2019 Blues Music Awards Nominees Announced

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The Blues Foundation revealed the nominees for the 2019 Blues Music Awards, to be held 9 May in Memphis, Tennessee. As usual, the list contains both well-deserving artists and albums, and others that leave me aghast. Nevertheless, I encourage all to join the Foundation (memberships start as low as $25) and vote! Full details are here: 2019 BMA Nominees & Event Details.

The nominees:

Acoustic Album:

A Woman’s Soul, Rory Block

Black Cowboys, Dom Flemons

Global Griot, Eric Bibb

Journeys To The Heart Of The Blues, Joe Louis Walker/Bruce Katz/Giles Robson

Wish The World Away, Ben Rice                 

Acoustic Artist:

Ben Rice

Guy Davis

Hadden Sayers

Harrison Kennedy

Rory Block

 

Album of the Year:

America’s Child, Shemekia Copeland

The High Cost Of Low Living, The Nick Moss Band Featuring Dennis Gruenling

Journeys To The Heart Of The Blues, Joe Louis Walker/Bruce Katz/Giles Robson

Rough Cut, Curtis Salgado and Alan Hager

Why Did You have To Go, Anthony Geraci

 

B.B. King Entertainer:

Beth Hart

Bobby Rush

Lil’ Ed Williams

Michael Ledbetter

Sugaray Rayford

 

Band of the Year:

Anthony Geraci & The Boston Blues All-Stars

Larkin Poe

Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials

Nick Moss Band

Welch-Ledbetter Connection

 

Best Emerging Artist Album:

Burn Me Alive, Heather Newman

Free, Amanda Fish

Heartland And Soul, Kevin Burt

Tough As Love, Lindsay Beaver

Wish The World Away, Ben Rice

 

Blues Rock Album:

The Big Bad Blues, Billy F Gibbons
High Desert Heat
, Too Slim and the Taildraggers

Live At The ’62 Center, Albert Cummings

Poor Until Payday, The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band

Winning Hand, Tinsley Ellis

 

Blues Rock Artist:

Billy F Gibbons

Eric Gales

J.P. Soars

Kenny Wayne Shepherd

Tinsley Ellis

 

Contemporary Blues Album:

America’s Child, Shemekia Copeland

Belle Of The West, Samantha Fish

Chicago Plays The Stones, The Living History Band

Hold On, Kirk Fletcher

Wild Again, The Proven Ones

 

Contemporary Blues Female Artist:

Beth Hart

Danielle Nicole

Samantha Fish

Shemekia Copeland

Vanessa Collier

 

Contemporary Blues Male Artist:

Kenny Neal

Rick Estrin

Ronnie Baker Brooks

Selwyn Birchwood

Toronzo Cannon

 

Instrumentalist – Bass:

Danielle Nicole

Michael “Mudcat” Ward

Patrick Rynn

Scot Sutherland

Willie J. Campbell

 

Instrumentalist – Drums:

Cedric Burnside

Jimi Bott

June Core

Tom Hambridge

Tony Braunagel

 

Instrumentalist – Guitar:

Anson Funderburgh

Christoffer “Kid” Andersen

Laura Chavez

Monster Mike Welch

Ronnie Earl

 

Instrumentalist – Harmonica:

Billy Branch

Bob Corritore

Dennis Gruenling

Kim Wilson

Mark Hummel

 

Instrumentalist – Horn:

Doug James

Jimmy Carpenter

Kaz Kazzanof

Mindi Abair

Nancy Wright

Vanessa Collier

 

Pinetop Perkins Piano Player (Instrumentalist – Piano):

Anthony Geraci

Bruce Katz

Jim Pugh

Marcia Ball

Mike Finnigan

 

Instrumentalist – Vocals:

Beth Hart

Danielle Nicole

Janiva Magness

Michael Ledbetter

Shemekia Copeland

 

Song of the Year:

“Ain’t Got Time For Hate,” written by John Hahn and Will Kimbrough

“Angelina, Angelina,” written by Anthony Geraci

“Cognac,” written by Buddy Guy, Tom Hambridge, Richard Fleming

“No Mercy In This Land,” written by Ben Harper

“The Ice Queen,” written by Sue Foley

 

