This month’s round-up of news from the world of blues features Joanne Shaw Taylor, Walter Trout, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Joe Bonamassa and more
By Will Harris
First up this month is an update from the Walter Trout camp, with the great news that Trout has received the vital liver transplant needed to keep him alive. Complications have arisen since the surgery, and statements about Trout’s health are still tentative at time of writing, but all being well the legendary blues-rock six-stringer should be showing signs of improvement from here on in. To keep up to date on the status of Walter’s health, his wife is regularly adding posts on the subject on his website.
It’s recently been announced that outstanding British blues-rock guitarist Joanne Shaw Taylor (pictured) will be hitting the road again this November to play a string of 14 dates, including a show at Birmingham Town Hall on the 15th. Taylor will be touring to promote her new album, The Dirty Truth, which comes out on 22nd September on her own Axehouse Records, and support will be provided by Whitesnake guitarist-turned-bluesman Bernie Marsden.
Also going on tour in the autumn is five-time Grammy-nominated and multi-platinum-selling guitarist and songwriter Kenny Wayne Shepherd, who’ll be playing six dates starting on 25th October, finishing with a date in Leamington Spa on 1st November. Shepherd recently released a new collection of covers, Goin’ Home, with guest musicians including Ringo Starr, Joe Walsh and Keb’ Mo’; for a taste of that new album, check out his version of the classic Willie Dixon-penned track, ‘You Can’t Judge A Book By Its Cover’, below.
Also from across the pond, on 22nd September legendary guitar virtuoso Joe Bonamassa will be releasing his first solo album in two years, Different Shades of Blue, via Mascot / Provogue. “It’s been a while since I’ve been involved in the writing on an entire album,” says Bonamassa. “So I decided I wanted to make a completely original blues album. I’ve really had to push myself to make everything I do better than the last project. I know the fans expect it. And I feel like I owe it to the fans to give them an original record after all these years.”
British blues guitarist and singer-songwriter, Danny Bryant, will release his new album Temperature Rising in the UK on 1st September. The album, released by Jazzhaus Records, is produced by Richard Hammerton, and is the follow-up to Bryant’s critically acclaimed 2013 album Hurricane. The album will be followed by a UK tour that starts at The Robin 2, Bilston on 3rd September. To celebrate the release of the album, you can get a free MP3 download of the song ‘Nothing At All’ from the new album. Otherwise, you can just listen to the rockin’ new track below.
Speaking of free tracks, in case you missed it Alligator Records have put up a free sampler album of 16 tracks from the hottest artists in their stable, including James Cotton, JJ Grey & Mofro, Joe Louis Walker and Jarekus Singleton. Enjoy!
Kicking off from next month is keyboardist Bob Malone’s extensive UK tour, which will see the man leave his most recent post as part of John Fogerty’s touring band to embark on 20-odd dates over August and September, including at the Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival, the Derby Flowerpot and the Leicester Musician. Also going out later this year will be UK guitar extraordinaire and songwriter Ian Siegal, who embarks on a November tour with American multi-instrumentalist Jimbo Mathus, including a date at the Derby Flowerpot on 27th November.
Wales-born, Toronto-raised blues-rocker Philip Sayce has announced the release of his new studio album, Influence, which will hit shelves on 25th August via Provogue Records. As well as the standard CD and digital downloads, there will also be a limited pressing of 1,000 180 gram double vinyl albums available. For a preview of the album and to hear Sayce discuss what went into it, watch the trailer below.
Another album lined up for later this year is Step Back, guitar hero Johnny Winters covers collection, Roots. Released on 2nd September via Megaforce Records, the new record features appearances from Eric Clapton, Ben Harper, Dr John, Billy Gibbons and Joe Bonamassa, among others.
Upcoming releases for this month, meanwhile, include: the latest in Ruf Records’ Songs From The Road series, this time from blues-rock guitarist Coco Montoya; the seventh release from Canadian roots ‘n’ blues ensemble Fathead, Fatter Than Ever; a new live album from the Willie Dixon-mentored Lucky Peterson, I’m Back Again; a live album from Rick Estrin and the Wildcats, You Asked For It… Live; and another record of originals and covers, Dust My Broom, by Mississippi-born six-stringer Preston Shannon.
Meanwhile at Midlands Rocks, your humble blues news reporter has written a review of the new album by Royal Southern Brotherhood, Heartsoulblood – you can read that review here.
And finally, Massillon, Ohio’s Patrick Sweany has released a video for his superb, slow-burning number ‘Every Night Every Day’, taken from his 2013 LP Close to the Floor – watch below! ‘Til next time…