Ken’s pick of the year

Posted on: Monday, Dec 24, 2012


Hello readers.

You don’t hear too much from me these days as Grahame is now firmly in the chair running the site with very little assistance from me.  I still keep up with the technical issues, upgrades, bugs integrations etc. but the day to day stuff that you read and enjoy is either all Grahame or is Grahame co-ordinating the other contributors.

So big thanks to Grahame for doing a superb job.  We have now been around for just over seven years and we are approaching 5,000 posts and we have over 2,000 comments.  Please don’t under estimate the workload required in keeping this site going, it’s tough at times.

So on to the music.  This year I have listened to even fewer blues CDs than ever before, so choosing a best one is incredibly difficult.  In fact, so difficult that I have decided to skip this category.  Let me instead namecheck some of the songs that I have listened to most (hurrah for iTunes).  There is one clear leader in this album category “Chulahoma: The Songs of Junior Kimbrough” by The Black Keys.  Until this year, I had never heard this ten year old record. My enjoyment of the latest Black Keys CD “El Camino” caused me to investigate The Black Keys more.  “Chulahoma” stood out for me.  I nicked it from the internet at first but have subsequently bought my copy.  It’s currently right up there on my ‘desert island’ list.

Other CDs well played in the blues field are

  • Lester Butler – “13”
  • A compilation – “Crescent City Soul: Sound Of New Orleans”
  • A compilation -“Shattered Dreams: Funky Blues 1967-1978”
  • Sean Costello – “We Can Get Together”
  • Alex Schultz – “Think About It”
  • Anders Osbourne – “American Patchwork” – not really blues to be honest – but still should appeal to readers of this site

I went to three festivals this year, all were superb.

  • Theatre of Blues in Shrewsbury
  • Worthenbury Blues and Roots here in the UK
  • King Biscuit Blues Festival on the banks of the Mississippi in Arkansas

Without a moment’s hesitation, my gig of the year was JJ Grey and Mofro at Manchester Academy.  I was a fan before the show but the band blew me away.  It’s impossible to define the music of JJ Grey – funk, soul, blues, southern rock – all of them.  A super tight band and one of the best white voices currently out there.

I hope that 2013 brings you what you desire.

Peace and Love


Now enjoy some of the tunes….



December 24th, 2012 at 18:55
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Thanks for the kind words mate . . . . just spotted that bloody wally in the baseball hat down the front on the “Better Days” DVD clip . . . . thank the Lord he wasn’t at Manchester Academy 3!!