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!