Ben Vee’s Roadhouse Blues Bin for Sept 19, 2018

Well…it’s the last day of summer for 2018….where the heck has the year gone??  Here are some more albums and tunes that made their way onto my DJ sets playlists regularly over the last several months……………….

Casey James –  Strip It Down (2017)

Casey James

Great young talent from Texas, Casey plays a fine guitar and sounds a bit like Kenny Wayne Shepherd.  This album has a number of roadhouse tunes on it including a duet with Delbert McClinton entitled Bullet Proof.  Also enjoyed All I Need, I Got to Go, Killin’ Myself, and Makin’ Up.

Joe Goldmark – Blue Steel (Lo-Ball Records 2018)

joe goldmark

A California pedal steel guitar player crankin out some blues…..you gotta listen to this!  The album is largely instrumental with guest vocalists on a number of cuts. Particularly liked Beautician Blues and The Wobble featuring Glenn Walters on vocals. I got a great response to these by my listeners! The CD also includes a number of country tunes including an instrumental Warm Rain that is pretty sweet!  Joe also is a partner in five San Francisco area pizzerias called “Escape from New York Pizza“.  Pizza and some pedal steel blues….not a bad combination at all!!!!

Mud Morganfield – They Call Me Mud (Severn Records 2018)

Mud Morganfield

A son of the great Muddy Waters, Mud is a fantastic blues man in his own right. On his fourth album, he serves up a blues buffet that spans the Chicago blues, funk, r&b, and a bit of jazz. Loved Oh Yeah, the title track They Call Me Mud, Walkin’ Cane, and a duet with his daughter Lashunda entitled Who Loves You. A number of great artists also helped out on the album including Billy Branch, Studebaker John, Mike Wheeler, and Billy Flynn.  Muddy would have loved a snifter of cognac and a fine cigar while listenin’ to his son carry on the blues tradition….I know I did!

Peter Ward – Blues on My Shoulders (Gandy Dancer Records 2017)

Peter Ward

Several times over this past summer I have started my sets with the instrumental On the Ropes from Peter’s debut album. It is a great upbeat tune; perfect to get a roadhouse blues set goin’!  Peter has a real pedigree in the blues having played with Jimmy Rogers, Buddy Guy, Otis Rush, Junior Wells, and toured with the members of the Muddy Water’s inspired Legendary Blues Band and Roomful of Blues.  He wrote all but one of the thirteen tunes on the album and gets some stellar musical help from Ronnie Earl, Anthony Geraci, and Sugar Ray Norcia on a number of the cuts.  She Took It All and What Can I Do To You? are two more of my favorites on the recording.

Ronnie Earl & the Broadcasters – The Luckiest Man (Stony Plain 2017)

Ronnie Earl

This past May, Ronnie won his 4th blues award from the prestigious Blues Foundation as Guitar Instrumentalist of the year further cementing his position as one of the great blues men of his generation. I have followed his career for a number of years and he just continues to grow and excel at playin’ the blues.  And he is indeed a lucky man to have such a gifted band with Paul Kochanski (bass), David Limina (piano & organ), Diane Blue (vocals), and Forrest Padgett (drums) to back him up. I absolutely loved Ain’t That Lovin’ You and really enjoyed You Don’t Know What Love Is, and Heartbreak (It’s Hurtin’ Me).    There are also several tasty instrumentals including Southside Stomp, Blues for Magic Sam, and the simply badass roadhouse tune Howlin’ Blues.

 

Hey…..and don’t forget to tune in every Thursday from 3 to 5 pm EST as I play these and other great contemporary roadhouse blues at Blues Music Fan Radio . You can also listen to the roadhouse blues 24 hours a day on my stream at Ben Vee Roadhouse Blues .

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Al Basile counts that Quiet Money as he Swings the Blues!

Al-Basile-Quiet-Money-Hi-Res-Cover-150x150

To me, Al Basile is the Randy Newman of the blues.  A talented song writer, as well as cornet player who has been playin’  for over forty years, Al has a nice vocal delivery similar to Randy’s and a penchant for songs that paint vivid images. His last recording, Mid-Century Modern, was nominated for 2016 Contemporary Blues Album of the year and his new album, Quiet Money, delivers some great forties and fifties style R&B and swing with the backing of Duke Robillard (who also produced the album) and several members of his former band, Roomful of Blues.  If you like your blues smooth and primarily upbeat, you are gonna love it!

I enjoyed Put Some Salt on It and Simple Ain’t Easy It which feature some nice guitar playin by the Duke.  On Time Is Now, Al lays down a cornet solo that is great. And my favorite song on the CD is You Got Two…..give it a listen and you tell me if he doesn’t channel a bit of Randy Newman… blues style!

Another song that really struck me on the album was Who’s Gonna Close My Eyes?  It is a story of a lonely man who has outlived his family and is contemplating who will be there for his last days.  It’s a pretty slow song set to an R&B beat with plenty of the horns that Al loves so much.

In an age when flash and shock value seems to count for more than they should, here’s my bet on Quiet Money…..Tasteful and thought provoking blues can still deliver!!

Al Basile – Quiet Money     Sweetspot Records 2017