Soul Blues Album:

Back In Business, Frank Bey

Every Soul’s A Star, Dave Keller

I’m Still Around, Johnny Rawls

Love Makes A Woman, The Knickerbocker All-Stars

Reckoning, Billy Price

 

Soul Blues Female Artist:

Annika Chambers

Barbara Blue

Candi Staton

Thornetta Davis

Whitney Shay

 

Soul Blues Male Artist:

Frank Bey

Johnny Rawls

Sugaray Rayford

Wee Willie Walker

William Bell

 

Traditional Blues Album:

The Blues Is Alive And Well, Buddy Guy

The High Cost of Low Living, Nick Moss Band Featuring Dennis Gruenling

The Luckiest Man, Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters

Tribute to Carey Bell, Lurrie Bell & the Bell Dynasty

Why Did You Have To Go, Anthony Geraci

 

Koko Taylor Award (Traditional Blues Female Artist):

Fiona Boyes

Lindsay Beaver

Ruthie Foster

Sue Foley

Trudy Lynn

 

Traditional Blues Male Artist:

Anthony Geraci

Cedric Burnside

James Harman

Lurrie Bell

Nick Moss

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Igor Prado is ready to blow minds with Lay Around And Love On You feat. Sorry Drummer

Lay Around & Love on You (feat. Sorry Drummer) - SingleIgor Prado’s artistic vision seemingly knows no bounds. When the Igor Prado Band made its recording debut a dozen or so years ago, the focus was on expertly played vintage-oriented music: Charlie Christian swing and related jazz styles, urban and jump blues, a hint of roots rock. As time passed, the scope widened to encompass a broad range of blues, from the most low-down to the jazzier edges of the genre, and classic R&B and soul. Along the way, the guitarist and singer collaborated with some of the finest musicians on three continents:, including Ari Borger, keyboard maestro Raphael Wressnig, Lynwood Slim, J.J. Jackson, Junior Watson, Mitch Kashmar, Kim Wilson, Mike Welch, Curtis Salgado, Whitney Shay, and others.

In 2018, Prado made several bold moves. He recorded as a leader for the first time without the Prado Band, releasing a single (“You’re Gonna Have a Murder on Your Hands” b/w “Tell Me What’s On Your Mind”) with Justgroove that mixed slamming hard funk with silky urban soul and heavy blues guitar – something like Albert King meets Rick James at Bobby Womack’s house. His singing, which had grown stronger with each release, was dynamite.

His most recent release, the single track “Lay Around & Love On You, “ carries the music to new places. This cover of a late-period Ray Charles tune incorporates disparate elements into a modern soul-blues masterpiece. Prado lists the building blocks: a rock and roll rhythm guitar part, direct from Chuck Berry; a Bill Withers-inspired groove; funky bass; angular piano that (almost) nods to “Sex Machine”; super bad hip-hop beats from Brazilian legend, Sorry Drummer; with an Afro-Brazilian feel underneath it all. To that mixture, Prado adds sound effects; sweet, layered background vocals; a relaxed, super-soulful lead voice (with touches of auto-tune, guaranteed to blow blues fans’ minds); and, naturally, tough, straight-ahead blues guitar.

The result is like nothing we’ve heard before…or nearly so. The nearest analogue is Rick Holmstrom’s Hydraulic Groove. That genre-bending 2002 album, widely regarded as a masterpiece, proved in the end to stand alone as an object to be admired, rather than a significant influence on other artists. Until now, that is. Prado’s “Lay Around & Love On You” takes the Holmstrom soundscape – funky drums, deep grooves, great guitar playing, and the judicious application of sonic tricks and flourishes – and supercharges it with really killer vocals and a deep soul sensibility. Whether this is the beginning of a new tradition or merely a fantastic mash-up, Igor Prado has a created a challenging, jaw-dropping work of art. I can’t wait to hear what he does next.

