Archive for January, 2019



When I first heard Cream’s album Disraeli Gears and Johnny Winter’s Second Winter I was over the top a huge Blues-Rock fan.

I had already purchased Blues Breakers with John Mayall and B.B. King’s Live At The Regal so I did have some experienced listening

Don’t get me wrong, I was also a fan of The Beatles, and Rolling Stones.

But it’s safe to say I went backwards to get the real stuff from Muddy Waters, more B.B. King, Howlin’ Wolf and Albert King to name a few.

This year I want to include some 2017 albums with the 2018 albums.

Some albums I received late. These include Layla Zoe’s fantastic double album Gemini and Chris O’ Leary’s superb new album 7 Minutes Late, which I cannot stop playing.

No particular order, here is my required listens in the Blues/Blues rock genre.

Colin James-Miles To Go-Mostly covers and one of the best recorded albums I own. Punchy, superb clean mix with guest artist the Mighty Steve Marriner. Fave tracks One More Mile, 40 Light Years and Soul of a Man.

Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa-Black Coffee-Don’t even think about not having this baby. Superb vocals, killer guitar work, excellent production and great song selection.

Billy F. Gibbons-The Big Bad Blues-A stunning return and a highlight of 2018 this will blow you right out of the water. My Baby She Rocks, sizzling cover of Bring It to Jerome and killer production and superb feel

Jack De Keyzer-Checkmate-Blues album of covers that sizzles like the band is playing in your front room. One of the top 5 blues albums in North America in 2018.  De Keyzer’s guitar work is inventive and the band sticks to him like glue. Stranger Blues, Broke Down Engine Blues and All Your Love are big. Otis Rush is smiling somewhere!!!!

Kenny Wayne Shepard Band-Lay It On Down-Wow, this feels like a classic roots album but with soul, blues and R & B mixed in. Fave tracks Diamonds and Gold, the rock ballad vibe of the title track and the explosive Baby Got Gone.

Downchild Blues Band-Something I’ve Done- From 2017. Superb arrangements, well written songs and a great add to their extensive catalog. Can’t Get Mad At You has a Dutch Mason feel, Albany Albany is crisp and punchy and the title track swings like mad. A Must have!!!

Buddy Guy-The Blues is Alive and Well-82 years and still the master. It’s safe to say BG’s albums of the last 15 years are simply killer. This is produced so well, Guy and the band are on top of it. Check out Keith Richards and Jeff Beck on Cognac

JW-Jones Live-This cd is in my vehicle, on my stereo and on download. Check my original full review on this site.. Love it.

Sean Chambers-Welcome To My Blues-Chambers and his band are Loaded for Bear and this album again shows why he is known as a superb guitar man among other players. Cherry Red Wine, Black Eyed Suzie and One More Night To Ride are just the tip of this excellent release.

Rocky Athas-Shakin’ The Dust- From 2017. Athas’ guitar work is monsterous and loaded with soulful tone.  A standout with John Mayall or on his own, RA and his excellent band blast off with Dictator and You Pushed Me Too Far but check out the excellent ballad Time Flies.

Joe Bonamassa-Redemption-This is the best I have heard JB sing. The songwriting is really up there and the guitar work is total swagger.. Boom Boogie for sure!!!

Bernard Allison- Let It Go-So glad this makes my top list. It’s hard to think of an album that has this much variety and soul in the playing and the songwriting.

Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar-Run To Me-More R & B then blues but so good and in the pocket it’s crazy.

Ronnie Earl and The Broadcasters-The Luckiest Man. See my original review of this 2017 gem.

George Thorogood-Party of One-Back to 2017. An organic gem where GW does solo acoustic and some electric one man stuff. Astounding

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist for over 30 years. John is a singer-songwriter and fronts up blues roots rockers THE SHAFTMEN

The Timmins Daily Press/Post Media is a mainstay and John is on Twitter



January 2019