New Blues Review 7-2-24

Foghat – Sonic Mojo (Foghat Records) 

Bio – “Foghat began back in 1971 when Lonesome Dave Peverett and Roger Earl decided to leave Savoy Brown and start a band of their own. History has proven that this was a great decision. Over the years, Foghat has earned eight Gold Records, one Platinum Record and one DoublePlatinum record. As with any band that survives for over five decades, there have been ups and downs, and tragedies and triumphs. Through it all, they moved ahead in one form or another for only one reason: The Music. For Foghat, it’s all about the music, always has been and always will be. Sadly, the band has lost three beloved members over the years. Founding member, songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist Lonesome Dave passed away in 2000. In 2005, slide guitarist extraordinaire Rod Price left us and then, in 2018, the band lost long time bassist Craig MacGregor. Through all the losses, founding member and drummer, Roger Earl, kept the music, and the band, moving forward. Now, in 2024, Foghat consists of Roger Earl pounding the skins, long time member Bryan Bassett (Molly Hatchet, Wild Cherry) on lead/slide guitar, singer/bassist Rodney O’Quinn (Pat Travers Band) on bass & vocals, and newest member, lead vocalist and guitarist Scott Holt (Buddy Guy) who also played with the Foghat side project Earl & the Agitators for 8 years. These four members remain true to the original spirit of Foghat. They play in reverence to those that have gone on. They understand that Foghat exists solely to share the music they create with anyone who wants to hear it. They deliver each and every night, with giant smiles on their faces, and the fun they are having on stage is infectious! It is evident that they are doing the same thing that every one of their fans is doing: Just enjoying another Foghat Show. It never gets old!”

Review – Foghat?? Blues?? Damn right, what a great surprise this week. With the addition of Scott Holt on Guitar and Vocals, Foghat has turned into a great Blues/Rock band. Sonic Mojo is filled with a diverse array of music including Blues as in the first song on the album, “She’s A Little Bit of Everything”. With two great guitarists (Scott Holt and Bryan Bassett), the band has a lot of flexibility. The band covers some great classic songs like “Love Me Love You Baby” (Willie Dixon), “How Many More Years” (Howlin’ Wolf), “She’s Dynamite” (BB King) and “Promise Land” (Chuck Berry). All great covers, with “Let Me Love You Baby” being the best but I think my favorite on this CD is “Drivin’ On”, kind of a ZZ Top beat with some great slide guitar, listen here. I will give this a 9 on Blues Content and a 10 on Music Content.

Lonesome Shack – Song Of The Horse (Self-Produced) 

Bio – “With a sound that is raw, expressive, and strange, Lonesome Shack’s music is part hill country blues, part urban folk rock, and owes as much to Alan Wilson’s Canned Heat as it does to Junior Kimbrough. Formed in Seattle, and currently based in London, the trio is led by Ben Todd, a finger picking guitarist who has spent time living in a shack in the New Mexico desert. Alone in the Gila Wilderness, Ben learned how to play old blues and banjo tunes from vintage and traditional recordings. “Desert Dreams” is a singular and poetic album of modern American music written at the tail end of a long, challenging winter in London. The result sounds like rock city meets backwoods boogie, desert blues meets jungle grooves. Lonesome Shack is Ben Todd (guitar/voice), Kristian Garrard (drums), and Luke Bergman (bass).”

Review – Now this is my cup of tea! Love this album. Lots of one chord tunes, banjo tunes, pulling from the Hill Country of Mississippi and the Hill Country to Appalachia. Ben’s voice is haunting (especially on “Lascaux”) and his choice in repetitive guitar licks is memorizing at times. I am also amazed at the simplicity of Kristian Garrard’s Drumming and how well it works with this type of music. “Chaparral” has a nice, almost early African (Segal) feel to it. The rest of the album is unusual, weird in times, hypnotic (all the things I like) but if you prefer the 1-4-5 12 bar blues, this is not your album. I think my favorite on this CD is “Fresh Bones” the most unusual song on the CD not the most Bluesy,  listen here. I will give this a 9 on Blues Content and a 10 on Music Content.

Hughes Taylor – Dark Roast (Bent Note) 

