Saturday, February 3, 2024

#658 : Bernard Allison - Luther's Blues (


2024 – Ruf Records

By Phillip Smith; Feb. 3, 2024

Release Date : January 2024

Original source :


Bernard Allison’s records have always included a song or two written by his father the renowned blues recording artist Luther Allison ( 1939 – 1997 ).  Luther’s Blues, the latest album from Bernard, celebrates the music of his dad with a spectacular collection of twenty songs on a two-disc set.  Each song was hand-picked by Bernard and then remastered by Pauler Acoustics.  Luther’s Blues joins in the festivities which celebrate Ruf Records’ Thirtieth anniversary.  Ruf Records, launched in 1994 by Luther’s then European manager Thomas Ruf, recorded several albums with Luther.  With Bernard at Ruf Records as well, this album exhibits the deep connection and bond which runs strong between the two families.

Guitar ablaze from the get-go, “Hang On” blasts out the gates on the first track with Jimi-Hendrix inspired deliciousness topped with Allison’s demanding vocals.  I absolutely adore the funky, horn-infused “Too Many Women”.  The inescapable groove pulls me right in to its masterful jam.  I love how “Midnight Creeper” sneaks right in the door with its slow-swaying soul.  Allison pours out some gut-wrenching early Chicago blues on “Back Down South”.  The piano accompaniment snugs right up with Bernard’s smokin’ guitar playing.  I feel every note played and every word sung as Allison gets down with the slow-burner “You’re Gonna Need Me”.  Allison brings the album to closure with the beautiful “Castle”.  I adore the soft Cat Stevens vibe.  The song is gorgeous.

Luther’s Blues is an excellent album and a wonderful tribute.  



For more information about the artist, visit this website :


Read additional PhillyCheeze reviews for Bernard Allison :



Saturday, January 27, 2024

#657 : Danielle Nicole - The Love You Bleed (


2024 – Forty Below Records

By Phillip Smith; Jan. 27, 2024

Release Date : Jan. 26, 2024

Original source :


Nearly six years have passed since Danielle Nicole released her Grammy Nominated Cry No More album.  Produced by Tony Braunagel, The Love You Bleed is Danielle’s third studio album as a solo artist.  It most certainly makes for a brilliant return and is an absolutely amazing listen from start to finish.  The songs she writes are heart-felt and filled with true grit.  They are then sung with a fearless grace.  With Danielle on vocals and bass guitar, she is joined by her husband Brandon Miller on guitars and mandolin, and Go-Go Ray on drums.  Braunagel appears on percussion, with Stevie Blacke on strings.

My heart melts from the opening words sung on “Right By Your Side”.  Danielle’s angelic vocals take top billing on this dreamy Sixties Soul-inspired song.  Arriving on an ominous hill-country blues riff, “Head Down Low” begins as a slow-cooker which Miller and Go-Go bring to a rapid, intense boil.  Danielle generously pours an added fierceness on top vocally.  Her performance of Trisha Yearwood’s “A Lover is Forever” is so stunning and her voice is so beautiful, I cannot help but think of Amy Winehouse.  “Say You’ll Stay” intrigues me as it navigates from a retro Fifties pocket of soul into an ethereal Beatles-esque realm.  It’s a very emotional song sung with a gorgeous delivery.  “Fools Gold” sinks its claws in deep with an infectious rhythm, and beat-poet lyrics.  Damon Parker adds a grand touch on synth, as Miller shines on slide guitar.  There is no escape from the soul-wrenching “Who He Thinks You Are”.  This tsunami of melancholia is a flawless gem on track for song of the year.  The record ends with a breath of hope on “Young Love on the Hill”.  Played on mandolin, the song is a sweet splash of Americana.                       

The Love You Bleed is Danielle Nicole’s best album to date and receives my highest of recommendations.  It only gets better with each listen. 


