We're about to bring the gavel down on 2010 which means you'll soon see year-end "Best Of" lists if you haven't already. Our pals at Roots Music Report – one of my sources for the weekly Blues Power Rankings – have already published their list of albums that got the most radio airplay in 2010. I stubbornly refuse to compile my own "Best Of" list until the year has come to a close but skimming what we have from RMR makes it clear how tough that job is going to be for me this year. Many of these albums are sure to make my list with many others competing for spots, and that doesn't take into account great non-blues records!
I'm happiest to see the Top 5 placement for Peter Karp & Sue Foley's He Said She Said. I love the record and it was great seeing them perform a suite of songs from the album at Nashville's Music City Roots. It was an honor and a thrill to sit with them after the show, talk about the record, and eat some really good fried chicken. It's good to see radio programmers, DJs, and listeners embrace a blues record that isn't a blues record. It's great to see smart songwriting and incredible chemistry get a chance to catch on with audiences.
Have Blues, Will Travel is the first Smokin' Joe Kubek and Bnois King record I bought and I fell in love with it (I've since bought another of their albums). They were one of my happy discoveries in 2010 as were The Holmes Brothers. Charlie Musselwhite's The Well was the long-awaited return of one of the great harp masters and it was worth the wait. Guitar Shorty also made fans wait and when he did he came back with some great songs on Bare Knuckle.