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Blues Power Rankings April 30, 2010: Karp & Foley, Holmes, Magness Hold Top Spots

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The results of our Blues Power Rankings for this week are largely unchanged this week with the top three albums from last week once again topping this week's chart.

I don't know why I've been so (pleasantly) surprised to see Peter Karp and Sue Foley's He Said She Said topping the charts these past two weeks. Maybe I don't give blues listeners enough credit. While not exactly a concept record, this is something of an atypical record even for contemporary blues. As with Karp's last solo record Shadows And Cracks, this is more of a singer/songwriter record with blues trimmings than a blues record. I'm good with that. I appreciate great songwriting and Karp is one of the best you've never heard of. I'm still working my way through the subtleties of this offering but I can heartily recommend it to you, especially if you have an appreciation for roots music with incisive lyrics.

I've also in the past week added to my collection the albums from Janiva Magness and Moreland & Arbuckle. I've expressed my disconnect with Magness in past articles and also in my review of one of her previous albums. It has been a frustrating disconnect because a portion of the blues cognoscenti I respect is crazy for her. I think The Devil Is An Angel Too is going to be a new beginning for Janiva and I. I didn't get it before. I'm starting to now. I never had a disconnect with Moreland & Arbuckle but I think I like Flood more than their very respectable previous effort 1861. I've gotten behind on my reviews but this is an album we're going to have to spend some time discussing very soon.

The big new entrant this week is Jonny Lang's Live At The Ryman. I want to buy that record just because of my love for Nashville's Ryman Auditorium, one time home of country music's Grand Ole Opery. What a beautiful room! I liked Lang's very Stevie Ray Vaughan-inspired "Lie To Me" from his debut record but I never fully dug into him. He's continued to work and grow and I might have to take a flyer on this one. I remember thinking the potential for Lang to be special was there.

A special note about Kilborn Alley Blues Band: last night (April 30), the band put on a special 10th anniversary show featuring guests Mary Lane and Gerry Hundt. It is so gratifying to hear the evolution of 10 years of hard work come to such beautiful fruition. Better Off Now continues to do well at blues radio and I cannot possibly recommend it any higher. If I was part of the Hathaway as in Berkshire-Hathaway, I would take some of Mr. Buffett's money and buy you all a copy of it. You shouldn't let one more day of your life go without adding this to your collection. Congratulations on 10 great years, Kilborn Alley. Here's to 10 more!

  1. Peter Karp / Sue Foley He Said She Said
  2. The Holmes Brothers Feed My Soul
  3. Janiva Magness The Devil Is An Angel, Too
  4. Moreland & Arbuckle Flood
  5. Guitar Shorty Bare Knuckle
  6. Seasick Steve Man From Another Time
  7. Jonny Lang Live At The Ryman
  8. Popa Chubby The Fight Is On
  9. The Kilborn Alley Blues Band Better Off Now
  10. Super Chikan Chikadelic
  11. Joe Bonamassa Black Rock
  12. Nick Moss Privileged
  13. Various Artist Rhythm And Blues
  14. Zora Young The French Connection
  15. Little Joe Mclerran Believe I'll Make A Change
  16. Kirk Fletcher My Turn
  17. Eric Bibb Booker's Guitar
  18. Cee Cee James Low Down Where The Snakes Crawl
  19. Anders Osborne American Patchwork
  20. Rick Taylor Lucky Room
  21. Tail Dragger Live At Rooster's Lounge
  22. Cash Box Kings I-94 Blues
  23. Hill Country Revue Make A Move
  24. Elmore James Jr. & The Broomdusters Baby Please Set A Date
  25. Back Alley Players Beyond The Blues
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