It's time once again for the Blues Power Ranking 6-Pack, a feature within the feature that is Verse Chorus Verse. You know what the news is. This is the analysis portion of our program wherein I help you find the best of the best. Here are six songs from six albums on the Blues Power Rankings, the best source of what's hot at blues radio.
1) Smokin' Joe Kubek & Bnois King – "Have Blues, Will Travel" – Have Blues, Will Travel: Love, love, love this title track from the latest offering from Kubek & King. This spirited, Texas-roadhouse style raveup is a creative spin on the ramblin' blues lifestyle. The tale is well told and accompanied by some blazing guitar.
2) Derek Trucks Band – "Down Don't Bother Me" – Roadsongs: Speaking of blazing guitar, you have Derek Trucks. I didn't vote for Trucks to win Guitarist of The Year at the BMAs but I'm not deaf; this is one of the finest young guitarists on the planet. "Down Don't Bother Me" has been recorded innumerable times and Trucks' mesmerizing lead makes this version one of the best you'll hear.
3) Karen Lovely – "Never Felt No Blues" – Still The Rain: I first learned of Karen Lovely after she placed second at the International Blues Challenge last year. I first heard her sing in an impromptu jam at Rum Boogie Café in Memphis and I took notice when I saw she had a new record coming out this year, wondering if she, like so many before her, would use the IBC as a springboard forward. Finding a copy of the CD isn't easy, but iTunes and Amazon both have the album if you can stand digital. Reluctantly I gave in and did the download. It's not my favorite medium but Lovely made it worth my while all the same. She has a powerhouse, passionate voice and on "Never Felt No Blues" she has complete control of it, delivering just the right amount of intensity. She's backed by a great band with some excellent lead guitar and nice piano work. I just hope she one day gets some better distribution.