Author Archives: Rick Allen

Various Artists

Muddy Waters 100

Guitarists John Primer and Billy Flynn, bassist Felton Lewis, and drummer Kenny “Beady Eyes” Smith are part of an aggregation that’s long worked for the preservation and perpetuation of Chicago blues. That core gives this tribute disc continuity, letting guests who actually (more…)

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Ted Drozdowski’s Scissormen

Love & Life

Parts of Ted Drozdowski’s coal-mining family background are almost as hardscrabble and tragic as that of the people who created the blues music he champions so fiercely. That background is a factor in what made him a guitar player and songwriter of authority (more…)

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Richard Bennett

Contrary Cocktail

Richard Bennett works with a jazzman’s precision and taste, a swing player’s cool, and a rockabilly’s sense of urgency and fun. As a songwriter of guitar-centric instrumentals, his songs are visually as well as emotionally evocative, flowing out of your speakers in Technicolor. The (more…)

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Amy Black

The Muscle Shoals Sessions

If Will Kimbrough’s name does not come up the next time you’re discussing great guitar players, then you ain’t saying nothin’. Kimbrough is always on the money whether putting a delicately strong acoustic solo to Paul Mitchell’s soul ballad, “Starting All Over Again,” a hit (more…)

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Greg Nagy


Blues rocker Greg Nagy makes the Northern industrial equivalent to Southern country of the 1950s and ’60s. He melds ’70s West Coast R&B, British blues rock, Albert King tones, dollops of Steely Dan, the Rascals and Elvin Bishop, and the unhurried approach of a player (more…)

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Bernard Allison Group

In The Mix

Bernard Allison’s father, Luther, was a modern-era blues great. And while Bernard is most definitely in the family business, blues isn’t the only musical color on his palette. When he stretches out for a slide solo on “Move From The Hood,” he may be sizzling hot (more…)

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Cailyn Lloyd’s former life as a blues rocker of the Peter Green school gave her the stuff to put blood into the New Age music she has been making for the last few years. Her latest uses British composer Gustav Holst’s orchestral suite, “The Planets,” as a (more…)

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Ruf Records 20 Years Anniversary

20 Year Anniversary

The guitar was once derided as a “woman’s instrument,” and in the early 20th century, blues was considered a woman artist’s medium. Things have changed over the intervening years – and perhaps too much so. Nowadays, too often too little attention is paid to female guitarists, (more…)

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Erin Harpe and the Delta Swingers

Love Whip Blues

Some retro acts are more concerned with image and outfits than music. This record is a bit theatrical but with enough substance to give it staying power. A charming, versatile singer, Erin Harpe’s guitar playing is an on-time reminder of how effective and essential the guitar (more…)

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Howard Glazer

Looking In The Mirror

Detroit’s rich musical heritage includes a blues scene that has thrived in the bars along the Detroit River and on the city’s East Side. The MC5, Iggy Pop, and Bob “Catfish” Hodge sweated it out in those clubs with sets loaded with John Lee Hooker and (more…)

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