For more information about the artist, visit this website :


Follow the link below for other PhillyCheeze reviews featuring Danielle Nicole

Saturday, January 20, 2024

#656 : GeminiiDragon - 3 (

2024 – Lighting in a Bottle Records

By Phillip Smith; Jan. 20, 2024

Release Date : Feb 1, 2024

Original source :


Louisiana-based GeminiiDragon has been on a roll for the past couple of years.  She released her first two albums in 2022, both of which grabbed my attention in a most positive way.  Her third and latest album, appropriately titled 3, continues to keep me tuned-in and turned-on with eleven all-original power-blues-rock tracks.  Jessica Harper aka GeminiiDragon and guitarist Christian Simeon share writing credits on every song.  The rhythm section behind GeminiiDragon and Simeon is comprised of bassist Douglas Varnado Jr., drummer Eric Sasser and Malaysia Lewis on vibraphone.  The record also features special appearances by Chad Rupp on harmonica and TJ Wong on guitar.

An infectious opening riff on “I Wanna Know” effortlessly pulls me right in to a powerful guitar-laced anthem where the chords seem to hang in mid-air.  In an amazing way, it creates a magical wave of sound for GeminiiDragon’s vocals to surf atop.  I love how Simeon turns the energy up to eleven on the front-end of “Clowns” as he delivers a Collective Soul-friendly axe-groove.  GeminiiDragon dives into Tina Turner mode with her voice as it melds with the Simeon’s sonic tones on “Wasted Time”.  “Cherokee” draws me in with its pop-punk center and southern-rock- flavored musical snippets.  The Seventies rock foundation Simeon pours for “A Fool For You” makes for a solid as hell track.  The song momentarily takes a dip into a pocket of psychedelia and fills me with delight.  “Last Train to Thibodaux” is a track I listen to repeatedly.  Its ethereal melody brings the blues into the world of emo.  It sounds new and sounds great.

GeminiiDragon’s 3 is an album that has tremendous appeal and hits all the right notes.  I like this one a lot. 


For more information about this artist, visit

This album available to purchase on Bandcamp.

Check out other PhillyCheeze review for GeminiiDragon :

Saturday, January 13, 2024

#655 : Until the Sun - Enchantment (

2023 – Until the Sun

By Phillip Smith; Jan. 13, 2024

Original source :

Phoenix blues-rockers Until the Sun has been on my radar since reviewing their previous album A Night at the Rhythm Room.  Their latest album Enchantment hits heavy with a fistful of hard-driving original songs peppered with psychedelia, and I love every bit of it.  Broken into two parts : “Enchantment Pt 1” and “Enchantment Pt 2”, the record is definitely album-oriented.  I find a fabulous musical-chemistry among the members of the band : singer Alyssa Swartz, guitarist Brandon Teskey (also on bass, sitar and vocals), and drummer Chris Tex.  They sound terrific together.        

I dig the funky groove that kicks off “Dancing on the Floor”.  Swartz’s voice sounds wonderful, as she belts out the lyrics in a fearless Pat Benatar-way.  The guitar solo from Teskey is masterfully attention-grabbing.  The combination of the two makes for an epic song.  Another solid dose of rock ‘n roll ensures on “Dragon Below” as it swiftly sweeps me off my feet with its opening riff.   It’s wonderous in the way the song takes ethereal dips embedded within its guitar-blazing glory.  Whipping out a thunderous bass-line and a cosmic guitar attack, Teskey injects a bluesy Pink Floyd-ish vibe into the only cover song on the album “Hound Dog“.  Nothing is held back vocal-wise as Swartz digs deep for her performance of this Big Mama Thornton hit.  “Seek the Sunshine” is a phenomenal serving of blues and sits among my favorites.  Soulful vocal growls and tuneful guitar licks make “Groovin” a sure-fire standout piece of original blues too.   “Ghost in the Prayer” brings the record to its end with a pulsing riff, angelic singing, and a trippy guitar performance, making for a cool-as-hell finale.        

Until the Sun is one of the more unique original blues-rock bands on the scene today and Enchantment is an album which I highly recommend.         


