blues Archive

Travers Brothership: Tour Europe and Let the World Decide

Travers Brothership has been on an upward trajectory for a few years running. The success of the Asheville-based soulful rock band’s 2016 album A Way to Survive eventually led to a touring spot opening for popular jam band moe., and Travers Brothership has built on that success. While making plans for a series of live

Taj Mahal’s American Epic

In addition to being an accomplished and often awarded musician, Taj Mahal established himself years ago as one of music’s foremost cultural historians. Not simply an entertainer and performer, he creates genre-spanning music that embodies his commitment to the study, honor and preservation of indigenous styles of music. He’s currently touring with his Trio. One

AJ Crawdaddy and the Language of the Blues

The West Coast blues tradition builds upon the styles and achievements of blues greats, with a healthy does of rock ‘n’ roll influence mixed in. A product of that tradition, Palo Alto-born guitarist Angelo J. Rossi – known to fans as AJ Crawdaddy – has been a fixture of the blues scene for decades. Rossi’s

Virginia and the Slims’ Smokin’ Jump Blues

Virginia and the Slims play a unique and often under-appreciated strain of American music. Jump blues and swing is a high energy musical style designed as much for dancing as for active listening. Guitarist Sean Anderson started the Asheville-based band in 2013, and since that time the group has built a loyal following with its

Album Review: Paul Oscher — Cool Cat

Oscher may be Brooklyn-born, but his vocal delivery suggests he’s from down Texas or Louisiana way. His years spent as a valued sideman for Muddy Waters and Louisiana Red almost certainly influenced his blues style. Cool Cat finds him comfortably exploring a variety of American musical idioms, all from the perspective of a musician immersed

Album Review: Mike Zito — Blue Room

Blues-rock guitarist Mike Zito’s career has gone through a number of phases: currently recording for Ruf Records, he’s near the peak of his powers. From 2010 to 2014 he was part of supergroup Royal Southern Brotherhood with Cyril Neville and Devon Allman. In the later part of the previous decade, Zito released three highly-regarded records

Album Review: John Mayall — Nobody Told Me

In the 1960s when a wider audience of white listeners embarked upon a belated discovery of the blues, it was thanks in no small part to the championing of the blues form by British musicians. The Rolling Stones, the Animals and the Yardbirds all made a point of acknowledging their African-American musical forbears. But the

Hundred-word Reviews, March 2019 Part Two

Yesterday I covered ten albums in 1000 words. Today I’ll do the same. All titles are new or recent releases. Shumaun – One Day Closer to Yesterday I love me some atmospheric, progressive leaning and ambitious music. And that’s what’s on offer within One Day Closer to Yesterday. The music has hints of Pink Floyd,

Album Review: Vince Junior Band — Refreshingly Soulful Blues

On one hand, Refreshingly Soulful Blues is a mightily odd title to give to an album; it reads more like sales copy or a review than a proper title. From the standpoint of truth in labeling, it does better, earning a 67% rating or better (refreshing, yes; soulful, yes; blues, sort of but not really).

Hundred-word Reviews for February 2019

I’ve been doing these hundred-word reviews for many years now; they’re a handy way to communicate my enthusiasm for new and newly-reissued albums without taking the time for a deep-dive critical assessment. Here’s my second installment for 2019, featuring five new titles along with five reissue, compilation and/or archival releases. Divine Weeks – We’re All