Guitar World's Top 15 Blues and Roots Rock Albums of 2011
What is a blues album in 2011?
If you believe the gang over at the Grammy Awards, it's whatever sort of music is being made by anyone who happens to be a member of The Allman Brothers Band.
Earlier this month, new albums by Gregg Allman, Warren Haynes and the Tedeschi Trucks Band (featuring Allman Brothers Band guitarist Derek Trucks) were nominated for Best Blues Album Grammys. Of course, only one of those releases -- Gregg Allman's Low Country Blues -- was a straight-ahead blues record.
But, to be honest, we like the Grammy approach because it opens the door to blues, roots-rock and blues-rock albums -- and it makes for a more interesting and dynamic list that highlights blues in all its ever-evolving forms.
Looking ahead, it's safe to say we're looking forward to a full album by Gary Clark Jr., who made it onto this top-15 list with just a promising four-song EP.
And, of course, no talk of blues in 2011 would be complete without remembering two true legends of the genre who passed away this year: Delta bluesman David "Honeyboy" Edwards, who died in August at age 96; and Hubert Sumlin, Howlin' Wolf's storied guitarist, who died earlier this month at age 80.
02. Wynton Marsalis and Eric Clapton - Wynton Marsalis and Eric Clapton Play the Blues (Live from Jazz at Lincoln Center)
Released: September 9, 2011 (Drumlin Limited and Jazz at Lincoln Center)
03. Gregg Allman - Low Country Blues
Released: January 18, 2011 (Rounder)
04. Warren Haynes - Man in Motion
Released: May 10, 2011 (Stax)
05. Tedeschi Trucks Band - Revelator
Released: July 7, 2011 (Sony Masterworks)
06. Jimmie Vaughan - Plays More Blues, Ballads & Favorites
Released: July 26, 2011 (Shout Factory!)
07. Kenny Wayne Shepherd - How I Go
Released: August 2, 2011 (Roadrunner)
08. Lucky Peterson - Every Second a Fool Is Born
Released: March 14, 2011 (JSP Records)
09. The Cash Box Kings - Holler and Stomp
Released: October 4, 2011 (Blind Pig)
10. Gary Clark Jr. - The Bright Lights EP
Released: August 8, 2011 (Warner Bros.)
11. Johnny Winter - Roots
Released: September 27, 2011 (Megaforce)
13. Ana Popovic - Unconditional
Released: August 16, 2011 (Electro Groove)
12. George Thorogood and the Destroyers - 2120 South Michigan Ave.
Released: June 14, 2011 (Capitol)
15. Johnny Nicholas - Future Blues
Released: July 13, 2011 (The People's Label)
14. Tab Benoit - Medicine
Released: April 26, 2011 (Telarc International)
01. Joe Bonamassa - Dust Bowl
Released: March 22, 2011 (J&R Adventures)