blues Archive

Never Giving Up on the Blues: Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials

Lil’ Ed Williams is Chicago blues royalty. Nephew of Blues Hall of Famer J.B. Hutto, Williams launched a band of his own, Li’ Ed and the Blues Imperials, in the mid 1970s. A fine electric slide player, Williams knew how to put on a show. He fronted a band that Alligator Records founder Bruce Iglauer

Album Review: Phast Phreddie and Thee Precisions — Limbo

As the seemingly endless parade of retrospective compilations – Nuggets, Pebbles, Green Crystal Ties, Picadilly Sunshine and on and on – has made plain, the mid to late ‘60s were filled with more worthwhile music than any one person could possibly listen to, much less assimilate. But as it turns out, that fact is true

Album Review: John Primer & Bob Corritore – The Gypsy Woman Told Me

Certain cities have a well-deserved reputation for their blues. The Midwestern metropolises of St. Louis, Memphis and Chicago (among others) have rich blues traditions. And the sounds coming out of those cities often bear the stamp of their origin. San Jose, California might not be one of the first cities that comes to mind when

Album Review: Chris Shutters — Good Gone Bad

Still in his 30s, Ohio guitarist Chris Shutters has already made a name for himself. After winning a series of blues and singer-songwriter competitions, he released his solo debut, A World Apart, in 2009. In 2013 he recorded and released a follow-up, Laugh and Roll the Moon. He’s toured with Ginger Baker’s son Kofi Baker

Album Review: Albert Cummings — Believe

Albert Cummings began his recording career in 2000 with The Long Way; his latest, 2020’s Believe is the eighth release from the blues guitarist/singer. The album mixes originals with classics; the latter choices skirt the edges of the blues idiom, but the blues feeling – -its ineffable quality – is there in ample supply. A

Album Review: Roomful of Blues — In a Roomful of Blues

There are a handful of retro (or, if you prefer, classic-minded) acts that transcend nostalgia, doing something special. They trade in forms that had some great popularity in the past, but they continue, making new music in the style, adding their own personal spin. NRBQ is one. Los Straitjackets are another. And Roomful of Blues

30 Days Out, April 2020 #1: Zoe & Cloyd, The Claudettes, Sparrow Pants, Dr. Bacon

We’re living in unprecedented times, aren’t we? No fooling. “30 Days Out” was launched nearly six years ago as a means of letting people in and around my adopted home of Asheville, North Carolina know about upcoming and notable live music performances. Well, as my local brethren might say, “ain’t none of those right now.”

Album Review: Michael Roach — Tryin’ Times

The album opens with a loping, country-blues feel, with just a single guitar. But like a curtain slowly being drawn back to reveal the musicians onstage, the arrangement builds, adding instrumentation and vocal until the net effect is a full band. By the second verse of the title track – a cover of Donny Hathway’s

Album Review: Big Dave McLean — Pocket Full of Nothin’

All of the ingredients required for a successful contemporary blues album are present on Pocket Full of Nothin’, the seventh album from Canadian-born singer-guitarist Big Dave McLean. There are plenty of soulful, beefy horns. There’s a tasty rhythm section. The Wurlitzer electric piano and organ textures hit just the right note. And McLean’s a fine

Album Review: Smoke Fairies — Darkness Brings the Wonders Home

The influence of American blues forms upon the music of Led Zeppelin is widely acknowledged; though they took it in a heavier direction that sometimes tended to exaggerate its more, shall we say, macho tendencies, Zep undoubtedly helped open a generation’s ears to the style. But it’s unfairly reductive to label the band as merely