Founding member and vocalist for the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Kim Wilson, has enjoyed hit albums, sold out concerts and even videos on MTV, but his latest project takes him back to where it all started – Blues and Boogie Volume One is a collection of raw blues, done the old-fashioned way. The 16 tracks give Wilson a chance to honor some of his idols, like James Cotton, Little Walter and Sonny Boy Williamson, while also throwing in some of his originals which fit perfectly with the mood.
He reveals how he was able to channel that vintage sound on his new material. Plus, he talks the crazy success of the Fabulous Thunderbirds’ hit “Tuff Enuff.”
Folk-blues singer covers Black Sabbath on her new album
Austin singer Ruthie Foster defies classification. Her previous albums have featured covers from the likes of Johnny Cash, David Crosby and Adele, as well as her own originals. For this new project, Joy Comes Back, her first release in three years, the approach is equally eclectic: she tackles songs by the Four Tops, Mississippi John Hurt and, most notably, a Son House-flavored rendition of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs.”
She’s also joined by several stellar guests, including guitarist Derek Trucks, bassist Willie Weeks and drummer Joe Vitale. We talk to Foster about how music got her through a tumultuous chapter in her life, plus why she quit the business and signed up for the Navy several years ago.
Delbert McClinton has made a career out of doing whatever he wanted. He got his start blowing harmonica on Bruce Channel’s classic “Hey Baby” – that was 1962, before the Beatles invaded America. In fact, that little old band from Liverpool actually opened for him on an early gig.
Not long after, he began leading his own band, and creating a body of music that defies classification, all the while winning awards in Blues, Country, and Rock. Delbert’s just released his 19th album, Prick of the Litter, and it’s easily one of the best of his long career.
We talk his love of classic music of the Forties and Fifties, from Johnny Mercer and Charles Brown to Jimmy Reed and Frank Sinatra. He’s also got his autobiography coming later in the year.
We chat with Stony Plain head Holger Peterson about a new Jeff Healey compilation – The Best of the Stony Plain Years. Healey was an amazingly talented musician, best known for his 1989 top five hit “Angel Eyes.” He lost his sight at an early age, picked up the guitar at three, and developed an unique style of playing the instrument on his lap.
The Jeff Healey Band showcased his talents as a searing blues-rock guitarist, releasing a series of albums in the late Eighties and early Nineties. But, as the decade wore on, Jeff became increasingly weary of the trappings of the genre. Amazingly, he switched gears, teaching himself how to play trumpet and immersing himself in traditional jazz of the Twenties & Thirties. Thus began a new chapter in his musical career – he issued a series of classic jazz & blues albums in the 2000’s up until his untimely passing in 2008.
Peterson, who was a longtime friend of Healey’s discusses this new compilation, Healey’s deep love for classic jazz and blues, and other releases he has coming up for Stony Plain.
Indianapolis singer Tad Robinson has a knack for creating soul records that just sound effortless. We raved about his last record, Back in Style, from 2011. Now he’s back with another CD called Day Into Night. Once again, he’s achieved that perfect blend of smooth R&B featuring Robinson’s soulful vocals leading the way. We chat the recording process for his new CD, which features a guest appearance by Anson Funderburgh.
Georgia bluesman Tinsley Ellis has carved out a name for himself in the last 25-30 years as a searing guitarist and expressive vocalist. His live shows have hit all 50 states, and he still plays around 150 gigs a year. His latest offering, Tough Love, is arguably his finest to date (read our review here), veering from shuffling blues, soulful ballads and psychedelic rock. We talk with Ellis about several “firsts” on his new record, running his own label, and his unique writing process.
Lisa Mills hails from Mississippi, and there must be something down there in the water, as she’s put together one of the finest, most honest records of last year. I’m Changing, is a mix of blues, rock, soul, Gospel and even a sprinkle of country. Add to it Lisa’s gritty vocals, and you’ve got the makings of a killer record. Yet, this isn’t a totally new project, as many of the tracks were started back in 2005. Mills talks about the long, strange journey that led to this new album.
Duke Robillard was one of the founding members of Roomful of Blues in the late Sixties. Then, he replaced Jimmie Vaughan in the Fabulous Thunderbirds in 1989. But, his solo career has been arguably more adventurous than either of those two bands. Duke’s love is delving into the various facets of classic American music. His latest offering, Calling All Blues, is a summation of the different styles of blues music, from Memphis to Mexico, from jazz swing to nasty rock, brooding, shuffling, there’s a lot here. We talk to the “ambassador of the blues” about how he broke his hand but continued to play guitar for the new record, playing to blues fans all over the world, and getting to release his new album on vinyl.
Despite his famous last name, Devon Allman has forged a path uniquely his own, beginning with his band, Honeytribe in 1999, then more recently, the Royal Southern Brotherhood, and his solo career. Now, hot on the heels of 2013’s Turquoise comes Allman’s finest work to date, Ragged & Dirty, an album that straddles Chicago blues with his Southern roots. We talk his improving guitar work, touring overseas, and why he chose to cover the Spinners’ classic “I’ll Be Around.”