For more information about the artist, visit this website :

Link to PhillyCheeze review for  Until The Sun - Night at the Rhythm Room :

Saturday, January 6, 2024

#654 : Patti Parks - Come Sing With Me (featuring Johnny Rawls) (


2024 – Vizztone Label Group

By Phillip Smith; Jan 6., 2024

Release Date : Jan. 5, 2024

Original source :


When Patti Parks sings, her voice pulls me right in to the song.  I love to hear her sing.  Her latest album Come Sing With Me is a wonderful album of soul blues.  Muti-Blues Music Award recipient Johnny Rawls produces, arranges horns, and appears on several songs contributing his smooth vocal and guitar stylings.   With Rawls at the helm, the album surely has a vintage southern charm.  The recording also features guests Anthony Geraci on piano, and Richard Rosenblatt on harmonica.

Drummer Hugh Arther and bassist Tony Cammilleri lay down a buttery groove for Parks and Rawls’ duet “I’m in Love With You Baby”.  Topped off with a nice blast of horns, and a Steve Cropper-ish guitar performance from Aaron Flynt, the song shines bright and is perfectly fitted for an opening track.  From the opening sounds of the swirling organ played by Aaron Blackmon, I’m grooving to “Sing Around the World”.  It is a feel-good anthem I can’t help but smile to.  Flynt, along with Guy Nirelli on organ, create a sort of Stevie Ray Vaughan meets Ray Manzarek vibe for “I’m Sorry”.  Parks sings this Texas blues masterpiece with an unbridled fearlessness and she sounds terrific.  The sultry double-entendres Parks unleashes on “Hamburger Man” add spice to an already hot bowl of slow simmering blues.  I love the way the heavy bassline and Rosenblatt’s harp accompaniment fit tightly in with Flynt’s smokin’ guitar.  Parks’ voice sounds amazing on “Why”.  Her classic soul-singer approach injects a sense of timelessness into the song.  When Parks and Rawls join forces as a duet on Rawls’ “How Much Longer”, the stars are perfectly aligned.  I love the bursts of sax that pepper their smooth-as-silk performance.

Patti Parks’ Come Sing With Me featuring Johnny Rawls is a terrific album to break the new year in with.  I highly recommend giving it a listen.                  




For more information about the artist, visit this website :



Saturday, December 30, 2023

#652 : Robert Connely Farr - Pandora Sessions (

2023 – Robert Connely Farr

By Phillip Smith; Dec. 30, 2023

Original source :


Robert Connely Farr continues to intrigue me with his dark, ominous brand of blues.  Pandora Sessions, his eleventh release, is dedicated to the memory of Mississippi bluesman RL. Boyce.  Farr originally from Bolton, Mississippi, now resides in Vancouver, Canada.  His music is deeply rooted in the Bentonia, Mississippi style of blues and wonderfully honors his mentors Boyce, and Grammy Nominee Jimmy “Duck” Holmes.  According to Farr, this record is modeled after gigs in which he played along with Boyce and Holmes in Bentonia.  They used vintage microphones and whatever was at hand.  Produced by Jay Bundy Johnson and written by Farr, Pandora Sessions has an incredible way of transporting the listener through a magical portal to their own personal juke joint.

The subject of inevitable mortality takes center stage in “Everybody’s Dyin’” as Farr’s lyrics ride the wave of a hypnotic groove.  The topic returns with an internal perspective on “Getting Tired of Getting Old”.  The song has a simmering, swampy delivery and connects with a dire and on-point punch.  Farr creates a mysterious atmosphere when he sings about the “Night Train”.  An intoxicating rhythm which vibrates right down to the bone follows with “Take it Slow”.  The song has me in a quandary, trying to decipher what happened in Jackson and Natchez Town.  The weight of Farr’s voice is heavy with sadness as he sings about wanting to go home in “Oh Lord”.  This one really taps into my empathetic core.    

Farr’s music is created with the spark of a musical linage of generations of bluesmen, and it shows in both his writing and performances.  Pandora Sessions is pure unadulterated blues at its best.           




