Our resident Blues Brother John Burrows enjoyed another busy year assessing the very best of a genre in rude health right now.
Here he counts down the 10 Best Blues Albums Of 2022.
10. Black Keys – Dropout Boogie (Nonesuch)
A solid follow up to Delta Kream, Dropout Boogie picks up where that album left off.
Black Keys re-inventing the wheel here but simply embracing the sound that they’ve made their own.
And thankfully that sound’s closer to Rubber Factory than El Camino.
Dive bar sounds not arena sized pounds.
9. Delbert McClinton – Outdated Emotion (Hot Shot Records)
Rushonrock favourite Delbert McClinton is back with his signature brand of Texas Blues.
Straight off the bat, Stagger Lee sets the Fabulous Thunderbirds-infused tone for this gem and it rolls all the way through to the epic Sweet Talkin’ Man.
Outdated? We think not.
8. Marcus King – Young Blood (Easy Eye Sound)
An unashamed shout out to the heyday of 70s blue rock, Young Blood is gritty and husky in all the right places.
We’ve been waiting for young Marcus to really let loose on record and the time is now.
If you’re a fan of Government Mule or the Allman Brothers, this is the one for you.
7. Eric Johnson – The Book of Making / Yesterday Meets Today (Blue Elan Records)
A (double) body of work amassed during the pandemic, The Book of Making / Yesterday Meets Today was a chance for EJ to deep dive into the vault and to find some unfinished magic.
Eighteen tracks made the list and were brought up to scratch.
And all of them showcased the signature sound (that’s been heavily borrowed by another famous guitarist) and angelic voice.
6. Robert Glasper – Black Radio III (Loma Vista)
Whist this isn’t breaking the new ground that Black Radio did in 2012, BL3 is a welcome return to Glasper’s NuSoul sound.
He’s ditched the ‘Experiment’ moniker this time around and the album reflects that.
The production work he’s undertaken since the first instalment brings a greater cohesion to the sound and flow and it’s all the better for it.
A fine way to round out the trilogy.
5. Eric Gales – Crown (Provogue/Mascot)
Crown is the album that Eric Gales was born to make.
Whilst his output so far has been nothing short of outstanding, it’s now obvious that all roads have lead here.
It’s tight from start to finish yet fierce in sound and lyrical content.
Read Rushonrock’s full review here
4. Alexander Flood – The Space Between (Ropeadope Records)
A masterclass from Aussie drummer Alexander Flood, this beast is a sonic cacophony of rhythm from around the globe.
Billed as a platform to connect people, places and experience through sound, it’s mission accomplished.
He’s even managed to drag in his mentor, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah.
3. Edgar Winter – Brother Johnny (QUARTO VALLEY RECORDS)
A touching tribute to his departed brother (Johnny), Edgar has roped in a who’s who of musicians to deliver 15 barnstorming cuts.
Sporting a mix of covers and originals, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Joe Walsh, Steve Lukather and Joe Bonamassa are all along for the ride.
Standout track When You Got A Good Friend – a stripped down raw affair featuring Rushonrock favourite Doyle Bramhall II – sums up this release nicely.
2. Fantastic Negrito – White Jesus Black Problems (Storefront Records)
Where do you start with Xavier Amin Dphrepaulezz?
We’ll start by saying he’s put out the best, most diverse album of his career in 2022.
After discovering he is 27% white, Dphrepaulezz decided to tell the true love story of his ancestry from 1759 onwards.
Sounds bat shit crazy? It is. Lyrically and sonically.
But if you only get one record on vinyl this year, make it this one.
1. Thorbjørn Risager & The Black Tornado – Navigation Blues (Provogue/Mascot)
A riotous mishmash of greatness from Denmark, Navigation Blues is quite the anomaly on the blues scene.
Heard a horn section blend with acoustic slide guitar before?
Heard that same slide guitar blend with a string section? You will here.
An album this far into a career has no right to be so good.
But it’s the best.
Read the full Rushonrock review here.