Alastair Greene Releases New Single, Commences Tour, Signs With Atomic Music Group

Alastair Greene Releases New Single, Commences Tour, Signs With Atomic Music Group

American Blues Scene Staff

“Lyrically it reflects a turbulent time in our nation’s history when it was hard to know who and what to believe at any given time.” – Alastair Greene

Alastair Greene’s new single, “Lies And Fear,” available worldwide, was recorded live in the studio with Greene’s own touring band. Alastair notes, “’Lies and Fear’ was one of the songs I’d written before going down to Louisiana to make the album that became The New World Blues with producer Tab Benoit for his Whiskey Bayou Records label. Lyrically it reflects a turbulent time in our nation’s history when it was hard to know who and what to believe at any given time.”

This is Greene’s third single inspired by his critically acclaimed album since its October 2020 release. The New World Blues has received major airplay on SiriusXM Radio including being featured by Joe Bonamassa on his show. And just as with the previous two singles, a new music video will be out soon. Greene’s first video single “Living Today” saw a world premiere from Relix magazine, while “Bayou Mile” had a week-long exclusive premiere hosted on DittyTV. Stay tuned for more on the release of the new “Lies and Fear” music video.

Tab Benoit and Alastair Greene photo credit: Roman Sobus

Greene’s spring/summer tour with Tab Benoit and his band continues to be a huge success, performing at major festivals, theaters, and music venues including a six-night “Chicago Takeover” at the City Winery. Alastair seizes the moment, executing a blistering opening set with Tab on drums and Corey Duplechin on bass, garnering standing ovations for this super-trio nightly. Then after Benoit’s legendary, high energy set, Alastair joins Tab for a rip-roaring, head banging encore. It’s truly a musical event not to be missed. The tour has just started up again and continues throughout the summer and beyond.

The Austin, Nashville, and Toronto based Atomic Music Group is an international booking agency representing established recording artists of all genres and is now representing Greene alongside The Blasters, Sue Foley, Petula Clark and more. Atomic Music Group enthusiastically welcomes Greene to their roster: “Alastair is an exciting guitarist, singer, and songwriter with one hell of a pedigree. We are looking forward to taking an active role in his artistic development.”

That pedigree includes eight years of international touring on lead guitar and vocals with the Alan Parsons Project, major dates with Starship featuring Mickey Thomas, blues gigs as a longtime regular and host at the Memphis-based Blues Foundation events and showcases, featured performances at the Big Blues Bender and the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, a year of worldwide touring with the Sugaray Rayford Band, which was nominated for a 2020 Blues Music Award, the current 2021 tour with Grammy nominated Tab Benoit, as well as the Alastair Greene Band, which has drawn comparisons to Gov’t Mule, ZZ Top and Cream. You can find tour dates and more information at


“Lies And Fear”

Tangerine Records Releases New Lyric Video for Ray Charles’ “Crying Time”

Tangerine Records Releases New Lyric Video for Ray Charles’ “Crying Time”

American Blues Scene Staff

Update: Today the Country Music Hall of Fame has announced that Ray Charles has been inducted as an official member.

Tangerine Records has released a new lyric video for Ray Charles’ signature country performance of “Crying Time,” which was first recorded by Buck Owens in 1964. The song will be featured on True Genius, a newly remastered, limited edition set featuring 90 of the greatest songs from his legendary career and all of Ray’s biggest hits. The set also includes a special bonus disc of eight previously unreleased tracks recorded live in Stockholm in 1972. True Genius will be released on September 10, 2021, in celebration of what would have been Ray Charles’ 90th birthday year, and is currently available for pre-order.

Also available to stream today is a sampler playlist of some of Charles’ most beloved country recordings, featuring “Together Again,” “Take These Chains” and “Ring of Fire,” along with “Crying Time.” Additional singles will follow in the coming weeks, showcasing Ray’s works in the Classic Pop genre.

“We’re extremely proud to present this collection, which maps the breadth and depth of Ray Charles’ music, presented in chronological order so the listener can join Ray on his journey through the most expansive and creative period of his legendary career. I’m also thrilled that this music will be widely available on all streaming services for the very first time, so that new and future audiences will continue to discover the True Genius of Ray Charles.”  – Valerie Ervin, President Ray Charles Foundation

The digital release of True Genius marks the first time this incredible collection of Ray Charles most important works will be widely available on streaming platforms, bringing classic hits such as “Hit The Road Jack,” “Crying Time,” “Busted,” “America The Beautiful,” “A Song for You,” “Unchain My Heart,” and many, many more back to streaming after more than a decade.  

The box set also includes a beautifully designed coffee table style book with rare, unseen photos, and detailed liner notes by Ray Charles Foundation President Valerie Ervin, legendary writer and music journalist A. Scott Galloway, and featuring a special message from Quincy Jones.

Tangerine Records will also release True Genius: Sides of Ray on November 19th, a double disc vinyl collection that illustrates Charles’ many musical “sides” by focusing each album side on the genre categories he visited most: soul, jazz & blues, country, and pop, available for pre-order.

Ray Charles’s recordings are major landmarks in American culture. By blending country and roots with other popular sounds, this visionary singer, songwriter, pianist and composer brought his expansive musical vision to a worldwide audience. Charles’ albums, released during the heart of the Civil Rights Movement, broke down both racial and genre barriers. The incredible crossover success of Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Volumes 1 & 2 led Willie Nelson to remark, “Ray Charles did more for country music than any other artist.” Ray continued to do something no other artist had done before or since, conquering all genres of music, from gospel and R&B to soul, country, jazz, blues, and pop, which led Frank Sinatra to dub Ray Charles, the only “True Genius” in music.

Ray further helped bring Americans together with his rendition of “America the Beautiful,” and he remains the only artist in history to create and define a national anthem.  Charles was also one of the first recording artists to have ownership of his masters as well as complete creative freedom.

Charles’ staggering achievements over a 58-year career include 17 GRAMMY Awards, induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a Lifetime Achievement and the President’s Merit Award, the Presidential Medal for the Arts, France’s Legion of Honor, the Kennedy Center Honors, the NAACP Image Awards’ “Hall of Fame Award,” and numerous other music Halls of Fame, including those for Jazz and Rhythm & Blues, all testament to his enormous influence. In 2019, he was honored by the Grand Ole Opry with An Opry Salute to Ray Charles, which was broadcast across PBS stations.

One of the greatest artists of all time, Charles successfully mastered and forever changed the blues, jazz, gospel, rock, pop, and country music landscapes. He teamed up with the best of the best in each stylistic genre, including B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, Lou Rawls, Hank Williams Jr, Willie Nelson, Stevie Wonder, and countless others. As he described himself. “I’m not a country singer. I’m a singer who sings country songs. I’m not a blues singer, but I can sing the blues. I’m not really a crooner, but I can sing love songs. I’m not a specialist, but I’m a pretty good utility man. I can play first base, second base, shortstop. I can catch and maybe even pitch a little.” 

Update: Today the Country Music Hall of Fame has announced that Ray Charles has been inducted as an official member. Charles, who revolutionized the country genre and brought it to new audiences with albums like 1962’s Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, will be inducted in the “Veterans Era Artist” category.





Texas Singer-Songwriter Nanci Griffith Dies Aged 68

Texas Singer-Songwriter Nanci Griffith Dies Aged 68

Lauren Leadingham

Nanci Griffith (July 6, 1953 – August 13, 2021)

Folk singer-songwriter and guitarist Nanci Griffith, celebrated for her sparkling vocals and master storytelling, passed away Friday in Nashville. She was 68. 

Griffith produced such songs as “Late Night Grande Hotel” and “It’s a Hard Life Wherever You Go,” and wrote major hits that proved successful for other artists: Suzy Bogguss’s infectiously catchy and beautifully sung “Outbound Plane,” written by Griffith and Tom Russell; and Kathy Mattea’s memorable “Love At The Five And Dime.” 

Bogguss took to her Instagram account, expressing, “My heart is aching. A beautiful soul that I love has left this earth. I feel blessed to have many memories of our times together along with most everything she ever recorded. I’m going to spend the day reveling in the articulate masterful legacy she’s left us. Rest my dear friend Nanci Griffith.”

Her 1993 album, Other Voices, Other Rooms, was  devoted to songs written by Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Townes Van Zandt, John Prine, etc., with guest appearances by Dylan and Prine. She received a GRAMMY award in 1994 for this effort. 

Born on July 6, 1953, in Seguin, Texas, Griffith was raised in Austin, where she began performing as a teenage singer inspired by Loretta Lynn. She performed while attending the University of Texas, and while working as a kindergarten teacher.

Griffith won the New Folk Competition at the Kerrville Folk Festival in 1978. She  moved to Nashville in 1985, where she found herself on major labels MCA and Elektra, and went on to collaborate with the likes of John Prine, Emmylou Harris and Lyle Lovett.

*Feature image: Redferns via Getty Images

Southern Avenue Share Soulful New Track, ‘Control’

Southern Avenue Share Soulful New Track, ‘Control’

American Blues Scene Staff

Album produced by Multi-GRAMMY® winner Steve Berlin (Los Lobos, Deer Tick, Susan Tedeschi, Jackie Greene)

Southern Avenue today shared their new song “Control,” the third track to be released off the forthcoming Steve Berlin-produced album, Be The Love You Want, due out on August 27 via BMG/Renew Records.  

“The song ‘Control’ is the voice of self-discipline that you hear inside your head,” said the song’s co-writer Tierinii Jackson. “There’s something about the repetition of the word “control” in the hook sticks with you, and hopefully that can be the voice that carries the listener through whatever journey they are on.”  

Southern Avenue seamlessly bridges the power of Memphis soul with jam band liberation, gospel blues, and R&B to craft their own timeless brand of American music. The ambitious sonic approach expertly complements Be The Love You Want’s rich themes of self-love, self-empowerment, personal accountability, and the desire to push through towards something greater in life.

Earlier this month Southern Avenue released the music video for “Move Into The Light,a song about “moving from the dim moods of our minds and trusting our will to let go and have fun” explains Jackson. Earlier this summer, the band shared the song “Push Now,” along with the official music video – a light-hearted happy-go-lucky visual that showcases the band’s personality and incorporates family members from the entire Southern Avenue team.  

The third studio album from Southern Avenue was produced by multi-GRAMMY® winner, Steve Berlin (Los Lobos, Deer Tick, Susan Tedeschi, Jackie Greene), and co-produced by Ori Naftaly, and arrives on August 27, 2021 via Renew Records/BMG.

Be The Love You Want sees Southern Avenue pushing themselves towards bold new ideas of what it means to be a blues band in the modern world, bending and reshaping their musical heritage with electrifying performance, vivid production, and a remarkably clear vision.

Operating from their distinctively international vantage point, Southern Avenue has produced a wide-ranging collection of original music – predominantly co-written by Israeli-born guitarist Ori Naftaly and powerhouse lead vocalist Tierinii Jackson – that links them to their home city’s glorious past while at the same time, demonstrates their ambitious intent to evolve Memphis music to contemporary effect. With Be The Love You Want, Southern Avenue continue driving the Southern soul legacy into the 21st century, preserving its glory and tradition while striving towards something diverse, universal, and altogether their own.

