Top 20 Albums of 2016

2016 will go down as the best year the blues rock genre has seen in quite some time and perhaps the most competitive in the six year history of Blues Rock Review’s Top 20 list. With so many albums worthy of recognition, the readers and staff of Blues Rock Review voted on the Top 20 Albums of 2016.

20. Jeff Beck: Loud Hailer

Loud Hailer is definitely a statement album from Beck. Make no mistake, at 72 years old, Beck can still rip as well as anyone. Loud Hailer is creative, engaging, and a true standout among the many great albums of 2016.” – Pete Francis

(Buy: Amazon | Amazon UK)

19. The Stonecoats: Poor Boy Blues

Poor Boy Blues is a promising release from a young band sure to have an exciting future on the blues rock scene. Fans of good old fashioned rock and roll and blues ought to check out The Stonecoats because they’re one of the best discoveries of 2016.” – Pete Francis

(Buy: Amazon | Amazon UK)

18. Glenn Hughes: Resonate

Resonate is another terrific record album from Glenn Hughes. He’s 65 years old and still belts like he’s 25 while making music that remains fresh as ever. The fact Hughes continues to be as prolific as he’s been is something we can all appreciate.” – Pete Francis

(Buy: Amazon | Amazon UK)

 17. Jeff Healey: Heal My Soul

Heal My Soul is much more than just a fitting tribute.  With it’s superb song selection, fiery guitar work and very modern production, this album sounds like Jeff made it yesterday.” – Lou Lombardi

(Buy: Amazon | Amazon UK)

16. Jack Berry: Mean Machine

“Berry is a Los Angeles to Nashville transplant who plays great riff rock with alt-pop flare that would make Jack White proud. With Mean Machine, Jack Berry plants his foot firmly on the shores of the new world of alternative blues based rock.” – Lou Lombardi

(Buy: Amazon | Amazon UK)

15. Sari Schorr: A Force Of Nature

“With a voice like an operatic volcano it’s easy to see why Sari Schorr has received the notoriety that she has. A deeply personal album for Schorr, Force of Nature is a hailstorm of an album sure to go down in blues history.” – Jeremy Schantz

(Buy: Amazon | Amazon UK)

14. Robert Jon and the Wreck: Good Life Pie

“If you’re looking for some good time rock music played by real musicians, look no further than Robert Jon and the Wreck. Good Life Pie is a good time album from one of the best rock bands going at the moment.” – Pete Francis

(Buy: Amazon | Amazon UK)

13. Gary Hoey: Dust And Bones

“A true blues triumph, it’s where Gary belongs. This Veteran has taken his Strat and paid his homage to the blues gods, and they are pleased.” – Jeremy Schantz

(Buy: Amazon | Amazon UK)

12. Davy Knowles: Three Miles From Avalon

“Dripping with classic blues riffs and intricate guitar work this is exactly what we have come to expect from an artist who has not one, but two, top three billboard blues chart albums. This newest venture, Three Miles From Avalon, does not disappoint.” – Jeremy Schantz

(Buy: Amazon | Amazon UK)

11. Scotty Bratcher: That Album

“Scotty has put together a raucous ride of guitar bliss that runs the gamut from in your face anthemic Southern rock to some classic foot tappin’ blues. Do not assume that this is just a guitar pyrotechnic album. Scotty’s voice is first rate also.” – Kevin O’Rourke

(Buy: Amazon | Amazon UK)

10. Ben Poole: Time Has Come

“The songs are solid and Ben has a very nice voice in the pop/soul niche. There is also no deying his guitar cops. The notes seem to pop out of the mix and his phrasing will definitely tickle your ear. If you like some of the more current music from Jonny Lang and John Mayer, then Time Has Come is right up your alley.” – Lou Lombardi

(Buy: Amazon | Amazon UK)

9. Ty Curtis: Blame Me

“Ty’s newest album is packed with soul, blues and ripping guitar riffs. This latest effort also features some of the most heart-felt, emotion tugging vocals to come out in several years. It is a great addition to any blues rocker’s collection.” – Lou Lombardi

(Buy: Amazon | Amazon UK)

8. Joe Bonamassa: Blues Of Desperation

“With Blues of Desperation, Joe delivers more of his trademark sound with some surprises while pushing the envelope of what the blues in this modern age can be.” – Kevin O’Rourke

(Buy: Amazon | Amazon UK)