TOM HYSLOP

Mr Tom’s Top Blues CDs of 2017

Because 10 just isn’t enough: My top blues and near-blues (that is, old-school R&B/soul and roots rock and roll) albums of last year. I won’t rank them except to let you know that my favorite record of 2017 was a tossup between this Hi-Style Records release by Jake La Botz, loaded with a bunch of tremendous songs, fine singing and playing, and a sound 100% all its own (production by Jimmy Sutton):

Jake

Jake La Botz – Sunnyside

and this outstanding, idiosyncratic, stone cold blues CD from Austin, Texas’s almost-under-the-radar all-star band, The Peacemakers, featuring Mike and Corey Keller, Johnny Bradley, Willie Pipkin, and Greg Izor:

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The Peacemakers

And now, 30 or so other albums you’ll want to have if you dig Real American Music, as it’s sometimes called, in alphabetical (not ranked) order, as they’re pretty much all indispensable, and I am enthusiastic about every one of them. (Cover art follows the list.)

Adrianna Marie & Her Roomful of All-Stars – Kingdom of Swing

Andy T Band feat. Alabama Mike – Double Strike

Chris Armour Quartet – Tele-Porter

B.B. and The Blues Shacks – Reservation Blues

Don Bryant – Don’t Give Up On Love

Rockin’ Johnny Burgin – Neoprene Fedora

The Cash Box Kings – Royal Mint

Chris Cain

Chris Corcoran Band – Blues Guitar Grooves

Robert Cray & Hi Rhythm

Daniel De Vita, Netto Rockfeller, JM Carrasco – Third World Guitars

Eastside Kings

Rick Estrin & The Nightcats – Groovin’ in Greaseland

Billy Flynn – Lonesome Highway

Various Artists of Greaseland – Howlin’ at Greaseland

Casey Hensley featuring Laura Chavez – Live

Egidio “Juke” Ingala & The Jacknives – Switcharoo

Greg Izor and Marco Pandolfi – Homemade Wine

Nathan James – What I Believe

Marquise Knox – Black and Blue

Miss Freddye – Lady of the Blues

Konstantin Kolesnichenko – Minor Differences

Martin Lang – Ain’t No Notion

The Love Light Orchestra featuring John Németh – Live from Bar DKDC in Memphis, TN!

Bia Marchese – Love Me Right

The Paladins – New World

John Primer & Bob Corritore – Ain’t Nothing You Can Do

Laura Rain & The Caesars – Walk With Me

Patrick Recob – Perpetual Luau

Chris Ruest & Gene Taylor – It’s Too Late Now

The Red Devils – Return of the Red Devils

San Pedro Slim – In Times Like These

Joakim Tinderholt – Hold On

Jimmie Vaughan Trio featuring Mike Flanigin – Live at C-Boy’s

Wee Willie Walker & The Anthony Paule Soul Orchestra – After A While

Monster Mike Welch & Mike Ledbetter – Right Place, Right Time

Peter Ward – Blues On My Shoulders

Kim Wilson – Blues & Boogie Vol 1

Oscar Wilson – One Room Blues

 

Adrianna Marie

Andy T

Chris Armour Quartet - Tele-Porter - cover

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Don Bryant

Rockin Johnny

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CBK

Corcoran

CrayPassport

Eastside

Estrin

Billy

Casey H

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What I Believe

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LLO

Bia

Paladins

Primer

LRC

Recob

Ruest Taylor

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Tinderholt

Howlin'

 

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WWW

Ward

Welch

Wilson Kim

Wilson Oscar

 

 

 

 

2017 Blues Music Awards Nominees

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The preliminary selections have been completed and the nominees for the 38th annual BMAs were announced this morning. The complete list is here https://blues.org/2017-bma-nominees/

Voting begins 23 January. The ceremony will take place in Memphis on 11 May 2017. Remember that to vote, you must be a member of the Blues Foundation.

Read on….