The band is currently on an extensive tour that includes over a dozen previously announced dates supporting Jason Mraz.  


Southern Avenue Tour Dates:

8/14 @ Stone Pony Summerstage | Asbury Park, NJ*

8/15 @ The Anthem | Washington, DC*

8/19 @ Brooklyn Bowl | Nashville, TN w/ Maggie Rose

8/20 @ Summer Camp Music Festival | Chillicothe, IL 

8/27 @ Performance Pavilion at Sweetwater | Fort Wayne, IN w/ Samantha Fish

8/28 @ Levitt Pavilion | Dayton, OH

8/29 @ Railbird Music Festival | Lexington, KY

9/1 @ Crested Butte Summer Concert Series | Crested Butte, CO 

9/2 @ eTown Hall | Boulder, CO

9/3 @ Moxi Theater | Greeley, CO

9/4 @ Wave | Wichita, KS

9/10 & 11 @ Big Blues Bender | Las Vegas, NV

9/17 @ Mississippi Valley Blues Festival | Davenport, IA

9/18 @ Shipyard Festival | Cape Girardeau, MO

9/26 @ Roots N Blues Festival | Columbia, MO

10/1 @ Mempho Festival | Memphis, TN

10/8 @ Clay Center for the Arts | Charleston, WV

10/9 @ Wire & Wood Festival | Alpharetta, GA

10/28 @ Wolf Den | Uncasville, CT

10/30 @ City Winery | New York, NY

1/22 – 26 @ Panic en la Playa | Riviera Maya, Mexico

1/29 – 2/5 @ Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise | Eastern Caribbean

*w/Jason Mraz

All tour dates and up to date news available at




Legendary Keyboardist and Session Player Mike Finnigan Dies Aged 76

Legendary Keyboardist and Session Player Mike Finnigan Dies Aged 76

American Blues Scene Staff

Finnigan was a 2x winner of a Blues Music Award for his work with Taj Mahal as a member of the Phantom Blues Band

Session player, vocalist and keyboardist Mike Finnigan, whose specialty was the B3 Hammond organ, succumbed to kidney cancer on August 11, 2021 in Los Angeles. He was 76.

Finnigan attended the University of Kansas on a basketball scholarship. He began performing at the age of 19 and started the band The Serfs, who were the house band at a local club in Wichita. Working primarily as a freelance studio musician, Finnigan performed with a wide array of artists in pop, rock, jazz, blues — including Taj Mahal, who took to social media this morning:

Finnigan later collaborated with Columbia artists Jim Krueger and Les Dudek, and was 2x winner of a Blues Music Award for his work with Taj Mahal as a member of the Phantom Blues Band.

He has toured and has been a session musician for Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker, Etta James, Sam Moore, Crosby Stills and Nash, Dave Mason, Buddy Guy, Manhattan Transfer, Taj Mahal, Michael McDonald, Maria Muldaur, Peter Frampton, Cher, Ringo Starr, Leonard Cohen, Tower of Power, Rod Stewart, David Coverdale, Tracy Chapman, Los Lonely Boys, and Bonnie Raitt. 

Bonnie Raitt also honored Finnigan on her Facebook, saying “Mike was one of the most powerful, virtuosic soul/gospel/blues singers and Hammond B3 players you’ll ever be blessed to hear. Respected and emulated by musicians the world over, his legacy of staggering performances across his 60+ years career will stand the test of time. He stopped our show nearly every night. There was simply no one like him.”


Robert Plant & Alison Krauss Reunite for ‘Raise The Roof’ Out November 19 on Rounder Records

Robert Plant & Alison Krauss Reunite for ‘Raise The Roof’ Out November 19 on Rounder Records

American Blues Scene Staff

Listen to new track “Can’t Let Go”

Today, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss have announced the forthcoming release of their new album Raise The Roof, out November 19 on Rounder Records.

The surprise announcement finds Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Plant and 27-time Grammy-winner Krauss, reunited after some fourteen years, following the historic success of their first collaboration Raising Sand (2007/Rounder), which debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200, generated platinum sales, and earned six Grammy Awards including Album and Record of the Year. 

Like its predecessor, Raise The Roof was produced by T Bone Burnett, who worked with Plant and Krauss to expand their collaboration in thrilling new directions, accompanied by drummer Jay Bellerose, guitarists Marc Ribot, David Hidalgo, Bill Frisell, and Buddy Miller, bassists Dennis Crouch and Viktor Krauss, along with pedal steel guitarist Russ Pahl among others.

The album features twelve new recordings of songs by legends and unsung heroes including Merle Haggard, Allen Toussaint, The Everly Brothers, Anne Briggs, Geeshie Wiley, Bert Jansch and more. Other highlights include a Plant-Burnett original, “High and Lonesome,” and the classic “Can’t Let Go,” written by Randy Weeks and first recorded by Lucinda Williams.

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss have shared their new recording of “Can’t Let Go” today.

The songs selected for Raise The Roof alternately reflect deep-rooted influences and new revelations. For his part, Robert Plant was keen to introduce the English folk traditions he has loved since adolescence, while Krauss cites hearing “Quattro (World Drifts In)” by the American group Calexico, as “the moment I knew we’d make another album.”

“We wanted it to move,” Krauss continues. “We brought other people in, other personalities within the band, and coming back together again in the studio brought a new intimacy to the harmonies.”

Adds Plant: “You hear something and you go ‘Man, listen to that song, we got to sing that song!’ It’s a vacation, really — the perfect place to go that you least expected to find.”

Released in 2007, Raising Sand is one of the most beloved and acclaimed albums of the 21st century. In addition to winning all six Grammy Awards for which it was nominated, it also earned a CMA Award for Musical Event of the Year, plus Album of the Year and Duo/Group of the Year accolades from the Americana Music Honors and Awards.

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will tour together in 2022, with dates to be announced soon. 

Raise The Roof Tracklist:

  • Quattro (World Drifts In)
  • The Price of Love
  • Go Your Way
  • Trouble With My Lover
  • Searching for My Love
  • Can’t Let Go
  • It Don’t Bother Me
  • You Led Me to The Wrong
  • Last Kind Words Blues
  • High and Lonesome
  • Going Where the Lonely Go
  • Somebody Was Watching Over Me

    Pre-order Raise The Roof 


    *Feature image credit: Frank Melfi



    Tommy Castro & The Painkillers Announce ‘A Bluesman Came To Town’ Tour

    Tommy Castro & The Painkillers Announce ‘A Bluesman Came To Town’ Tour

    American Blues Scene Staff

    “I’ve made seven albums for Alligator, and I’ve never made the same record twice. I will always try to be my most authentic self. I give it all I’ve got every time we hit the stage!” – Tommy Castro

    On Monday, August 9, internationally beloved guitarist, singer and songwriter Tommy Castro, leader of Tommy Castro & The Painkillers, announced dates for his A Bluesman Came To Town national tour. With performances all across the United States beginning in September 2021 and moving into early 2022, Tommy Castro & The Painkillers — bassist Randy McDonald, drummer Bowen Brown and keyboardist Michael Emerson — will reconnect with fans all over the country. Concert attendees are strongly advised to contact the venue to confirm performance.

    Castro’s trailblazing new album, Tommy Castro Presents A Bluesman Came To Town, is set for September 17 release.

    Throughout his long, constantly evolving career, guitarist, singer and songwriter Castro has always remained true to himself while exploring, growing and creating new music, and he has taken his thousands of devoted fans right along with him. Ranging from horn-fueled R&B to piping hot blues to fiery, stripped-down rock ‘n’ roll, each of his 16 albums is solidly built upon Castro’s unshakable musical foundation—a dynamic mix of 1960s-influenced guitar-fueled blues, testifying Memphis-soaked blue-eyed soul and Latin-tinged East San Jose funk, all driven by Castro’s grab-you-by-the-collar vocals and passionate guitar work.

    Tommy Castro Presents A Bluesman Came To Town is a roots music odyssey, a special project composed by Castro along with Grammy Award-winning producer and songwriter Tom Hambridge. Through its 13 songs, the album tells the tale of a young man, working on his family farm, who gets bitten by the blues bug. He masters the guitar and heads out on the road seeking fame and fortune, only to find what he’s left behind is the treasure he’s been looking for. “A Bluesman Came To Town isn’t a story about me,” says Castro. “It’s pulled from some of my friends’ and my experiences, though. I’ve seen first-hand for a lot of years what it’s like out there on the road.”

    The road has always been Castro’s home away from home. He and The Painkillers will instantly ignite a crowd, turn them into loyal fans, and then keep those fans coming back for more. Castro has traveled hundreds of thousands of miles and performed thousands of gigs at clubs, concert halls, and festivals all over the world. Famed guitarist Joe Bonamassa says, “Tommy has always been top of the heap among blues guitar players. He always puts on a great show.”

    On the new A Bluesman Came To Town tour, Tommy Castro & The Painkillers will perform fan favorites as well as songs from the new album. “I’ve made seven albums for Alligator,” Castro says, “and I’ve never made the same record twice. I will always try to be my most authentic self. I give it all I’ve got every time we hit the stage!”

    Listen to the first song to be released from the album, Somewhere.

    US Tour:

    Saturday, September 18 Berkeley, CA Cornerstone
    Thursday, September 23 Boise, ID Treefort Music Festival
    Friday, September 24 Victor, ID Knotty Pine Supper Club
    Saturday, September 25 Salt Lake City, UT The Commonwealth Room
    Monday, September 27 Tucson, AZ 191 Toole
    Tuesday, September 28 Phoenix, AZ MIM Music Theater
    Wednesday, September 29 Albuquerque, NM Dirty Bourbon
    * Friday, October 1 Hutchinson, KS Historic Fox Theatre
    * Saturday, October 2 Kansas City, MO Knuckleheads
    * Sunday, October 3 Des Moines, IA Wooly’s
    * Tuesday, October 5 Iowa City, IA The Englert Theatre
    * Wednesday, October 6 Madison, WI Barrymore Theatre
    * Friday, October 8 Medina, MN Medina Entertainment Center
    * Saturday, October 9 Fond Du Lac, WI Sadoff Center for the Arts
    * Sunday, October 10 Aurora, IL The Venue
    * Tuesday, October 12 Evanston, IL SPACE
    * Wednesday, October 13 Ferndale, MI The Magic Bag
    * Thursday, October 14 Cleveland, OH Music Box Supper Club
    * Saturday, October 16 Frankfort, KY Grand Theatrer
    Tuesday, October 19 Nashville, TN 3rd & Lindsley
    Wednesday, October 20 Atlanta, GA City Winery
    Thursday, October 21 Savannah, GA Victory North
    Friday, October 22 Sanford, FL The Alley
    Saturday, October 23 Boca Raton, FL The Funky Biscuit
    Sunday, October 24 Tampa, FL Skipper’s Smokehouse
    Saturday, November 6 Fort Lauderdale, FL Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise
    Monday, November 15 New York, NY City Winery
    Tuesday, November 16 Old Saybrook, CT The Kate
    Wednesday, November 17 Pawling, NY Daryl’s House
    Thursday, November 18 Shirley, MA Bull Run Restaurant
    Friday, November 19 Teaneck, NJ Debonair Music Hall
    Saturday, November 20 Annapolis, MD Rams Head On Stage
    Sunday, November 21 Sellersville, PA Sellersville Theater
    Wednesday, November 24 Blawnox, PA Moondog’s
    Friday, November 26 Columbus, OH Natalie’s Grandview
    Saturday, November 27 New Berlin, IL Danenberger Family Vineyard
    Tuesday, November 30 Omaha, NE Stocks n Bonds
    Thursday, December 2 Denver, CO The Oriental Theater
    Friday, December 3 Colorado Springs, CO Stargazers Theatre
    Saturday, December 11 Petaluma, CA Mystic Theatre
    Sunday, December 12 Santa Cruz, CA Moe’s Alley
    Friday, December 17 Sacramento, CA The Sofia
    Thursday, December 30 Fresno, CA The Painted Table Event Center
    Friday, December 31 Bakersfield, CA World Records
    Friday, January 7 Montclair, CA The Canyon
    Sunday, January 8 Agoura Hills, CA The Canyon
    Saturday, January 15 Modesto, CA The State Theatre
    Tuesday, January 18 Seattle, WA Triple Door
    Thursday, January 20 Tacoma, WA Spanish Ballroom
    Friday, January 21 Portland, OR Jack London Revue
    Saturday, January 22 Eugene, OR Sessions Music Hall