Bio – “An old soul hailing from Macon Georgia USA, Hughes Taylor was immediately drawn to the blues when he first picked up the guitar. Two decades later, he’s become an acclaimed guitarist and songwriter playing a fiery brand of blues-rock whose power trio lineage stretches back to Stevie Ray Vaughan, Cream and Jimi Hendrix. His latest studio album, Modern Nostalgia, is a showcase not only of his signature style as a guitarist but of his overall evolution as a musician, songwriter, and producer. Written during the pandemic and recorded at the legendary Capricorn Sound Studios, it’s a sweet mix of blues, blues-rock, and southern rock; a modern successor to the great music that put Capricorn on the map many years ago. Modern Nostalgia was released on CD in July 2021 and has been on the US Blues-Rock Top 50 Album Chart every week for the past 16 months. A limited-edition double vinyl edition was released in June, 2022. From age 13, locked away in his bedroom, Hughes practiced for hours on end playing along with his favorite guitar heroes. By 14 he was writing his own material and recording demos in his parents’ basement, while simultaneously developing his live act by playing anywhere anytime with anyone. He was performing professionally before he could legally drive, and by the time he started college, creating and performing music was his primary source of income. He self-released his first full-length album of original songs, Hear My Melody, in the spring of 2016. Restless followed in early 2018, sandwiched between graduating with honors in marketing from University of North Georgia and marrying the love of his life. By the summer of 2019, The Hughes Taylor Band’s sound began to coalesce, combining his spin on the blues-rock power trio format with the inescapable influence of his hometown heroes, the Allman Brothers. Good Blues, Fast, an album of classics lovingly arranged and interpreted by Taylor was his first release to gain acclaim beyond Georgia and paved the way for the next chapter in his music journey. In January of 2020, Hughes and his band toured the United Kingdom supporting the Heather Findlay Band. Gaining immediate popularity and positive music press reviews, the trio returned stateside just as the pandemic halted all tours and local performances. Fortunately, the last few shows of the tour were recorded, affording enough good material for the Live in the UK album he released in early 2021.”

Review – Just a 5 song sample CD, but show’s Hughes’ ability to rock with some blues influences. At such an early age, his voice and guitar playing feels like he has been playing for a lifetime. With Ben Alford on Bass, Nich Gannon on Drums, Zach Wilson on Keys and Emily Lynn on Background Vocals, the band lays down a great foundation for the music of this album with some great harmonies. All 5 songs were written by Hughes and are very mature for his age. I think my favorite on this CD is “Ballad Of Big Bill McGuire”, listen here. I will give this a 9 on Blues Content and a 9 on Music Content.

Mudslide Charley – Main Street (Self-Produced) 

Bio – “Mudslide Charley is a Missoula, Montana born band that plays gutbucket blues and house rockin’ roots rock. We draw inspiration from a more antiquated era when Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker first fused the rough and rural vibes of Southern acoustic blues with modern electric instruments. The band writes and performs original songs pumping with vital relevance and emotional fervor that exude a true reverence for the blues musicians who have paved our way. Using gritty electric guitar, elastic bass, chest thumping backbeat, and rich soulful vocals punctuated by harmonica, piano, and saxophone, Mudslide Charley creates a musical gumbo that rattles bones and loosens limbs.”

Review – Now this was another surprise to this weeks music. Marco Littig on guitar and Vocals is the main root of this blues tree. Liza Ginnings adds the vocals that really makes this band stand out, with Paul Kelley on Bass, Roger Moquin on drums, Phil Hamilton on harmonica and sax and Russ Parsons on keys. Band can flip from a straight ahead blues tune like “Judgement Day” to a jazzy tune like “Blues For You”. Some other notables for me were “Black Train”, “Blues Farm” and “You Can”. I think my favorite on this CD is “Almost Through”, Liza’s voice is so good,  listen here. I will give this a 10 on Blues Content and a 10 on Music Content.

Levee Town – Stories (Hudrone) 

Bio – “Levee Town is truly reminiscent of the old rock n roll energy that very first dominated the stage, but with a searing blend of blues and rockabilly stylings. Since forming in 2002, the band has taken their powerhouse sound from the fertile Kansas City blues scene to festival stages all over the US.  Known for their explosive live shows, this foursome has won adulation and critical praise the old-fashioned way – they earned it. Fronted by a trio of talented singer-songwriters, Levee Town is never at a loss for fresh new material. In addition to playing an average of 250 dates a year, the band is constantly writing new songs and revamping the classics.  Their 2004 live debut Snapshot displayed the band’s on-stage prowess and blistering live performance.  In 2006, they released their first full-length studio effort Unstable Table which displayed a strong penchant for solid songwriting and inventive lyrics.  Their 2009 album entitled simply LEVEE TOWN shows that the group continues to grow musically and contains the band’s finest songwriting and production to date.  Their current release, “Pages of Paperwork”, offers a solid set of original blues rooted firmly in the traditional blues sound, but also mixed with traces of rock, country, and even a little bit of pop.”

Review – Great 3 piece Blues band of Brandon Hudspeth on guitar, Jacque Garoutte on bass and Adam Hagerman on drums. This band does remind of the 70’s electric blues scene with some songs paralleling the folk scene at the same time. Notable songs for me were “the Healthy woman”, “Harley Lou”, “Dumb Ole smart Phone” and the instrumental “Shuffling Sea”. I think my favorite on this CD is “Where I lay My Head” , listen here. I will give this a 10 on Blues Content and a 10 on Music Content.



Become a Sponsor

Underwriting WTJU is a way to broadly share information about your business. It’s also a way for your business or organization to gain community-wide recognition for your support of WTJU’s community mission.

Underwrite a Program


Your gift nourishes our community and helps bring people together through music.

Underwrite a Program