If you are a fan of the Tedeschi Trucks Band, you need to hear this EP from a great new band called Magnolia Boulevard.
Sadly TTB have been quiet this year but this does very nicely, thank you.
The Songs On New Illusion
There are just four songs on it:
Lovin’ Me 5:01
Smooth Sailin’ 5:21
The band only has five members so it’s smaller sound that TTB without the backing singers, brass section etc but the singer, Maggie Noelle sounds extraordinarily similar to Susan Tedeschi, the lucky woman because Tedeschi is a terrific blues/soul/rock singer. She also plays rhythm guitar.
The Derek Trucks of the band is Gregg Erwin and whilst I won’t claim he’s as good as Derek, because I don’t have the expertise to assess them fairly, I really like what he does. Completing the band are John Roberts on bass, Ryan Allen on keyboards and Todd Copeland playing the drums.
This is a tough time for new bands who probably thrive on live performances. I really hope this band are working on their first full length album, because I’m buying it without any hesitation.
What are the best blues and blues rock albums released in 2020?
Below you will find a poll where I ask you to vote for up to TEN of your favourite albums from 2020. Please help others to find the best blues albums and let them guide you to albums that you haven’t yet heard.
If I’m asking you to recommend albums, it’s only fair that I tell which blues albums have made the biggest impression on me from 2020.
I have a weakness for female blues singers so you’ll see more albums by women in my list and probably more in the poll than you’d normally expect.
I rate out of 10 with 10 = brilliant (an all-time top 100 album), 9 = excellent (top 250 to 300 album), 8 = very good, 7 = good, 6 = pretty good. I’m also reluctant to give 9s and 10s out until they have stood the test of time. I like albums when I first buy or hear them but too often they don’t leave a lasting impression. The last 9s I have for blues albums are the 2019 albums by Elles Bailey and Whalia and the last 10 is Let Me Get By from the Tedeschi Trucks Band.
Here are my thoughts so far for blues albums released in 2020
Blackbird & Crow – Ailm8/10
A folk blues hybrid from this Irish pair. In a world where blues can have a generic sound, this is lovely and different.
Crystal Shawanda – Church House Blues 8/10
A new artist to me but this won’t be the last album I buy of hers now that she’s converted from country to blues. A native American from Canada with a terrific, husky voice.
Joe Louis Walker – Blues Comin’ On 8/10
One of those artists I’ve meant to investigate before but there’s something about this that tipped me over the edge to try it through my streaming service and it was so good, I just had to own it.
Larkin Poe – Self Made Man 8/10
A well publicised band in the music press, but they live up to the hype.
Robert Jon & The Wreck – Last Light On The Highway 8/10
I don’t understand why this fine Southern rock band aren’t much better known. Their music has the big hooks needed to be a crossover hit.
The title track is a two-parter.
Vanessa Collier – Heart On the Line 8/10
Vanessa has only released four albums but it speaks highly that I rate my third favourite of hers as high as 8/10. She is one of the female blues singers I’m turning to most often. I’m probably biased because I love the saxophone but this album has quite a wide range of styles including funk and soul.
Whitney Shay – Stand Up! 8/10
Powerful rhythm and blues by this singer from Texas. I’m very taken with her previous album, A Woman Rules The World.
The Best Blues & Blues Rock Albums In 2020
Here is the poll for studio albums. I’ll probably start another poll for live albums.
I’d love it if you leave a comment with details of explaining why you love certain albums or perhaps giving ratings for albums. Personally I use a rating out of 10.
Leave a comment to tell me about great blues albums I’ve missed. It’s inevitable that I’ll miss something and it’s probably really obvious to you.
More Details About The Albums Selected
Bear with me on this. It’s going to take a lot of time and effort to load all the album covers and links.
Review at Rock And Blues Muse – “For any blues/roots fan, Blues Bash with Duke Robillard & Friends is something to treasure, a journey into another world that will carry you effortlessly across an ocean of soulful sounds.”