For more information about the artist, visit this website :


Check out other PhillyCheeze reviews for Robert Connely Farr at :


Click on the link below to purchase this terrific album from Bandcamp


Friday, December 29, 2023

#653 : PhillyCheeze's Favorite 25 of 2023 (

By Phillip Smith; Dec.31, 2023


PhillyCheeze's Favorite 25 of 2023

(in alphabetical order)


11 Guys Quartet - 11 x 11

Forming in Boston around forty years ago as 11th Hour Blues Band, guitarist Paul Lenart, bassist Bill “Coach” Mather, drummer Chuck Purro, and harmonicist Richard “Rosy” Rosenblatt played the local club and bar scene there before cutting their first album Hot Time in the City in 1985.  Now known as 11 Guys Quartet, their latest album 11 x 11 has grabbed my attention in a huge way.  This follow-up album to their critically acclaimed 2020 release Small Blues and Grooves, packs eleven original tracks into one disc for a fantastic blues listening experience.

Anthony Rosano and the Conqueroos - Cheat the Devil

The latest album from Anthony Rosano and the Conqueroos is appropriately named Cheat the Devil, ‘cause it is hot as hell.  Produced by Tab Benoit, this record is packed with ten searing guitar-centric blues tracks that will shake the floor underneath the speakers.  With Rosano on lead guitar and vocals, the Conqueroos are comprised of Kyle McCormick on drums and Jake Fultz on bass.

Blackburn Brothers - SoulFunkin' Blues

SoulFunkin’BLUES, the latest album from the Canadian multi-award-winning blues band Blackburn Brothers, is one of the most exciting releases of the year.  Brothers Duane (lead vocals, organ, piano), Brooke (guitar, vocals), Cory (drums, harmony vocals), and Robert (guitar, harmony vocals), along with cousin Nathan (bass guitar) have crafted a powerful album of funk and soul which is garnering huge attention from the music community.

Jimi Primetime Smith & Bob Corritore - The World in a Jug

I find the Blues is still quite alive when listening to The World in a Jug, the new collaboration between Maxwell Street blues veterans Jimi “Primetime” Smith and Bob Corritore.  The two reconnected seven years ago in Arizona, and this album documents ten songs they have recorded since.  With Smith on vocals/guitar and Corritore on harmonica, the album features a cast of fifteen backing musicians and vocalists coming together in different configurations on each track.

Boo Boo Davis - Boo Boo Boogaloo

At almost eighty years old, St. Louis bluesman James ‘Boo Boo’ Davis is still busy creating some of the most authentic blues being recorded today.  Born in Drew, Mississippi in 1943, Davis grew up being surrounded by music, playing drums in a family band.  In 1972, he landed an eighteen-year-long gig playing weekends at Tabby’s Red Room in East St. Louis.  In 1999, Davis cut his debut album called East St. Louis and he’s been busy making records since.  His twelfth and latest release Boo Boo Boogaloo features ten original tracks as real and raw as the blues can get.  It’s the kind of blues that slow-drips and settles in the gut.  I love how it feels to hear it.  Produced by Chris MillarLA Jones, and Paul Niehaus IV, the album features Boo Boo on lead vocals and harmonica, Jones on guitar, Adrianna Marie on bass, Millar on drums, and Niehaus on keys.

Cedar County Cobras - Homesick Blues

Cedar County Cobras, a blues and roots duo from Iowa has grabbed my full attention with their new album Homesick Blues.  Comprised by Tom Spielbauer and April Dirks, the Cedar County Cobras were formed in 2014 and have logged hundreds of shows across the state and Midwest.  In 2022, Spielbauer won the Iowa Blues Challenge for solo artists, securing a spot at the 2023 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee where he placed as a semi-finalist.  The duo’s songs are soaked with a pre-war blues essence and are wonderfully performed with Spielbauer on guitar and foot-drum and Dirks on mandolin and upright bass.

Chickenbone Slim - Damn Good and Ready

San Diego-based musician Larry Teves aka Chickenbone Slim has returned to Greaseland Studios to record his fifth release Damn Good and Ready.  The album is a cocktail of all-original blues and rockabilly with a cool-as-hell vintage sound.   It is quite obvious why he was awarded the 2022 San Diego Music Award for “Best Jazz/Blues Recording”.  With Christoffer Kid” Anderson engineering, mixing, and mastering this twelve-track recording, Chickenbone Slim is joined by Laura Chavez (2023 Blues Music Award winner for Best Blues Guitarist) on guitar, Marty Dodson on drums/percussion, Justice Guevara on electric and stand-up bass, and Kid Anderson on everything else.

