It's been a couple weeks since I've been able to do this due to a host of circumstances beyond my control but even during my absence I've been keeping up with what's happening at retail and radio in the blues world with both the Billboard and Roots Music Reports charts. While Billboard remains the undisputed industry champion when it comes to sales, I've found it to be the less interesting of the two charts. It just doesn't have the agility to capture what's really happening within the genre at the grassroots level. I'm not going to ignore the Billboard charts but I'm going to spend less time examining it and spend more time looking at what's happening at radio as reported by the RMR chart.
Taking a look at the RMR chart we see the latest from BMA-winner Guitar Shorty, Bare Knuckle, replacing The Holmes Brothers' Feed My Soul. These two albums have been big hits for Alligator Records as both have done well on Billboard's charts and both are doing well on radio. The same holds true for Moreland & Arbuckle's Flood from Telarc. I've yet to hear these records but their prominence on the charts insists I change that soon.
I'm really excited to see three of Blue Bella Records' latest releases polling well. All four releases from BB have moved up and down the charts and this week we have Nick Moss' Privileged and Kilborn Alley Blues Band's Better Off Now both in the Top 10. Cash Box Kings' excellent I-94 Blues checks in at #16. The hard-touring Moss and his band, The Flip Tops, recently kicked off their tour in support of the album and will be out on the road throughout the spring and into the summer.
Peter Karp and Sue Foley's duet is growing on me. I just need to find more time to spend with it. I expect Janiva Magness' CD is going to shoot up these charts the closer we get to its release later this month. Joe Bonamassa's latest, Black Rock, is a very good listen. It's doing well on the Billboard chart due to some nice push from his label. It hasn't had the same impact thus far at radio (although he's not being completely buried). JB can be a peculiar fit. He's not a traditional blues musician and his spin on contemporary blues sometimes has a little more rock sound than some blues programmers may prefer but landing #1 on Billboard suggests the lack of radio push isn't hurting.
- Guitar Shorty – Bare Knuckle
- The Holmes Brothers – Feed My Soul
- Moreland & Arbuckle – Flood
- Peter Karp / Sue Foley – He Said She Said
- Seasick Steve – Man From Another Time
- Arthur Adams – Stomp The Floor
- Nick Moss – Privileged
- The Kilborn Alley Blues Band – Better Off Now
- Super Chikan – Chikadelic
- Janiva Magness – The Devil Is An Angel, Too
- Solomon Burke – Nothing's Impossible
- Popa Chubby – The Fight Is On
- Fathead – Where's The Blues Taking Me
- Eric Bibb – Booker's Guitar
- Zora Young – The French Connection
- Cash Box Kings – I-94 Blues
- Hill Country Revue – Make A Move
- Cee Cee James – Low Down Where The Snakes Crawl
- Joe Bonamassa – Black Rock
- Little Joe Mclerran – Believe I'll Make A Change
(Roots Music Report Blues Chart for Week of 04/09/10).