Welcome back, fellow blues travellers, for some further festive treats!
|Sam Fish - nice to see someone enjoying their work!
An album I was really looking forward to in the summer was Samantha Fish’s Wild Heart, which I reviewed in July. Guided by producer Luther Dickinson, Sam drew inspiration from Hill Country Blues to explore some rootsy avenues, confirming that the girl can’t half sing. But she still found some time to rock, as on the belting ‘Show Me’.
Sam’s pal and mentor Mike Zito provided another highlight with a terrific show at the Edinburgh Blues Club in November, accompanied by The Wheel. This European jaunt coincided with the release of their stonkingly good new album Keep Coming Back. If you haven’t got it yet then put that right asap. Meantime, here they are performing the album closer, Creedence Clearwater Revival's 'Bootleg'.
I still recall catching The Rising Souls supporting Kara Grainger back in May, and thinking that this ‘stripped back soul’ trio were on to something. That initial impression was confirmed by the excellent songs on their 2014 mini-album, and eventually resulted in me writing a ‘Bluesbreaker’ feature on the band for the December issue of The Blues Magazine. Here’s their video of ‘Yardbird’, the title track of their new album, which they’re releasing on February 6.
|The Rising Souls - new album coming soon
Another bunch of newcomers were the Balkun Brothers, whose debut album ReDrova I reviewed in February after hearing a track on Paul Jones’ Radio 2 show. The guitar-and-drums toting brothers from Connecticut subsequently released a second, self-titled album in the autumn, and toured Europe supporting Popa Chubby, though sadly not including any UK dates. A review of the new album should appear in The Blues Magazine in the New Year – meantime you can check out this live rendition of Johnny Winter’s ‘Mean Town Blues’.
At the other end of the spectrum is veteran Louisiana bluesman Lil’ Jimmy Reed, who delivered a rollicking helping of vintage blues in his Edinburgh show in September. Here’s Jimmy performing the classic ‘Big Boss Man’ (written by the original Jimmy Reed, of course), demonstrating that he’s the real deal.
A similarly great set was delivered by The Jensen Interceptors back in April, capturing the spirit of Chicago R&B in a manner well-deserving of the label “good rockin’ tonite”. See what you make of this performance of ‘Whisky Headed Woman’.
Enjoy the rest of the festive break folks, and Blues Enthused will be back with you shortly!