Craig Erickson - Modern Blues

I’m very excited to hear new music from Iowa-based artist Craig Erickson.  He always delivers the goods when it comes to high-octane, guitar-fueled blues-rock.  I love his funky, cosmic and from-the-heart approach to songwriting.  His latest album Modern Blues is a twelve-track journey of finding balance amidst the challenges facing the world today.  As a proficient multi-instrumentalist, Erickson takes on vocals, guitar, bass, and keyboards, with Jeff Sipe (Col. Bruce HamptonLeftover SalmonCedell Davis) on drums.

Dyer Davis - Dog Bites Back

There is a new favorite blues-rocker on the block, and his name is Dyer Davis This twenty-three-year-old from Florida is a master of guitar and hosts a tremendously soulful voice.  A sense of comfort flows through me knowing the future of this treasured genre is in very good hands.  Davis’ songs are soaked in blues and delivered with a punch.  His debut album Dog Bites Back is co-produced by Stephen Dees and Billy Chapin.  With Davis on vocals and guitars, the record features David Weatherspoon on drums, and Jacob Barone on bass.  Also appearing on the record are guests Victor Wainwright on piano and vocals, Stephen Dees on bass guitar, Billy Chapin on guitars and organ, Patricia Ann Dees on tenor sax, flute and vocals, and Billy Dean on drums.

EG Kight - Sticks & Strings

Sticks & Strings, the latest release from EG Kight captivated me upon the first listen.  Kight’s beautifully-crafted songs are decorated with southern charm and immerse me with in wave of mesmerizing grace.  Backed with her “boys” lead guitarist Ken Wynn and drummer/percussionist Gary Porter, the ensemble also features guest bassist Sean Williams on five tracks.

Emma Wilson - Memphis Calling

Memphis Calling, the new album from British blues singer Emma Wilson, puts a smile on my face with every listen.  Wilson, who was awarded Emerging Blues Artist of the Year at the UK Blues Awards in 2022 for her debut album Wish Her Well, captures the pure essence of the Memphis sound.  Recorded at Sam Phillips Recording Studio, using the original STAX recording console, and a bullpen of Memphis musicians, this record is nothing less than extraordinary with Wilson’s soulful, buttery vocals pouring freely over every note.  Backing Wilson on this release is Charlie Hodges ( Hi Rhythm Section) on Hammond organ, Archie “Hubbie” Turner (Hi Rhythm Section on electric piano, Wurlitzer, and acoustic piano, Joe Restivo (The Bo Keys) on guitar, Leroy Hodges (Hi Rhythm Section) on bass guitar, Steve Potts (Booker T & the MGsGregg Allman Band) on drums, Kirk Smothers (The Bo KeysCyndi Lauper) on tenor and baritone sax, Marc Franklin (The Bo KeysCyndi Lauper) on trumpet, and Scott Bomar on tambourine.

GA-20 Live in Loveland

GA-20 ranks right up there among my favorite blues bands playing today.  I have absolutely loved their previous two studio albums, Crackdown, and Does Hound Dog Taylor.  The records are magnificent.  GA-20 has a way of filling every nook and cranny of their music with a timeless vintage sound and raw fearlessness.  Live in Loveland, their first full-length live album, was recorded direct-to-tape on a Tascam 388 in Loveland, Ohio at Plaid Room Records.   It features previously unrecorded tracks along with songs from Crackdown and their 2019 debut album Lonely Soul.  The musical chemistry shared between vocalist/guitarist Pat Faherty, guitarist/producer Matthew Stubbs, and drummer Tim Carman is sheer electric and fortified with true grit.

Ghalia Volt - Shout Sister Shout!

