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CD Reviews – Blues You Can Use (Hep Cat Records)

Blues you can use:

Rod Piazza and The Mighty FlyersAlphabet Blues
Anson Funderburgh and the RocketsShe Knocks Me Out
Ronnie Earl and The BroadcastersSoul Searching
James Harman Band Do Not Disturb
Sam Myers and Anson FunderburghMy Love Is Here To Stay

Hep Cat Records

During the blues revival of the mid-’80’s many indie labels popped up focusing primarily on roots music and blues, giving new blues artists a cfhance to build national careers when previously they would have played in their hometown and maybe a few surrounding areas for the entirety of their careers. While this development built a whole new crop of blues heroes, signing every blues band in sight may have diluted the waters a little and given rise to more mediocre talents than had these labels been more judicious in their signings. Luckily, these reissues are focused on a label named Black Top, which was one of the best indie blues labels ever and survived into the early 2000’s when the label finally succumbed to the current and puzzling general nonchalance regarding blues music. To be on Black Top meant you were an up and comer with real potential. The label focused on new acts and older stars who had low profiles. Plenty of blues stars were created from the Black Top roster and when you were on the label, the bigger labels kept an eye on you. I am reviewing five of the most noteworthy releases in this article and if you pick these up, you will encounter some of the best blues of the past twenty years.