Blues

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.

Steve Earle, “The Tennessee Kid” from Terraplane (2015): One Track Mind

Steve Earle, “The Tennessee Kid” from Terraplane (2015): One Track Mind

You can’t dig too deeply into blues, as Steve Earle is doing these days, without a teeth-splintering clang of your shovel against Robert Johnson’s legend.

Joe Bonamassa, “Tiger in Your Tank” (2015): One Track Mind

Joe Bonamassa, “Tiger in Your Tank” (2015): One Track Mind

This lead song from ‘Muddy Wolf at Red Rocks’ makes clear the difficulty Joe Bonamassa — really, anybody — has in taking on Muddy Waters.

Alabama Shakes, “Don’t Wanna Fight” from Sound and Color (2015): One Track Mind

Alabama Shakes, “Don’t Wanna Fight” from Sound and Color (2015): One Track Mind

Lean and hurtful, anthemic and damaged, Alabama Shakes’ “Don’t Wanna Fight” pulls no punches — not musically, not emotionally.

The J. Geils Band, “One Last Kiss” from House Party Live In Germany (2015): One Track Mind

The J. Geils Band, “One Last Kiss” from House Party Live In Germany (2015): One Track Mind

In the run up to the J. Geils Band’s early-1980s-era hitmaking period, they still possessed the bluesy party-band grit of their earliest days.

Steve Earle, “Baby Baby Baby (Baby)” from Terraplane (2015): One Track Mind

Steve Earle, “Baby Baby Baby (Baby)” from Terraplane (2015): One Track Mind

The opening track from Steve Earle’s upcoming ‘Terraplane,’ a chugging Howlin’ Wolf-esque electric blues, works on two levels.