I have been enamored by the music of Ghalia Volt since her album with Johnny Mastro and Mamas Boys Let the Demons Out crossed my desk for review five years ago.  She is a musical force on guitar and vocals with a mastery of songwriting.  Ghalia’s talent shines bright with on her latest release Shout Sister Shout!.  The album is loaded with a dozen all-original tracks.  Each one is a gem.  Backing Ghalia is Danny Frankel on drums/percussion, Ben Alleman on keys, and special guest on guitar David Catching.

Jimmy Bennett - Sunday Morning Sessions

Sunday Morning Sessions, the new album from Jimmy Bennett (Bennett BrothersAlexis P. SuiterJohn GintyBruce Katz) stole my heart from the first listen.  Bennett, an original member of Levon Helm's Midnight Rambles in Woodstock, New York, began writing this record on Easter Sunday 2020 as a response to the beginning days of the Coronavirus outbreak.  That day, he wrote, recorded, and posted a video for his new song “Easter Morning Melody” on Facebook.  The positive response he received encouraged him to keep moving forward, spawning the Sunday Morning Sessions which he continues producing today.  This record is a tribute to those Sunday sessions and to the listeners who tune in.  Produced by John Ginty at Shark Tank Studio in Sarasota, Florida, the album features Bennett on acoustic guitar, dobro, and vocals, with Ginty on Vintage Vibe piano, Hammond organ, and drums.

Johnny Wheels & the Swamp Donkeys - Keep on Pushin'

A magical energy abundantly flows from the latest album Keep on Pushin’ by Johnny Wheels and the Swamp Donkeys Finalist Band in the 2020 International Blues Challenge.   The music this tight-knit ensemble cooks up is a special blend of Blues, R & B, Rock, Soul, and Funk.  With Johnny “Wheels” Kennicott taking on the frontman position on vocals and harmonica, the rest of this extraordinary band is comprised of guitarist Brandon Logan, drummer Doug Knoyle, guitarist Michael Rabe, bassist Taylor Frazier..

Jonah Tolchin - Dockside

Dockside, the fifth album from Jonah Tolchin swiftly swept me off my feet with its real-deal North Mississippi blues, and sweet southern soul.  Co-produced by Tolchin and Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars), and recorded at Dockside Studios in Maurice, Louisiana, twelve-track recording of all-original songs signifies the first release on Tolchin’s brand new label Clover Music Group.  With Tolchin on vocals, lead guitar, and harmonica, and Dickinson on rhythm guitar, lead guitar, and clave, the other performers are comprised of drummer Terence Higgins (Warren Haynes), bassist Nic Coolidge, keyboardist Chris Joyner (Ben Harper), pianist Carey Frank (Tedeschi Trucks Band), vocalist Chavonne Stewart (Jackson Brown) and vocalist Marley Monroe.

Lex Grey and the Urban Pioneers - How Many Roads?

How Many Roads? , the eighth release from New York ensemble Lex Grey and the Urban Pioneers grabbed my attention quite quickly on the first listen.  Grey’s voice is powerful and soulful as she performs the eleven masterfully-written originals on this album.  Known for their rock, blues, and burlesque shows in Brooklyn and lower Manhatten, the group is comprised of vocalist/guitarist Lex Grey, producer/guitarist/audio engineer Vic ‘Mix’ Deyglio, writer/musician Ed Wasilewski, sonic innovator Brian Dewan, and drummer/percussionist Sonny Rock.

Mario Rossi Band - Smoke Burst

Brazilian singer/songwriter/guitarist Mario Rossi discovered his deep passion for blues in 2013 while joining John Primer’s touring band across Brazil.  Since then, he has blazed a trail that has caught the eyes and ears of many fans.  Smoke Burst, his fourth and most recent album is a fantastic recording of all original tunes loaded with hot guitar licks and infectious riffs.  With Rossi on guitar and vocals, his band is comprised of EdĂȘ Boy on keyboards, Marcelo Rocha on bass, and Rafael Cacavallo on drums.