    * 2021 Gulf Coast West Coast R&B Ramble With Marcia Ball

    Feature image: Victoria Smith courtesy of Alligator Records

    Jack White and Third Man Records Announce Opening Of London Store, Venue, and European HQ

    Jack White and Third Man Records Announce Opening Of London Store, Venue, and European HQ

    Big Hassle Media

    Opening on September 25th – Exclusive releases from Paul Weller, David Ruffin, The Jesus & Mary Chain, and more!

    Jack White and Third Man Records have announced the opening of their Third Man Records London Store, their first location outside the USA. Situated on Marshall Street in the heart of London’s historic Soho — an area renowned for its rich musical history — the London store will complete a trio of Third Man physical spaces that includes buildings in Nashville, TN and Detroit, MI. The new location will feature a two-level retail space, an intimate live music venue named “The Blue Basement,” and a European headquarters for the label.

    Credit: Olivia Jean

    Located at 1 Marshall Street, London W1F 9BA, the store will officially open to the public on Saturday, September 25. It has been personally designed by Third Man founder Jack White, who recently launched Jack White Art & Design via a comprehensive multimedia website cataloguing two decades of his award-winning creative work, alongside the Third Man creative hive of artists.


    The store was conceptualized and created throughout 2020 and 2021 during the Covid-19 pandemic, with the aim of creating a physical space to help keep record sales and live performances alive after such a tough period for everyone.

    Furthermore, in celebration of the opening, Third Man Records approached some of their favorite ever UK artists — Paul Weller, David Ruffin, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Cornershop, Gina Birch of The Raincoats and the great, lost Manchester group The Magic Roundabout — to record something brand new or contribute something previously unheard to the Third Man catalogue.

    These exclusive releases will be available to buy on black vinyl on September 25 from the Third Man Webstore (soon to be expanding to the UK/EU), at all three Third Man Records stores, and independent record shops everywhere, and on very limited edition yellow vinyl in the Third Man London store only.

    Third Man Records London will be multi-functional, tripling up as a two-level retail space, an intimate live music venue named “The Blue Basement,” and a European headquarters for Third Man Records. It will feature a host of the kind of quirks, details and idiosyncrasies Third Man have become renowned around the world for. 

    These include a Third Man Records token-operated lucky dip book machine designed by the Toronto-based artist Craig Small.


    Titled the “Literarium,” it is only the second of its kind in the world and much loved by the likes of Margaret Atwood.

    The store will also feature a Third Man Records token-operated recording booth where artists and the public can record their own material straight to vinyl.

    The official announcement follows much speculation and guesswork from eagle-eyed Third Man fans, who noticed the painting of eight fake, rotating store fronts at the 1 Marshall Street address.

    These fronts included Swank’s Muscle Tee Emporium, Jack Sharp’s Upholstery Tacks and Harry Lime’s Penicillin, all of which claimed to be under the umbrella of the fantastical Absurd Scam Family of Businesses. Last week, all UK subscribers to Third Man Records’ The Vault subscription service received a physical invitation for September 25 to the grand opening of one of these scam companies.



    Connect with Third Man Records:

    Official | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook


    ‘Bronzeville Blues’ Coming to Chicago August 29th

    ‘Bronzeville Blues’ Coming to Chicago August 29th

    American Blues Scene Staff

    If Chicago is home of the blues, Bronzeville is the neighborhood where it grew up.

    As part of Chicago In Tune, the Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events will present new and reimagined programs in place of this year’s Chicago Blues Festival in Millennium Park. Four special evenings at Jay Pritzker Pavilion presented with the Millennium Park Foundation will honor music born and innovated in Chicago – including Chicago In Tune–Blues in September. DCASE and its partners will also celebrate blues music with community concerts in the Bronzeville and Austin neighborhoods, on historic Record Row and in music venues across the city.

    Presented with Bronzeville Blues Collaborative: Chicago Blues Revival, Haven Studio, Muddy Waters MOJO Museum and Urban Juncture, the free Bronzeville Blues event will feature four stages of live music in the neighborhood that is the cradle of classic Chicago Blues. If Chicago is home of the blues, Bronzeville is the neighborhood where it grew up.

    Through the classic era of Chicago blues, many of the most famous blues musicians lived and worked in Bronzeville including Muddy Waters, Otis Rush and Sonny Boy Williamson. It was home to important clubs such as the Checkerboard Lounge, Pepper’s Lounge and the 708 Club.

    Bronzeville Blues will have outdoor stages on East 43rd Street/Muddy Waters Drive within easy walking distance of the Green Line station. Stages will be near The Forum, a historic dancehall and social center currently being renovated; the site of the original Checkerboard Lounge; and at Park 43, a community park and gathering space. Self-guided walking and biking tours of other nearby blues historic sites such as the Muddy Waters House and MOJO Museum, Theresa’s Lounge and Pepper’s Lounge will also be available.

    The event is co-produced with the Bronzeville Blues Collaborative, a collective of non-profit organizations bringing all-ages blues programming to Bronzeville, Chicago’s blues neighborhood. See for more information.

    John Primer
    Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith
    Melody Angel

    Performers include: John Primer & The Real Deal Blues Band, Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith, Melody Angel, Big James & The Chicago Playboys, Bob Stroger, Mississippi Gabe Carter, Harmonica Hinds, Joe Filisko & Eric Noden, Greasy Gravy Duo: Matt Hendricks & Rick Sherry, Gerry Hundt’s Legendary One-Man Band, Nick Alexander Blues Band, Milwaukee Slim, Jimmy Burns, and more.

    And don’t miss the grand finale 5:30-6:30 The “MOJO” All Star Jam Session with Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith, featuring John Primer, Melody Angel and more at The Checkerboard Stage!

    Performance Locations:

    • The Forum, 318-324 E. 43rd St.
    • The Checkerboard, 423 E. 43rd St.
    • Park 43, 540 E. 43rd St.
    • PLUS – Muddy Waters MOJO Museum Front Porch Concert 4339 S. Lake Park Ave (On Muddy’s front porch!)

    Listen: Ronnie Wood Shares ‘Shame, Shame, Shame’ Ft. Paul Weller And Mick Taylor

    Listen: Ronnie Wood Shares ‘Shame, Shame, Shame’ Ft. Paul Weller And Mick Taylor

    American Blues Scene Staff

    From The Ronnie Wood Band, ‘Mr. Luck – A Tribute To Jimmy Reed: Live At The Royal Albert Hall,’ Out September 17!

    The Ronnie Wood Band today released two more tracks from the second installment of the live album trilogy –Mr. Luck – A Tribute to Jimmy Reed: Live at the Royal Albert Hall.

    Ronnie and friends cover Jimmy Reed’s track “Shame, Shame, Shame,” originally released in 1963. Keeping true to Reed’s sound in their interpretation, the listener can sense their adoration for the late musician. The Rolling Stones previously included this song in their early setlists, along with others by one of their key influences Jimmy Reed.

    The B-Side of the Stones February 1964 UK hit single “Not Fade Away” is thought to have been a pastiche of “Shame, Shame, Shame.” Paul Weller features on the track, an incredible musician who shot to fame with The Jam and is colloquially known as ‘The Modfather” for his influence on the 80s Mod Revival. With its relatable lyrics and lively rhythm, this song has easy listening energy and has been covered many times before by a plethora of musicians.

    Well, I be sittin’ there waitin’

    For you to come home

    When I wake up baby

    I’m sittin’ there all alone

    An’ ain’t it a shame, shame, shame,

    Shame, shame, the way you do?

    Oh, it’s a shame, shame, shame

    Shame, shame on you

    Released by BMG on 17th September 2021, Mr. Luck – A Tribute to Jimmy Reed: Live at the Royal Albert Hall’ is the 18-track album featuring The Ronnie Wood Band including Mick Taylor with incredible special guests, Bobby Womack, Mick Hucknall, and Paul Weller and pays tribute to one of Ronnie’s musical heroes and major influences, the Mississippi electric blues pioneer Jimmy Reed.

    The album is recorded live on a memorable night at the Royal Albert Hall on November 1, 2013. With unique album artwork specially created by Ronnie, Mr. Luck will be available digitally, on CD, as a vinyl release, and as a beautiful limited-edition dual-tone smoky blue vinyl.

    A ‘Tayle’ of Two Sidemen 

    When self-taught guitarist Eddie Taylor imparted his skills onto his friend Jimmy Reed, he surely couldn’t have imagined the effect this was to have on the Chicago blues scene. Backing up such luminaries as John Lee Hooker, he is best remembered for his work with his former student.

    Sweet coincidence, then, that in 1974 another Taylor, Mick, would make way for Ronnie Wood in the Rolling Stones, paving the way for these two friends and celebrated guitarists to work on projects ever since. The culmination of this to date is Taylor’s place in The Ronnie Wood Band at the Royal Albert Hall for 2013’s Bluesfest, where they played the now-legendary set that would come to birth to this recording.

    In regard to Mr. Luck, Ronnie comments: “Jimmy Reed was one of the premier influences on the Rolling Stones and all the bands that love American blues from that era until the present day. It is my honor to have the opportunity to celebrate his life and legacy with this tribute.”

    This album marks the second iteration in a trilogy of special and personal albums by Wood and the band, celebrating Ronnie’s musical heroes. The first album, Mad Lad explored the work of Chuck Berry as an emotional commemoration after Berry’s passing just over two years ago. Ronnie toured with Berry and was a lifelong fan.


    Pre-order Mr. Luck


    Canadian Blues Duo Shakey Trill To Release Debut Album August 13th

    Canadian Blues Duo Shakey Trill To Release Debut Album August 13th

    Sarah French

    Debut, eponymous album features 10 outstanding originals

    Shakey Trill are an original, gutsy and raw blues/folk duo from Saugeen Shores, Ontario, Canada.  Shakey was a nickname given to guitarist/vocalist Mike MacDonald because of his jittery hands. Trill, by definition, is the sound of two notes being played rapidly back and forth. Tyler Pantlin fittingly exemplifies this with his harmonica technique. The duo’s classic blues sounds have garnered them attention all across Southern Ontario and landed them in Memphis, TN on the stage of the legendary Orpheum Theater as finalists at the International Blues Challenge in 2019. 

