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Pinetop Perkins & Willie “Big Eyes” Smith Debut Strong; Magness, Karp & Foley, Anders Osbourne Hold Strong At Blues Radio

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The big story this week is the chart debut of an album from two legends that just released this week. Pinetop Perkins and Willie “Big Eyes” Smith’s collaborative effort Joined At The Hip debuts at #12. My copy of that album is on the way and I’m eager to hear what these to legends of the blues have cooked up. They’re joined on the record by Smith’s son, Kenny, on drums and Chicago legend John Primer on guitar.

Also on the way is my copy of the new Karen Lovely CD Still The Rain. Having heard her sing in Memphis in an impromptu jam session, I’m eager to hear this one. I’ve not yet fully grasped what the nominating committee within the Blues Foundation is looking for but I have a feeling this recent star of the International Blues Challenge is going to have her share of supporters and that support might well have her on the short list for a handful of nominations next year.

Looking at the top of our charts, Janiva Magness and Peter Karp & Sue Foley remain in their familiar territory. We’ve also got the recent releases from Otis Taylor and Smokin’ Joe Kubek & Bnois King. Overall, there’s a lot of familiarity in this list. Some of the places have changed and albums have moved up and down but the names have grown a bit static. The past few months have seen a number of great, great blues records released and there’s a lot of fertile ground to mine. Let’s enjoy these albums for awhile and wait for the next crop of interesting new releases to emerge.

To that end, be on the lookout for a companion piece to this little feature. Each week I tell you which albums are being played at blues radio and I enjoy doing it. Starting this week I’d like to take you a little more in-depth. In addition to letting this feature serve as an album buyers’ guide, I’m going to help you citizens of the digital music world find a track from a couple of these releases to go download and use as an entry point. I wish I was in a position to give away some MP3 for you to sample and then decide whether to explore further but I don’t have said license nor are my pockets deep enough to hook you all up so we’re going to continue being fast and loose with your money. Here’s your full rundown of this week’s Blues Power Rankings:

  1. Janiva Magness – The Devil Is An Angel, Too

  2. Peter Karp / Sue Foley – He Said She Said
  3. Otis Taylor – Clovis People, Vol. 3
  4. Smokin’ Joe Kubek & Bnois King – Have Blues, Will Travel
  5. Magic Slim & The Teardrops – Raising The Bar
  6. Anders Osborne – American Patchwork
  7. Shakura S’aida – Brown Sugar
  8. John Nemeth – Name The Day!
  9. Mississippi Heat – Let’s Live It Up
  10. Cyril Neville – The Essential Cyril Neville
  11. The Kilborn Alley Blues Band – Better Off Now
  12. Pinetop Perkins / Willie ‘Big Eyes’ Smith – Joined At The Hip
  13. Nick Moss – Privileged
  14. Guitar Shorty – Bare Knuckle
  15. Peter Parcek – The Mathematics Of Love
  16. Eric Bibb – Booker’s Guitar
  17. Jonny Lang – Live At The Ryman
  18. Karen Lovely – Still The Rain
  19. Dave Weld And The Imperial Flames – Burnin’ Love
  20. Popa Chubby – The Fight Is On
  21. Rick Taylor – Lucky Room
  22. Elvin Bishop – Red Dog Speaks
  23. Bettye Lavette – Interpretations – The British Rock Songbook
  24. Kirk Fletcher – My Turn
  25. Mark Hummel – Retro-Active

About Josh Hathaway