The 38th Blues Music Award Nominees

Acoustic Album
Doug MacLeod – Live in Europe
Eric Bibb – The Happiest Man in the World
Fiona Boyes – Professin’ the Blues
Jimmy “Duck” Holmes – Live at Briggs Farm
John Long – Stand Your Ground
Luther Dickinson – Blues and Ballads (A Folksinger’s Songbook) Vol I and II

Acoustic Artist
Doug MacLeod
Eric Bibb
Fiona Boyes
Jimmy “Duck” Holmes
Luther Dickinson

Album
Bobby Rush – Porcupine Meat
Kenny Neal – Bloodline
Nick Moss Band – From the Root to the Fruit
Sugar Ray & the Bluetones – Seeing is Believing
Toronzo Cannon – The Chicago Way
William Bell – This Is Where I Live

Band
Golden State Lone Star Blues Revue
Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials
Nick Moss Band
Sugar Ray and the Bluetones
Tedeschi Trucks Band

B.B. King Entertainer
Joe Bonamassa
John Nemeth
Lil’ Ed Williams
Sugar Ray Norcia
Sugaray Rayford

Best Emerging Artist Album
Corey Dennison Band – Corey Dennison
Guy King – Truth
Jonn Del Toro Richardson – Tengo Blues
Terrie Odabi – My Blue Soul
Thornetta Davis – Honest Woman

Contemporary Blues Album
Al Basile – Mid Century Modern
Kenny Neal – Bloodline
Nick Moss Band – From the Root to the Fruit
The Record Company – Give It Back To You
Toronzo Cannon – The Chicago Way

Contemporary Blues Female Artist
Alexis P Suter
Ana Popovic
Janiva Magness
Shemekia Copeland
Susan Tedeschi

Contemporary Blues Male Artist
Albert Castiglia
Kenny Neal
Mike Zito
Sugaray Rayford
Toronzo Cannon

Historical Album
Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup, A Music Man Like Nobody Ever Saw, Bear Family Records
B.B. King, Here’s One You Didn’t Know About, Ace Records
Bobby Rush, Chicken Heads: A 50-Year History of Bobby Rush, Omnivore Recordings
Michael Burks, I’m A Bluesman, Iron Man Records
Pinetop Perkins & Jimmy Rogers, Genuine Blues Legends, Elrob Records

Instrumentalist-Bass
Biscuit Miller
Bob Stroger
Michael “Mudcat” Ward
Patrick Rynn
R W Grigsby

Instrumentalist-Drums
Cedric Burnside
Jimi Bott
June Core
Tom Hambridge
Tony Braunagel

Instrumentalist-Guitar
Bob Margolin
Joe Bonamassa
Kid Andersen
Monster Mike Welch
Ronnie Earl

Instrumentalist-Harmonica
Dennis Gruenling
Jason Ricci
Kim Wilson
Mark Hummel
Sugar Ray Norcia

Instrumentalist-Horn
Al Basile
Nancy Wright
Sax Gordon Beadle
Terry Hanck
Vanessa Collier

Koko Taylor Award (Traditional Blues Female)
Annika Chambers
Diunna Greenleaf
Inetta Visor
Shaun Murphy
Trudy Lynn

Pinetop Perkins Piano Player
Anthony Geraci
Barrelhouse Chuck
Henry Gray
Jim Pugh
Victor Wainwright

Rock Blues Album of the Year
Albert Castiglia – Big Dog
Mike Zito – Keep Coming Back
Moreland & Arbuckle – Promised Land or Bust
Tedeschi Trucks Band – Let Me Get By
Walter Trout – Alive in Amsterdam

Song
“Blues Immigrant” written by Matthew Skoller & Vincent Bucher and performed by Matthew Skoller on Blues Immigrant
“I Gotta Sang The Blues” written and performed by Thornetta Davis on Honest Woman
“Seeing Is Believing” written by Ray Norcia and performed by Sugar Ray & The Bluetones on Seeing Is Believing
“Walk A Mile In My Blues” written by David Duncan, Curtis Salgado & Mike Finigan and performed by Curtis Salgado on The Beautiful Lowdown
“Walk it Off” written and performed by Toronzo Cannon on The Chicago Way

Soul Blues Album
Bobby Rush – Porcupine Meat
Curtis Salgado – The Beautiful Lowdown
Johnny Rawls – Tiger in a Cage
Wee Willie Walker – Live! Notodden Blues Festival
William Bell – This Is Where I Live

