Top 10 Blues and Rock Albums of 2017: Rock and Blues Muse

Music has been our salvation this year and 2017 brought us some of the best in rock and blues. We’ve been graced with many innovative and fantastic albums that provide true inspiration. In troubled times, music can unite and for many of us, it did.

The Rock and Blues Muse staff chose from albums released in 2017 and reviewed by us. It was a close call on a few of them. We voted democratically and the albums that garnered the most votes won. By no means is this an all-encompassing list. It is a collective list of some of our favorites of this year’s great rock and blues albums.

If you ever had any doubt about the staying power of these genres, this list of albums will reinvigorate your belief that blues, blues-rock, and rock are here to stay.

Walter Trout, We’re All In This Together

A rocking, all-out bash with some of the greatest blues-rock artists of our time. Iconic bluesman, Walter Trout, wrote 13 out of 14 songs with 14 A-list blues artists. Every single track is a winner, featuring guitarists and vocalists such as Joe Bonamassa, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Warren Haynes, Eric Gales, Edgar Winter, Robben Ford, Sonny Landreth, Joe Louis Walker and more. The album rocks from beginning to end, and Trout does a marvelous job of writing songs to suit the styles of his guest artists. Trout’s guitar prowess and skills as a songwriter burn bright on this album.  Don’t miss the last track with Joe Bonamassa that was cut in one take.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Lay It On Down

Not only is Kenny Wayne Shepherd one of the premiere guitarists in blues-rock, but he delivers a fresh take on blues roots music. This all-original album rewards listeners with a wealth of exciting music that traverses new territory, while still capturing the blues-rock thread present in his past highly acclaimed albums. Shepherd’s masterfully rifftastic cross-over album proves he’s ready for, and worthy of, the wider mainstream success that now awaits him.

Gregg Allman, Southern Blood

Southern Blood is a remarkable accomplishment from the legendary musician, whose music contributions have shaped Rock and roll. Southern Blood is a deeply personal record, perhaps even more so in the shadow of his death. The master of Southern Rock completed his wish of leaving a legacy record. This is some of his best work ever. It’s impossible to reach the end of this album without developing a lump in your throat.

Samantha Fish,  Belle of the West and Chills & Fever 

Both albums released in 2017, received the same number of votes. A firecracker performer and legit guitar player, Fish has established herself as a talented and versatile singer-guitarist-songwriter. Releasing two albums in one year is almost unheard of, especially while touring non-stop. Branching out in different musical directions shows what a significant artist Fish has become and what kind of force she will be in the future.

Black Country Communion BCCIV

A welcome return from this rock supergroup consisting of several well-known and respected veterans of blues and rock. It’s an ambitious and eclectic songwriting venture between blues-rock guitar king, Joe Bonamassa, and Deep Purple vocalist/bassist, Glenn Hughes. The lineup is completed by Jason Bonham and keyboard virtuoso and session player to the stars, Derek Sherinian. If the word “supergroup” doesn’t sell it then “rock royalty” is surely no understatement. A strong and confident rock album throughout, and a great addition to their catalogue.

Greta Van Fleet, From the Fires

Exquisitely written and performed ‘old school ‘ sounding rock songs, by four extremely talented “new school” musicians. These young artists churn out music that throws back to an earlier era; Greta Van Fleet is the poster child for that welcomed development. Barely out of high school, this band of three brothers and a friend sold out clubs across the country and is poised to reach bigger heights in 2018. And to think that they’re just getting started.

Tommy Castro & the Painkillers, Stompin’ Ground

Tommy Castro and his band show why they are one of the most popular on the blues-rock scene. They let loose on this collection of inspired songs that blend ripping blues-rock with distinct hints of funky soul. This is a band with a social conscience and Castro’s lyrics offer fresh insights and storytelling. Combine that with top tier musicianship and you’ve got something different, something crisp, with feel good rockin’ tunes. It’s an album with an all-star lineup, including Mike Zito, Charlie Musselwhite, and David Hildago.

Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo TajMo,

TajMo is a celebratory record that blends blues, roots and world music with vibrant, soulful, well-crafted tunes. It brings out the best of these two blues legends and celebrates their individual and collaborative musical talents. TajMo is a delight—full of surprises and guest appearances by Joe Walsh, Bonnie Raitt, Sheila E. and others.

Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Get Soul

Their fifth studio album is fierce. It’s energetic, funky blues and rock with gospel flavors. Randolph’s strong vocals and virtuoso pedal steel guitar, lights a sure-fire sizzle to the electric tunes on this album. Beautifully orchestrated, the album features outstanding musicianship and some heavyweights such as Anthony Hamilton, Darius Rucker and the great Eric Gales on guitar.

Supersonic Blues Machine, Californisoul

An all-star blues project with award-winning guitar slinger/singer Lance Lopez, producer and bass player Fabrizio Grossi, and drumming legend Kenny Aronoff, this album is unpretentious with its hard-charging blues rock. The album features guest performances by Billy Gibbons, Steve Lukather, Eric Gales, Robben Ford, and Walter Trout. This is a fun album with killer guitar riffs and solos and a rock steady rhythm section.

