Bluesdoodles Picks of 2016 Recorded Music

Bluesdoodles Picks of 2016 Recorded Music

Bluesdoodles Picks of 2016 Recorded Music


What a fabulous year for music at Bluesdoodles HQ. I have enjoyed listening to all the recorded music sent. Liz makes a note (must do better in 2017 and review more! I have started a new hopefully more organised system!).

Album Highlights 2016

One Hundred and Forty-eight reviewed. What an array of music from Folk to Metal Rock to Blues. The genre to everyone at Bluesdoodles  HQ is unimportant, that is a marketing tool it is whether the music vibes hits our collective DNA. Liz, Kevin & Othello a very discerning Bandana wearing Labradoodle.

Album of 2016

Now this was difficult almost impossible with so many contenders With Thirty-Six albums with the Ten-Doodle Paw accolade considered throughout December. what a delight to play and listen to them all again. The final choice is mine, yes it is subjective and has changed there are many that have not been mentioned that will continue to be regularly played and enjoyed in the House of Bluesdoodles

Bluesdoodles Picks of 2016 Recorded MusicAlbum of  The Year 2016

Beth HartFire On The FloorMascot Label

I wrote when I reviewed in September that it was a contender for album of the year I was right. The fire in the album burns brightly from the floor to the heavens. Beth Hart,  Fire On The Floor has gathered together a dozen tracks that flow and warm up the speakers with a raw, charismatic and open delivery of intensely personal emotionally driven lyrics.  Fire On The Floor is a majestic album and will burn brightly long after 2016 fades into a memory.

 Bluesdoodles Picks of 2016 Recorded MusicBlues Album Of The Year

Devon AllmanRide Or Die RUF Records

Ride Or Die, is a journey full of colour and texture in the tone. With flashes of blue and twists of granite rock and country green woven into a musical tuned magic carpet. This is an album that takes you on a journey full of anguish, hurt, pain and the pleasures of living life where you Ride or Die whatever your journey remember hope will be present.

Bluesdoodles Picks of 2016 Recorded MusicFolk/Roots/Acoustic Album of The Year

Red Dirt SkinnersBehind The Wheel – Independent

Roots wither and die whether music or plants without green shoots.  Red Dirt Skinners are an imaginative duo creating beautiful shoots of glittering music that will ensure roots/country music will continue to thrive Behind the Wheel. With this, their fifth album, the duo with the unique combination of acoustic guitar, drum and saxophone have made a noise that pleases all who listen.

Bluesdoodles Picks of 2016 Recorded MusicFemale Artist Album of The Year

Beth HartFire On The Floor Mascot Label


Bluesdoodles Picks of 2016 Recorded MusicLive Album

Martin Simpson & Don FlemonsEver Popular FavouritesFledgling Records

All twelve tracks have a purpose and in addition to the new arrangements and musicianship we have the blending, and mixing of British traditional music and blues in many guises and the common heritage of themes, lyrics and melodies the two traditions share.A definite for your acoustic collection. I recommend close the curtains block out the world, sit back and be absorbed into the music and the power of the lyrics.

Bluesdoodles Picks of 2016 Recorded MusicCelebration Album of The Year

Ian Siegal – 2wnty5ive The CollectionNugene Records

Celebrating twenty-Five years of playing live with the band a trio od CD’s celebrate the enigmatic and varied tones that the wandering troubadour Ian Siegal delivers and delights. This is the Opus Majus of an artist who whether playing solo, as a duo or with a band electric or acoustic always entertains and the box set does just that. You would be Hard Pressed to find a better collection and this is a trio of delights that will never be sent to Quarantine

Bluesdoodles Picks of 2016 Recorded MusicRock

Black Stone Cherry KentuckyMascot Label Group

The energy flows in a studio album that has a live, raw edgy feel and at the same time everything has its place and has been considered. Kentucky has a flow, no songs feel forced or put in as a filler this is Black Stone Cherry entertaining through the medium of brilliant rock grinding, demanding and immensely listenable.

Bluesdoodles Picks of 2016 Recorded MusicBlues Rock

Stevie NimmoSky Won’t Fall – Manhaton Records

The combination of powerful lyrics, blues guitar of such purity it makes you weep and a Nimmo’s vocals we can be sure The Sky Won’t Fall when there is music of this magnitude being created. The album is a mix of tones, texture and tempos. Seven tracks in and you are Still Hungry for more music. This is power-driven rock-blues of the highest order. A track that would work well if stood out alone, surely this will get acres of radio play. It is full of smokey riffs, power and rocks your socks off!

Bluesdoodles Picks of 2016 Recorded MusicOverseas Artist

Dan PatlanskyIntrovertigo

Introvertigo with its carefully crafted lyrics that blend urbane wit and honest observation, this is blues pertinent to today’s lifestyles, not so much whiskey and women more the corruption of power and social interaction. Ten tracks there are no fillers every number is full of strength and tonal power but there is not an off note or lyric. This has been achieved by production that keeps the live heat flowing from guitar and vocals.

Debut Albums

There are three that really made us sit up and listen:-

Inglorious – Self-titled album reviewed late January. We are licking our lips and tuning our ears for the follow-up album early in 2017. Inglorious are stupendous live getting better with every performance the expectations are very high for 2017!

Broken Witt Rebels – Georgia Pines Reviewed in February. A perfectly formed EP leaving you wanting to hear more. An album with Huge Guitar Riffs and vocals that delight. Fingers-crossed a full album is out soon consolidating the marker they set down in 2016.

Sari Schorr and The Engine Room – A Force Of Nature, Reviewed in August. Sari Drives the Blues, bringing a wealth of experience from life, influencing her songwriting and vocal delivery. Looking forward to Sari playing live in 2017 and hopefully will be back in the studio very soon.

