AllMusic 2016 Year In Review

Favorite Blues Albums -

 Although "a good year for the blues" might be somewhat oxymoronic, the style nonetheless delivered top-notch records in 2016, thanks to releases from Doyle Bramhall II, Charles Bradley and William Bell, plus the Rolling Stones' all-blues affair.
Beyond the Bloodhounds

Adia Victoria

Beyond the Bloodhounds

A complicated punk-blues portrait of the Deep South marks this enchanting singer/songwriter's debut.

American Tunes

Allen Toussaint

American Tunes

A lovely, elegant, elegiac farewell from the New Orleans R&B titan.

House Party at Big Jon's

Big Jon Atkinson / Bob Corritore

House Party at Big Jon's

A gritty valentine to the sound and feel of Chess Records.

God Don't Never Change: The Songs of Blind Willie Johnson

Blind Willie Johnson

God Don't Never Change: The Songs of Blind Willie Johnson

A tribute recording that highlights Blind Willie Johnson's enormous influence and the enduring mystery of his music.

Porcupine Meat

Bobby Rush

Porcupine Meat

On his best-produced album in years, the 83-year-old blues, soul, and funk wildman cuts the mustard and then some.

Dig in Deep

Bonnie Raitt

Dig in Deep

On the blues-rock icon's self-produced 20th album, virtually everything she's learned about making a great record is on display.

Changes

Charles Bradley

Changes

Retro-soul vocalist is in great, powerful form on this third album, which finds him covering Black Sabbath on the title track.

Ride or Die

Devon Allman

Ride or Die

The most confident recording to date from this Southern songwriter and guitarist is drenched in blues, soul, and rock.

New York Is My Home

Dion

New York Is My Home

The great Bronx vocalist is still sounding strong and smooth at the age of 76 on this album produced by Jimmy Vivino.

Rich Man

Doyle Bramhall II

Rich Man

The blues-rock guitarist's first album in 17 years is a funky, soulful workout that is his best record.

The Musical Mojo of Dr. John: Celebrating Mac & His Music

Dr. John

The Musical Mojo of Dr. John: Celebrating Mac & His Music

A star-studded celebration of the music of New Orleans legend Dr. John.

My Way Home

Eli "Paperboy" Reed

My Way Home

A lean, exciting, gospel-infused back to basics from the retro-soul guitarist.

The  Happiest Man in the World

Eric Bibb / Eric Bibb & North Country Far / Danny Thompson

The Happiest Man in the World

The journeyman roots artist turns in a pleasantly relaxed collection of musical comfort food.

The  Last Days of Oakland

Fantastic Negrito

The Last Days of Oakland

A vivid, genre-bending modern-day blues album from the Oakland-based singer/songwriter.

Snake Pit

Harvey Mandel

Snake Pit

On his first widely distributed album in 20 years, the legendary guitarist and a young band from Chicago deliver a stone killer.

Hold On!

James Hunter / The James Hunter Six

Hold On!

On the band's Daptone debut, they deliver ten dynamic, soulful originals cut in mono and live from the studio floor with producer Gabriel Roth.

Love Wins Again

Janiva Magness

Love Wins Again

A soulful, gospel-infused meditation on love's power.

La Arana Es la Vida

Kid Congo & the Pink Monkey Birds / Kid Congo Powers

La Arana Es la Vida

Fourth time's the charm, as the former Gun Club and Cramps guitarist hits his stride as a frontman with his solo project.

I'm Glad Trouble Don't Last Always

Luke Winslow-King

I'm Glad Trouble Don't Last Always

Romantic troubles bring out the best in this Michigan-bred retro bluesman, who contemplates divorce in a soulful manner.

Blues & Ballads: A Folksinger's Songbook, Vols. 1-2

Luther Dickinson

Blues & Ballads: A Folksinger's Songbook, Vols. 1-2

The guitarist, singer, and songwriter offers what amounts to a musical autobiography in these 21 beautifully recorded songs.

Promised Land or Bust

Moreland & Arbuckle

Promised Land or Bust

On their Alligator debut, the Kansas bluesmen reaffirm their roots in electric Delta blues in grand house-rocking style.

Gotta Get Back

Seth Walker

Gotta Get Back

The singer/songwriter/guitarist reconnected to early childhood inspiration including family for this spirited and eclectic outing.

Let Me Get By

Tedeschi Trucks Band

Let Me Get By

On its first self-recorded album, this 12-piece behemoth has never sounded more relaxed, free, or on fire.

Heartaches by the Number

The Bo-Keys

Heartaches by the Number

The Memphis retro-soul act celebrate country-soul on their third album.

Blue & Lonesome

The Rolling Stones

Blue & Lonesome

Mick Jagger dominates the Rolling Stones' quickly recorded, wholly satisfying blues album.

Wayne Toups

Wayne Toups

Wayne Toups

On his first set of new studio material in 12 years, the accordion king re-introduces himself as a fine singer of R&B, country, and rock.

This Is Where I Live

William Bell

This Is Where I Live

Outstanding return to form from the celebrated R&B singer and songwriter.