Soul Blues Female Artist
Bettye Lavette
Lara Price
Mavis Staples
Terrie Odabi
Vaneese Thomas

Soul Blues Male Artist
Bobby Rush
Curtis Salgado
Johnny Rawls
Wee Willie Walker
William Bell

Traditional Blues Album
Big Jon Atkinson & Bob Corritore – House Party at Big Jon’s
Bob Margolin – My Road
Golden State Lone Star Blues Revue – Golden State Lone Star Blues Revue
Lurrie Bell – Can’t Shake This Feeling
Sugar Ray & the Bluetones – Seeing is Believing

Traditional Blues Male Artist
Bob Margolin
John Primer
Lil’ Ed Williams
Lurrie Bell
Sugar Ray Norcia

 

 

 

mr tom’s Top 25 of 2016: best blues

Because 10 just isn’t enough: My top 25 blues and near-blues (that is, old-school R&B/soul and roots rock and roll) albums of last year. I won’t rank them except to let you know that my favorite record of 2016 came out of Austin, TX, with a bunch of tremendous songs, fine singing and playing, and a sound 100% all its own:

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Greg Izor & The Box Kickers – The 13 14

The other 24, alphabetically:
Alabama Mike – Upset The Status Quo
Lurrie Bell – Can’t Shake This Feeling
Dylan Bishop – The Exciting Sounds of the Dylan Bishop Band
The Blue Shadows
John Blues Boyd – The Real Deal
Jason Elmore &  Hoodoo Witch – Champagne Velvet
Golden State Lone Star Blues Revue
Dennis Gruenling – Ready or Not
James Hunter Six – Hold On!
Mitch Kashmar – West Coast Toast
Guy King – Truth
Don Leady & His Rockin’ Revue – Poppy Toppy Gone
Nick Moss Band – From the Root to the Fruit
The Paladins – Slippin’ in Ernesto’s
Eli “Paperboy” Reed – My Way Home
Sugar Ray & The Bluetones – Seeing is Believing
Jim Suhler & Monkey Beat – Live at the Kessler
Trickbag –  With Friends Vol 2
Tony Vega Band – Black Magic Box
Wee Willie Walker & The Greaseland All Stars – Live! in Notodden
Nick Waterhouse – Never Twice
Raphael Wressnig & Igor Prado – The Soul Connection
Nancy Wright – Playdate!
Sven Zetterberg – Something for Everybody

I have to add one – I completely forgot about

Bobby Radcliff – Absolute Hell

I could certainly have kept going and included the latest from Kurt Crandall, Big Jon Atkinson & Bob Corritore, William Bell, John Primer, the Bo-Keys, Tinsley Ellis, John Long, Matthew Skoller, Lil’ Ed, Bob Margolin, and any number of other excellent albums, but I had to draw the line somewhere. Some of those CDs would have made the list yesterday, and might again tomorrow. The lesson: There’s a lot of beautiful music out there if you know where to look. I stand by all of these albums – great stuff. Get ’em if you ain’t got ’em, and buy another copy for a friend.

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That Eli “Paperboy” Reed album is really special. Pops Staples meets James Brown, or something like that. It’s on fire.

I’m going to keep separate a pair of absolutely essential, sizzling platters full of rare and previously unreleased music from two blues masters:

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B.B. King – Here’s One You Didn’t Know About

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Rusty Zinn – Last Train to Bluesville

When I wrote “essential,” I meant it.

Hit me with any complaints or “Right On!”s you might have.

Best Blues of 2016

Again this year I was asked to come up with a list of 10 favorite CDs that came out during the past year.

Thanks to Art Tipaldi for inviting me and the other contributing editors of Blues Music Magazine for our input. See my picks and those of the other editors here:

http://www.bluesmusicmagazine.com/editor-picks-2016.html

The discerning and iconoclastic publisher of Blues Junction Productions, David Mac, has released a new Top Ten List of Top Ten Lists. Check it out:

http://www.bluesjunctionproductions.com/daves_top_ten_list_of_top_ten_lists

I’d be very interested in your reactions to the lists.

I’m going to post an expanded list very shortly. 10 is too few and often the final inclusions came down to a coin toss.