Honorable mention:
Larkin Poe, Peach
Tommy Emmanuel & David Grisman, Pickin’
King King, Exile & Grace
Jarred James Nichols, Black Magic
Savoy Brown, Witchy Feelin’

By |2018-01-29T10:14:26+00:00December 6th, 2017|Rock Muse|26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. David Resto December 6, 2017 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    This was a great “assignment!” Thanks to all of the Rock and Blues Muse staff and thanks, especially to our editor Martine Ehrenclou!

  2. Scott Bampton December 7, 2017 at 12:16 am - Reply

    So many great albums released this year. Can’t wait for 2018!

  3. David Simers December 7, 2017 at 12:30 am - Reply

    This is a terrific list. There were so many wonderful albums to come out in 2017. I can’t wait for next year’s list!

  4. Walter Trout December 7, 2017 at 9:57 am - Reply

    Thank you ! This Record was a joy to create and to work with so many great artists !

    • Martine Ehrenclou December 7, 2017 at 10:00 am - Reply

      Walter,
      We thank you for your fabulous musical talents and an album that is a joy to listen to. Thanks for commenting.

  5. Howe December 7, 2017 at 11:57 am - Reply

    No Doyle Beamhall II? Rich Man was a great album.

    • Martine Ehrenclou December 7, 2017 at 11:58 am - Reply

      Howe,
      I’m sure Rich Man was a great album–we just didn’t review it so we couldn’t vote on it.

      • Eric Gales December 7, 2017 at 1:58 pm - Reply

        What happened to Middle of the Road ny Eric Gales

        • Martine Ehrenclou December 7, 2017 at 2:02 pm - Reply

          Eric,
          It was one of my top two picks for best album but it didn’t draw enough votes between the staff. I’m sorry. Middle of the Road is such a great album. I absolutely love it, as you can probably tell by my review of it. Perhaps not enough writers had heard it, I’m not sure. We voted democratically and the albums with the most votes were featured.
          To make up for it, I’d love to interview you and feature a couple of tracks from your album. Will you agree to an interview? I’ll do an email interview if that’s easier for you. Just let me know. I’d be honored to interview you and once again feature, Middle of the Road. Please let me know. Martine

    • Wojciech December 7, 2017 at 12:09 pm - Reply

      Rich man was 2016 release

  6. James December 7, 2017 at 11:58 am - Reply

    Loving Kenny Wayne’s riffs Tommy’s up and coming

  7. Eric Gales December 7, 2017 at 2:00 pm - Reply

    Congrats to all that made it in the roster. Great records by all.

  8. Doug Mahoney December 7, 2017 at 6:49 pm - Reply

    Love that Eric and Walter both chimed in, says a lot about you and your staff. I have to agree with Eric and you, Middle of the Road should definitely be on the list. But what do I know…

    • Martine Ehrenclou December 7, 2017 at 6:54 pm - Reply

      Doug,
      Thank you. We both have great taste then because Middle of the Road by Eric Gales is such a good album. Stellar. And Gales is an exquisite guitar player. Hopefully he’ll consent to an interview.
      Thanks for your comment.

  9. paul durand December 8, 2017 at 2:05 am - Reply

    Que du bon , j’aurai ajouté Tyler Bryant & the shakedones 🙂

    • Martine Ehrenclou December 8, 2017 at 6:30 am - Reply

      Paul,
      Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown almost made it. A close call. We love their album.

  10. paul durand December 8, 2017 at 2:07 am - Reply

    shakedown , pardon .

  11. Chuck Long December 8, 2017 at 1:39 pm - Reply

    What a great list! I agree 100%! Tab Benoit needs to release another CD! I’m sure it would be on your list! Please Eric, consent to the interview!!!

    • Martine Ehrenclou December 8, 2017 at 2:06 pm - Reply

      Chuck,
      Thank you!
      Oh yes, agree about an album for Tab Benoit. I’m sure it would be too.

      Thanks for encouraging the interview!

  12. Phillip December 9, 2017 at 9:09 am - Reply

    Rather see Eric Gales here than Greta Van fleet, who I feel is just a younger Version of Rival Sons, and way more Rock than Blues! Plus they have NOT paid their dues, not even anywhere close to Samantha Fish talent wise either ! Too
    Much praise too soon for their first effort! Let see if they have any staying power or versatility?

  13. Phillip December 9, 2017 at 9:11 am - Reply

    The Rolling Stones deserve a mention too, for their Killer , old School Blues LP as well, IMO!?

  14. Eric Beck December 9, 2017 at 11:51 am - Reply

    Thanks for this great list!

    • Martine Ehrenclou December 9, 2017 at 2:09 pm - Reply

      Eric,
      You’re so welcome!

  15. Eric Beck December 9, 2017 at 11:58 am - Reply

    Please continue to post more recommended Blues and blues rock CDs. Also, like the Audiophile versions for best sound quality!
    Thanks!

  16. John Gorsky December 26, 2017 at 6:43 am - Reply

    Great list !! I love Walter. Kenny tommy I’ve seen them many times they always put on a great show but Gregg Allman’s album made me cry listening to it So poignant after his passing

    • Martine Ehrenclou December 26, 2017 at 8:19 am - Reply

      John
      Thank you.
      Agreed about Gregg Allman’s album.

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