Category Archives: Blues News

Blues And Roots Grammy Nominations Announced

GrammyLogoBluesBlues Grammy nominations are included with the American Roots Music category. Most of the Grammy nominations were announced today, leaving only the Album of the Year which will be announced tonight at 9 p.m. ET/PT during “A Very GRAMMY Christmas” on CBS.

I can’t say I agree with the Blues Album Of The Year nominees, although Common Ground and Juke Joint Chapel will make our Top 20 for the year. Maybe I’m jaded but I can’t help thinking Johnny Winter’s inclusion is solely because of his death. The record just isn’t that good.  At least Buddy Guy wasn’t nominated again. He’s like the Oprah of Blues Grammy category. I love Buddy Guy but he doesn’t have the best blues album every time he puts one out. I’m probably too cynical to be writing about Grammys. Anyway…

The Nominees are as follows:

BLUES ALBUM

“Common Ground – Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin Play And Sing The Songs Of Big Bill Broonzy,” Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin

“Promise Of A Brand New Day,” Ruthie Foster

“Juke Joint Chapel,” Charlie Musselwhite

“Decisions,” Bobby Rush With Blinddog Smokin’

“Step Back,” Johnny Winter

 

AMERICAN ROOTS PERFORMANCE

“Statesboro Blues,” Gregg Allman & Taj Mahal

“A Feather’s Not A Bird,” Rosanne Cash

“And When I Die,” Billy Childs Featuring Alison Krauss & Jerry Douglas

“The Old Me Better,” Keb’ Mo’ Featuring The California Feet Warmers

“Destination,” Nickel Creek

 

AMERICAN ROOTS SONG

“A Feather’s Not A Bird,” Rosanne Cash & John Leventhal (Rosanne Cash)

“Just So Much,” Jesse Winchester (Jesse Winchester)

“The New York Trains,” Woody Guthrie & Del McCoury (The Del McCoury Band)

“Pretty Little One,” Edie Brickell & Steve Martin, songwriters (Steve Martin And The Steep Canyon Rangers Featuring Edie Brickell)

“Terms Of My Surrender,” John Hiatt (John Hiatt)

 

AMERICANA ALBUM

“The River & The Thread,” Rosanne Cash

“Terms Of My Surrender,” John Hiatt

“Bluesamericana,” Keb’ Mo’

“A Dotted Line,” Nickel Creek

“Metamodern Sounds In Country Music,” Sturgill Simpson

 

BLUEGRASS ALBUM

“The Earls Of Leicester,” The Earls Of Leicester

“Noam Pikelny Plays Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe,” Noam Pikelny

“Cold Spell,” Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen

“Into My Own,” Bryan Sutton

“Only Me,” Rhonda Vincent

2015 Blast Furnace Blues Festival Line-up Announced

BlastFurnaceBluesFestLogoThe Blast Furnace Blues Festival is an up and coming annual spring festival located in Bethlehem, PA at the Steel Stacks near the old Bethlehem Steel factory that can be seen in the backdrop image of this website. It is a beautiful, easily accessible campus and a great place to see musicians on stage. The festival continues to highlight the treasure trove of talented Blues artists in the Lehigh Valley alongside tremendous national acts. I dare say you may enjoy Friday night’s lineup of local acts as much as, or more than, the national acts. I have seen all these bands live a few times and they are all worthy of your time and attention. Check them out and support local musicians as often as you can no matter where you are!

 

PRESS RELEASE:

Shemekia Copeland, Tommy Castro, Heritage Blues Orchestra & More Headline 2015 Blast Furnace Blues Festival Presented by Highmark Blue Shield
Event, set for March 27-29 in Bethlehem, Pa., will feature 20 national and local blues acts

BETHLEHEM, PA–Two-time GRAMMY nominee Shemekia Copeland, multiple Blues Music Award and B.B. King Entertainer of the Year winner Tommy Castro, the Heritage Blues Orchestra and John Németh & the Bo-Keys headline the 2015 Blast Furnace Blues Festival presented by Highmark Blue Shield March 27-29, 2015 at the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks in Bethlehem.  Three-day festival passes and single-day tickets for the event, which features 20-plus national and local blues artists, go on sale today, noon, at www.artsquest.org and 610-332-3378.

On March 28, Blast Furnace Blues welcomes the one and only Tommy Castro. A two-time winner of the coveted B.B. King Entertainer of the Year Award, Castro has captured numerous honors for his music and songwriting including first place in the blues category of the 2012 International Songwriting Competition for “Hard Believer.” He has been touring nationally since the 1980s, first with the Dynatones, and then with The Tommy Castro Band. During his career, Castro has shared the stage with some of the greats in the blues, including legends Albert King and B.B. King.

