The 2020 Ben Vee Roadhouse 66 Best Blues Songs of the Year

The Year 2020 was one that we all were glad to see go. Not only were our family, friends, and neighbors ravaged by COVID but our political systems were stressed and our rights to meet and gather were often suspended. And performing artists and musicians took the financial brunt of the frenzied response as outdoor venues, bars, and restraunts closed across the world throwing millions of performers out of work. But musicians are a resilient and creative group. They retreated, like the rest of us, to their homes, their garages, and their basements and began the process of creating new music using novel internet collaborative tools to record and share their music with other band members and recording studios. The product of their work is what I want us to celebrate in this article. It took new thinking, creative use of software, and dogged perseverance to write, record, and release new music during 2020 and EVERY artist and group that did so should be commended for not giving in to the darkness and continuing to bring the joy of music to us all.

During 2020, I played over 7000 songs on my DJ shows and listened to hundreds of albums sent to me by the artists, publicists, and record companies. I received even more as part of the staff of Blues Music Fan Radio. Out of all that music, I have chosen my favorite 66 roadhouse blues songs for 2020 using only two rules; I had to have played the tune during one of my shows in 2020 and I could only select one song per album. The list represents less than 1% of all music that I broadcast during the year and includes both perennial favorites as well as artists you may not have heard of. These are the best of the best and regardless of position on this listing, they are all fabulous tunes in my opinion. I hope you enjoy reviewing the list, listening to the songs, and hopefully, downloading some for your own music collection or as a gift to family and friends.

The Roadhouse Blues Top 66 Songs

61The Smoke Wagon Blues BandThe Fat ManThe Ballad Of Albert Johnson
62Misty BluesTreat Me Like I WantWeed ‘Em & Reap
63Peter ParcekBeyond Here Lies NothingMississippi Suitcase
64Nora Jean WallaceI’m A Blues WomanBlues Woman
65Lloyd JonesTurn Me LooseTennessee Run
66The Rolling StonesLiving In A Ghost TownLiving In A Ghost Town

The Roadhouse Blues Top 50 & 60 songs

51John Primer and Bob CorritoreKeep A-DrivingThe Gypsy Woman Told Me
52Cary MorinNobody Gotta KnowDockside Saints
53Pinkie RideauBring Me SugarBring Me Sugar
54Dudley TaftThe End Of The BluesCosmic Radio
55Henrik Freischlader BandWhat Have I Done to YouMissing Pieces
56JD3 & The Jondo TrioRocks At The MoonSomething Good
57Shaun MurphyLiving In The Palace Of The KingFlame Still Burns
58The NighthawksChairman Of The BoardTryin’ to Get to You
59Paul Buchanan’s Voodoo PreachersSome Kind Of VoodooTestimony
60New Moon Jelly Roll Freedom RockersNight Time (feat Jimbo Mathis)Volume I
41Mary Jo Curry BandNothin’ Is EasyFront Porch
42Kerry KearneyVoodoo Down the RiverTales From The Psychedelta
43Simon Kinny-LewisBlack Cat MoanAnother Day In San Jose
44The Reverend Shawn Amos & The BrotherhoodCounting Down The DaysBlue Sky
45The Lucky LosersHalf a NothingGodless Land
46Marcus KingThe WellEl Dorado
47Samantha Martin & Delta SugarSacrificeThe Reckless On
48Coco MontoyaTroubleComing In Hot
49Robert CrayAnything You WantThat’s What I Heard
50Dave FieldsForce of WillForce of Will

The Roadhouse Blues Top 40 songs

31Steve Washington (feat  Lucky Peterson)Blues Don’t Cost a ThingJust A Matter of Time
32Tammi Savoy & The Chris Casello ComboAs Long As I’m Movin’That Rock ‘n’ Roll Rhythm!
33Too Slim and the TaildraggersDevil’s HostageThe Remedy
34David Rotundo BandI Must Be CrazySo Much Trouble
35Mick ClarkeAin’t Beggin’ NobodyCrazy with the Blues
36Casey HensleySearching For A ManGood As Gone
37Tas CruSave MeDrive On
38Sass JordanThe KeyRebel Moon Blues
39Mark MayBarbecue And BluesDeep Dark Demon
40Shemekia CopelandWalk Until I RideUncivil War

