The blues chart for the week ending September 15, 2012 is all mixed up. On one hand, the debut of Robert Cray's Nothin But Love at number two isn't entirely unexpected, although I really thought that it had a chance to knock Bonnie Raitt out of the top spot (which it could still do). The top five debut of guitarist Albert Cummings' No Regrets is no shock, either...it's a good record. But the reappearance of Johnny Winter's Roots and Kenny Wayne Shepherd's How I Go in the top ten after weeks in the hinterlands is confusing, and they may fade away after a week much like Beverley McClellan's frequent, fleeting appearances.
A couple of solid debuts that were represented on last week's chart - Michael Burks' excellent Show of Strength and Taj Mahal's The Hidden Treasures of Taj Mahal - dropped down to #13 and #11 respectively, but deserve much more love from blues fans. I bought a copy of the Mahal set this week, and urge readers to pick up either or both of these great albums! There are a handful of new releases this week worth your time, starting with Girls With Guitars Live, which features red-hot young distaff talents like guitarists Dani Wilde and Samantha Fish and bassist Victoria Smith. Another incredible performer is Joanne Shaw Taylor, whose Almost Always Never, her third album, also hits stores this week, as does ZZ Top's long-anticipated La Futura, the band's first album in nine years. Check 'em all out!
Here are this week's Billboard Top Ten blues albums, ranked by sales:
10. Johnny Winter - Roots (Megaforce Records)
9. Kenny Wayne Shepherd - How I Go (Roadrunner Records)
8. Hugh Laurie - Let Them Talk (Warner Brothers)
7. Tedeschi Trucks Band - Revelator (Sony Masterworks)
6. Gary Clark, Jr. - The Bright Lights EP (Warner Brothers)
5. Albert Cummings - No Regrets (Ivy Music)
4. Joe Bonamassa - Driving Towards The Daylight (J&R Adventures)
3. Tedeschi Trucks Band - Everybody's Talkin' (Sony Masterworks)
2. Robert Cray - Nothin But Love (Provogue Records)
1. Bonnie Raitt - Slipstream (Redwing Records)
New releases this week: Dani Wilde, Victoria Smith & Samantha Fish's Girls With Guitars Live (Ruf Records); Hans Theessink's Hard Road Blues (Blue Groove); Joanne Shaw Taylor's Almost Always Never (Ruf Records); ZZ Top's La Futura (Eagle Rock)
Photo of Girls With Guitars Live courtesy Ruf Records