Welcome to what will be the last blog entry of 2017. In some ways it’s been a very good year, in other ways not so much. We’ve had a lot o great music come our way, and we’ve said goodbye to some old friends. It’s all part of that great wheel that just keeps rolling. Come on, Proud Mary, take us all down the river one more time.
Personally, I feel a little down. I started off the year with great enthusiasm, making a promise to myself to put in a review or a preview of an upcoming show every day. I didn’t quite make it as I had a little health issue that put me on the sidelines for a little bit.
**If you’re not interested in personal reflection, skip ahead to the next paragraph. I won’t mind.** No, it wasn’t another heart attack, I’ve had quite enough of those for one lifetime, but it was heart related. Since the issue was in a difficult area to access, my great docs switched around some meds, and while that left me a little out of it, they have since stabilized the problem and I’m back and better than ever. So, I do plan on doing more reviews, interviews, and previews in 2018. Count on it
Anyway, thanks for sticking around during the boring part. Below is a collection of 50 albums that will form my list of the Best Of 2017. I’ve provided a link to the review that I posted for each, just click on the name and the magical computer should take you right to it. If I haven’t yet reviewed it, I will say so, but when I do review it, I will go ahead and update the link.
Check back often.
Oh, these aren’t ranked 1-50. Even I am not crazy enough to do that by myself. I’ve grouped them into categories to make it a little easier.
First up are The Guys and The Groups.
Stompin' Ground Tommy Castro And The Painkillers Review of the album is coming soon. In the meantime, here is a review I did of one of Castro’s killer live shows.
Blues With Horns Vol 1 Chris Daniels And The Kings With Freddi Gowdy No review yet, but stay tuned, one is on the way.
Dream Train Alastair Greene No review yet, but stay tuned, one is on the way.
Signs Jonny Lang No review yet, but stay tuned, one is on the way.
Approved By Snakes Jason Ricci & The Bad Kind And while you’re at, here’s an interview I did with Ricci when the album was released.
Lay It On Down Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band No review yet, but stay tuned, one is on the way.
My Brother's Blues Benny Turner No review yet, but stay tuned, one is on the way.
Blues And Boogie Vol. 1 Kim Wilson No review yet, but stay tuned, one is on the way.
Next up are the Women In The Blues
The Eastwest Sessions Mindi Abair And The Boneshakers No review yet, but stay tuned, one is on the way.
Let The Demons Out Ghalia & Mama's Boys No review yet, but stay tuned, one is on the way.
Down Hearted Blues Eilen Jewell No review yet, but stay tuned, one is on the way. But if you are interested, here’s a look at one of her great live shows.
Lady Of The Blues Miss Freddye No review yet, but stay tuned, one is on the way.
Let’s take a look at some unusual combinations. Team Ups
Right Place, Right Time Monster Mike Welch And Mike Ledbetter Friends Along The Way Mitch Woods No review yet, but stay tuned, one is on the way.
And just because I’m proud of the work done by the artists in my commonwealth, here’s a look at some great Virginia Artists.
Been A Long Time Baby Tom Dikon & The Jukes Revival No review yet, but stay tuned, one is on the way.
And one last title that I absolutely loved. It’s not strictly a blues album, in fact, really only one song is likely to get played on Time For The Blues, but the rest of it showcases a monumental talent continue to play with his approach to music.
On A Distant Shore Leon Russell No review yet, but stay tuned, one is on the way. I can tell you that it’s a beautiful album from a beautiful soul.
There you go, my 50 Best Of 2017 list. Remember, I didn’t get copies of everything that was released this year so there are more than a few titles that would have made this list had I gotten them. Feel free to add some of your choices in the comments below. Heck, I might even go looking for them and play a song or two.
If you will indulge me just a little, I would like to offer one last thought about 2017. Just before Christmas, Henry and I lost a friend and colleague that we have known for about 20 years. His name was George Maida and he produced The Electric Croude, the show that preceded ours for the entire 11 years that our show has aired. It was a sudden loss and all of us are devastated by what happened.
George was consumed by his passion for music. His show really had no boundaries, and his curiosity took him into several different worlds. As we move into 2018, please keep in mind that the candle of life can be snuffed out in an instant and the only thing we really leave behind are the memories that other people have of us.
If you’re a person who makes resolutions, let’s all make one to be better toward each other, to share our passions, and to create great memories for the people we love. Let’s live in the moment while respecting the past and anticipating the future.
Much love and respect to George Maida, to my long suffering co-host Henry Cook, and of course to each and every one of you who read my words or listen to the show.
Here’s to 2018!