More new blood this week as the blues chart for the week ending February 23, 2013 features the debut of British blues-rock guitarist Robin Trower's latest collection, Roots and Branches. My guess is that the album launched itself into the number four position on the strength of pre-release sales, because it's not supposed to be on the shelf until this week. These things happen sometimes. Trower pays homage to a number of blues and rock legends on the new album, delivering fiery cover versions of classic tunes like Albert King's "Born Under A Bad Sign," B.B. King's "The Thrill Is Gone," and Elvis Presley's "Hound Dog." Still, new Trower albums come out frequently enough that they tend to rise and fall off the chart quickly.
This week's other new release, Bobby Rush's Down In Louisiana, however, I expect to enter the chart in the higher region next week or so and stick around awhile, Rush being one of the most popular of contemporary bluesmen, a hard-touring and dynamic performer, and a heck of a nice guy. The Ben Harper/Charlie Musselwhite collaboration Get Up! sits proud at number one and considering the quality of the album and the popularity of the artists, it should dominate for a while. The rest of the top ten is made up of pretty much the same old faces, though none the worse for wear...
Here are this week's Billboard Top Ten blues albums, ranked by sales:
10. Joe Bonamassa - Driving Towards The Daylight (J&R Adventures)
9. Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa - Don't Explain (J&R Adventures)
8. Dr. John - Locked Down (Nonesuch Records)
7. Tedeschi Trucks Band - Everybody's Talkin' (Sony Masterworks)
6. Joe Bonamassa - Beacon Theater: Live From New York (J&R Adventures)
5. Buddy Guy - Live At Legends (Silvertone Records)
4. Robin Trower - Roots and Branches (V-12 Records)
3. Bonnie Raitt - Slipstream (Redwing Records)
2. Gary Clark, Jr. - Blak and Blu (Warner Brothers)
1. Charlie Musselwhite & Ben Harper - Get Up! (Stax Records)
New releases: Bobby Rush's Down In Louisiana (Thirty Tigers Records); Robin Trower's Roots and Branches (V-12 Records)
Photo of Robin Trower's Roots and Branches courtesy V-12 Records