Top 20 Albums of 2011

2011 has been a spectacular year in music, especially in the world of blues rock. With so much great music to choose from the staff of Blues Rock Review got together to vote for our favorite albums of 2011. Here are 20 of the years best.

20. MonkeyJunk: To Behold

“To Behold is a fantastic effort from a very underrated up and coming band. It is a diverse piece of music blending multiple styles of the blues from an extremely talented group of musicians.” – Pete Francis

(Buy on Amazon)

19. Eric Gales: Transformation

“Transformation is another fine effort from Eric Gales. The blistering playing you expect is there on tracks like “I Pity The Fool,” but the songwriting is some of the best Gales has done.” – Pete Francis

(Buy on Amazon)

18. Savoy Brown: Voodoo Moon

“Voodoo Moon is a great mix of classic blues and British rock & roll, which should please long-time fans & new listeners alike.” – Laura Rouget

(Buy on Amazon)

17. Henrik Freischlader: Still Frame Replay

The album has it all with a variety of styles. At only 28 years of age, it seems there is only way place for Freischlader to go in blues world and that is up.” – Pete Francis

(Buy on Amazon)

16. Kiyoshi Foster: Tranquilizer

“Tranquilizer is an album that grabs you on first listen and has you coming back for more. While not confined to one style, it is hard not to make comparisons to the Counting Crows, who also started in the Bay Area.” – Pete Francis

(Buy on Amazon)

15. Dana Fuchs: Love To Beg

“Love To Beg sees Dana Fuchs establish herself as one of the top acts in the Ruf Records stable. The way she crosses different genres like blues, rock, soul, and gospel is impressive. With her gripping voice and versatile style Dana Fuchs is a name to keep an eye on.” – Pete Francis

(Buy on Amazon)

14. Ian Siegal And The Youngest Sons: The Skinny

“The Skinny stays in one gear in terms of pacing and style and it’s very consistent at it. It’s a great album which often feels raw and natural with a group of artists jamming, having fun and taking great pleasure playing together which is wholly enjoyable for the listener too.” – Josh May

(Buy on Amazon)

13. Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown: From The Sandcastle

“Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown are an up-and-coming act that have already garnered quite a lot of accolades. As their debut LP, From The Sandcastle is a seriously impressive romp that is every bit as sweet as it is short.” – Tyler Quiring

(Buy on Amazon)

12. Leslie West: Unusual Suspects

“On Unusual Suspects, his latest solo release, the pioneering titan of blues rock demonstrates that his name still deserves a spot among the greats; his impact on blues rock guitar (and hard rock, for that matter) can be heard in bands that range from Gov’t Mule to Motörhead to Muse.” – Jason Bank

(Buy on Amazon)

11. Beth Hart/Joe Bonamassa: Don’t Explain

Don’t Explain is an album that could take Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa to the mainstream. Songs like “I’ll Take Care Of You” and “Well, Well” definitely have wide appeal. Bonamassa’s playing is excellent, but never overshadows the song and Beth Hart proves why she is one of the top vocalists around.” – Pete Francis

(Buy on Amazon)

10. Philip Sayce: Ruby Electric

“Philip Sayce has delivered once again with Ruby Electric. Not only is Sayce one of the finest blues rock acts going today, he is one of the best acts around period. If the next studio album is anything close to Innerevolution and Ruby Electric we are in store for something special.” – Pete Francis

(Buy on Amazon)

9. Rich Robinson: Through A Crooked Sun

“It is not an exaggeration to call this a great album. Robinson has created something that is strong on so many levels; it is definitely worth a listen. His strength as a musician and songwriter are clear in this work. Through A Crooked Sun bears the mark of a man who has been through the ringer a few times and built himself back up. An overall enjoyable and impressive effort on Robinson’s part.” – Sarah Richmond

(Buy on Amazon)

8. Tedeschi Trucks Band: Revelator

“Revelator is a prime example of the synergy and harmony that come from the collision of mature musical personalities. Its completeness is something that is hard to come by. It is a pure piece of work, and is meant to spread the joy with which it was created.” – Will Burchard

(Buy on Amazon)

7. Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band: How I Go

“Simply put, The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band’s newest release, How I Go, boasts as much balls as any blues/rock album in recent memory.” – Jason Bank

(Buy on Amazon)

6. Warren Haynes: Man In Motion

“In his first solo studio recording in 18 years, it is a wonderful treat to listen to Warren pour it out in this soulful, personal piece of work. Warren’s guitar is present as always, but the power of Man In Motion lies in the passionate, penetrating vocals that provide a glimpse into the soul of the singer himself.” – Will Burchard

(Buy on Amazon)

5. Black Country Communion: 2

“There is no sophomore slump here as 2 is a more consistent and complete album than the first. The group continues to push each other and that is evident. After two great albums in 9 months, it looks like Black Country Communion is here to stay as they are right at the forefront of a rock revival.” – Pete Francis