The Roadhouse Blues Top 30 Songs

21Eric JohansonDown To The BottomBelow Sea Level
22Tinsley EllisEvil Till SunriseIce Cream In Hell
23The Immediate FamilyCruel TwistSlippin’ and Slidin’
24Mike ZitoAfter The StormQuarantine Blues
25Savoy BrownJaguar CarAin’t Done Yet
26Kirsten ThienShoulda BeenTwo Sides
27Larkin PoeEvery Bird That FliesSelf Made Man
28Eric SteckelSince I Been Loving YouGrandview Drive
29Sonny LandrethSomebody Gotta Make A MoveBlacktop Run
30Crystal ShawandaEvil MemoryChurch House Blues

The Roadhouse House Top 20 Songs

11Rae Gordon BandGet Right With The WorldWrong Kind Of Love
12Fantastic NegritoChocolate SamuraiHave You Lost Your Mind Yet?
13Ben LevinMy Back ScratcherCarryout Or Delivery
14Kat RigginsThe StormCry Out
15Albert CummingsRed RoosterBelieve
16The War and TreatyBeautiful (feat. Jason Isbell)Hearts Town
17Anthony GomesUntil The End Of TimeContainment Blues
18Popa ChubbyI’m The Beast From The EastIt’s A Mighty Hard Road
19The Mary Stokes BandComin’ HomeComin’ Home
20Joanne Shaw TaylorHumanReckless Blues

The Roadhouse Top Ten Tunes for 2020

10. Johnny Iguana – Shake Your Money Maker [Johnny Iguana’s Chicago Spectacular] (Delmark Records)

Johnny Iguana’s cover of the Elmore James song from 1961 should get you movin’ in your easy chair as you listen. Johnny’s energetic keyboard playing is superbly matched by the slide guitar work of Lil’ Ed.

9. Layla Zoe – Nowhere Left To Go [Title Cut] (Self Release)

Though not officially released until January 8, 2021, I got a promo copy in December and started spinning it so it makes the list! Layla’s growling delivery is just badass and harkens back to Janis Joplin.

8. Wily Bo Walker/Danny Flam – Ain’t No Man a Good Man [Title Cut] (Mescal Canyon Records)

Blues rock with a hint of Dr. John in his voice, Wily Bo is a fantastic UK artist with a growing following. Wily’s delivery is theatric in nature and I can’t wait for the opportunity to see him and Danny perform live on stage one day…SOON!

7. Alastair Greene – Bayou Mile [The New World Blues] (Whiskey Bayou Records)

A native of Ventura, California, Alastair got to collaborate with the great Tab Benoit from my home state of Louisiana to make this recording and the result is a haunting beautiful song.

6. Thorbjorn Risager and the Black Tornado – Come On In [Title Cut] (Ruf Records)

A Danish powerhouse and one of my favorite European roadhouse blues artists, Thorbjorn has a unique voice and he is backed by an incredible seven piece ensemble that just continue to crank out catchy and upbeat roadhouse blues tunes.

5. Dion – Blues Comin’ On (ft. Joe Bonamassa) [Blues With Friends] (KTBA Records)

An American treasure, Dion is still creating vibrant music at the age of 81! Produced by Joe Bonamassa’s Keeping the Blues Alive label, Dion got Joe to sit in on this track!

4. Christone “Kingfish” Ingram – Rock & Roll [Empty Promises] (Alligator Records)

This song is about a deal with the angels and a family’s devotion to a young artist’s future. It is simply beautiful and Christone’s delivery is authentic and riveting.

3. Joe Bonamassa – Why Does It Take So Long to Say Goodbye [Royal Tea] (J&R Adventures)

Another Joe Bonamassa ballad that meshes rock and blues like only he can. He is known as a world class guitar player, but I love his voice and his songwriting. This one is a roadhouse jewel!

2. Walter Trout – Make It Right [Ordinary Madness] (Provogue Records)

At 69, Walter is creating some of the best music of his storied career. The guitar playing on this tune is vintage Trout. I hope I get to see him perform it live sometime this year or next!

