- Big Papa and the TCB "Six Pack of Cool" (Inland Blue) - It's only fitting that Big Papa and the TCB bring fans a six pack here since they've been bringing the pizza for a couple years now. If you crave a slice while listening to this set of energetic jump blues it might be because the tunes remind you of "Go Big Papa!," the band's song that Papa John's Pizza uses as their theme song. Go ahead and have some pizza and beer; you'll easily work the calories off dancing to these swingin' sounds.
- Lisa Cee "My Turn" (Rip Cat) - Sassy saxophone and funky guitar riffs accent Cee's emotive vocals on "Fire in the Sky" and the raunchy blues of "Fire" and yes, this debut from the SoCal guitar slinger is nothing short of smoldering. Honking saxophone from guest player Ron Dziubla also grabs the spotlight on "White Rabbit," Cee's take on the old Jefferson Airplane psychedelic pop hit.
- Churchwood "2" (Saustex) - Churchwood is an Austin, Texas-based band that plays blues with a garage rock attitude and that have in singer Joe Doerr a vocalist with a croakily gruff delivery that's not unlike that of Captain Beefheart's. Lyrics reflect a penchant for weirdness too but with a two-guitar attack, horns, accordion and blues harp in the mix "2" is at its heart good old rattlers-and-cactus Texas blues.
- The Mike Eldred Trio "61/49" (Rip Cat) - This album actually came out a couple years ago on a small label; this re-release on better-connected Rip Cat Records should ensure that this fine set gets the exposure it deserves. "Jake's Boogie" is an instrumental hot rod careening happily down the highway but it is Eldred's soulful vocals that take the spotlight elsewhere, on tunes like the hot-to-trot "Louise" and the acoustic "Don't Go Down There," a nod to the tale (so is the album title) of bluesman Robert Johnson's supposedly having sold his soul to the devil "down at the crossroads."
- 4 Jacks "Deal With It" (Eller Soul) - Texas guitar legend Anson Funderburgh is one of the Jacks and the other three are no slouches either; their combined credentials include gigs with the Dynaflows, Delbert McClinton and Brian Setzer to name but a few. The album starts with the guitar and B3 organ duel "Deal With It" but there's plenty of bluesy wailing here too from Big Joe Maher, who sounds especially inspired forecasting the blues on "Thunder and Lightning."
- The Hitman Blues Band "Blues Enough" (Nerus) - During opening cut "Blues Enough" singer Russell "Hitman" Alexander growls the question "Is that blues enough for ya?" multiple times; the answer is a resounding yes as Alexander and his big six-piece band romp through a set of 11 originals, including "Sam the Bluzman," a tribute to the memory of Sam Taylor.
- Big Bill Morganfield "Blues With a Mood" (Black Shuck) - Big Bill is the son of Muddy Waters and his voice is very reminiscent of his dad's and "Blues With a Mood" opens with a cover of Muddy's "Look What You Done." But Big Bill wrote most of this album himself, including classic sounding delta blues numbers like "Money's Gettin' Cheaper," the slide guitar smoker "No Butter For My Grits" and the hellhound blues of "Devil at My Door."
- Andy T - Nick Nixon Band "Drink Drank Drunk" (Delta Groove) - T plays guitar and Nixon howls the blues, Anson Funderburgh guests on guitar, a stellar group of guest players appear and that adds up to an impressive set featuring versions of Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown's "Midnight Hour," T-Bone Walker's "Life is Too Short" and a handful of original's including "Have You Seem My Monkey" and "On My Way to Texas."
- Kelly Richey "Sweet Spirit" (Sweet Lucy) - Richey has a gravelly voice and her guitar playing style is equally meaty; there's a little bit of a Led Zeppelin influence to "Feelin' Under," some Hendrix in "Leavin' it All Behind" and a Stevie Ray Vaughan feel to "Fast Drivin' Mama." Fans of classic blues/rock acts like Humble Pie will dig this one too.
- Robert 'Top' Thomas "The Town Crier" (Wild Roots) - Thomas knows his way around a delta blues, witness his savory original "Mississippi Quickie," the acoustic "What's the Matter Ma" and "YeeHaw Junction," a blues reimagining of the theme from the '60s hayseed comedy "Petticoat Junction." "The Town Crier" contains exactly the kind of music you'd expect to hear in a hot and sweaty delta juke joint.
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