Best Blues Albums From January-April
Written By Patrick Ortiz
Our goal is to keep everyone up to date on the latest blues happenings and spread the love and joy that music brings us. Lately, a lot of great music is getting hidden by the outpouring of sonic garbage (to put it lightly) and it is our job to salvage it. Each week there are amazing albums that sneak by even our radar and that is not ok.
With that being said, let’s try and remedy this situation and discover new albums and artists together! Today, we are going to start with our favorite blues albums that were released between January and April of 2018. You may recognize some of the names and others may baffle you. That’s ok. The point is to discover talented artists that may not get a chance to be in the spotlight of mainstream music.
I hope you find something you like throughout this process!
Charlie Musselwhite and Ben Harper – No Mercy In This Land
Released on March 30, 2018, No Mercy in this Land is the sophomore album from the duo of living legend Charlie Musselwhite on harmonica and the talented man of many genres, Ben Harper. Coming off a Grammy win for their previous album, this new one features the skilled musicians giving a masterclass of killer blues tunes. We are probably looking at another Grammy Nominee right here.
Dan Patlansky – Perfection Kills
Perfection Kills is the third album from the blues-rock South African prodigy Dan Patlansky. Released on February 2, 2018, this album features plenty of blues riffs while focusing more on his heavy rock side that he brings to the stage while supporting acts like the shredder extraordinaire, Joe Satriani.
Danielle Nicole – Cry No More
After being in the steady blues-rock group Trampled Underfoot with her brothers, Danielle Nicole decided to branch off on her own to define herself as a dominant frontwoman. With Cry No More which was unleashed on February 23, 2018, she not only shows off her sick bass moves but also sets an example on how to be a strong and effective band leader. This one was definitely one I was amped for and it did not disappoint.
Roosevelt Collier – Exit 16
The sacred steel tradition is an interesting topic to read up on, as it spans many years and documents the history of the steel guitar. A few musicians have sprouted up recently who are carrying on this tradition in a brand new and captivating way. One stand-out pedal steel player is Roosevelt Collier who released his latest album Exit 16 on March 9, 2018. Produced by the funky jazz guys, Snarky Puppy, this album is a funky and grooving masterpiece all the way through.
Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa – Black Coffee
Black Coffee is the third studio album from the dazzling duo of screaming soul sister Beth Hart and the colossus of blues, Joe Bonamassa. Released on January 26, 2018, this album features some hidden soul gems reinvented by two of the leaders in their respective genres.
A.J. Ghent – The Neo Blues Project
As mentioned above with Roosevelt Collier, A.J. Ghent [J-ent] is another forerunner in the current sacred steel movement. In fact, his family is credited with being some of the first to pioneer the instrument in their church. An alumni of Col. Bruce Hampton’s blues band, Ghent uses a unique over the neck slide guitar approach that is visually and sonically mind-bending. Now with his band of family members, we will most definitely see a lot more from this sensational musician.
Black River Delta – Vol. II
This is the second album released by the Swedish dirty-blues rockers and they sound even stronger. Released on March 9, 2018, this is a foot-stomping and crunchy slide-filled blues offering that will hopefully put Sweden more on the map for blues music.
Victor Wainwright – Victor Wainwright and the Train
Established in the early 2000’s, Victor Wainwright is a fun-loving boogie and blues piano player whose live shows are as entertaining as his keyboard chops. His 6th studio album was released on March 9, 2018 was given a 9/10 rating from Bluesrock Review and is an entertaining boogie party!
Greyhounds – Cheyenne Valley Drive
Anthony Farrell and Andrew Tube have been around the musical block and have performed and worked with some great musicians in various genres. They decided to break off as a duo and formed Greyhounds in 2013. Now they are a viable Americana, roots, and blues group who tour all over the country and were even featured on Joe Bonamassa’s KTBA cruise IV. Their latest release Cheyenne Valley Drive hit stores on April 6 and is a smooth blend of singer-songwriter, Americana, and easy-listening vibes.
Hannah Wicklund – Hannah Wicklund & The Steppin Stones
Hannah Wicklund may be small in stature, but her voice is strong enough to collapse a brick wall. Her self-titled album released on January 26, 2018 was the first of hopefully many to come. Together with her band the Steppin Stones, Wicklund shows that three is really all you need to make a powerhouse record.
Reverend Shawn Amos – Breaks It Down
Breaks It Down, by Reverend Shawn Amos is a solid blues, soul, and gospel album that evokes a specific pain within the artist. With many topics covered throughout, this is a very thought-provoking selection of music while also being entertaining.
By Patrick Ortiz