 

 

Henry Gray Needs Help

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91 year old legendary blues pianist Henry Gray has lost his home and all his possessions in the flooding that has ravaged Louisiana. He is safe and in good health but stated yesterday “I have lost everything.” Henry is one of the last remaining links to the formation of the postwar Chicago Blues of the late 40s and early 50s. He participated in many of the defining recordings of this genre in sessions with Howlin’ Wolf, Jimmy Reed, Little Walter, Jimmy Rogers and many others. Henry still is a vibrant performer, rocking festival stages around the globe and earning numerous recent awards and nominations. But at his core Henry is simply a musician who earnestly loves to wholeheartedly share his craft with audiences large and small. How daunting it must be for a 91 year old to have to restart his humble life. We have set up a GoFundMe account to help Henry Gray in his time of need. Any donations large or small will make a difference. Also if you can repost this notice it would be greatly appreciated.

Click here to donate to Henry Gray: https://www.gofundme.com/2k3359w
This information from http://www.bobcorritore.com

Will Porter, Tick Tock Tick

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Will Porter

Tick Tock Tick

Gramofono Sound (U.S.), dist. Kent Records (U.K.)

This superb album is too good to remain under wraps. My full-length review will appear soon in Blues Music Magazine. Here is a preview.

 

Will Porter’s singing is so natural as to make his considerable technique transparent, even invisible. Leveraging valuable contributions from Dr. John, the Womack Brothers, Bettye LaVette, and others, and making the most of producer Wardell Quezergue’s arrangements, Tick Tock Tick catches our attention with swaggering soul and jagged funk, and draws us in with thoughtful blues and lush, quietly devastating ballads. This is timeless stuff, the perfect restorative for listeners out of patience with an endless stream of showy but ultimately shallow music. Porter has made a record full of soul and heart that grown-up human beings will respond to and love.

 

 

Best of 2015

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2015 was a good year for blues and roots music, and in particular for soul music with a blues feeling. Prompted by David Mac at Blues Junction (bluesjunctionproductions.com) and Art Tipaldi at Blues Music Magazine (bluesmusicmagazine.com), I came up with Top Ten lists for the last year. The lists you’ll see in those showcases vary slightly, as the qualifications were different. Here is a combined and expanded list that shows a more complete picture of the blues-oriented records I enjoyed most over the past year.

 

The year’s best album, in my estimation, was :

Shawn Pittman, Backslidin’ Again

The recording, with the ace rhythm section of Willie J. Campbell and Jimi Bott, is a stone killer set of real blues, with a little blues rock (done right, which virtually no one does), funk, and soul. Pittman, an Oklahoman, has a brilliant writing partner in Lewis Dickson, and includes choice covers from Ike Turner, Frankie Lee Sims, and Johnny “Guitar” Watson; his own guitar and vocals are superb, of course. The recording is available in digital format only, at iTunes and CDBaby. (That’s a sorry state of affairs, in my opinion – I’m old school and prefer hard copy.)

The rest:

Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin, Lost Time
Big Jon Atkinson, Back Down South
Sherwood Fleming, Blues Blues Blues
James Harman, Bonetime
Javier & The Innocent Sons, Born To Ramble
Will Porter, Tick Tock Tick
Igor Prado Band, Way Down South
Tad Robinson, Day Into Night
Andy Santana & The West Coast Playboys, Watch Your Step!
Wee Willie Walker, If Nothing Ever Changes

Lester Butler feat. 13, Live @ Tamines 1997
Anthony Geraci & The Boston Blues All-Stars, Fifty Shades of Blue
Nikki Hill, Heavy Hearts Hard Fists
B.B. King, Here’s One You Didn’t Know About
Barry Levenson, The Visti
Hank Mowery, Excuses Plenty
Jackie Payne, I Saw The Blues
Billy Price & Otis Clay, This Time For Real
Laura Rain & The Caesars, Gold
Mighty Mike Schermer, Blues In Good Hands
Pops Staples, Don’t Lose This
Kai Strauss, I Go By Feel
Joakim Tinderholt & His Band, You Gotta Do More
The 24th Street Wailers, Where Evil Grows