Following a set by Castro, the Blast Furnace Blues audience will enjoy a scorchin’ set by John Németh & The Bo-Keys. Since 2002, harmonicist and singer-songwriter John Németh has recorded seven albums, earning seven Blues Music Award nominations in 2012 and 2013 alone. At Blast Furnace Blues, he will be joined by Blues Music Award nominees The Bo-Keys, whose music has been featured in multiple films including the Academy Award winner “Hustle & Flow.” The two artists recently joined forces to record “Memphis Grease,” and Blast Furnace Blues offers the unique opportunity to see them perform together on the same stage.

Headlining the festival on March 29 is vocal powerhouse Shemekia Copeland. Since beginning her career at the age of 16, Copeland has released seven albums, which have been nominated for several blues awards. She has shared the stage with artists such as Mick Jagger, B.B. King and Eric Clapton, while also performing at the White House for President and Mrs. Obama.

Also taking the stage March 29 is the GRAMMY-nominated Heritage Blues Orchestra. Based in New York, this group seamlessly blends together blues, gospel, country and jazz to create fierce and inspiring music that’s internationally cherished. Its 2013 album “And Still I Rise” made it onto the Top Blues Albums chart, and individual members have enjoyed their own astonishing successes.  At Blast Furnace Blues, the audience will have the opportunity to experience this incredible nine-piece orchestra, which comes complete with a rippin’ horn section.

Other performers taking the stage during Blast Furnace Blues presented by Highmark Blue Shield include Texas-based blues guitarist Carolyn Wonderland, Curley Taylor and Zydeco Trouble, Eric Noden and Joe Filisko, Freddie King Reunion Band, and Shawn Holt & the Teardrops, led by the son of blues legend Magic Slim. The festival will kick off March 27 with a night of the blues by local favorites such as the Sarah Ayers Band, James Supra Blues Band, Friar’s Point and Dugan Thomas. On March 29, Blast Furnace Blues attendees can also enjoy a special Blues Brunch featuring music by local blues favorites The BC Combo. Tickets for the brunch, which are $35, are on sale now at www.artsquest.org and 610-332-3378

”Highmark Blue Shield is proud to once again sponsor the Blast Furnace Blues Festival, a wonderful musical event that draws blues-lovers far beyond the Lehigh Valley,” says Susan Hubley, director of community affairs at Highmark. “This year’s lineup of musicians looks as incredible as the setting at SteelStacks. We’re grateful for the opportunity to show our support for this showcase of blues talent.”

Looking for the ultimate experience at Blast Furnace Blues? The festival is offering three-day VIP Packages, which include admission to the entire festival, as well as a Sunday Blues Brunch ticket, meet & greets with select headliners, commemorative poster, valet parking and more. VIP Packages, which are available in limited quantities, are only $199.

BLAST FURNACE BLUES PRESENTED BY HIGHMARK BLUE SHIELD 2015 LINEUP

March 27

Musikfest Café presented by Yuengling

6:15 p.m.:                    Friar’s Point

6:45 p.m.:                    Dugan Thomas

8:30 p.m.:                    James Supra Blues Band

10:30 p.m.:                  Sarah Ayers Band

 

March 28

Musikfest Café presented by Yuengling

1:30 p.m.:                    Ed Anderson

3 p.m.:                         Curley Taylor & Zydeco Trouble

4:30 p.m.:                    Gaye Adegbalola

6 p.m.:                         Shawn Holt & the Teardrops

7:45 p.m.:                    Tommy Castro

9:30 p.m.:                    John Németh & the Bo-Keys

 

Fowler Blast Furnace Room Stage

2:15 p.m.:                    Shawn Holt & the Teardrops

3:45 p.m.:                    Eric Noden & Joe Filisko

5:30 p.m.:                    Ed Anderson

7 p.m.:                         Carolyn Wonderland

8:45 p.m.:                    Curley Taylor

 

March 29

Musikfest Cafe presented by Yuengling

11 a.m.:                       Blues Brunch with BC Combo (separate ticket required)

1:30 p.m.:                    Carolyn Wonderland

2:45 p.m.:                    Freddie King Reunion Band

4:15 p.m.:                    Chris O’Leary Band

6 p.m.:                         Shemekia Copeland

7:45 p.m.:                    Heritage Blues Orchestra

 

Fowler Blast Furnace Room Stage

1:15 p.m.:                    Mike Mettalia & Midnight Shift

3:15 p.m.:                    Maria Woodford Band

5 p.m.:                         Roddy Barnes

7 p.m.:                         Freddie King Reunion Band

 

For complete information, tickets and festival passes for Blast Furnace Blues presented by Highmark Blue Shield, please visit www.artsquest.org

Fresh Biscuits! New Releases For November 11, 2014

It’s been a while since we did a new releases roundup. October was a slow month but as the holiday shopping season approaches, labels like to get all their stuff out for you to buy for yourself and your music loving friends and family. This week we’ve included a few items from last week, this week and next week. At the bottom we have a few items for the vinyl fans out there too. We featured two of the new releases in our reviews last week so please check those out as well – Dana Fuchs & Mike Zito reviews.

