Cool New Blues For Fall
Posted by Michael Mueller on October 18, 2013 at 1:41 PM
Here are some of the standout blues releases that have come across our desk recently.
Peace Anders Osborne (Alligator)
He may be a pre-eminent voice of modern blues and roots, but New Orleans artist Anders Osborne on Peace once again shows he is so much more than a bluesman, seamlessly weaving Crescent City roots with pop, rock, and soul, to create rich tapestries laced with acoustic guitar, fuzz tones, feedback, and even French horn. Highlights include the title track, on which he mines from soil familiar to Neil Young, gently spiked with evocative prog moods, as well as the cacophonous "Brush Up Against Me" and the psychedelia-pop choruses of "Dream Girl."
Black Wind Howlin' Samantha Fish (Ruf)
After her 2011 release Runaway, Samantha Fish hit the road and has been there pretty much nonstop ever since. And that experience—particularly the confidence gained through it—is on full display on her new album Black Wind Howlin'. From her writing to her singing to her picking, Fish is in complete command throughout the disc's 12 tracks, whether tearin' up the plank like a freight train rides the rails on album-opening barn-burner "Miles to Go" or channeling Alison Krauss on the bluegrass-inflected country closer "Last September."
Play One For Me Bryan Lee (Severn)
Authenticity in one's art is critical to its appeal, and that's exactly what New Orleans blues vet Bryan Lee offers up on his Severn Records debut, comprising an engaging mix of originals and covers. Whether the R&B strains of George Jackson's "Aretha (Sing One For Me)," the straight blues of Freddie King's "It's Too Bad," or disco-soul–inflected "Sixty-Eight Years Young," Lee shows he's the real deal.
The Rock House Sessions Sean Chambers (Blue Heat)
Former Hubert Sumlin band leader Sean Chambers brings the heat on this new release produced by keyboardist Reese Wynans. Comprising eight covers (Alvin Lee, Gary Moore, et al.) and three originals co-written with Wynans, Sessions is a smorgasbord of blues, roots, and rock with the common ingredient being Chambers's fiery guitar lines (see especially Alvin Lee's "Choo Choo Mama"). But some of the tastiest nuggets are when the guitarist holds back ("Meant to Be," "Holding On").