With the holidays fast approaching, we wanted to give you our Top 10 Rockin’ Blues Songs, some of our favorite blues, blues-rock, Southern rock and soul tunes, to add to your holiday playlists. We hope you’ll have time to kick back and enjoy. We hand-picked our rockin’ top 10, which wasn’t easy since 2018 was such a great year for outstanding albums released so far. Still more to come!
We chose these because of the catchy tunes and all around outstanding musicianship. The songs are in no particular order. Be on the lookout for more of our top picks as the year draws to a close, including our Top 10 Albums of 2018.
We featured our Top 10 Blues Songs of 2018 (so far) on March 26 2018 and thought it time to highlight some great blues and blues-rock songs from albums that have been released since then. For our top 10 blues songs we published in March of 2018 see here.
Buddy Guy “Cognac” on The Blues Is Alive And Well, released June 15 on Silvertone/RCA. Legendary bluesman, seven-time Grammy Award-winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Buddy Guy’s “Cognac” features Jeff Beck and Keith Richards and the blues master himself. This was the third single to be released from this outstanding blues album that also features Mick Jagger. The Blues Is Alive And Well is a follow up to Buddy Guy’s critically acclaimed Born To Play Guitar.
Larkin Poe “Bleach Blonde Bottle Blues” on Venom & Faith released November 8, 2018. Extraordinary talents, Rebecca and Megan Lovell prove their badass-ness on this album and on this memorable tune. With their own brand of blues-roots-rock music, these singer-songwriters, multi-instrumentalists have created a sound all their own that’s gritty and soulful. Their 2017 release, Peach, was nominated for a Blues Music Award. We feel sure Venom & Faith will rake in awards this year too.
Robben Ford “Tangle With Ya'” on Purple House, released November 9, 2018 (in the U.S.) via earMusic, his first with the label. This five-time Grammy Award nominee, guitarist, singer-songwriter and blues, rock, jazz virtuoso has a three-decade long solo career and a resume that includes Miles Davis, Joni Mitchell, Dizzy Gillespie, and George Harrison. With a fresh approach to the production and musical diversity, the entire album is so superb is wasn’t easy to choose just one song. “Tangle With Ya” is a fun, funky groove number and is such a strong track with stellar musicianship. Band members include Robben Ford on vocals, guitar and as co-producer, guitarist/co-producer Casey Wasner, bass player Ryan Madora, and drummer Derrek Phillips.
Joe Bonamassa “Just ‘Cos You Can Don’t Mean You Should” on Redemption, released September 21, 2018 via J&R Adventures. Two-time Grammy Award-nominee and blues rock giant, Joe Bonamassa released his 13threcord and third in a row of all-original studio albums, his most ambitious and diverse release to date and one of our favorites as it features Joe B. at his most soulful on vocals and masterful on guitar. The album includes a stellar roster of A list musicians, including keyboardist Reese Wynans (Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy), bassist Michael Rhodes (Mark Knopfler, Johnny Cash) drummer Anton Fig (Late Night With David Letterman) and trumpeter Lee Thornberg, saxophonist Pauli Cerra, and many more .
Sean Chambers “Welcome To My Blues” on Welcome To My Blues, released October 19, 2018 via American Showplace Music. Scorching guitarist and vocalist, Sean Chambers wastes no time in serving up blistering guitar work on this blues rockin’ tune. He was the guitarist for Hubert Sumlin from 1998-2003. This is Chambers’ seventh release and the follow up to his previous critically acclaimed album, Trouble & Whiskey, and is produced by Ben Elliott (Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Billy gibbons, Steve Miller and others.) His new band lineup features Chambers on guitar and vocals, Todd Cook on bass, Moe Watson on drums and backing vocals, and John Ginty on organ, piano, and percussion.
The Marcus King Band “Homesick” on Carolina Confessions released October 5th2018 via Fantasy Records. We can’t say enough about this young Southern rock, blues, soul artist and his band. Marcus King is a young phenom and singer-songwriter and guitarist. He dazzles with his old-soul vocals and exquisite guitar playing. This is one of the several standouts on the album. Produced by Dave Cobb, the band includes drummer Jack Ryan, bass player Stephen Campbell, trumpet/trombone player Justin Johnson, sax player Dean Mitchell and keyboard player DeShawn Alexander.
Shemekia Copeland “Aint Got Time For Hate” on America’s Child, released August 3, 2018 via Alligator Records. Powerhouse vocalist, Shemekia Copeland is a three-time Grammy Award nominee and multiple blues award winner and the reigning Queen of the Blues. Her vocals are passionate and downright beautiful, and she is regarded as one of the greatest blues voices of our time. The song is a standout on the album and guest artists include John Prine, Rhiannon Giddens, Emmylou Harris, Mary Gauthier, Steve Cropper, J.D. Wilkes, Al Perkins and more. Produced by Will Kimbrough.
Mike Zito “Mama Don’t Like No Wah Wah” on First Class Life, released May 11, 2018 via Ruf Records. Blues-rock guitarist, singer-songwriter, Mike Zito is a Blues Music Award winner and is well known as a solo artist as well as for his work with the Royal Southern Brotherhood. Written by Mike Zito and Bernard Allison, the song is Blues and funky fun with some outstanding guitar playing. First Class Life is Zito’s 15thalbum.
Tinsley Ellis “Gamblin’ Man” on Winning Hand released January 12, 2018 via Alligator Records. Southern Blues rock, guitar wizard, singer-songwriter, Tinsley Ellis is a bona fide guitar hero. With the deep soul of a bluesman, Ellis is a powerful songwriter and it shows on Winning Hand and his other 18 albums. The band is made up of Ellis on guitar and vocals, Kevin McKendree on organ and piano, Lynn Williams on drums and percussion and Steve Mackay on bass. The album is co-produced by Ellis and Mckendree. All the songs were written by Ellis who plays them on five different guitars.
Bishop Gunn “Anything You Want” on Natchez, released May 4, 2018 on Farm2Turntable. This tune grabbed us right away and along with everyone else, we think that Bishop Gunn is headed for the top. Blown away by their sound and musicianship with a super tight band and killer vocals, Bishop Gunn has their own blues-rock, Southern soul sound. Bishop Gunn recorded four songs for Natchez, (named after the band’s hometown in Mississippi) during their 2017 Muscle Shoals Sound sessions with producer, Mark Neill (Black Keys.) The band recorded simultaneous live guitars, drums, vocals, and bass. With Travis McCready on lead vocals, Ben Lewis on drums, Drew Smithers on guitar.
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