    “Tyler and I met through common friends and like minded musicians, we quickly realized that we had similar interests in blues roots music”, recalls MacDonald. “We decided to put together a blues duo after a few years of collaborating in various bands. It has always been a dream to visit Memphis and other areas of Mississippi, It became apparent that we could travel there while competing in the IBC in Memphis. With this goal in mind, we needed original music and a challenge began to write and perform music of this genre.”

    Fast forward to 2021, after pandemic delays and uncertainty, Shakey Trill are set to release their debut, self-titled recording on August 13th.  Produced by award winner Alec Fraser, the album features 10 outstanding originals that showcase both MacDonald and Pantlin’s exceptional musicianship and connection to blues and roots music songwriting, the album also features an incredible version of Muddy Water’s “Can’t Be Satisfied” and another stellar cover, “Dark Road” written by Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee.

    This debut album from one of Ontario’s best-kept secrets will remain a favorite among blues fans of all ages for many years to come. 

    Connect with Shakey Trill: Official | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube

    Charlie Watts Unlikely To Be Available For Rolling Stones Tour

    Charlie Watts Unlikely To Be Available For Rolling Stones Tour

    Lauren Leadingham

    Get well soon, Charlie!

    80-year-old drummer Charlie Watts is likely to miss the Rolling Stones‘ forthcoming No Filter tour in order to recover from a medical procedure. The band will resume their tour on September 26th in St. Louis.

    Photo credit: Rich Fury/Getty Images

    The procedure was completely successful, but his doctors concluded he needs proper rest and recuperation. “With rehearsals starting in a couple of weeks it’s very disappointing to say the least, but it’s also fair to say no one saw this coming,” a spokesperson for Watts said. Watts also said in a statement that he didn’t want his recovery to delay the tour.

    Continuing, “For once my timing has been a little off. I am working hard to get fully fit but I have today accepted on the advice of the experts that this will take a while.

    “After all the fans’ suffering caused by Covid I really do not want the many Rolling Stones fans who have been holding tickets for this tour to be disappointed by another postponement or cancellation. I have therefore asked my great friend Steve Jordan to stand in for me.”

    Back in 2004, Watts was diagnosed with throat cancer and underwent two operations to beat the disease. Performing in his stead for the remaining dates of the tour is Steve Jordan, who has played with Keith Richards for years. 


    Joe Troop Highlights Dreama Caldwell’s Work for Cash Bail Reform in North Carolina with New Single

    Joe Troop Highlights Dreama Caldwell’s Work for Cash Bail Reform in North Carolina with New Single

    American Blues Scene Staff

    ‘Borrowed Time’ will be released on August 20 via Free Dirt Records!

    Grammy nominated artist Joe Troop of Che Apalache first met North Carolina activist Dreama Caldwell while producing a series of videos, “Pickin’ for Progress,” highlighting the need to get out the vote in rural parts of the state. Caldwell was running for County Commissioner in Alamance County, NC, pushing for cash bail reform. 

    Troop was inspired by the bitter circumstances that drove Caldwell to her work. Held responsible for another’s error, Caldwell was ruined by the bail system, forced to pay ruinous fees and kept from employment. Her ascendance as a force of activism in the region mirrored a larger national movement trying to change cash bail, which has been largely used to keep impoverished communities in the prison system.

    The friendship between Troop and Caldwell has continued since Troop wrote the song in 2020, and now with a new album coming from Troop that features the song, and Caldwell in the new position of Executive Co-Director of Down Home NC, the non-profit that first brought the two together, “The Rise of Dreama Caldwell” has more meaning than ever. 

    Troop is releasing it as a single from his new album, Borrowed Time, and to make the album’s version of the song, he invited Caldwell herself to sing on the track. Troop put together an interracial choral group from the region, naming them The Alamance Justice Choir to highlight Caldwell’s voice and story. As for Caldwell, she’s working harder than ever in grassroots organizing, but remains focused on cash bail reform, saying “I ultimately would like to see the end of cash bail, but I know that change happens in incremental ways, you have to go through the process of reform on the road to transformative justice.”

    Note: To be released is an incredible video accompanying the single.

    British Blues-Rock Star Joanne Shaw Taylor Puts Fresh Spin On Classics With ‘The Blues Album’

    British Blues-Rock Star Joanne Shaw Taylor Puts Fresh Spin On Classics With ‘The Blues Album’

    American Blues Scene Staff

    “We try not to live in the well-worn trails of the blues,” explains Bonamassa. “Each song has to has to stand on its own while paying tribute to the original masters.”

    Critically acclaimed British guitarist and singer songwriter, Joanne Shaw Taylor, universally hailed as the UK’s premiere blues rock guitarist, is announcing the release of her sixth studio full-length record The Blues Album on Friday September 17, 2021. 

    Joanne Shaw Taylor was discovered by Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics at the age of 16 who, having watched her play, immediately invited her on the road with his supergroup D.U.P. – a career in music was born and in the proceeding years, her incredible guitar playing saw her build an army of plaudits including Jimmy Cliff, Joe Bonamassa, Stevie Wonder and Annie Lennox.

    The Blues Album will be released via Joe Bonamassa’s independent blues label KTBA Records. It was produced and recorded by Joe Bonamassa and Josh Smith at Ocean Way Studios in Nashville, Tennessee.

    The hotly tipped 11-track album features Joanne’s personalized covers of eleven rare blues classics originally recorded by Albert King, Peter Green, Little Richard, Magic Sam, Aretha Franklin, Little Milton, and many more.

    The Blues Album, the follow up to 2019’s critically acclaimed album Reckless Heart, features Josh Smith (guitar), Reese Wynans (keyboards), Greg Morrow (drums), Steve Mackey (bass), Steve Patrick (trumpet), Mark Douthit (sax), Barry Green (trombone). Joe Bonamassa plays guitar and sings on the track “Don’t Go Away Mad.” Mike Farris also joins as a special guest on “I Don’t Know What You’ve Got.”

    “I’d known from the beginning of my recording career that one day I wanted to record an album of blues covers, I just wasn’t sure when the right time to do that would be,” says Joanne. “I’ve always found it far easier to write my own material than come up with creative ways to make other artists’ material my own.”

    When the pandemic put the brakes on from musicians from touring during 2020 and most of 2021, Joanne thought it was the right time to head into the studio to record The Blues Album.

    “I mentioned my new project idea to Joe Bonamassa,” recalls Joanne. “He asked me for my song choices. Immediately he began sending me notes and was texting me song suggestions.” Joanne and Joe have been best friends and fans of each other’s music for many years. Joanne always wanted to work with Joe if the right project or collaboration came about.

    “He was already acting as a mentor as well as an unofficial producer on The Blues Album, so I asked him if he’d fancy the job, officially,” says Joanne. “Thankfully, he accepted. The Blues Album has been everything I hoped it would be. It’s been a labor of love, overseen by an artist, producer, and friend who I trust beyond measure.

    “We wanted to make a tough vocal-centric straight blues record that showcases Joanne’s amazing talent but in a slightly different light,” explains Bonamassa. “Joanne is a dear friend and a superstar. Josh and I focused on testing her limits and pushing boundaries that might not have occurred before. It’s all about making a statement and having the listener want to play the music repeatedly.”

    Joanne’s covers album pays tribute to artists and bands that are not obvious choices including Little Village, Little Milton, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, James Ray, but, at the same time, she covers seminal blues icons including Albert King, Fleetwood Mac’s Peter Green and Magic Sam. Some of the songs covered are B-sides of singles.

    “We try not to live in the well-worn trails of the blues,” explains Bonamassa. “Each song has to has to stand on its own while paying tribute to the original masters.”

    “Joe made it known from the get-go that his main objective for this album was to push me as a singer,” recalls Joanne. “Obviously, Joe has seen me perform many times over the years and knows my voice well. I think he felt that he could my vocal performance more, and get more out of it, especially since I’d had over a year to rest my vocal cords.”

    As a musician and a recording and performing artist, Joe Bonamassa has always been a fan of Joanne’s music. Ultimately, what did Bonamassa set out to achieve by co-producing this magnificent, rich, and beautifully recorded and performed album for Joanne? Joe explains, “If you focus on what people might not associate with an artist and work hard on those areas it allows her fans to discover things and sets her up in a different light. Joanne’s a great singer and always has been. The guitar unfortunately has over-shadowed it until now. A lot of us in the business have the same problem. “

    “On the new album, I mostly played my own guitar, my 1966 Esquire ‘Junior’,” says Joanne. “I tried to use a few of Joes Tele’s, but they’re set up for much bigger hands than mine. I did use Joe’s vintage amps – I believe one of his 60’s Vibroverbs mixed with a fumble overdrive for pretty much all of it. We didn’t use any pedals.”

    It goes without saying that the production team of Joe Bonamassa and Josh Smith are at the top of their game. They recently produced new albums for Joanna Connor, Jimmy Hall, and Eric Gales. Joanna Connor’s album, 4801 South Indiana Avenue, met with great critical acclaim worldwide, was the second album released on Bonamassa’s independent label KTBA Records and debuted at #1 on the Billboard Blues Chart.

    “Joe and Josh make a fantastic team,” insists Joanna. “Both brings something different to the table that the other maybe couldn’t. I loved working with them. I was worried about working with Joe for obvious reasons, (we are very close friends), but you never know how that will translate into a working relationship. It was cool to work with two guys not much older than me. Most of the producers I’ve worked with so far haven’t been so close to me in age, plus Joe and Josh have the added benefit of understanding what it is to tour on the same scene as me and what me touring this album will look like. All in all, it was a very relaxed fun session and hang.”

    Today Joanne shares a new single, “Let Me Down Easy,” along with a companion music video.



    Tickets –






















    Connect with Joanne Shaw Taylor:

    Official | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube




    Bob Dylan Announces ‘Blind Willie McTell’ 7″ On Third Man Records, Ft. Two Previously Unreleased Versions

    Bob Dylan Announces ‘Blind Willie McTell’ 7″ On Third Man Records, Ft. Two Previously Unreleased Versions

    American Blues Scene Staff

    Features two previously unreleased takes of the song, with the version on Side A (Take 1) being exclusive to this release

    Third Man Records has announced the 7″ version of the Bob Dylan classic “Blind Willie McTell,” out exclusively on black vinyl on August 20, 2021. The record will be available only at indie record stores and the Third Man Records online store.

    The 7″ features two previously-unreleased takes of the song, with the A-side being exclusive to this vinyl release. The B-side (take 5) will be included as part of Springtime In New York: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 16 (1980-1985).

    The recordings on this single feature a formidable line-up of session musicians, including Mark Knopfler, Mick Taylor, Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare. The A-side (take 1) is exclusive to this single, while the B-side (take 5) will be included as part of Springtime In New York: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 16 (1980-1985).

