonica players) over the years and he does a great job on the tune. The title cut, Let It Bleed, is sung by Emil Justian & Greg Mayo. They give it a bit more of a Nashville feel than the original but it is a great cover. Wendy Moten, a finalist on The Voice in 2021, belts out You Can’t Always Get What You Want and Rick Huckaby does a great job on Midnight Rambler. And I really liked the Mike Farris rendition of Monkey Man.
Over the years, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, have toyed at the fringes of country music on a handful of their recordings. The Rock House All Stars have run with that thought and produced an entertaining and respectful rendering of the original album.
Various Artists – Legacy – A Tribute to Leslie West (Provogue Records/Mascot Label Group 2022)
I first listened to Leslie West as a member of Mountain back in the day and I was a fan for all of his life. As the years went by, Leslie became a blues rock fan favorite and produced a series of stellar albums that have regularly been featured on my shows. On Legacy – A Tribute to Leslie West, a heavy weight group of guitar players including Zakk Wylde, Martin Barre (Jethro Tull), Robby Krieger (the Doors), Slash, and Yngwie Malmsteen all pay respect to the songwriting and music of Leslie.
As would be expected, my favorite on the album is Mississippi Queen featuring Marc Labelle, vocalist for Dirty Honey and Slash on guitar. Joe Lynn Turner (Deep Purple, Rainbow) and guitar master Marty Friedman do an incredible job on Nantucket Sleighride and I loved Charlie Starr (Blackberry Smoke) on Silver Paper as well as the Bachman Brothers (Randy & Tal) on Money.
Listening to all of these Leslie West tribute songs brought back a lot of great memories. If you were a Leslie fan, I am sure it will do so for you also.
#blues #bluesrock #bluesmusic
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.