Mem_Mods - Vol. 1 

Longtime friends Steve Selvidge (Big Ass Truck)Paul Taylor and Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars), sons of Memphis music legends Sid SelvidgePat Taylor, and Jim Dickinson are now legends by their own right.  It took a pandemic to reconnect these three musicians who played together as kids in the 1970s to make this intoxicating new instrumental recording. With Selvidge on guitar, bass, Rhodes, and drum machine, Dickinson on bass and various keys, and Taylor on drums, percussion, various basses, synth pedals, and soundscapes, the trio drew inspiration from the music they loved growing up in Memphis.  They set the pin in the Bluff City as ground zero, exploded the sound into the outer dimensions, and created a dozen hypnotic, funky, space jams.

Scott Weis Band - Raise Your Hands

I immensely enjoyed the past couple of releases from Scott Weis Band. Their eighth and latest album Raise Your Hands is no exception.  For something a little different this time Weis injects a heavy dose of southern rock into his blues and it sounds fantastic.  Weis is joined again by drummer Roger Voss and bassist Robert Kopec.  He is also accompanied by vocalist Cindy Mizelle, keyboardist John Ginty, and percussionist Bashiri Johnson, with Sarah Smith making a guest appearance on vocals.

Sue Foley - Live in Austin - Vol 1

Sue Foley’s latest release Live in Austin Vol. 1 sunk its teeth into my heart quite quickly.  The 2020 Blues Music Award recipient of the Koko Taylor Award category plays through a mix of originals and covers on her new album, produced by Mike Flanigin.  The record nicely captures the artist her home-turf with a sold-out show at Austin, Texas’ Continental Club.  With Foley on guitar and vocals, her band consists of bassist Jon Penner, drummer Corey Keller, guitarist Derek O’BrianAngela Miller on background vocals and tambourine, and Lauren Cervantes on background vocals.

Tas Cru - Riffin' the Blue

Riffin’ the Blue, the latest from New York bluesman Tas Cru, certainly lives up to its name.  The riffs are infectious and deliciously bluesy, making for a fantastic new batch of home-grown originals from Tas.  The album is self-produced and features Tas on vocals and guitar with Mary Ann Casale on backing vocals, Ron Keck on percussion, Bruce Katz on piano/organ, Andy Hearn on drums, and Bob Purdy on bass.  Special guests include Mike ZitoLenny Milano, and Bill Barry.

Tav Falco Panther Burns - Nashville Sessions

In the 1980’s, I lived about 70 miles from Memphis, and visited the Bluff City often.  This was when I was first acquainted with the music of Tav Falco.  He was often the topic of discussion at the record stores I frequented.  The Panther Burns songs were unique, and stood out from the typical music which stocked the shelves back then.  Hearing this new release Nashville Sessions: Live at Bridgetone Arena Studios brings back a lot of memories.  Recorded for Sirius XM Outlaw CountryNashville Sessions captures the intoxicating charm of Tav during his 2022 US tour.  With Tav on lead vocals and guitars, the Panther Burns are comprised of Mario Monterosso on lead guitar, Walter Brunetti on drums, and Giuseppe Sangirardi on bass. 

Tony Holiday - Motel Mississippi

From his Porch Session albums, to his studio releases, I always find the music of Tony Holiday to be abundantly filled with juicy harp performances and swampy grooves.  His latest album, Motel Mississippi fits the bill again, and I really dig it.  When I read the album was recorded at Zebra Ranch in Coldwater, Mississippi, I knew it was going to be special.  With Holiday on vocals and harmonica, AJ Fullerton on guitar, Terrence Grayson on bass, Lee Williams on drums, and Dave Gross on guitars, organs, percussion, snare, and synth, the album has a rich texture.

Willie J. Laws Jr. - Too Much Blues

Known as the “Last Prophet of the Funky Texas Blues”, Willie J Laws Jr., certainly lives up to his title in regards to his latest album Too Much Blues.  His blend of blues is enriched with a blast of funkdafied grooves, and I like it a lot.  The record, produced by Paul Nelson, features Laws on guitar and vocals, with Dave Johnson on bass, Brooks Milgate on keys/piano/organ/synth, and Justin Blackburn on drums/percussion.

PhillyCheeze's Favorite 25 albums of 2023 Spotify Playlist