RavenEye – Nova – Frontiers Music s.r.l The album’s name NOVA is a perfect reflection of the explosion of recognition that RavenEye has achieved in such a short time. The band is a rock explosion they certainly have suddenly brightened the firmament of the British rock scene and will be shining their Supanova Rock for many years to come.

Special Mentions

Bluesdoodles Picks of 2016 Recorded MusicKaz Hawkins – Feelin’ Good an album full of Kaz sparkle and joy. Having won the Blues Challenge organised by UKBluesFederation.  We wish you well as you head for the 34th International Blues Challenge in Memphis in 2017. This is the first time that  British Blues has been in the challenge. Then she will be representing British Blues in Denmark at the European Blues Challenge a busy start for 2017.



Aynsley Lister, King King, The Temperance Movement, Albany Down, The Cadillac Three, SIMORival Sons, Jeff Healey, Jimbo Mathus, Big Boy Bloater & The LiMitsGlenn Hughes, Danny Bryant and Honey Swamp Island for albums that sparkle whenever they are played which is loud and often in this office.

Andrew Combs with Support from Barna Howard touring U.K September 2015

unnamed (3)September 2015 sees Andrew Combs returning to the UK.

Following on from an appearance at End Of The Road Festival on Friday 4th September, Andrew and his band will tour the UK promoting their 2015 album All These Dreams.

06 Sep – OXFORD, Bullingdon
07 Sep – BRIGHTON, Prince Albert
08 Sep – LONDON, Hoxton Bar & Kitchen
09 Sep – NOTTINGHAM, The Maze
10 Sep – EDINBURGH, Voodoo Rooms
11 Sep – NEWCASTLE, Cluny 2
12 Sep – LEEDS, Fox & Newt
13 Sep – WINCHESTER, The Railway (SC4M Festival)

The album marked a huge step forward for the Nashville-based singer-songwriter. Using his gifts for lyricism and wry observation, Combs weaves tales of love, sin and redemption on the new album, in a style that brings together classic country and contemporary pop. Combs continues to carve out his own singular path as an artist, finally reaching the heights of his Texas songwriting heroes. Rough Trade Shops made All These Dreams one of their Albums Of The Month as well as selecting one of the tracks to be included on their Counter Culture 14 album.

“Almost surgically skilful with a phrase and yet filled with human vulnerability” ★★★★ – MOJO

“He’s got that swagger and still waters thing going on that hearkens back to the legendary Southern singer/songwriters of the seventies as well as the Canyon greats.” – THE LINE OF BEST FIT

“Four Singer-Songwriters You Need To Know in 2015” – ROLLING STONE

“This might be the Americana album of 2015” – NPR


Support for the tour comes in the shape of Loose label mate, Barna Howard. His album Quite A Feelin’ was produced by Adam Selzer at Type Foundry Studio in Howard’s hometown of Portland. The album was released in May 2015 and has gained much praise from the UK press.
“the ten tracks are small musical pictures freezing in the track a moment or emotions felt as we travel through the complexities of life” Bluesdoodles

“mature, timeless songs, with strains of Kris Kristofferson, Townes Van Zandt and John Prine, that could’ve been hauled out of any of the past six decades – a master storyteller” – THE GUARDIAN

“delicate, beautiful and touching – an instantly timeless sound” – THE LINE OF BEST FIT

“slow finger-picked country-folk for the soul” – INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY


CD Review: Coolhand ~ Coolhand

coolhand cover


Coolhand play the blues on a self-titled debut album that delivers a dozen self-penned numbers that shine a light on the many talents in the band both musically and lyrically and there are times when this up and coming band show a hint of the dragon fire they can deliver. This is an album full of potential with its crisp, perhaps at times too studio driven, production by Luke himself combined with the obvious musical skills within the band with Luke Bradshaw’s stylish electric guitar, Darren Edwards vocal prowess and the stylish piano playing from Gareth Kedward.

Opening with Virtual Love with a look at living outside of life in a virtual world lyrically hitting the spot and showing the blues credentials. Summertime Shuffle is upbeat but needs more foot tapping ‘get up and dance’ energy to let the sun melt the cool exterior of the bands controlled musicianship. Deadman’s Hand has a touch of country in the twang of the guitar suiting the lyrics and the story of Wild Bill Hickok, this is a track that you want to listen to again. Half way through the album we have some drama on the intro to Hardly The Time with the piano a perfect fit in the instrumentation with the guitar solo maintaining an energy and drive.

If the intent is to bring blues with meaning for a contemporary audience they are close to achieving this goal as the lyrics are beautifully sung by Darren and the words tell a story that is worth listening to; we need some passion and modern twists to really get contemporary blues the Coolhand way delivered. The guitar needs at times to zing a bit more to punctuate the message, though it is great to see a band that is not depending on power guitar to fill out the tracks. Give Love A Chance is a change in tempo and sits well on the album showing the depth and understanding Coolhand have for the music they are producing.

The album does work well, and is listenable and worth returning to again and the gems sparkle melting the cool of the hands that are making blues and the flow of the album works though personally I would have ended the album with a different track J&J is just too subdued a great piece of music for earlier on with its dedication to Luke’s two boys and personal message as it ends the album with a whimper rather than a shout for me Stand Up would have been a great closer as there is an energy that makes you take note of the name Coolhand.

As the band develops we will see a little less stylised blues riffs and more dragon fire to make Coolhand really standout from the crowd.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD SIX doodle paws out of TEN ….pawprint half inch

Track Listing

1. Virtual Life
2. Summertime Shuffle
3. Dead Man’s Hand
4. Everything
5. Such A Fool
6. Hardly The Time
7. Looking Back
8. Give Love A Chance
9. Stand Up
10. Pretender Love
11. J&J