New Notable Blues Releases for Early 2011

Posted by Michael Mueller on January 14, 2011 at 4:06 PM

Going through my too-long-neglected pile of CDs, I found several cool new blues albums to kick off 2011 in "Woke up this morning ..." style.

Big ShantyBig Shanty Collection Big Shanty
(King Mojo - 2/8/11)
With his fuzz-drenched, exploding-out-of-your-speakers sound, Big Shanty has been labeled by some as "death metal blues." The analogy may be a bit overstated, but this 19-song 2-CD set is certainly more akin to Jimi Hendrix than it is to Muddy Waters. Visit for more info.

Big JoeYou Can't Keep a Big Man Down Big Joe and the Dynaflows
(Severn Records - 2/15/11)
Veteran blues drummer Big Joe Maher explores blues sounds from Chicago and New Orleans to K.C. and Texas on his first album for Severn Records. Guitarist Rob McNelley (Delbert McClinton) handles six-string duties on this swingin' platter, showing off a particularly nice luster on the uptempo instrumental "Supercharger." For more, visit

SalvationSalvation From Sundown Lance Lopez
(MIG Music)
When Jeff Beck calls you "a very exciting and intense blues guitarist," you're doing something right. Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, but raised in Dallas, Texas, guitarist Lance Lopez drinks heavily from the Stevie Ray Vaughan grail of Texas blues intensity and attack yet avoids the cursed clone label. Check out his huge sound at Lopez's MySpace page.

PorchlightPorchlight Todd Sharpville
(MIG Music)
British guitarist Todd Sharpville is blues royalty. No, really. His late father holds about four different "Baron" titles in the U.K., where the titled aristocratic family history spans well over 1,000 years! Despite his life of privilege, Sharpville found the blues here in the U.S. (imagine that), and recorded this 2-CD set with the legendary Duke Robillard at the controls, begging the question: Can the son of a Baron work for a Duke? For more, visit Sharpville's MySpace page.

hook line sinkerHook, Line & Sinker Roomful of Blues
(Alligator - 1/18/11)
The venerable blues institution Roomful of Blues, led by the highly underrated guitarist Chris Vachon, swings hard as ever on their latest release. The stellar horn section shines brighter than polished brass, and Vachon takes advantage of every spare space to showcase his killer lines and sweet tone. Visit for more details.


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