Mike Zito

Mike Zito and The Wheel Songs From The Road – Live in Texas (CD + DVD)

Dana Fuchs

Dana Fuchs Songs From The Road (CD + DVD)

Ruf Records 20 Years Anniversary

Various Artists Ruf Records 20 Years Anniversary

Otis Taylor

Otis Taylor Otis Taylor Collection

Magnus Berg

Magnus Berg Cut Me Loose

Maggie Cocco

Maggie Cocco Get Me

Jeff Chaz

Jeff Chaz Chronicles

Erin Harpe & Delta Swingers

Erin Harpe & Delta Swingers Love Whip Blues

Eric Bibb

Eric Bibb Blues People

Danny Green

Danny Green Road Leading Home

Bruce Katz

Bruce Katz Homecoming

Blues Karloff

Blues Karloff Ready For Judgement Day

For the fans of those twelve inch black CDs, there are several recent vinyl releases and reissues for your eyes and ears this month.

VINYL:

Keb' Mo'

Keb’ Mo’ Bluesamericana

Howlin' Wolf

Howlin’ Wolf Howlin’ Wolf (180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl)

John Lee Hooker

John Lee Hooker Boogie Chillun

Blues Brothers

Blues Brothers Briefcase Full of Blues

Fresh Biscuits! New Releases For October 21, 2014

It’s a big week in Blues for new releases. There’s a terrific new disc from Otis Clay & Johnny Rawls which we reviewed here, along with new music from Lisa Mills, Rory Block, and HowellDevine.

The Sean Costello Memorial Fund for Bipolar Research put together a set of previously unreleased tracks Sean recorded with Paul Linden, Melvin Zachery and Ray Hangen at The Magic Shop in New York. The producer Steve Rosenthal and the distributor, VizzTone, are donating all proceeds to the the The Sean Costello Memorial Fund. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of In the Magic Shop will go to support research at a rehab facility dedicated to creative people with co-occurring illness. So beyond the music there are great reasons to pick up a copy of this new release.

Lastly, there’s the Deluxe Edition reissue of one of the greatest live albums of all time – Rory Gallagher’s Irish Tour ’74. This new set has 8 discs, complete shows from the tour and 43 unreleased tracks. I had to order it from Amazon UK. It seems the US is only getting a paltry 2CD version of the full Cork show. I can’t wait to get the box set and we’ll publish a review once it lands in my hands.

Howelldevine

HowellDevine Modern Sounds of Ancient Juju

Rory Block

Rory Block Hard Luck Child: A Tribute to Skip James

Sean Costello

Sean Costello In the Magic Shop

Otis Clay and Johnny Rawls

Otis Clay and Johnny Rawls Soul Brothers

Ben Poole

Ben Poole Live At The Royal Albert Hall

Howard Glazer

Howard Glazer Looking In The Mirror

Lisa Mills

Lisa Mills I’m Changing

Rory Gallagher

Rory Gallagher Irish Tour ’74 Deluxe Edition

Fresh Biscuits! New Releases For October 14, 2014

Alright, finally a week with some blues new releases. Over the last few weeks new releases of blues have been all but barren. This week however offers a basket full of hot biscuits. Devon Allman’s second solo album debuts this week. You can find our review here. This week is a guitar lover’s dream with a hot collection of Jimmy Thackery’s work on Blind Pig, Chris Duarte’s Lucky 13, a new Popa Chubby disc, and the US release of European sensation Erja Lyytinen’s new set.

Beyond the scorching guitars we have new music from JW Jones, plus dUg Pinnick of King’s X has a new Blues project out called Grinder Blues and NOLA supergroup New Orleans Suspects unleashes their new effort.

 

Popa Chubby

Popa Chubby I’m Feelin’ Lucky – The Blues According To Popa Chubby

Chris Duarte Group

Chris Duarte Group Lucky 13

New Orleans Suspects

New Orleans Suspects Ouroboros

JW Jones

JW Jones Belmont Boulevard

Jimmy Thackery

Jimmy Thackery Extra Jimmies

Grinder Blues

Grinder Blues Grinder Blues

Erja Lyytinen

Erja Lyytinen Sky Is Crying

Devon Allman

Devon Allman Ragged & Dirty

Fresh Biscuits! New Releases For September 23, 2014

It’s another Tuesday and time for the New Releases rundown. There were only a few last week and I was incredibly busy so I skipped it. I included last week’s releases with this post so hopefully if you missed something, you’ll see it here.

