Blues CDs To Look For - by J. Blake

Posted on 7/13/2010 by J. Blake

(New York, NY)

CDs have been pouring into the American Blues News offices and some of them definitely deserve an honorable mention.

Singer/guitarist Marshall Ruffin serves up a 5 track CD (and Independent Music Awards Nominee) on Jammates Records called MORNING GLORY. Ruffin’s promotional material accurately describes the album as "soulful blues meets stimulating grunge". Ruffin’s style may not appeal to blues purists, but he is taking the 'feel' of the blues and making it his own. With a thick and crunchy fuzz tone, slightly redundant grooves and sometimes experimental attack on guitar-leads, MORNING GLORY will not be everyone’s cup of tea, but fans craving something new and interesting, may find that this is exactly what they have been looking for…think a younger, more contemporary take on a Tom Waits-esque attitude.

The good people at Jammates Records are also responsible for BACK ON MY GOOD FOOT by Rick Fowler; a fun, riff-driven blues-rock album that embodies the term 'cliché' in the best way possible. With this 2008 studio effort, Fowler delivers a sensibility that is more akin to the blues-rock of the 80s and 90s than anything from the past decade. Poetically, he’s no Shakespeare, but his lyrics often project the type of fun over-the-top 'kitschiness' that made George Thorogood a star. Guitar-wise, Fowler has a great tone and the chops to back it up. BACK ON MY GOOD FOOT is not artistically pushing the envelope and contains nothing blues-rock fans haven’t heard before, but it appears to know exactly what it wants to be and unapologetically goes for it. You’ve got to respect that.

On a more traditional front, Rick Taylor’s LUCKY ROOM (Volunteer Records) and Nasty Ned’s ROOTS 52 (American Showplace Music) each deliver a beautifully authentic take on both acoustic and electric blues.

With LUCKY ROOM, Rick Taylor shows off his musical prowess as he tackles a (somewhat) lesser known collection of blues covers with nothing more than his voice, his six strings, his harmonica and an unorthodox percussionist (Hensall "Washboard" Fats). LUCKY ROOM is a wonderfully executed album of stripped down blues that is sure to satisfy any fan that just can’t get enough of traditional blues formulas.

Nasty Ned’s 2010 studio effort is another album that exudes that "if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it" attitude. ROOTS 52 is comprised of Chess-style originals and familiar Muddy Waters classics. Nasty Ned’s thick Muddy-esque voice lends itself to the material in a way that many contemporary blues artists should envy. His harmonica playing-style is simple, but effective and his band (most notably guitarist Michael Krizan) is exceptional. Lovers of 50s-style/shoutin’ blues are sure to be satisfied with ROOTS 52.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy: Ten Foot Ploe Cats CD Review

Thanks and keep reading American Blues News!!!

NYC blues fans, make sure you check out Jack Bruce & Joey Molland live at B.B. King's Blues Club and Grill on August 10th and John Mayall on the 13th!!!

Copyright © 2010 - J. Blake. All Rights Reserved

American Blues News Staff

What makes American Blues News unique is our coverage across America. Here is our lineup:

Mon: Memphis Correspondent - Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms
Nighthawk is our resident globetrotter and man behind the scenes, as he tours with the Reba Russell Band.

Tues: New York Correspondent - J. Blake
Blake is the American Blues News review and interview guru. You may catch him out and about in NY playing the blues.

Wed: National Correspondent - Monica Yasher
Monica is our executive director and artist interview specialist. You can catch Monica singing the blues around Pittsburgh or working on some country music songs in Nashville.

Thurs: Washington, DC Correspondent - Virginiabluesman
Geraldo offers inteviews and reviews. You may have seen him at an Ana Popovic concert or conversed with him on her websites, as he offers administrative support with her music.

Fri: Northeast Photographer - Nelson Onofre
Nelson offers a Friday column of blues photography and pictorial support for the interviews covered by the team.

Jim Stick in Colorado
Jim will be focusing on the Blues Festivals in the beautiful state of Colorado, and the artists that live and visit there.

Maureen Elizabeth, our resident art correspondent, will be focusing on blues art as she explores the creation of CD covers, or speaking with artists who also have a love of creating pictorial art in addition to their music! She may also feature some of her good friends in the Pittsburgh area. In her love of art, you may find Maureen's photography accompanying writer's articles on our pages. Maureen is also our marketing director.

Pittsburgh correspondent and photographer, CR Bennett, will share the Pittsburgh scene with all of you. You may also see CR's pictures accompanying other writer's articles.

We head to the big state of Texas! Abby Owen, our Texas correspondent.

Another big area to cover, the West Coast with Casey Reagan, Casey will feature many artists and events on this ocean's shores.

Lastly, we have our roving blues entertainment writer,
Chef Jimi.

And of course, we will surprise you sometimes!

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