    “Blind Willie McTell” was the first track seriously worked on at the Infidels sessions and the last attempted as recording concluded almost a month later. In the end it did not make the Infidels album but in 1991 the acoustic piano-guitar version Bob Dylan and Mark Knopfler recorded the last day was released on The Bootleg Series Volumes 1-3. The full band version from the first day of the sessions will now see the light as part of Springtime In New York: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 16 (1980-1985).


    Pre-order “Blind Willie McTell”

    Jimmie Vaughan To Release 5-CD Box Set In September

    Jimmie Vaughan To Release 5-CD Box Set In September

    Cary Baker / Conqueroo

    ‘The Jimmie Vaughan Story’ is a unique collection of music, words, and images, the kind of release that can only come based on a life of belief in the blues.

    Blues guitarists have been the foundation of American music for more than a hundred years, back to early acoustic musicians performing in the Deep South. The evolution of the blues has been one of the truly captivating legacies of popular music in America, from early jazz to even country and, to everlasting success, rock ’n’ roll.

    The guitarists in the pantheon of blues players reads like a Who’s Who of the world’s finest musicians, and for the past 50-plus years one of those people has been Jimmie Vaughan. The guitarist fell in love with that most moving of styles when he was still a young teenager in early 1960s Dallas, Texas, and while it took him a few years to find a true home for what he heard in his head and felt in his heart, once he got to Austin in 1969 and found some fellow blues lovers, he set off on a journey that still continues, playing the blues whenever and however he hears it. The man has spent countless years treating the blues with full respect.

    The Last Music Co.’s guiding light Malcolm Mills took on the mission a few years ago to create The Jimmie Vaughan Story a five-CD box set that captures Vaughan’s blues journey, starting with some of his earliest recordings from the mid-1960s and continuing all the way to his most recent in the 2020s. The result is a stunning collection of not only music, but really Vaughan’s history, on the record and in person.

    From early bands Storm through the Fabulous Thunderbirds, including previously unreleased recordings with producers Joel Dorn and Doc Pomus; Jimmie’s collaboration with brother Stevie Ray Vaughan on 1990’s award-winning Family Style album; and into the past 30 years of duets, shared albums and solo releases featuring a divergence of styles, the box showcases Jimmie’s take on the blues. Jimmie Vaughan built a world of blues from the only sound that completely captured him as a very young Texan. He is often seen as being in a party of one in this pursuit, and he wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Along with all the powerful music and newly discovered recordings on The Jimmie Vaughan Story, there is a treasure trove of never-before-seen photos and writings in the gorgeous book included in the set. There are images of the Vaughan family, including childhood photos of Jimmie, Stevie and their parents, and a bonanza of photos that illustrate, tour-guide-like, Jimmie’s entire career, from childhood onward to today. Among the writings is an interview from the 1978 Austin Sun, considered to be the first Jimmie Vaughan ever did, along with an essay by journalist and record producer Bill Bentley, and Jimmie’s life story in his own words: a lifetime of memories, historical occurrences and family insights, all shared now for the first time.

    Check out “Robbin’ Me Blind” from Vaughan’s Grammy®-winning album, Do You Get the Blues? included on vinyl for the first time in this limited edition box set.

    The Jimmie Vaughan Story is a unique collection of music, words, and images, the kind of release that can only come based on a life of belief in the blues. It has given Vaughan an ability to take the music he loves so much on a worldwide journey of discovery, and one he is devoted to sharing with others. Listen, see and read how he’s lived it, and where it might be going.

    The Deluxe Box set also includes a 12-page special edition of The Rodder’s Journal featuring a collection of Jimmie’s vintage cars, a first-issue vinyl edition of his Grammy®-winning album, Do You Get the Blues?, along with two double-sided 7″ singles and an autographed replica of the cover. The deluxe box set initially is only available at

    *Feature image courtesy of The Last Music Company

    ZZ Top Bassist Dusty Hill Dies Aged 72

    ZZ Top Bassist Dusty Hill Dies Aged 72

    Lauren Leadingham

    “We will forever be connected to that Blues Shuffle in C.”

    Following a leave of absence due to a hip issue, long-bearded ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill has died. He passed away in his sleep at the age of 72. Born in Dallas, Hill later moved to Houston, where he met primary lead vocalist/guitarist Billy Gibbons.

    Gibbons and Frank Beard made this statement:

    We are saddened by the news today that our Compadre, Dusty Hill, has passed away in his sleep at home in Houston, TX.  We, along with legions of ZZ Top fans around the world, will miss your steadfast presence, your good nature and enduring commitment to providing that monumental bottom to the ‘Top.’ We will forever be connected to that “Blues Shuffle in C.”

    You will be missed greatly, amigo.

    ZZ Top formed in 1969 as a trio, with Hill joining soon after and staying with them for more than 50 years until his passing — instrumental in their Chicago blues-meets-Texas shuffle signature sound. 

    Hill’s legacy will live on through that little ol’ band from Texas’s larger-than-life blues rock. And I thank you.

    *Feature image credit: Phil Solomonson / Philamonjaro Studio


    Violent Femmes Celebrate 30th Anniversary Of ‘Why Do Birds Sing?’ With Deluxe Reissue

    Violent Femmes Celebrate 30th Anniversary Of ‘Why Do Birds Sing?’ With Deluxe Reissue

    American Blues Scene Staff

    Deluxe 2-CD and digital formats include previously unreleased outtakes and alternative takes, plus a complete 1991 concert recording

    Craft Recordings is pleased to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Violent Femmes’ Why Do Birds Sing? with a reissue of the bestselling album from the folk-punk pioneers. Due out October 8th and available for pre-order today, the deluxe 2-CD and digital formats will feature newly remastered audio, a trove of previously unreleased material(including alternative takes and outtakes), and a complete concert from 1991 (captured at The Boathouse in Norfolk, VA). Fans can visit digital platforms today to pre-save the album or stream or download the advance single, “Me and You,” a track recorded during the album’s original recording sessions, but unreleased until now.

    Also available is a vinyl reissue of the original 13-track album, featuring freshly remastered favorites like “American Music” and the band’s inspired cover of Culture Club’s “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me.” A limited pressing on translucent red vinylwill be available exclusively via the band’s website and, while select indie record stores will offer a smoke-colored edition.

    The bonus-filled CD and digital editions offer early versions of songs that wound up on later albums, including a stripped-down version of “Color Me Once,” which was later released on The Crow (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), as well as original takes of “4 Seasons” and “Breaking Up” from the band’s 1994 album, New Times. Rounding out the unreleased material is an alternate mix of the song “American Music,” which is quite different from the album version. Also included is “Dance M.F. Dance!” which was originally released as a B-side internationally. Meanwhile, the live recording from The Boathouse concert in Norfolk, VA is being released in audio format for the first time(previously available only as part of the band’s 2005 DVD collection, Permanent Record: Live & Otherwise). 

    Born out of the Milwaukee underground, Violent Femmes—who are celebrating their 40thanniversary this year—formed in the early ‘80s by Gordon Gano (vocals, guitar), Brian Ritchie (bass), and Victor DeLorenzo (percussion). Blending jittery folk-rock and punk sensibilities with a heavy dose of teenage angst, the band gained a fervent fanbase, thanks to their 1983 self-titled debut. Several of the album’s enduring tracks, including “Blister in the Sun,” “Kiss Off,” “Gone Daddy Gone,” and “Please Do Not Go” became college radio hits and made the Violent Femmes one of the biggest alt-rock groups of the decade.

    By the turn of the ‘90s, the Violent Femmes had released three more studio albums (1984’s Hallowed Ground, 1986’s The Blind Leading the Naked, and, after a brief hiatus, 1988’s 3). For their next effort, however, the newly reunited trio wanted to try something new and, as Ritchie tells journalist Jeff Slate in the liner notes, “regain some of the energy that we had in the beginning.” 

    The first step was finding the right producer. Michael Beinhorn—a former member of the pioneering group Material, who went on to helm albums by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Soundgarden, and Soul Asylum—fit the bill. “Beinhorn was the most eccentric producer we met with,” Ritchie recalls. “More importantly, he understood our strengths as a trio, and the intimacy of the sound, and our improvisational nature, and wanted to focus on Gordon’s lyrics.”

    As the band recorded Why Do Birds Sing?, they found themselves returning to their classic Violent Femmes-era sound, particularly with songs like “Out The Window” and “Look Like That.” They also revisited several compositions from their earliest days, including “Girl Trouble,” “Life is a Scream,” and “Flamingo Baby.” Additionally, upon Beinhorn’s urging, the band chose to record an unlikely cover: Culture Club’s 1982 hit, “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me.” “We took it as a challenge,” laughs Gano, who reworked the majority of the lyrics, making the song sound like a Violent Femmes original. Ritchie adds, “It was an experiment that turned out really well…in fact, we bumped into Boy George once in a hotel bar and he told us, ‘That is the best cover of any of our songs anyone’s ever done.’

     Why Do Birds Sing? also included one of the group’s most commercially successful singles, “American Music,” which hit No. 2 on Billboard’s Modern Rock chart and has since become an essential song at shows. Based on a vintage-inspired shuffle, the track stands out in the Violent Femmes’ catalog. “‘American Music’ communicates a lot,” notes Ritchie. “But the arrangement has a lot of very interesting touches, and we thought it was a good production of a great song that encapsulated a lot of music history in one track, so that’s why it led off the album.”

    Released in the spring of 1991, Why Do Birds Sing? pushed the Violent Femmes into their highest level of mainstream success—nearly a decade into their career. Over the next few years, the band became a must-see act at festivals like Lollapalooza and Woodstock ’94, while their videos could be seen regularly on MTV. As the group was embraced by a new generation of fans, Violent Femmes entered the Billboard 200 for the first time since its release and was certified platinum by the RIAA.

    Why Do Birds Sing? also marks the trio’s final album to feature their original line-up, before drummer Victor DeLorenzo departed the group. Despite the change in personnel, the Violent Femmes continued to record new material throughout the ‘90s, while their earliest songs remained in the zeitgeist, thanks to popular shows and films such as My So-Called Life andReality Bites. After taking an extended hiatus in the late aughts, all three original members briefly reunited for a handful of live appearances, including a highly anticipated set at the 2013 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. In 2019, ahead of the band’s 40th anniversary, Gano, Ritchie, and newcomer John Sparrow released Violent Femmes’ tenth studio album, Hotel Last Resort.

    This fall, the Violent Femmes are excited to return to the road with an extensive 30-date U.S. tour, co-headlining with Celtic punk band Flogging Molly, before heading to Australia and New Zealand in early 2022. The tour begins on September 3rd at the Saint Louis Music Park in Maryland Heights, MO. Full tour itinerary below and visit for tickets.

    Click here to pre-order Why Do Birds Sing? (Deluxe Edition), or stream/download the advance single and pre-save the album.

