You’ve heard of 50 Shades of Grey, right? Well, this is 50 Shades of Blues, well, make that 14 Shades of Blues delivered in one album from some of the best names that the modern blues has to offer. Featuring the talents of Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Quinn Sullivan, Eric Gales, Walter Trout, Beth Hart, Gary Hoey, Lance Lopez, SIMO, Thomas Wynn and the Believers, Supersonic Blues Machine, Jonny Lang, Sonny Landreth, Black Stone Cherry and Ronnie Baker Brooks.
Provogue and Mascot Label Group have put together this compilation album in readiness for the Rockin’ The Blues Festival 2018 Tour that is due to hit Germany, UK and the Netherlands in March this year. This album will definitely tickle those Blues Rock taste buds, whet the appetite and have you shimmying your well earned cash through the payment systems of the wonderful world wide web in search of these gig tickets. Let me save you the time searching for the link and just pop it here for you: http://rockintheblues.com/.
Kenny Wayne Shepherd opens the album with his track ‘Diamonds & Gold’, the big intro really does wake up the senses and blow out any cobwebs. It’s a hugely infectious track full of rhythm and swagger, the lyrics are based on the materialistic society that we all live in these days, how people live for possessions rather than the really meaningful things in life.
Quinn Sullivan delivers a more laid back sound in his offering ‘Midnight Highway’. His vocals are smooth and luscious, elevating the soul of the blues while intertwining some exceptional guitar playing. For his young age he has certainly not wasting any time in making his mark on the genre; he’s appeared on countless American late night TV shows and has earned time on stage with some of the great Blues musicians. He’s setting the blues world on fire and definitely one to watch as he continues to grow.
Eric Gales from Memphis, Tennessee adds his own style to the album with his offering ‘Been So Long’ taken from the album ‘Middle of the Road’. The track is about the need to get past the hurdles that you place for yourself in life, “No more self-sabotaging” as it is only yourself that stops your own light shining bright in this world, “happiness is more than a mirage... ...I’m done standing in my way”. The beat is zingy with a bouncy reggae feel to it that is infectious to say the least.
Walter Trout, the accomplished and much loved New Jersey born blues-rocker throws in with Joe Bonamassa to deliver a subliminally divine track of blues rock that will not only have your hips swaggering to the groove but it will have your ears bombarded with a plethora of electrifying riffs and vocals, leaving you exhausted and sated from the feast that they serve up in just one song.
Beth Hart with her sultry powerhouse vocals in ‘Love is a Lie’ is going to deepen your love of the blues, show you how to slice in some impressive piano skills and deliver a track that is so intense and heartfelt that you can’t help but feel the emotion of the vocals.
Gary Hoey’s ‘Dust & Bones’ (taken from his 2016 album of the same name) is probably my favourite track on the album. His blend of rock infused blues has just the right amount of groove and moodiness to make me hit the repeat button more than once. His whiskey soaked, raspy yet sumptuous vocals deliver a full sound alongside his virtuoso guitar skills making his track stand out for me more so than any other track on the album so far. The heavier feel to this track is just luscious.
Lance Lopez AKA vocalist/guitarist in Supersonic Blues Machine, delivers a heavy swaggerlicious blues number in ‘Mr Lucky’ with some serious musicianship on the guitar that will no doubt be a huge treat for the audiences on the tour. SIMO’s ‘People Say’ is a step away from the normal sound of the blues. There’s a funky, edgy feel the track that is so sharp that it stands out as one of the more diverse tracks on the album. The Nashville trio deliver a track that pops and jives all over the place, almost like a frenzy of sounds all masterful woven into one track.
Thomas Wynn & The Believers bring us back to the smooth, laid back chill that the blues can offer in their track ‘Wade Waist Deep’. Full of soul and delivered with a light and calming set of vocals this track seems to clean the palate and set you up for the latter part of the album. It’s a beautiful track, a calm amongst the storm of rocking blues that can easily reset your mood with its diaphanous feel and delivery.
Supersonic Blues Machine offer up festival favourite ‘L.O.V.E.’, a satisfying feel good track, while Jonny Lang encapsulates the meaning of being there for someone through everything, being a shoulder to lean on when the times are tough and understanding that when a friend or loved one goes through a hard time that people are ‘Stronger Together’. Sonny Landreth treats us to a live version of ‘Blues Attack’, complete with harmonica and bouncy bass lines.
Kentucky rockers Black Stone Cherry hit us up with their cover of Muddy Waters ‘Champagne and Reefer’ from their 2017 blues covers album ‘Black to Blues’. The riffage is impressive, the vocals delivered with the accustomed soulfully deep and southern twang that makes BSC stand out on any album.
Wrapping up the album is Ronnie Baker Brooks featuring Al Kapone (Memphis, Tennessee) with ‘Times Have Changed’, “The rich keep on getting richer, we can’t feed our poor, the whole wide world about to go to war...”. Al Kapone delivering rap vocals over the subliminal blues track that complements the track quite impressively.
As a whole Rockin’ The Blues is a feast of tracks, 14 Shades of Blues that certainly explores the diverse range of blues material that is available to set your musical ears to. Don’t waste time, throw this album on, bounce around the house during the movers and shakers and relax and chill during the smooth numbers. There really is a sound for every blues lover in this compilation. Great album!
To find out more about the upcoming Rockin’ The Blues Tour check out the Mascot Label Group page at: http://rockintheblues.com/.
Check out the Facebook page with details of the festival at: https://www.facebook.com/RTBFestival/