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January 1999

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Buy these Top 10 CDs today:

Dave Myers
Roy Gaines
Sax Gordon
Guitar Shorty
Chris Ardoin
Darrell Nulisch
Otis Rush
Big Joe and the Dynaflows
Roscoe Shelton
Satan and Adam

Pick Hit

To commemorate a year of exciting new blues releases, this month we've selected our Top Ten List of new CDs, as well as including a few submitted by Blues Bytes readers. Thanks for your support of Blues Bytes over the past 12 months!

- Bill Mitchell

Bill Mitchell (main reviewer of Blues Bytes)

Dave Myers1. I just knew that Dave Myer's CD, You Can't Do That (Black Top), would be the best of the year after hearing just the first few songs. This is a beautiful set of music --- classic Chicago blues played by one of its pioneers. Throw in a top notch backing band led by harmonica player Kim Wilson, who sounds more like Little Walter than any other harp man alive today, and you'll quickly agree that the blues just doesn't get much better!  (original review).

Roy Gaines2. Another CD which instantly knocked me for a loop was Bluesman For Life (JSP), from California-based guitarist Roy Gaines. I was familiar with Mr. Gaines from his work with his more famous sax-playing brother Grady Gaines. But Bluesman For Life is one absolutely incredible CD. I'd also like to add that the original review of this CD received more positive e-mail from readers than any other disc this year. (original review)

Sax Gordon3. If you dig crazy horn players, then don't miss out on Sax Gordon's swingin' disc Have Horn Will Travel (Bullseye Blues). If you're into vintage Louis Jordan music, then you'll really enjoy this one. It's ultra cool. (original review)

4. Another of my all-time favorite blues guys, Guitar Shorty, came out with his third CD for Black Top Records, Roll Over, Baby. The album was highlighted by several compositions from the eclectic bluesman Swamp Dogg. (original review)

Chris Ardoin and Double Clutchin'5. I've made no secret of my love for Zydeco music, and one of the hottest new bands on the Louisiana dancehall circuit is Chris Ardoin and Double Clutchin'. Their second disc for Rounder Records, Turn The Page, is a great mix of traditional and contemporary sounds. (original review)

6. Texas blues/soul cat Darrell Nulisch just keeps getting better. His last two CDs have been on small independent labels, with this year's The Whole Truth (Severn Records), easily making my top ten list. (original review)

7. Blues veteran Otis Rush has recorded infrequently over the years, but everything he does is always top notch. Any Place I'm Going (House of Blues) shows what his early recordings might have sounded like if they had been cut in Memphis instead of in Chicago. (original review)

Big Joe and the Dynaflows8. Severn Records contributes another fine CD to my '98 list of faves with the jump blues sounds of Maryland-based Big Joe and the Dynaflows. After listening to I'm Still Swingin', you'll swear you accidentally cued up an old Smiley Lewis record. (original review)

9. It was a very good year for the re-discovery of some classic Nashville soul singers, and Black Top Records dug up one of the best in Roscoe Shelton. Let It Shine, shows that he hasn't lost a thing since his hit-making years with Excello Records. (original review)

10. Satan and Adam invariably make it on my year-end top ten list any year they release a new CD, and 1998 was no exception. Their Living On The River (Flying Fish) is worthy if for no other reason than hearing Satan's gravelly vocals on "I'm A Girl Watcher." (original review)


Reader Choices

Steve Hoffman (host of "Blues Experience" on

  1. Johnny Adams - Man Of My Word (Rounder)
  2. James Armstrong - Dark Night (Hightone)
  3. Rory Block - Confessions Of A Blues Singer (Rounder)
  4. Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater - Cool Blues Walk (Bullseye Blues)
  5. Olu Dara - In The World: From Natchez To New York (Atlantic)
  6. Michael Hill’s Blues Mob - New York State Of Blues (Alligator)
  7. B.B. King - Blues On The Bayou (MCA)
  8. Darrell Nulisch - The Whole Truth (Severn)
  9. Brian Setzer Orchestra - The Dirty Boogie (Interscope)
  10. Phillip Walker - I Got A Sweet Tooth (Black Top)

Beef Stew (host of "Sunday Night Blues" on WCCC, Hartford, CT)

  1. Kid Bangham & Amy Justin - Pressure Cooker (Tone-Cool)
  2. Kenny Wayne Shepard - Trouble Is (Revolution)
  3. The Radio Kings - Money Road (Bullseye Blues)
  4. Jimmy D. Lane - Long Gone (Analogue Productions)
  5. Johnny Winter - Live In NYC ‘97 (Pointblank)
  6. Smokin Joe Kubek - Take Your Best Shot (Bullseye Blues)
  7. Duke Robillard - Dangerous Place (Pointblank)
  8. Bernard Allison - Keepin’ The Blues Alive (Cannonball)
  9. Roomful Of Blues - Under One Roof (Bullseye Blues)
  10. Carey Bell -  Good Luck Man (Alligator)

Graham Clarke (Decatur, MS)

  1. James Armstrong -Dark Night
  2. Joe Louis Walker - Preacher and The President
  3. Otis Rush - Any Place I'm Going
  4. Robert Lockwood Jr. - Got To Find Me A Woman
  5. Pete Mayes - For Pete's Sake
  6. Johnny Adams - Man Of My Word
  7. Otis Clay - This Time Around
  8. Big Jack Johnson & The Oilers - All The Way Back
  9. Roy Gaines - Bluesman For Life
  10. B. B. King - Blues On The Bayou

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