blues Archive

Album Review: Reese Wynans and Friends — Sweet Release

In the liner notes for Sweet Release, producer-guitarist Joe Bonamassa poses a rhetorical question: “How do you make it a Reese record as opposed to an album of guitar players with Reese?” His solution, he explains, is to give the keyboardist the first solo on each song. Whether that approach achieves the goal is up

Hundred Word Reviews for August 2019, Part Two

Ten more reviews. All new music, covered in the space of 100 words each. Jazzmeia Horn – Love & Liberation I love instrumental jazz, but I have to admit that vocal jazz resonates less strongly with me. Thus, you’ll find remarkably few reviews here that cover jazz vocalists. This is well worth an exception; very

Shemekia Copeland: Not Like Everybody Else

The singing daughter of blues guitarist Johnny Copeland, Shemekia Copeland is a Blues Music Award winner and critics’ favorite. On America’s Child, her 10th album, Copeland delivers a set of heartfelt songs, many built around themes of racial prejudice, xenophobia and greed. Songs like “Ain’t Got Time for Hate” are message-driven, but the music is

Album Review: Jimmie Vaughan — Baby, Please Come Home

Though he’s been a professional musician for decades – his band opened for Jimi Hendrix in 1969 – Jimmie Vaughan didn’t begin a recording career under his own name until 1994, half a decade after leaving the band he founded, the Fabulous Thunderbirds. Since that time, however, the Stratocaster-wielding blues rock guitarist has released more

Eric Gales: Beyond the Blues

A respected electric blues guitarist who first made a name for himself almost three decades ago, Eric Gales has cultivated a career that pushes well past the boundaries of the blues. Once lauded for his technical capability on his instrument, today Gales has a more nuanced approach that shows the depth of his talent and

Long Live the King: The B.B. King Blues Band Carries On

B.B. King was a towering figure in the blues. An artist whose appeal crossed over to a much wider audience, the man born Riley B. King made an indelible mark on the uniquely American musical form. His career lasted more than a half century, ending with his death at age 89 in 2015. But his

Andrew Scotchie: All in the Family

At only 25 years of age, guitarist, singer and songwriter Andrew Scotchie has a thriving music career. A prominent fixture of the Western North Carolina music scene, Scotchie and his blues-rocking band the River Rats started out in 2011 as buskers on the streets of Asheville; today the group has released three albums of original

Book Review: Bruce Iglauer’s ‘Bitten by the Blues’

Launched in 1971, Chicago-based indie label Alligator Records would grow to become one of the most significant forces in the commercial revitalization of blues. Founded by Bruce Iglauer (who remains at the label’s helm to this day), Alligator has been at the forefront of support for blues artists old and new. Iglauer’s new memoir, Bitten

Album Review: Howlin’ Wolf — Moanin’ in the Moonlight

Though he had already been a performing musician for some two decades, Chester “Howlin’ Wolf” Burnett began his recording career in 1951, cutting sides for Sam Phillips in Memphis. By the next year he was under contract to Chess Records. As 1959 began, he had released no less than 22 singles. With the album era

California Guitar Trio Takes the Instrument Someplace Else

Acoustic guitar trios are nothing new. But in the hands of the musicians calling themselves the California Guitar Trio, the instrument is approached in a unique way. And the sounds created are subtly different as well. Founded in 1991 by an international aggregation – Hideyo Moriya from Japan, Belgian musician Bert Lams and Salt Lake