(Buy on Amazon)

4. Rival Sons: Pressure And Time

“Rival Sons are a magnificent breath of fresh air and could finally be that modern band with a classic sound to receive play on the radio.” – Pete Francis

(Buy on Amazon)

3. Joe Bonamassa: Dust Bowl

“Delivering a new album every year like Bonamassa has for the last decade you would think at some point the quality would begin to go down. That is just not the case here as Bonamassa once again turns in a dazzling performance.” – Pete Francis

(Buy on Amazon)

2. Virgil and the Accelerators: The Radium

“Virgil and the Accelerators are one of the breakout bands of 2011. It really is amazing to see such an effort from a band so young. The Radium is right up there with the best albums of the year. The sky is the limit for Virgil and the Accelerators and soon enough they will take their place as one of the best bands around.” – Pete Francis

(Buy on Amazon)

1. The Black Keys: El Camino

“The Black Keys have put forth one of the best albums of the year with El Camino, and with this release, their success is destined to continue. The style of music is versatile and will appeal to a wide variety of listeners and stays true to its indie roots. This is an incredible effort by the band and the work shines through. Each track comes off as an easy piece of genius. This album is nothing short of award-winning.” – Sarah Richmond

(Buy on Amazon)

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20 Responses to “Top 20 Albums of 2011”

  1. Tom Borschel says:

    Go and listen to Stoney Curtis’ “Cosmic Conn3ction” and then go and revise your list. That’s the #1 release for 2100 in my book. Of cousrse, Amazon can’t deliver Virgil and The Accelerators CD to me so I haven’t heard it yet. But I will get my hands on a copy. Eventually!

  2. Paul Brazier says:

    Don’t explain Beth Hart/Joe Bonamassa is the finest album i have listened to in a long time, Beths vocals are just out of this world but what can be said about Joe’s guitar playing that hasnt already been said? Beth is a must go and see artist as i did at Leaminton last month you will not be disapointed, as we came out of the assembly rooms the windows across the road were still reverberating from the power Beth puts out.

  3. deb hebert says:

    Three Kevin Shirley (Caveman) productions made the top 20 list (Don’t Explain, BCC ‘2’, Dustbowl respectively). Seriously, I’m 50; and at 8 years old I cut my rock ‘n roll/blues/R&B teeth listening to likes of Joe Cocker w/Maddogs and Englishmen, Roy Buchanan, Jackson Five, and these three CD’s/albums are among my favorites!!!! Anything Joe Bonamassa is involved in is a work of art!!! and his album’s have evolved from raw talent to perfection. I look forward to lucky#13 due out in 2012.

  4. hp says:

    I can´t find Ana Popovic´s Unconditional album.
    You don´t know it! :-))

    Big greetings from germany


  5. Funk and Justice says:

    Tyler Byant and Joe Bonamassa are the face of in your face keeping the roots strong yet breaking new fresh blues rock ground. One of the main reasons is how much they tour and cherish their fans. They both are truly deserving of the Top 20 this year.

    • Tessa says:

      Provedl jsem aktualizaci dle návodu – OK na konci. PÅ™ijímač hlásí verzi, zdá se mi, že se nic nezmÄ›nilo. Kartu Irdeto ICE budu mít až příští týden. Nemůžete napsat na jakou verzi se to po aktualizaci zmÄ›ní (nebo nÄ›jakou typickou zm)uu›Ä?DÄ›knji

    • http://www./ says:

      If you’re looking to buy these articles make it way easier.

    • I tried uninstalling a slew of recent software programs one at a time and rebooting. No dice. Same problems as before. I’ll try that firmware. This is about a five year old router, so it may be compatible.

  6. al stuart says:

    Hmm the only thing i dont like on this list is the album at number 1.

  7. Ian L says:

    great reviews1 Especially the new Kenny Wayne Shepherd.

  8. […] for “Gold On The Ceiling” from their latest album El Camino. El Camino was voted #1 on Blues Rock Review’s Top 20 Albums of 2011 […]

  9. Jim Russo says:

    What about The Todd Wolfe Band LIVE album. Some of the best original Blues and Rock material released this past year. Where did this album land in your evaluations?


    Jim Russo

  10. […] is currently touring the U.S. and overseas for her latest album, Love To Beg, which was featured on Blues Rock Review’s Top 20 Albums of 2011. On March 2, she was at the Regatta Bar in Boston for an acoustic set with guitarist Jon Diamond. […]

  11. […] Virgil and the Accelerators have released a new music video for “Backstabber” off their debut album, The Radium. The Radium was voted 2nd on Blues Rock Review’s Top 20 Albums of 2011. […]

  12. Mushrin says:

    I’m pretty sure Gary Hoey Band was on that list!

  13. Mushrin says:

    Dust and Bones

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