Lots of new releases this week, from legends like Marcia Ball and Duke Robillard, to younger artists like Gary Clark Jr., Joe Bonamassa, Joanne Shaw Taylor and more. Happy hunting, we hope you find something new to enjoy.

New Releases For September 23, 2014

Marcia Ball

Marcia Ball Tattooed Lady & The Alligator Man

Duke Robillard

Duke Robillard Calling All Blues

Joanne Shaw Taylor

Joanne Shaw Taylor Dirty Truth

Joe Bonamassa

Joe Bonamassa Different Shades Of Blue

Big Joe Turner

Big Joe Turner The Night Time Is The Right Time: The Ronn Recordings & More

Jimmy Carpenter

Jimmy Carpenter Walk Away

Gary Clark Jr.

Gary Clark Jr. Gary Clark Jr. Live

Gary Moore

Gary Moore Live At Bush Hall 2007

And now here’s what we missed last week…

New Releases For September 16, 2014

 

Mississippi Heat

Mississippi Heat Warning Shot

Markey Blue

Markey Blue Hey Hey

Louisana Blues Brothas

Louisana Blues Brothas Love On The Bayou

I’m trying to pin down a release date on this one because I like that kind of information, but it is available through CDBaby and on The Chief’s website  .

Eddy Clearwater

Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater Soul Funky Live

Fresh Biscuits! New Releases For September 2, 2014

After last week’s disappointing lack of new releases, this week comes back strong with new music from the late great Johnny Winter, promising guitarist Philip Sayce, and some soulful blues from Grady Champion and Otis Clay. Vinyl fans will find some reissues below too.

On to the round-up, Biscuiteers!

Johnny Winter

Johnny Winter Step Back

Sena Ehrhardt

Sena Ehrhardt Live My Life

Grady Champion

Grady Champion Bootleg Whiskey

Philip Sayce

Philip Sayce Influence

Otis Clay

Otis Clay Walk A Mile

Karl S. Williams

Karl S. Williams Heartwood

 

For the vinyl addicts out there, we have a few LP reissues this week:

Lightnin' Slim

Lightnin’ Slim Bell Ringer

B.B. King

B.B. King The Blues

Jackie Wilson

Jackie Wilson He’s So Fine

There you have it folks, go forth and enjoy some new blues this week!

Danny Bryant – Walter Trout Protege Set To Release New Album

Layout 1British blues guitarist and singer-songwriter, Danny Bryant will release his new album Temperature Rising in the UK on Monday 1st September. The album, released by Jazzhaus Records, is produced by Richard Hammerton, and is the follow-up to Bryant’s critically acclaimed 2013 album Hurricane.

To celebrate the release of the Temperature Rising album, Bryant is giving fans a free MP3 download of the song “Nothing At All” which is featured on the new album. From Monday 23rd June, fans will be able to download the song from www.dannybryant.com/free-download.

“I know it’s a common cliché but I truly believe this is my best ever work. I am more proud of this record than anything I have ever done. I invested more emotion, blood, sweat and tears on this project then ever before.”– Danny Bryant

Danny Bryant is Walter Trout’s guitar protégé. In 1994, at the age of fourteen, Bryant first met Trout at one of his concerts in Cambridge. The two have remained close friends for the past twenty years. In May 2014, when Trout underwent a liver transplant in Omaha, Nebraska, he was in no condition to tour his new studio album The Blues Came Callin’. He asked Bryant to front his band and tour America. The tour will help the band make a living while their leader recuperates.

Bryant’s manager/wife, Kirby, was responsible for setting up the online fundraising campaign for Trout’s liver transplant, which, to date has generated $240,000 U.S. dollars.

On the U.S. tour, which starts 31st July in Hermosa, California, Bryant will perform songs from Walter’s new album, plus songs from his own Temperature Rising album. Temperature Rising is edgier, fiercer and rockier than his previous albums, but still has its roots steeped in the blues.

Album Track Listing

1. Best Of Me
2. Take Me Higher
3. Nothing At All
4. Together Through Life
5. Razor Sharp
6. Temperature Rising
7. Time
8. Mystery
9. Guntown

Amazon.com: Blues: Prime Music

Amazon Prime launched its new streaming music service for Amazon Prime members. There is a surprising amount of blues music available for streaming. From newer music from Tedeschi Trucks Band & Ana Popovic to classic Robert Johnson sides, Junior Wells, and one that caught my eyes and ears – Fast Fingers by Jimmy Dawkins. Check it out blues fans.

Amazon.com: Blues: Prime Music.

Amazon.com: Blues: Prime Music