Well, Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite had a good run, but as you can see from the blues chart for the week ending March 16, 2013, the number one spot has been reclaimed by Texas blues guitarist Gary Clark, Jr. The man continues to get incredible press, including an overwhelmingly positive review in this month's Classic Rock magazine in the U.K. So, the top position may be Clark's for another week or two - or until Joe Bonamassa's latest is released. Overall, however, the chart looks pretty solid, featuring six albums that were released within the past couple of months!
Two notable debuts this week - one from a blues newcomer, the other from a veteran who comes roaring back with a strong effort after being MIA for a few years; Jesse Dee is a smooth-as-silk soul-blues voice whose Alligator Records debut On My Mind/In My Heart is turning heads. James Hunter returns after a five year absence with Minute By Minute, the British soul-blues singer and the James Hunter Six debuting at number three with their first album since 2008's The Hard Way. I wouldn't be surprised for Hunter to take the top spot next week, but I wouldn't rule out new discs from Eric Clapton and the Cash Box Kings debuting high on the chart.
Here are this week's Billboard Top Ten blues albums, ranked by sales:
10. Joe Bonamassa - Driving Towards The Daylight (J&R Adventures)
9. Joe Bonamassa - Beacon Theater: Live From New York (J&R Adventures)
8. Jesse Dee - On My Mind/In My Heart (Alligator Records)
7. Robert Randolph - Presents The Slide Brothers (Concord Records)
6. Robin Trower - Roots and Branches (V-12 Records)
5. Robben Ford - Bringing It Back Home (MRI Associated)
4. Bonnie Raitt - Slipstream (Redwing Records)
3. James Hunter Six - Minute By Minute (Fantasy Records)
2. Charlie Musselwhite & Ben Harper - Get Up! (Stax Records)
1. Gary Clark, Jr. - Blak and Blu (Warner Brothers)
New releases: Bart Walker's Waiting On Daylight (Ruf Records); Cash Box Kings' Black Toppin' (Blind Pig Records); Eric Clapton's Old Sock (Bushbranch); Savoy Brown's Train To Nowhere (Blues Boulevard); Sena Ehrhardt's All In (Blind Pig Records)
Photo of Bart Walker's Waiting On Daylight courtesy Ruf Records