Posted by: bluesyemre | March 13, 2014

Fifteen Blues Artists to Watch in 2014 By Christian McPhate


  • Every generation has an underground music scene that only an elite group of fans and the NSA know of. In the ’60s, psychedelic music, for example, exploded onto the hippies’ counterculture scene with music by The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd. (And let’s not forget the Velvet Underground.) In the ’70s, the Sex Pistols, the Clash and the Ramones dominated garages and small venues across England and North America until bands like Anthrax, Slayer and Metallica accepted the mantle in the early ’80s, with rappers N.W.A., Public Enemy and Run DMC emerging out of Compton, Long Island and Queens to carry on the underground tradition when the headbangers moved into the arenas. And yet the earliest incarnation of the underground music scene actually occurred as far back as the ’20s when Delta bluesmen such as Freddie Spruell, Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson crooned “Milk Cow Blues,” “Honey Bee” and “Crossroads” in small smoky shacks that served homemade whiskey and deals with the devil for that perfect tone. So in honor of the new year, we here at the Observer have consulted with the wisdom of the blues’ seers at KNON, blues artists from across the DFW area and the Net to generate a list of blues artists that doesn’t include John Mayer (although he’s an amazing guitarslinger), to watch in 2014 (and hopefully inspire a few program directors to change their formats). Here it is in no particular order. Enjoy.

Gary Clark Jr.: Bright Lights
North Mississippi Allstars: Shimmy
Davy Knowles and Back Door Slam: Outside Woman Blues
The Black Keys: Tighten Up
Jimmy Bowskill: A Delta Slide Blues
Tedeschi Trucks Band: Live At Red Rocks
Kenny Wayne Shepherd: Voodoo Child
Oli Brown Band: No Diggity
Joanne Shaw Taylor: Jealousy
Jason Elmore & Hoodoo Witch: Cold Lonely Dawn
Eric Gales Band: Make it There
Joe Bonamassa: Midnight Blues
The Royal Rhythmaires: Cajun Boy
Doyle Bramhall II: Welcome
Larry Lampkin: Losing My Soul


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