Guitar World's Top 15 Blues and Roots Rock Albums of 2012
Last year, this Top 15 list was dominated by new albums by the head honchos of the Allman Brothers gang — Gregg Allman, Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks.
This year, with no Allmans-related albums filling up the new-releases bin, the blues, blues-rock and roots-rock vacuum has been filled — rather handily — by top Texans ZZ Top and Gary Clark Jr. (pictured), habitual favorites Robert Cray and Bonnie Raitt and the powerful, exciting trad blues of the late Michael "Iron Man" Burks, who died of a heart attack earlier this year at age 54.
And don't forget Jack White and his Third Man Records labelmates, Alabama Shakes, who prove the blues is still a vital force in the hands of true believers.
This list also is testament to the fact that 2012 was a particularly strong year for traditional blues; if you're not familiar with some of the choices presented below, be sure to check them out when you can.
And here's a shout out to Kentucky's Boscoe France, winner of Guitar Center's annual Battle of the Blues competition, the finals for which took place this summer in Los Angeles. You can read more about him here.
Anyway, here are Guitar World's 15 favorite blues, blues-rock and roots-rock albums of 2012.
See you in 2013!
06. Walter Trout - Blues for the Modern Daze
Interview: Walter Trout Discusses His New Album, 'Blues For The Modern Daze'
05. Jack White — Blunderbuss
Video: Jack White Talks to NPR About His New Album, 'Blunderbuss'
04. Robert Cray Band - Nothin But Love
Archive: Robert Cray Discusses Albert Collins, Gear and His New Album in 1989 Guitar World Interview
11. Albert Cummings - No Regrets
Interview: 15 Questions with Blues Guitarist Albert Cummings
12. Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials - Jump Start
03. Joe Bonamassa - Driving Towards the Daylight
Interview: Joe Bonamassa Discusses Gear and His Return to Blues-Rock on 'Driving Towards the Daylight'
02. ZZ Top - La Futura
Interview: ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons and the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach
01. Gary Clark Jr. - Blak and Blu
Interview: Austin's Gary Clark Jr. Discusses Influences, Gear and His "Schizophrenic" Style
07. Michael "Iron Man" Burks - Show of Strength
08. Dr. John - Locked Down
Dr. John and Black Keys' Dan Auerbach Debut "Revolution" Music Video
10. Magic Slim & The Teardrops - Bad Boy
09. Bonnie Raitt - Slipstream
Bonnie Raitt Announces New Album, 'Slipstream,' and Her Own Label, Redwing Records
15. Billy Boy Arnold - Billy Boy Arnold Sings Big Bill Broonzy
14. Smokin’ Joe Kubek & Bnois King - Close to the Bone
13. Alabama Shakes — Boys & Girls
Photo Gallery: Alabama Shakes, Jack White and Gary Clark Jr. at Sasquatch! Music Festival