    Tracklist – Why Do Birds Sing? (Deluxe Edition) (2-CD/digital editions):

    Disc 1

  • American Music 
  • Out the Window
  • Look Like That 
  • Do You Really Want to Hurt Me 
  • Hey Nonny Nonny 
  • Used to Be 
  • Girl Trouble 
  • He Likes Me 
  • Life is a Scream
  • Flamingo Baby 
  • Lack of Knowledge 
  • More Money Tonight 
  • I’m Free
  • Me and You*
  • Color Me Once (Early Version)*
  • 4 Seasons (Early Version)*
  • Breaking Up (Early Version)*
  • American Music (Alternate Mix)*
  • Dance, M.F., Dance!
  • Disc 2

  • Look Like That (Live At The Boathouse, Norfolk, VA / 1991)
  • Out The Window (Live At The Boathouse, Norfolk, VA / 1991)
  • Fat (Live At The Boathouse, Norfolk, VA / 1991)
  • Blister in the Sun (Live At The Boathouse, Norfolk, VA / 1991)
  • Prove My Love (Live At The Boathouse, Norfolk, VA / 1991)
  • Country Death Song (Live At The Boathouse, Norfolk, VA / 1991)
  • Old Mother Reagan (Live At The Boathouse, Norfolk, VA / 1991) 
  • Confessions (Live At The Boathouse, Norfolk, VA / 1991)
  • Girl Trouble (Live At The Boathouse, Norfolk, VA / 1991)
  • Add It Up (Live At The Boathouse, Norfolk, VA / 1991)
  • Good Feeling (Live At The Boathouse, Norfolk, VA / 1991)
  • More Money Tonight (Live At The Boathouse, Norfolk, VA / 1991)
  • * Previously-unreleased material

    Tracklist – Why Do Birds Sing? (Deluxe Edition) (vinyl edition):

    Side A

  • American Music
  • Out the Window
  • Look Like That
  • Do You Really Want to Hurt Me
  • Hey Nonny Nonny
  • Used to Be
  • Side B

  • Girl Trouble
  • He Likes Me
  • Life is a Scream
  • Flamingo Baby
  • Lack of Knowledge
  • More Money Tonight
  • I’m Free
  • Violent Femmes 2021 U.S. tour dates with Flogging Molly:

    September 3: Maryland Heights, MO @ Saint Louis Music Park

    September 4: Indianapolis, IN @ TCU Amphitheatre at White River State Park

    September 8: Columbus, OH @ Express Live!

    September 10: Detroit, MI @ Masonic Temple Theatre

    September 11: Cleveland, OH @ Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica

    September 12: Asbury Park, NJ @ Stone Pony Summerstage

    September 14: Chicago, IL @ Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom

    September 15: Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE

    September 17: Boston, MA @ Leader Bank Pavilion

    September 18: Rochester, NY @ Rochester Main Street Armory

    September 19: Saratoga Springs, NY @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center

    September 21: New York, NY @ Pier 17

    September 22: New Haven, CT @ Westville Music Bowl

    September 24: Philadelphia, PA @ Philadelphia Metropolitan Opera House

    September 25: Big Flats, NY @ Tag’s Summer Stage – The Budweiser Summer Stage at Tag’s

    September 26: Washington, DC @ The Anthem

    October 5: Dallas, TX @ South Side Ballroom

    October 6: Houston, TX @ Bayou Music Center

    October 8: Mesa, AZ @ Mesa Amphitheatre

    October 9: Las Vegas, NV @ The Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas

    October 10: Paso Robles, CA @ Vina Robles Amphitheatre

    October 12: Sacramento, CA @ Heart Health Park

    October 13: Fresno, CA @ Woodward Park Rotary Amphitheater

    October 15: Bend, OR @ Les Schwab Amphitheater

    October 16: Seattle, WA @ WAMU Theater

    October 17: Eugene, OR @ The Cuthbert Amphitheater

    October 19: Salt Lake City, UT @ The Complex

    October 20: Denver, CO @ Mission Ballroom

    October 22: Milwaukee, WI @ Miller High Life Theater

    October 23: Minneapolis, MN @ The Armory

    Foo Fighters To Rock Alaska For The First Time

    Foo Fighters To Rock Alaska For The First Time

    American Blues Scene Staff

    The band to play three dates in Anchorage and Fairbanks

    Not content to bring live rock n roll marathons back to the Lower 48, Foo Fighters have confirmed a three-show expedition to Alaska.The band will play its first ever shows in the Last Frontier August 17th and 19th at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage, and August 21st at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks. 

    Screengrab of MSG concert 2021

    For anyone who’s been living under a glacier, Foo Fighters’ Alaskan dates are the latest addition to a U.S. itinerary that kicked off last month with the now legendary sold-out, full-capacity Madison Square Garden show that welcomed live music back to New York.

    In addition to several festival appearances, Foo Fighters will play headlining gigs celebrating their 26th anniversary. Full itinerary below.


    Foo Fighters 2021-2022 Tour Dates:

    07/28 – Cincinnati, OH @ The Andrew J Brady ICON Music Center 

    07/30 – Milwaukee, WI @ American Family Insurance Amphitheater 

    08/01 — Chicago, IL @ Lollapalooza

    07/30 – Milwaukee, WI @ American Family Insurance Amphitheater

    08/03 – St. Louis, MO @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheater 

    08/05 – Bonner Springs, KS @ Azura Amphitheater 

    08/07 – Oklahoma City, OK @ The Zoo Amphitheater 

    08/09 – Albuquerque, NM @ Isleta Amphitheater 

    08/17 – Anchorage, AK @ Dena’ina Center

    08/19 – Anchorage, AK @ Dena’ina Center

    08/21 – Fairbanks, AK @ Carlson Center

    09/03 — Manchester, TN @ Bonnaroo

    09/05 — Napa Valley, CA @ Bottlerock Napa Valley

    10/08-10 – New Orleans, LA @ New Orleans Jazz Fest

    11/10 – Mexico City, MX @ Foro Sol

    11/12-13 – Monterrey, MX @ Tecate Pal Norte

    05/27-29 — Boston, MA @ Boston Calling

    06/02 – Berlin, DE @ Flughafen Templehof

    06/08 — Berlin, DE @ Flughafen Tempelhof

    06/10 — Nickelsdorf, AT @ Nova Rock Festival

    06/12 — Milan, IT @ I-Days

    06/14 – Basel, CH @ St. Jakob-Park

    06/16 — Valencia, ES @ Ciudad de las Artes y Las Ciencias

    06/18 — Lisbon, PT @ Rock in Rio Lisbon

    06/20 – Madrid, ES @ Wanda Metropolitano Stadium

    06/22 — Nimes, FR @ Festival de Nimes

    06/23 – Nimes, FR @ Festival de Nimes


    All tickets can be purchased here.


    *Feature image credit: Danny Clinch

    Listen: New Single By Magnolia Drive, ‘The Girl On Sugar Pie Lane’

    Listen: New Single By Magnolia Drive, ‘The Girl On Sugar Pie Lane’

    Lauren Leadingham

    “With the upbeat bounce of the music and the beckoning cry for love in the lyrics, it just checked all the boxes for a fine Magnolia Drive bluegrass recording!”

    Today Mountain Fever Records presents the new single from Magnolia Drive, “The Girl on Sugar Pie Lane.” True country music fans may recognize this tune recorded by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos, written by Tommy Collins in 1968. 

    Magnolia Drive includes Don Robinson on banjo and vocals; Steve “Speed” Nowell on bass and vocals; Mike Nowell on guitar and vocals; and Cory Burton on mandolin and vocals. Together these seasoned bluegrass musicians have a silvery, high-energy command of both traditional and contemporary bluegrass. Hailing from the State of Mississippi, Magnolia Drive have worked together for over ten years, joining Mountain Fever Records in early 2021. 

    Of the single, Nowell enthuses:

    “The Girl on Sugar Pie Lane” is a great song. Tommy Collins wrote many fantastic tunes, with some becoming instant hits. This one is on the lighter side of love but no less a hit to us. Some of Buck’s recordings did not receive as much notoriety as others, but this one was certainly a chart-topper to us when we first heard this song.

    With the upbeat bounce of the music and the beckoning cry for love in the lyrics, it just checked all the boxes for a fine Magnolia Drive bluegrass recording! It’s a fun song to perform, and we can’t wait for everyone to hear it on the radio and other platforms.

    Last year, the band received the honor of being chosen by the International Bluegrass Music Association as an official video Showcase Artist. Music fans can watch these performances on the band’s YouTube channel and catch them this year in Raleigh, NC during the IBMA conference at Mountain Fever’s private showcase!


    Magnolia Drive

    Mud Morganfield, Muddy Waters’ Eldest Son, Signs With Delmark Records

    Mud Morganfield, Muddy Waters’ Eldest Son, Signs With Delmark Records

    American Blues Scene Staff

    Mud Morganfield’s single debut on Delmark Records will appear this fall!

    Delmark Records, the oldest continuously operating blues & jazz independent record label in the US, announces a major addition to its roster: Mud MorganfieldMuddy Waters‘ eldest son. Morganfield’s first release on Delmark will be a digital single entitled “Praise Him”. The song, written and composed by the artist, will appear before September 1st.


    Multi-award-winning artist Mud Morganfield is an established star in the world of Blues music. The eldest son of the legendary Muddy Waters, Mud was brought up surrounded by many of the finest musicians in the Blues. Mud’s singing is firmly in best of traditions of Chicago Blues, but he is also a writer of great new songs and he is backed by some of the best musicians playing today. He is acclaimed by both critics and artists such as Buddy Guy and Jools Holland for his own musical ability,

    Mud’s latest album, They Call Me Mud, was released on March 9, 2018, enjoying extensive airplay and great reviews.

    Mud’s award-winning album, Son of the Seventh Son, was launched in 2012 and earned great reviews. The album was nominated in the Best Album and the Traditional Blues Male Artist Album categories of the 2013 Blues Foundation Blues Music Awards. In 2014, Mud’s collaboration with Kim Wilson, the album For Pops, attracted more critical acclaim and awards.

    “Praise Him” – Lyrics and Music by Mud Morganfield

    Mud Morganfield:  “I’ve done and seen many things in my life. From drugs to gang wars, to hustling the streets. I not only have a duty but a responsibility to tell you all that I am a walking testimony to what God can do.”


    Vocals: Mud Morganfield

    Guitar work: Rick Kreher & Mike Wheeler

    Bass: Mud Morganfield

    Drums and shaker: Cameron Lewis

    Keys: Luca Chiellini

    Choir singers: Felicia Collins, Shantina Lowe, Demetrius Hall

    Engineer Blaise Barton – Joyride Studios

    Written, Composed and Produced by Mud Morganfield


    *Feature image: Mud Morganfield at Delmark’s studio, with label President Julia A. Miller and Artistic Director Elbio Barilari



    Singer, Songwriter, Pianist Clint Morgan Drops ‘Troublemaker’

    Singer, Songwriter, Pianist Clint Morgan Drops ‘Troublemaker’

    American Blues Scene Staff

    “What I’ve tried to do with this album is to tell stories – some tongue in cheek, some serious – about everyday people and everyday life.” – Clint Morgan

    Lost Cause Records is proud to announce the release of singer/songwriter/pianist Clint Morgan‘s Troublemaker on July 16, 2021. The 15-song offering of Morgan’s quirky stories of life was co-produced by Grammy-award winning producer Kevin McKendree and Clint Morgan, and features collaborations with multiple Blues Music Award winners Watermelon Slim, Bob Margolin, and Jonn Del Toro Richardson as well as alt-country icon Kinky Friedman and Americana gospel greats The McCrary Sisters.

