Top Blues Albums of 2020


 From The Editor's Desk 

Hey Blues Fans,

Blue Blast Magazine writers and staff wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Below are the top 20 album lists that some of our music reviewers enjoyed this year.

The lists are in random order and a good place start if you want to hear some great Blues over the holiday season

Wishing you health, happiness and lots of Blues music in 2021!

Bob Kieser


 Mark Thompson - Top 20  

  • Kim Wilson - Take Me Back The Bigtone Sessions

  • Shawn Pittman - Make it Right!

  • Johnny Iguana - Chicago Spectacular!

  • The Duke Robillard Band - Blues Bash!

  • Andrew Alli - Hard Workin' Man

  • Ron Thompson - From The Patio

  • Shemekia Copeland - Uncivil War

  • Don Bryant - You Make Me Feel

  • Ben Levin - Carryout Or Delivery

  • The Sons of the Soul Revivers - Songs We'll Always Sing - A Tribute to The Pilgrim Jubilees

  • Frank Bey - All My Dues Are Paid

  • Tinsley Ellis - Ice Cream In Hell

  • Nora Jean Wallace - Blues Woman

  • Sonny Green - Found! One Soul Singer

  • Shaun Murphy - Flame Still Burns

  • New Moon Jelly Roll Freedom Rockers - Vol. 1

  • Sugar Ray & the Bluetones featuring Little Charlie - Too Far From The Bar

  • Victor Wainwright & the Train - Memphis Loud

  • John Nemeth - Stronger Than Strong

  • Jose Ramirez - Here I Come

Blues Blast Magazine Senior writer Mark Thompson lives in Florida, where he is enjoying the sun and retirement. He is the past President of the Board of Directors for the Suncoast Blues Society and a former member of the Board of Directors for the Blues Foundation. Music has been a huge part of his life for the past fifty years - just ask his wife!


 Marty Gunther - Top 20  

  • Frank Bey - All My Dues Are Paid

  • Shemekia Copeland - Uncivil War

  • Ruthie Foster - Live at the Paramount

  • Elvin Bishop & Charlie Musselwhite - 100 Years of the Blues

  • Jose Ramirez - Here I Come

  • Sonny Green - Found! One Soul Singer

  • The Nighthawks - Tryin' to Get to You

  • Joe Louis Walker - Blues Comin' On

  • Nora Jean Wallace - Blues Woman

  • Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters - Rise Up

  • Big Harp George -- Living in the City

  • Sugar Blue - Colors

  • Albert Castiglia - Wild and Free

  • Roomful of Blues - In a Roomful of Blues

  • Mary Jo Curry - Back Porch

  • Lloyd Jones - Tennessee Run

  • Johnny Iguana - Chicago Spectacular

  • Gerald McClendon - Can't Nobody Stop Me Now

  • Kim Wilson - Take Me Back! The Bigtone Sessions

  • Tyler Morris - Living in the Shadows

Blues Blast Magazine Senior writer Marty Gunther has lived a blessed life. Now based out of Charlotte, N.C., his first experience with live music came at the feet of the first generation of blues legends at the Newport Folk Festivals in the 1960s. A former member of the Chicago blues community, he’s a professional journalist and blues harmonica player who co-founded the Nucklebusters, one of the hardest working bands in South Florida.


 Steve Jones - Top 20  

  • Andrew Alli - Hard Working Man

  • Ben Levin - Carryout Or Delivery

  • Dave Keller - You Get What You Give

  • Don Bryant - You Make Me Feel

  • Joe Louis Walker - Feed the PoorJoe Louis Walker - Feed the Poor

  • John Nemeth - Stronger Than Strong

  • Johnny Iguana - Chicago Spectacular!

  • Jose Ramirez - Here I Come

  • Kim Wilson - Take Me Back! The Bigtone Sessions

  • Kirk Fletcher - My Blues Pathway

  • Mark Hummel - Way Back Machine

  • Martin Lang - Bad Man

  • New Moon Jelly Roll Freedom Rockers - Vol. 1

  • Nora Jean Wallace - Blues Woman

  • Rory Block - Prove It On Me

  • Shaun Murphy- Flame Still Burns

  • Shemekia Copeland - Uncivil War

  • Sugar Ray & the Bluetones featuring Little Charlie - Too Far From The Bar

  • Tinsley Ellis - Ice Cream in Hell

  • Victor Wainwright and the Train - Memphis Loud

Reviewer Steve Jones is president of the Crossroads Blues Society and is a long standing blues lover. He is a retired Navy commander who served his entire career in nuclear submarines. In addition to working in his civilian career since 1996, he writes for and publishes the bi-monthly newsletter for Crossroads, chairs their music festival and works with their Blues In The Schools program. He resides in Byron, IL.


 John Mitchell - Top 20  

  • Jose Ramirez - Here I Come

  • Kai Strauss - In My Prime

  • John Nemeth - Stronger Than Strong

  • Duke Robillard - Blues Bash

  • Shemekia Copeland - Uncivil War

  • Jimmie Vaughan - The Pleasure’s All Mine

  • Big Harp George -- Living in the City

  • Gregg Martinez - MacDaddy Mojeaux

  • Johnny Rawls - Where Have All The Soulmen Gone

  • Victor Wainwright and the Train - Memphis Loud

  • Roomful of Blues - In a Roomful of Blues

  • JW-Jones - Sonic Departures

  • Frank Bey - All My Dues Are Paid

  • Whitney Shay - Stand Up!

  • Gerald McClendon - Can’t Nobody Stop Me Now

  • Fenton Robinson - Out of Chicago: Live and studio 1989/92

  • Ben Levin - Carryout Or Delivery

  • Chris Corcoran - Coolerator

  • Kim Wilson - Take Me Back! The Bigtone Sessions

Reviewer John Mitchell is a blues enthusiast based in the UK who enjoys a wide variety of blues and roots music, especially anything in the 'soul/blues' category. Favorites include contemporary artists such as Curtis Salgado, Tad Robinson, Albert Castiglia and Doug Deming and classic artists including Bobby Bland, Howling Wolf and the three 'Kings'. He gets over to the States as often as he can to see live blues.


 Rhys Williams - Top 20  

  • Chris Corcoran - Coolerator

  • Laura B and her Band - Just A Little Love

  • Larkin Poe - Self Made Man

  • Shawn Pittman - Make it Right!

  • Various Artists - Dirty Work Going On - Kent & Modern Records Blues Into The 1960s Volume 1

  • New Moon Jelly Roll Freedom Rockers - Vol. 1

  • When Rivers Meet - We Fly Free

  • Shoji Naito - Westmount To Chicago - A Tribute To Eddy Clearwater

  • Harper & The Midwest Kind - Rise Up

  • Sugar Ray & the Bluetones featuring Little Charlie - Too Far From The Bar

  • Jimmie Vaughan - The Pleasure's All Mine

  • Duke Robillard - Blues Bash

  • Guy Belanger - Eldorado

  • John Nemeth - Stronger Than Strong

  • The Proven Ones - You Ain't Done

  • Kim Wilson - Take Me Back! The Bigtone Sessions

  • Chris Smither - More From The Levee

  • Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters - Rise Up

  • Wily Bo Walker & Danny Flan - Ain't No Man A Good Man

  • Bobby Rush - Rawer Than Raw

Reviewer Rhys Williams lives in Cambridge, England, where he plays blues guitar when not holding down a day job as a technology lawyer or running around after his children. He is married to an American, and speaks the language fluently, if with an accent.


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