7. Aynsley Lister: Eyes Wide Open

“The album itself has a classic blues sound with a modern edge. Not too poppy, not too dirty, Eyes Wide Open walks the Goldilocks line of well-balanced blues all the way through. All in all, Eyes Wide Open is another amazing notch added to the well-worn blues belt of growing British blues legend Aynsley Lister.” – Jeremy Schantz 

(Buy: Amazon | Amazon UK)

6. Stevie Nimmo: Sky Won’t Fall

“From the opening crunch of the first track to the Americana influenced middle and all the way through to the acoustic closer this album features everything that makes Stevie one of the premier blues rock artists in Great Britain. There simply is not a bad track on this release and the musicianship by all involved is superb.” – Kevin O’Rourke

(Buy: Amazon | Amazon UK)

5. Albany Down: The Outer Reach

“Albany Down has done something unique. They have embraced their influences in a very overt way, while at the same time carving out a sound and vibe all their own. The Outer Reach contains zero filler. It is simply one great track after another.” – Lou Lombardi

(Buy: Amazon | Amazon UK)

4. Devon Allman: Ride Or Die

“This is the highlight of Allman’s career thus far and while Ride of Die will challenge you from beginning to end to end with its diversity of style, that is one of the intriguing things about this album and the beautiful songwriting, first rate guitar work, and emotional vocals that will hook you into playing this one over and over.” – Kevin O’Rourke

(Buy: Amazon | Amazon UK)

3. Supersonic Blues Machine: West Of Flushing, South Of Frisco

West of Flushing, South of Frisco is a total treat for the those of us who crave great hard driving blues based rock and ear frying guitar playing. The core of Supersonic Blues Machine of Lopez, Grossi, and Aronoff have nothing to prove. They could easly have carried the entire project themselves. The guest stars are just icing on an already very tasty cake.” – Lou Lombardi

(Buy: Amazon | Amazon UK)

2. Chase Walker Band: Not Quite Legal

“An album that shows an exceptional amount of maturity for a group this young. They embrace their musical foundation and build something special on top of it. Not Quite Legal is a great sophomore effort and their future holds plenty of promise.” – Kevin O’Rourke

(Buy: Amazon | Amazon UK)

1. Dan Patlansky: Introvertigo

“Patlansky can play with the best of them, but he never lets his playing overpower the song, which separates Dan from other artists. Dear Silence Thieves was Patlansky’s breakout, Introvertigo shows he’s right up there with Bonamassa for modern day blues rock supremacy.” – Pete Francis

(Buy: Amazon | Amazon UK)

Previous Top 20 Lists: 2015, 201420132012, 2011

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34 Responses to “Top 20 Albums of 2016”

  1. John Jenkins says:

    Glad to see the award going to the worthy winner, rather than a ‘big name’ as so many lazy journalists do. I think Still Wanna Be Your Man is the blues track of the year, combining the best of the old blues with a new, modern twist. A great album; check it out!

  2. Ian Gallears says:

    I can only assume that King King Live was excluded from this ensemble as it’s in a class of it’s own.

  3. David Bailey says:

    So great to see Davy Knowles nestled in that respected list of blues musicians. I’ve seen this talented young man over thirty times, and he has grown in my eyes as a giant in his artistry. Cheers to this gifted son of the Isle of Man!

  4. Oscar Navarro says:

    I can agree with most albums on your list, but Glenn Hughes’ album isn’t blues, blues rock or contemporary blues. The record is good and consist of straight ahead rock. Yeah, I know, rock was born from blues, but they’re 2 different animals nowadays. I voted for Robin Trower’s ‘Where Are You Going To’ and recommend it to your readers who are looking for blues and/or blues rock. By the way, Patlansky is a good choice for #1.

  5. Jon says:

    How could you possibly have left off Tedeschi Trucks Band’s “Let Me Get By”? Are you friggin’ kidding me?! I think in many people’s opinion, this could easily be the #1 Blues Rock album of the year. Hands down.

  6. john dallas says:

    I’m surprised to see that Claude Hay’s “Rollercoaster” did not make the final cut; it’s an excellent album by a gifted performer….

  7. Pete says:

    Although I’m pleased that Ben Poole made the top ten I am quite surprised that laurence jones did not make the list.

  8. Dave says:

    So please to see ALBANY DOWN in the TOP 5 Albums of the year!
    Congrats also to Dan Patlanksy for his Chart Topping Album!
    Both received excellent and well deserved 9.5/10 Reviews.

    • Cherry says:

      What literabing knowledge. Give me liberty or give me death.

