Roots Music Champions Fired Up On New Discs

by Robert Kinsler

Moreland & Arbuckle, Walter Trout, and Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa are featured on summertime sets.

Moreland-Arbuckle_7citiesArtist: Moreland & Arbuckle

Title: 7 Cities (Telarc/Concord Music Group)

You might like if you enjoy: Badlands, Little Walter, Buddy Guy, Vintage Trouble

Tell me more: This year has proved to be a banner year for insightful and hard-hitting roots blues and roots music. On the heels of excellent early 2013 releases from Otis Taylor and Ben Harper’s acclaimed collaboration with Charlie Musselwhite comes Moreland & Arbuckle’s fantastic “7 Cities.” A concept album that chronicles Spanish explorer Coronado’s search for the seven cities of gold in the 16th century, the tale is painted with singer-harmonica pro Dustin Arbuckle and guitarist Aaron Moreland’s distinctive blend of Delta and country blues, folk rock and even soul. Standouts include the driving “Quivira,” fiery Led Zeppelin-minded “Stranger Than Most” and instrumental “Red Bricks.” The decidedly hard rocking outfit even slows things down a bit in the shining “Broken Sunshine.” Information:

Walter-Trout_luthers-bluesArtist: Walter Trout

Title: Luther’s Blues (Provogue Records)

You might like if you enjoy: Joe Bonamassa, Luther Allison

Tell me more: Few living electric guitarists perform with the technical skill and emotional firepower of Walter Trout. The legendary singer-songwriter-guitarist has released his first-ever full-length tribute disc, the aptly-titled “Luther’s Blues.” A tribute to the late guitarist Luther Allison (who played with Howlin’ Wolf and was a member of singer-harmonica great James Cotton’s band), “Luther’s Blues” finds Trout and his top-flight band tearing it up on the straightforward “I’m Back,” the burning blues rocker “Cherry Red Wine” and emotive slow blues of “Pain in the Streets.” Information:

Joe-Bonamassa-SeesawArtist: Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa

Title: Seesaw (J&R Adventures )

You might like if you enjoy: Joe Bonamassa, Janiva Magness, Walter Trout

Tell me more: On their second collaboration, singer Beth Hart and guitarist Joe Bonamassa revisit a number of soul classics originally recorded by the likes of Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Etta James and proceed to make them their own. “Seesaw” finds the dynamic duo celebrating the joy of music making on the romatic “Close to my Fire,” Motown-mining “Nutbush City Limits,” rocking “Can’t Let You Go” and tender “A Sunday Kind of Love.” Information:



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