    Additional musicians featured on TROUBLEMAKER include pianist/organist Kevin McKendree (Brian Setzer, Delbert McClinton); guitarist Doug Lancio (John Hiatt, Patti Griffin); bassist David Santos (John Fogerty); drummer Kenneth Blevins (John Hiatt, Don Williams); blues harmonica virtuoso Bob Corritore; violinist Jimmy Stewart; background singer Wendy Moten; and multi-instrumentalist Jim Hoke, whose credits include a virtual who’s who of American music.

    Morgan’s rootsy album mixes original songs with new interpretations of blues, country, and gospel gems. Songs include the rocking Morgan compositions “Hangman Woman” (“I’ve got a hangman woman/got a heart just like a noose”) and “My Honey Takes My Money”.  “Ain’t That The Blues,” is a rumination on growing old and “Hungry Man Blues,” tells the tale of a man looking for a good meal. “Too Rich To Sing The Blues” is Morgan’s wry, sidewise commentary on privilege and the blues. Alt country legend Kinky Friedman joins Morgan on the hilarious “Somebody Put A Walmart On The Farm,” and Watermelon Slim and Bob Margolin contribute to “The Cover Of The Living Blues” — a parody of the great Shel Silverstein’s “Cover of The Rolling Stone”. The powerhouse vocals of The McCrary Sisters help drive the story in the classic gospel “Go Down, Moses,” and Houston-based bluesman Jonn Del Toro Richardson joins in on Morgan’s commentary on the Texas tragedy, “Hurricane Harvey.” The songs range from raucous to heart-rending, all backed by a stellar musicians.

    Check out Bob Corritore’s fiery harp on “Ain’t That the Blues.”

    What I’ve tried to do with this album is to tell stories – some tongue in cheek, some serious – about everyday people and everyday life. We have all had frustrations in relationships, problems with growing old, spiritual questions, and trouble adapting to change. Even in these crazy times of turmoil and unrest, people still have the same problems they have always had. I guess some of this is filtered through my own skewed sense of humor which has got me in trouble my whole life (hence the title of the album).

    I just hope that this is taken in the spirit in which it is offered; I would rather poke at people a little than harangue them to make a point. I also hit social topics such as privileged people – people with absolutely no life experience frame of reference – singing blues, corporate takeovers of our rural communities, and our views of advocates of change. I’m hoping that people will enjoy the mix, and that I’ll hopefully get an ‘amen’ here and there.

    Morgan, an accomplished blues and boogie-woogie piano player, was raised on a farm in rural Washington State. His family, originally from southern Appalachia, moved west ‘back in the day’ when land was cheap and the farming and logging was good. His great-great aunt was Eliza Morgan Bays, AP Carter’s great grandma, and his paternal grandmother was related to the Carter Family by marriage.

    Additionally, Morgan is a volunteer instructor/performer at the Pinetop Perkins Foundation Workshops in Clarksdale, MS. He produced fellow pianist Clay Swafford’s Blues Music Award-nominated album Rooster. The biography on Morgan’s web page is short on story and long on a list of influences that includes dozens of artists that have colored his music, from blues and gospel, to old-school country and Americana, to rock and roll pioneers.


    Clint Morgan

    Stony Plain Records Signs 2020 International Blues Challenge Winner HOROJO Trio

    Stony Plain Records Signs 2020 International Blues Challenge Winner HOROJO Trio

    American Blues Scene Staff

    The trio came together organically from a chance jam session after a corporate event that was so inspired that it left the audience and the musicians wanting more.

    Stony Plain Records proudly announces the signing of 2020 International Blues Challenge Winner HOROJO Trio, and will release the band’s debut album in early 2022.

    Representing the Ottawa Blues Society in the 2020 competition, HOROJO Trio is a soul rockin’ rhythm & blues act that features drummer Jamie Holmes, singer/keyboardist Jeff Rogers, and guitarist/singer JW-Jones, who was named the year’s Best Guitarist at the IBC. The band name is derived from the first two letters of each of the member’s last names. Pronunciation: HO-RO-JO. 1) HO – Think Santa Claus; 2) RO – “Row Your Boat;” 3) JO – “Joe.”

    Jeff Rogers is known as one of the hardest working artists in Canada’s capital, clocking over 250 shows per year. The Ottawa Citizen says “his voice practically bowls you over with intensity, as sweet, rich and gooey as molasses in a heatwave;” while Nick Krewen (Globe & Mail,, Billboard) calls JUNO nominee JW-Jones “a frequent resident of Billboard’s Top 10 Blues charts and roots radio favourite.” Jamie Holmes is one of the most versatile drummers in the country and has toured throughout North America and Europe and recorded in Nashville with Grammy-winning producer Tom Hambridge.

    The trio came together organically from a chance jam session after a corporate event that was so inspired that it left the audience and the musicians wanting more. Even before their first gig, they had already been called an Ottawa “super group,” ensuring the future certainly looks bright for the exceptional HOROJO Trio.

    HOROJO Trio

    Georgia Thunderbolts Follow Breakthrough Year With Debut Album

    Georgia Thunderbolts Follow Breakthrough Year With Debut Album

    Jon Bleicher / Prospect PR

    The Georgia Thunderbolts’ debut album features their scorching signature style steeped in soulful southern swagger, blistering blues, and raw rock.

    Ushering in a new generation of classic southern rock steeped in soul and the blues, The Georgia Thunderbolts are set to release their debut full-length album, Can We Get A Witness, out October 15th via Mascot Records. A vinyl edition of the album, with bonus track “Better Run From The Beast,” will be out November 26th.

    “We’re going for that timeless and classic sound with a modern twist and newer attitude,” exclaims TJ Lyle, the lead vocalist for the group that also features Riley Couzzourt [guitar], Logan Tolbert [guitar], Zach Everett [bass, harmony vocals, keys], and Bristol Perry [drums]. “We all grew up on rock music,” Riley adds. “If I could think of three words to describe us, they would be ‘Hardworking, Determined, and Humble’.” Bristol grins, “If I could think of three words, they would be ‘Rock And Roll’.”

    Whether it be on the banks of the Mississippi River or deep in the heart of the English countryside, rock ‘n’ roll lives, breathes, and burns on the outskirts. Hailing from Rome, GA at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, The Georgia Thunderbolts’ debut album features their scorching signature style steeped in soulful southern swagger, blistering blues, and raw rock. With a wide swath of inspirations, ranging from southern gospel and Hank Williams to Merle Haggard, Neil Young, Little Feat, Ozzy Osbourne, and Lynyrd Skynyrd, the band cut their teeth performing with everyone from The Allman Betts Band, and Blackberry Smoke to Kentucky Headhunters & Black Stone Cherry. Shortly after, they hit the iconic Barrick Recording Studio in Glasgow, KY to record with producer Richard Young.

    The resulting album comprises thirteen undeniable anthems steeped in anthemic riffs, wild harmonica, and pulse-pounding drums. From the bluesy blend of “So You Wanna Change The World,” to “the first song we ever wrote,” the dynamic “Looking For An Old Friend,” The Georgia Thunderbolts rustle up a new era of rock ‘n’ roll, informed by their history in Rome, a town with a deep agricultural history. So when they sing, “Spirit of A Workin’ Man,” you better believe they mean it. “It’s got a deep lesson to it. You can’t knock down the little man,” TJ says. The album title, “Can We Get A Witness,” represents “overcoming the obstacles in life,” TJ adds. “Everybody has their ups and downs, but it’s how you persevere and prosper through adversity that shows your true colors. The song ‘Can I Get A Witness’ is a statement that goes out to anyone who has the desire and faith in themselves and others to be successful.”

    There’s a message to what we’re doing,” Bristol says “It’s okay to be yourself. If you’re going through hard times, the music will always be there. We’d love to remind everyone of that.” “Rock and roll is something that comes naturally for us,” Riley, Zach and Logan conclude. “We love it and are in it for the long haul. We feel like we can bring it back.”

    The Georgia Thunderbolts

    Polly O’ Keary and the Rhythm Method Turn ’50’

    Polly O’ Keary and the Rhythm Method Turn ’50’

    American Blues Scene Staff

    The album’s 11 all original tracks reflect the hard-won wisdom, experience, and skill that the highly acclaimed trio has earned in decades on the road and in the studio.

    2021 is a seminal year for Polly O’Keary and the Rhythm Method. This year all three members turn 50, inspiring the name of this, their sixth album. The band used last year’s hiatus to build their strongest album yet, 11 tracks that touch on themes of hard-won wisdom, wry regrets, amused reflection on past foibles, a bit of crowing over having survived it all, and hope that better days still lie ahead.

    The band takes pride in creating fusions of blues with other genres, and this all original collection blends Texas shuffle, swing, rhumba, and Hill Country blues with Cuban habanera, Motown, funk, R&B, Southern rock, Americana, and even some Bonamassa-style blues rock.

    The album’s tracks reflect the hard-won wisdom, experience, and skill that the highly acclaimed trio has earned in decades on the road and in the studio. This year also marks Polly O’Keary’s Washington Blues Society nomination for Hall of Fame for her distinguished career as a songwriter, vocalist, bassist, and bandleader.

    Standout moments include the first three songs the band has written for guitarist David Miller to sing, and a guest appearance on “Brand New Day,” from long-time friend Lady A, whose legal battle with country superstars Lady Antebellum over the use of her name made national headlines last year.

    50 furthers the innovations that made the band’s last studio album, Black Crow Callin’, a finalist in the Best Self Produced CD contest at the 2018 International Blues Challenge. It also demonstrates that, as Honeyboy Edwards used to say, if you do something a long time, you get nothing but better.

    Polly O’Keary and the Rhythm Method is made up of O’Keary on bass and vocals, Miller on guitar and Tommy Cook on drums. They are Seattle’s top nationally touring blues rock trio.

    Polly O’Keary and the Rhythm Method

    Brian Wilson, Al Jardine, Blondie Chaplin To Play ‘Greatest Hits Live!’ Tour

    Brian Wilson, Al Jardine, Blondie Chaplin To Play ‘Greatest Hits Live!’ Tour

    Lauren Leadingham

    Brian Wilson unveils tour dates, demos, and other rarities today!

    Brian Wilson has announced a 2021 US tour with Beach Boys bandmates Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin. The Greatest Hits Live! tour kicks off at the Paramount in Huntington, New York on October 5th and ends at the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan, IL. Tickets go on sale to the general public at Ticketmaster on Friday, July 23 at 10 a.m. (local time).

    Wilson has also announced a newly redesigned website featuring demos, special photos, a timeline of the making of many of his classic songs, and other such rarities.

    “We decided to put up some cool demos, outtakes, and live tracks that you haven’t heard before,” Wilson said in a statement. “I hope you dig listening to them as much as we did making them. Stay safe and we’ll see you on tour soon!”

    Wilson previews the project with this demo recording of “Desert Drive.”

    A new documentary on Wilson, Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival this past June. Directed by Brent Wilson (no relation), the film sees Brian reflecting on his life in music and includes appearances by Elton John and Bruce Springsteen.

    More information and ticket packages here. Full list of dates below.

