Blues

Eric Clapton’s Me and Mr. Johnson made the case for British blues

Eric Clapton’s Me and Mr. Johnson made the case for British blues

I thought I didn’t need another take on “Come On In My Kitchen.” Eric Clapton’s ‘Me and Mr. Johnson,’ released March 23, 2004, proved me wrong.

Smokin’ Joe Kubek + Bnois King, “Cornbread” from Fat Man’s Shine Parlor (2015)

Smokin’ Joe Kubek + Bnois King, “Cornbread” from Fat Man’s Shine Parlor (2015)

There’s a blessedly long list of food-based blues. Add Dallas-based Smokin’ Joe Kubek and Bnois King’s “Cornbread” to that lip-smacking list.

Bernard Allison – In The Mix (2015)

Bernard Allison – In The Mix (2015)

Here is a review of ‘In The Mix,’ the first album in almost five years by the multi-talented contemporary bluesman Bernard Allison.

Top Topham came first, but he’s moved by this Yardbirds successor: ‘I have to tip my hat’

Top Topham came first, but he’s moved by this Yardbirds successor: ‘I have to tip my hat’

Top Topham was, until his recent return, the forgotten founding guitarist of the Yardbirds. He heaps praise now on one of those who followed.

Levon Helm, “Feelin’ Good” from Dirt Farmer (2007): Across the Great Divide

Levon Helm, “Feelin’ Good” from Dirt Farmer (2007): Across the Great Divide

After a series of solo records that tended toward blues- and R&B-soaked fun, Levon Helm’s ‘Dirt Farmer’ goes deeper, experiences more.

Beth Hart, “Mechanical Heart” from Better Than Home (2015): One Track Mind

Beth Hart, “Mechanical Heart” from Better Than Home (2015): One Track Mind

Presented from the start as a next-gen Janis Joplin, Beth Hart has a well-earned reputation as a whiskey barrel-busting belter. This isn’t that.

Staple Singers, “Samson and Delilah” from Freedom Hwy. Complete (2015): One Track Mind

Staple Singers, “Samson and Delilah” from Freedom Hwy. Complete (2015): One Track Mind

There was no small amount of violence in Blind Willie Johnson’s original take, and that’s boldly recaptured in this unheard version by the Staple Singers.

Robben Ford with Keb Mo + Robert Randolph, “Justified” (2015): One Track Mind

Robben Ford with Keb Mo + Robert Randolph, “Justified” (2015): One Track Mind

Robben Ford’s new song is loose, truly collaborative — the opposite of those emailed digital confections so often dubbed “duets” these days.

Robben Ford + Warren Haynes, “High Heels and Throwing Things” (2015): One Track Mind

Robben Ford + Warren Haynes, “High Heels and Throwing Things” (2015): One Track Mind

Robben Ford brings his usual canny sense of craft to this collaboration with Warren Haynes, even as he — once again — more than holds his own.

Little Walter – The Blues World of Little Walter (1988): Forgotten Series

Little Walter – The Blues World of Little Walter (1988): Forgotten Series

Remembering lesser-known sides from Muddy Waters harpist Little Walter, who hurtled his instrument forward before dying today in 1968.