It's fitting, perhaps, that the blues chart for the week ending November 3, 2012 should display a certain amount of, shall we say...menace. What with the Halloween holiday falling in the middle of the week here in the U.S., ghosts and goblins are afoot as blues-rock guitarist Joe "Bones" Bonamassa gets his revenge by placing two albums in the top five. While his Driving Towards The Daylight has been hanging around the upper reaches of the chart since its May release, the guitarist's Beacon Theatre - Live From New York album has more than held its own, displacing Bonnie Raitt from number one for a couple of weeks before settling comfortably into the number three spot. Bonamassa has the only new release this week, too, in the form of his blues-rock band Black Country Communion's Afterglow album.
It may all be a moot point, however, as another talented blues-rock guitarslinger - Texan Gary Clark, Jr. - is lurking right around the corner. Clark's The Bright Lights EP has received a strong sales bump from a rave Rolling Stone magazine review of the guitarist's full-length Blak and Blu LP, which was released last week. Once sales figures for Blak and Blu hit the chart, I expect Clark to unseat Raitt and take number one for the foreseeable future...but I've been known to be wrong before. Either way, the mainstreaming of blues music is good for us fans of the genre (one last fright for Halloween week, however - Hugh Laurie's Let Them Talk album is bubbling under the top ten at number eleven...still, after a long and lonely year).
Here are this week's Billboard Top Ten blues albums, ranked by sales:
10. Gary Moore - Blues For Jimi (Eagle Rock Records)
9. Robert Cray - Nothin But Love (Provogue Records)
8. Bettye LaVette - Thankful N' Thoughtful (Anti Records)
7. Shemekia Copeland - 33 1/3 (Telarc Records)
6. Tedeschi Trucks Band - Revelator (Sony Masterworks)
5. Joe Bonamassa - Driving Towards The Daylight (J&R Adventures)
4. Tedeschi Trucks Band - Everybody's Talkin' (Sony Masterworks)
3. Joe Bonamassa - Beacon Theater: Live From New York (J&R Adventures)
2. Gary Clark, Jr. - The Bright Lights EP (Warner Brothers)
1. Bonnie Raitt - Slipstream (Redwing Records)
New Releases: Black Country Communion's Afterglow (J&R Adventures)
Photo of Black Country Communion's Afterglow courtesy J&R Adventures