    • http://www./ says:

      Es un buen listado, pensando que la visita de estos va a llevar a los lectores a otros más..iguales o mejores blogs.Todo un camino con ..atajos.. o… ¡por ahí no era!

    • Bedankt voor dit recept! We zijn hem -as we speak- aan het maken voor onze verlate Halloween party vanavond.Vraagje; de vulling is wel erg vloeibaar…hoort dat of moeten we dan gewoon wat langer doormixen? Ik heb het idee dat de pompoenen bij het koken heel veel water tot zich hebben opgenomen…het is dus (nog) niet een papje, maar meer een drankje momenteel…we blijven maar nog even staafmixen.Groetjes, Zeph

  9. Thomas says:

    Where is Matty T Wall? ‘Blue Skies’ was an incredible debut album from him. Y’all crazy if you missed that one…

  10. Scott says:

    Just made a Spotify playlist of this list. Unfortunately, my favorite on the list, Davy Knowles, doesn’t have his latest album on there. So bummed.

  11. Ester van Heerden says:

    Very very pleased to see that Patlansky is number 1! I have huge admiration for him. Well deserved! Happy that he gets international recognition!

  12. Greg says:

    It’s a very good top album, but Introvertigo #1 ? come on…
    I love Patlansky but in my opinion Introvertigo is not very good, too commercial compared to his awesome old albums

    For me the best album of 2016 is Openness – Henrik Freischlader Trio, one of the best album I’ve heard so far
    I’m sad his isn’t in the top

    (sorry for my english :D)

  13. Greg Smith says:

    So good to read that Dan Patlansks “Introvertigo” is right on top. He’s a real master and so hugely intense to watch live. Congratulations Dan. You are the best!!!

  14. Simon Alexander says:

    Nice list glad it didn’t consist entirely of the big named artists who win all the awards. These guys can hang with the best. Dan Patlansky is a phenomenal guitarist, see him live if you can – deserved winner. Shame king king and Joanne Shaw Taylor didn’t make the cut though.

  15. Hollow Bone Miss Oowee says:

    Dan Patlansky! He is just awesome and I’m happy I saw his gig a year ago in Helsinki. But surprisingly Rival Sons are not on the list but they definitely should be there! Looking forward to the Helsinki show in March.

  16. Mushrin says:

    So happy to see Gary Hoey’s Dust and Bones on this list. It is well deserved and a long time coming.

  17. Gary says:

    Well judging by some comments we never will get all our own favorites on the list.
    I am also suprised Henrik Frwschlader Trio Openess not in the list.Most of his past albums made it high on the top 20 list and this one I think one of his best ever.
    Liked Claude Hay and Trower too
    the Record Company Give It Back was on my playlist all year since I heard it
    Santa IV may not be classic blues rock but it’s one list.

  18. […] View the complete list of the Top 20 Albums Of The Year here. […]

  19. shaun smith says:

    Are you kidding me? No ‘Hollow Bones’ by Rival Sons. Best album of the year by a country mile.

    • Gertie says:

      Danke :-)Ich wollte gestern eigentlich noch ein Bild meines Nervenbiers für Dich posten, aber dann war ich zu müde. Eine Flasche via Nürnberg (miomaritos Schwester) imrietoprtes Schlenkerla 🙂

  20. Chris High says:

    Mmmm. Bit surprised at some of the omissions. Laurence Jones, Rebecca Downes and Joanne Shaw Taylor being just 3. Still, that’s lists for you. All objective.

  21. […] View the complete list of the Top 20 Albums Of The Year here. […]

  22. Mark Cave says:

    Well done Dan Patlansky and a well deserved winner, if you have heard the albums and not seen Dan Patlansky live then get over to one of his gigs and you will be blown away by the musicianship of Dan and his band.

  23. Chrisand Ann Nel says:

    Well done again Dan

    Your combination of dedication, talent, musicality, technique, voice, an ability to translate thought and emotion into words and plain old fashioned hard work cannot be beat.

    Keep it up. We are all proud of you.

    Chris and Ann Nel

  24. Jimbo says:

    I still think that Eyes wide Open is the best album I’ve heard all year, but that’s just my own opinion 🙂


  25. Dan my man, so very, very proud of you bro.

    You deserve every award and should be invited to perform at Clapton’s Crossroads Festival.

    Much love,

    Ralph & Margie

  26. Nick Makar says:

    Been following Dan since “Dear Silence Thieves” Broke, and have really taken to his music…hoping he makes it to the States, particularly to the West Coast so I can see him Live! You Go Dan!

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