1……. Avey Grouws Band – Rise Up [The Devil May Care] (Self Release)

A self released debut album by a group from Iowa features a song that is my #1 roadhouse tune for 2020! Who would have thought?? I know I didn’t until I heard Jeni Grouw’s voice and Chris Avey’s guitar playing on Rise Up. It is not only a catchy but topical tune. We all need to rise up, in love, and confront the issues of our times head on without hate or rancor. It’s a song and a message we all need to spread around! Oh…and by the way…..the Avey Grouws Band will be appearing in concert in June with…..Walter Trout. My #1 and #2 artists on the same stage…..if you are close…go see them!!!!


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 24 hour stream devoted to the Roadhouse Blues… WRHB.

October 1st Ben Vee Roadhouse Blues on BMFR

Got some Good Time Roadhouse Blues comin’ your way at http://www.bluesmusicfan.com today (October 1st) from 3 to 5 pm EDST. Tune in and listen to new contemporary blues from a slew of great artists including Linsey Alexander, Nick Moss, Johnny Iguana, Johnny Burgin, and Heather Newman.

This is the intended playlist:

ARTISTTITLEALBUM
Dave SpecterSoul DropBlues from the Inside Out
Jimmy JohnsonDown In The ValleyEvery Day Of Your Life
Linsey AlexanderI Got A WomanLive at Rosa’s
New Moon Jelly Roll Freedom RockersNight Time (feat Jimbo Mathis)Volume I
Sugar Ray & the Bluetones feat. Little Charlie BatyToo Far from the BarToo Far from the Bar
John NemethSometimesStronger Than Strong
Heather NewmanHis SoulRise From The Flames
Gaetano PellinoMoney TalksTribute
Nick Moss Band Feat. Dennis GruenlingFull Moon AcheLucky Guy!
Willie Buck(All I’m Doin’ Is) Thinking Of YouWillie Buck Way
Johnny IguanaDown In The BottomJohnny Iguana’s Chicago Spectacular!
Bob Margolin & Dennis GruenlingLow Life BluesDon’t Pass Me By
Johnny BurginLate Night Date Night (Feat. Rae Gordon)Live
Coco MontoyaTroubleComing In Hot
Whitney ShayLove’s Creeping up on YouA Woman Rules the World
Ronnie Earl & the BroadcastersBig Town PlayboyRise Up
Mary Jo Curry BandFront PorchFront Porch
AJ Crawdaddy BandDon’t Think About It, Baby!  Featuring Baxter RobertsonSteppin’ Out!
Elvin Bishop & Charlie MusselwhiteHelp Me100 Years Of Blues
The Barrett Anderson BandEmma LeeHypnobooge
Billy Walton BandCan’t Love No OneDark Hour
Christone “Kingfish” IngramEmpty PromisesEmpty Promises
Casey JamesIf You Dont Know By NowIf You Don’t Know By Now
The James Pitts BandHey BabyCome to Play the Blues
Tas CruSave MeDrive On
The Little Red Rooster Blues BandHey, Hey, I Love YouUnder the Covers
Scott EllisonPerfect For YouSkyline Drive

BMFR Roadhouse Blues Nooner 12-2 pm EST 4-28-20

Got some roadhouse blues for ya…..Sunday Wilde, Mike Goudreau, Tullie Brae, Crystal Shawanda, Fruteland Jackson….and many more. Just click on the link or type in http://www.bluesmusicfan.com, grab your favorite drink or smoke, and enjoy the tunes from 12-2 pm EST today, Tuesday, April 28th!

Below is the intended playlist:

ARTISTTITLE
John GintyThe Quirk
Crystal ShawandaNew Orleans Is Sinking
The Proven OnesAlready Gone
Peter WardChange (Ain’t Never For the Good)
Sunday Wilde and The 1 Eyed JacksShow Me Mercy
Fruteland JacksonTwo Steps To Hell
Saverio MaccneYou Just Have To Let It Roll
Tomiko DixonIt Don’t Make Sense, You Can’t Make Peace
Jeremiah JohnsonCall A Taxi
Brad James SwallowWorking Man
Mike GoudreauThe Blues Is Killing Me
Andrea Marr & the Funky HitmenForce Of Nature
Trevor SewellCalling Your Name
Lisa MillsGreenwood, Mississippi
DionI’m Ready To Go
John CampbelljohnLand Of The Livin
Tullie BraeWatch Her Move
Jeff FettermanAngel Blue
Avey Grouws BandLong Road
Tas CruSave Me
Georgia RandallHelp Wanted
HeavyDrunkMemphis
Cara Being BlueLeave Me In Flames
Santiago PeriottiPerpetual Blues Machine
Shane DwightShakin’
Anson Funderburgh and the RocketsHappy Man
Albert CastigliaHeavy
Ted DrozdowskiFrog Alley

Down the Bayou Blues on BMFR for a Mardi Gras Tuesday

I thought I would spin some “down the bayou” tunes for a Mardi Gras Tuesday as well as new songs by the Marry Jo Curry Band, Albert Cummings, Hazmat Modine, Los Skeletone Blues, and Lee Holmes. Also will have some classic cuts by Marcia Ball, Johnny Winter, John Hiatt, and Janis Joplin.

Join us from 12 to 2 pm EST today (February 25th) for my Roadhouse Blues Nooner on http://www.bluesmusicfan.com. You can find the intended playlist below.

ARTISTTITLE
Mary Jo Curry BandShake & Bake
Tab BenoitFast And Free
Albert CummingsRed Rooster
Tas CruSave Me
Eric LindellBayou Country (live)
Mary Jo Curry BandFront Porch
Thorbjorn Risager and The Black TornadoTwo Lovers
Johnny WinterIf You Got A Good Woman
Janis JoplinOne Good Man
Blues HangoverTwo Cigars
Hazmat ModineBe There
Marcia BallDown The Road
Screamin’ John and TD LindRollin’ Joanna
Sheri Roberts GreimesSlip Away
The Allman Betts BandTry
Jimmy HallTwenty-Nine Ways
Jimmy CarpenterLove It So Much
Lee HolmesOne Toe
Delbert McClintonA Fool Like Me
John HiattLong Gone
OSLUCrazy Train
Dawn Tyler WatsonBad Seed (Feat. Steve Hill)
Los Skeletone BluesStonetown
Vegas Strip KingsTake It Easy
Big Joe and the DynaflowsSo Mean To Me
Irrma ThomasOld Habits Are Hard to Break
Clifton ChenierAll Night Long
Chubby Carrier & The Bayou Swamp BandDancing With A Feeling

The 2-20-2020 Ben Vee Roadhouse Blues on BMFR

I’m back from Mexico and ready to roll out some 2-20-2020 Thursday Roadhouse Blues on http://www.bluesmusicfan.com from 3 to 5 pm EST. Join us for some of the hottest contemporary blues featuring Sheri Robert Greimes, Sunny Lowdown, Blues Hangover, Checkerboard Lounge, Albert Cummings, Gary Fletcher and many more!

Below is the intended playlist!

ARTISTTITLE
Sunny LowdownLightnin’ Hop
Jason Lee McKinney BandGroove Is Getting Old
Albert CummingsMe And My Guitar
Sunny LowdownSunny Shuffle (Tell Me What’s The Reason)
Cash McCallOne Who’s Got A Lot
Bai Kamara Jr.Riverboat Blues
Tom WaitsMake It Rain
Marc AmacherRide On
Tas CruMoney Talks
Blues HangoverSlow Blues And Whiskey
Checkerboard LoungeYou Got A Way On You
Sheri Roberts GreimesGunna Be Alright
Trigger HippyDon’t Wanna Bring You Down
The Bluesland Horn BandLiving On The Ceiling
SouthfieldBypass to Nowhere
Teresa James and The Rhythm TrampsHere In Babylon
The Reverend Shawn Amos & The BrotherhoodCounting Down The Days
The Russell Barber BandMidnight Hour
Leighton FieldsOnly Takes One
Gary FletcherHearsay
Sayer and JoyceNo Galahad
Tino Gonzales & Los Reyes Del KOI Ain’t Gonna Pray
Walter TroutA Busy Man
Robert Jon & The WreckCold Night
Vince Salerno and Gerald McClendonI Wish You Would