    Brian Wilson 2021 Greatest Hits Live! Tour:

    08/29 – Long Beach, CA @ Terrace Theater

    10/05 – Huntington, NY @ The Paramount

    10/06 – Port Chester, NY @ Capitol Theater

    10/08 – Wallingford, CT @ Oakdale Theatre

    10/09 – Lowell, MA @ Lowell Memorial Auditorium

    10/10 – Rochester, NY @ Kodak Center

    10/12 – Albany, NY @ Palace Theatre

    10/13 – Morristown, NJ @ Mayo Performing Arts Center

    10/15 – Washington, DC @ Warner Theatre

    10/16 – Atlantic City, NJ @ Hard Rock Live

    10/17 – Reading, PA @ Santander Performing Arts Center

    10/19 – Greensburg, PA @ The Palace

    10/20 – Akron, OH @ Goodyear Theater

    10/22 – Nashville, IN @ Brown County Music Center

    10/23 – Waukegan, IL @ Genesee Theatre


    Muddy Waters, Marianne Faithfull Among Montreux Jazz Festival and BMG’s New Live Albums

    Muddy Waters, Marianne Faithfull Among Montreux Jazz Festival and BMG’s New Live Albums

    Cary Baker / Conqueroo

    Marianne Faithfull: The Montreux Years and Muddy Waters: The Montreux Years available September 17 via BMG

    Montreux Jazz Festival and BMG announce the next anticipated installment in The Montreux Years series with Marianne Faithfull: The Montreux Years and Muddy Waters: The Montreux Years, both to be released on Friday, September 17, 2021. Available on multi-format configurations including double LP as well as download and streaming services, the two new full-length albums feature captivating performances from Marianne Faithfull and Muddy Waters’ multiple appearances at the iconic Swiss festival for the very first time, recorded and remastered in breath-taking quality.

    Montreux Jazz Festival is a renowned music festival created by Claude Nobs and held annually in Montreux, Switzerland across two weeks in July. Now in its 55th year, the festival draws 250,000 music lovers from all across the world to the Lake Geneva shoreline. Montreux Jazz Festival celebrates the industry’s emerging and contemporary acts, while paying homage to music’s legendary acts. Originally a pure jazz festival since inception in 1967, Montreux began showcasing other styles of music throughout the decades and today presents artists from across every genre imaginable.

    The Montreux Years embodies the spirit of the Montreux Jazz Festival and the legacy of its much-loved founder, Claude Nobs. Nobs refused to compromise on quality or settle for anything other than the best and this ethos lives on in the superb quality of the recordings compiled in this collection. Mastering has been performed by Tony Cousins at London’s iconic Metropolis Studios, incorporating MQA to capture the original sound of these special concerts. Similar to the first albums in the series, featuring Nina Simone and Etta James, the Marianne Faithfull and Muddy Waters releases will be accompanied by exclusive liner notes and previously unseen photography.


    Instantly recognizable with her raw, varied vocal talents and tangible charisma, Marianne Faithfull has been a long-time friend of the Montreux Jazz Festival, appearing five times over a nearly 15-year period: 1995, 1999, 2002, 2005 and 2009.

    The first live album of Faithfull in over 10 years, Marianne Faithfull: The Montreux Years opens with an enchanting rendition of Van Morrison’s “Madame George,” recorded live at Auditorium Stravinski on July 10, 1995, where Faithfull’s powerful range and unfaltering dynamism was instantly apparent.

    The singer’s fans can immerse themselves in these unique recordings, which include several songs from her celebrated album Broken Englishsuch as an electrifying, guitar-heavy performance of the titular track “Broken English,” the soaring “Guilt,” and John Lennon’s rousing anthem “Working Class Hero.” Meanwhile, the haunting sensitivity of “Strange Weather,” recorded live at Casino Barrière on July 6, 2005, captures the bottomless depths of Faithfull’s brutal and ragged beauty.


    An unstoppable blues colossus, the father of Chicago blues, Muddy Waters, was the hot ticket during his run of appearances at the Montreux Jazz Festival in the 1970s. Already a cultural and musical force to behold when Nobs first caught him live in 1965, Waters found critical acclaim outside of the U.S., sparking the blues revival in the U.K. and finding a clamoring crowd in Montreux.

    The Montreux Years brings together an impressive repertoire of Waters’ blues classics, from the chugging standard “Mannish Boy”and genre defining “I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man” to the stripped-back majesty of “Rosalie,” all oozing with effortless style and Delta swagger.



    Pre-Order Muddy Waters – The Montreux Years and Marianne Faithfull – The Montreux Years

    Listen: Smithsonian Folkways Shares Charlie Parr Single, ‘817 Oakland Avenue’

    Listen: Smithsonian Folkways Shares Charlie Parr Single, ‘817 Oakland Avenue’

    Lauren Leadingham

    “The album represents one full rotation of the boat in which we are adrift…” – Charlie Parr

    Smithsonian Folkways shares the new Charlie Parr single, “817 Oakland Avenue,” from forthcoming album Last of the Better Days Ahead. Parr’s worldly-wise voice acts as yet another tantalizing instrument for the lyrics which reflect on life’s finer moments.

    “I’m so grateful for the fortune of friendship and for my parents, who always told me to value those relationships above all else,” says Parr. “This is a song about gratitude, inspired by and dedicated to my friends.”

    “817 Oakland Avenue” follows the recent release of his stream-of-conciousness title track, “Everyday Opus.”

    Parr has had a fecund career spanning 13 full-length albums, with songwriting that places his listeners in the sphere of his own personal experiences with existential questions. His poetic lyricism and folk-blues fingerstyle playing shine no less on this Folkways debut album. 

    Last of the Better Days Ahead is out July 30 on CD/digital, and vinyl later this year. Pre-order on Smithsonian Folkways’ site.


    Charlie Parr


    *Feature image credit: Shelly Mosman



    Janiva Magness Celebrates 30 Years of Making Albums

    Janiva Magness Celebrates 30 Years of Making Albums

    Cary Baker / Conqueroo

    This year also marks the 45th anniversary of Magness’ first live performances

    In 1991, Janiva Magness issued her first album, More Than Live. It was a cassette-only release that came out on her own Fathead Records (and was reissued on CD in 2014). Over the ensuing 30 years, Magness has made 15 albums all told, won many awards, published a memoir and now ranks among the top acts in blues and roots music.

    To celebrate her 30th anniversary as a recording artist, the singer and songwriter has launched a unique performance series. Each show’s set list will contain a selection of Magness’ charting hits, her personal gems, and fan favorites that she has curated from her entire 15-album catalog.

    These concerts hold an additional significance to Magness because 2021 also commemorates her 45th year of performing live — and it was in her live shows that the powerhouse vocalist initially made her mark. As the L.A. Weekly proclaimed: “Magness is, after all, a badass on stage. A strong woman with a beaming smile, charisma for days and a voice that soars. She can hold a huge crowd in the palm of her hand and gleefully toy with it.”

    Magness kicks off the performances in Seattle at the Jazz Alley August 3-4, then August 6 the Lounge at the End in Boise, Idaho. On October 2, she’ll be headlining Colorado Springs’ Blues on the Mesa Festival, then leads a Performance Master Class October 3 at Mojo’s Music Academy in Longmont, Colorado.  She also has shows set at Yoshi’s in Oakland on October 12 and in Santa Monica at McCabe’s on October 16.

    Magness’ excitement about this tour extends beyond it celebrating her two major career milestones. Backing her on these shows is her “A Team,” a group of musicians who have played with Magness for a number of years. This stellar quartet features guitarist Zach Zunis (Billy Boy Arnold, Red Devils), bassist Gary Davenport (Ann Peebles, Rufus Thomas), drummer Matt Tecu (Jakob Dylan, Fiona Apple, Beck), and Jim Alfredson (Thornetta Davis, Holmes Bros.) on the Hammond B3. Magness says that her most incendiary and intimate performances have been done with these guys, and “I want nothing less for my audience or myself.”

    Following what she describes as “the longest time I’ve gone without performing,” due of course to the COVID pandemic, Magness is wildly eager to be returning to the stage.

    “I’m excited to get back to live performances and that magical energy that circulates between the bandstand and the audience.” And she has found a wonderful way to express her thankfulness for being able to do concerts again, with these exclusive, from-the-heart shows.

    Over the course of her heralded career, Magness has earned 29 Blues Music Award nominations, with seven wins, including the prestigious B.B. King Entertainer of the Year Award (she was just the second woman to win this honor).

    Her 2016 album, Love Wins Again, earned a Grammy nomination for Contemporary Blues Album of the Year, while 2019 saw the publication of her inspirational, universally praised autobiography, Weeds Like Us.

    While she’s known as a great interpreter of songs (her latest release, Change in the Weatherpaid tribute to John Fogerty), in recent years her songwriting talents have emerged, notably with the aptly named album, Original.

    More dates are being added, so visit her website  for details and ticket information.


    Janiva Magness

    Dwayne Dopsie And Brothers To Be Inducted Into Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame

    Dwayne Dopsie And Brothers To Be Inducted Into Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame

    American Blues Scene Staff

    “What it means to me to be inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame is that hard work and dedication has paid off. All the years I put into the music, and places I’ve been, goes right into this honor.” – Dwayne Dopsie

    Two-time Grammy-nominated Dwayne Rubin (aka Dwayne Dopsie) will be inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame, along with his brothers Alton Rubin, Jr. (aka Tiger Dopsie), and Anthony Rubin (aka Anthony Dopsie), with a special night of Zydeco on Friday, July 30, at the Rock ’N’ Bowl in Lafayette, Louisiana.

    Corey Ledet and His Zydeco Band will open the event at 8 p.m. After the induction ceremony, honoree Dwayne Dopsie and his oldest brother, previous LMHOF inductee Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr. (David Rubin), will perform. The event will close with a joint performance of the Dopsie brothers.

    Dwayne, the youngest son of Zydeco legend Rockin’ Dopsie, is releasing his 11th album. Out August 20, Set Me Free is filled with his own high energy style of 21st Century Zydeco. The singer/songwriter and accordionist has been the Zydeco ambassador for audiences across the globe since debuting his band, Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers, at the age of 19.

    What it means to me to be inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame is that hard work and dedication has paid off. All the years I put into the music, and places I’ve been, goes right into this honor. It just proves that hard work and doing what you love doesn’t go unnoticed. I think it means the same for my brothers, I know the years they put in even before me and they have worked hard and played hard, and I know it’s an honor for them to all be recognized.

    Dwayne grew up in Lafayette, Louisiana, teaching himself accordion by watching classic videos of his father Rockin’ Dopsie and Clifton Chenier and recording himself with a video camera for hours, perfecting his performance. He’s beloved at home as much as internationally, winning the Offbeat Magazine Best of the Beat Awards over a dozen times, and being named in Louisiana Travel’s Top 100 reasons people come back to Louisiana.

    He’s been featured in profiles everywhere from the New York Times to Rolling Stone, which called him the Jimi Hendrix of the accordion. The Louisiana native is both lyricist and composer, and his upcoming album on Louisiana Red Hot Records Set Me Free is soulful, with a touch of blues and classic zydeco.


    Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers
    Louisiana Music Hall of Fame


    *Feature image: Cherry Yuet