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Reverend Keith A. Gordon

Weekly Blues Music Report: Carbon Copy

By January 15, 2013

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Lightnin Hopkins California MudslideThe blues chart for the week ending January 19, 2013 is a virtual carbon copy of the last couple of the charts from the past couple of weeks, and the top six positions stay exactly the same. It doesn't matter, though, because it's a new year and there is lots of new blues music on the horizon! The funky lil' compilation album at number ten - Most Essential Blues - best we can tell, it's a digital album that came out late last year. It's not a band collection, including heavyweights like John Lee Hooker, Etta James, and Muddy Waters along with lesser-known but no less talented artists like Frank Frost, Willie Nix, and Big Maceo, among others.

There are two new releases this week, neither of which is likely to hit the chart, one being a reissue of the little-known Lightnin' Hopkins disc, California Mudslide (And Earthquake), released by U.K. archival label Ace Records. Recorded in 1969 for Vault Records, the LP features just Lightnin' and his guitar banging out a solid set of songs. The other newbie this week is a various artists comp from TopCat Records, a Texas blues label celebrating two decades in the saddle with a two-disc compilation of some of the label's best from the past 20 years, including material from Jim Suhler, Hollywood Fats & the Paladins, Rocky Athas, Bugs Henderson, Phil Guy, and George "Harmonica" Smith, among others.

Here are this week's Billboard Top Ten blues albums, ranked by sales:

10. Various Artists - Most Essential Blues (X5 Music Group)
9. Gary Clark, Jr. - The Bright Lights EP (Warner Brothers)
8. Dr. John - Locked Down (Nonesuch Records)
7. Tedeschi Trucks Band - Everybody's Talkin' (Sony Masterworks)
6. Joe Bonamassa - Driving Towards The Daylight (J&R Adventures)
5. Joe Bonamassa - Beacon Theater: Live From New York (J&R Adventures)
4. Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa - Don't Explain (J&R Adventures)
3. Buddy Guy - Live At Legends (Silvertone Records)
2. Bonnie Raitt - Slipstream (Redwing Records)
1. Gary Clark, Jr. - Blak and Blu (Warner Brothers)

New Releases: Lightning Hopkins' California Mudslide (And Earthquake) (Ace Records); Various Artists - TopCat Records 20th Anniversary Extravaganza (TopCat Records)

Photo of Lightning Hopkins' California Mudslide (And Earthquake) courtesy Ace Records

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