Artist Picks: Favorite Releases of 2013

Last week, the staff of Blues Rock Review revealed our Top 5 Live Albums of 2013 and our Top 20 Albums of 2013. This week, it’s the artists who share their favorite releases from 2013.

Jack Berry’s pick: Dr. Dog,  B-Room

Jack Berry

“Philadelphia psychedelic pop rockers, Dr. Dog put out their new album B-Room this year and it holds the honors for my personal favorite of 2013. With a production sound grooving out from the likes of a Rubber Soul album, B-Room holds the energy and experimental rocking that Dr. Dog has come to be known for. From the variating harmonies that swoon between hallucinations of both the past and present, the album as a whole creates a world both outside of and within our own. It’s like they keep throwing this great low-fi BBQ cookout and everyone’s seeing it through an 8mm. It feels just the same as it did when we first heard it, yet we’re back with more booze, cooler boots and no whiff of social media. Dr. Dog both invites you back and takes you forth – where the music still lives. Where the magic still happens.” – Jack Berry

Dr Dog: B-Room

(Buy on Amazon)

Jake Chisholm’s pick: Tedeschi Trucks Band, Made Up Mind

Jake Chisholm

“I gotta go with Made Up Mind, Tedeschi Trucks Band. What they are doing is inspired, low down Blues and Soul played by a collective of musicians whose minds seem to be focused on the big picture. Although I hope they release a live album of tunes from the record, because as great as the record is, I still think they are even better live.” – Jake Chisholm

Made Up Mind

(Buy on Amazon)

Anthony Gomes’ pick: Walter Trout, Luther’s Blues

Anthony Gomes
Photo: Tony Smith Studio

“My favorite album of 2013 is Walter Trout’s Luther’s Blues.  This album embodies the spirit of brotherhood, legacy and musical respect that is uniquely found in the blues community. On this release, Walter effortlessly and selflessly finds the balance between paying tribute to his hero while maintaining his own musical voice.  Luther’s Blues not only showcases Walter’s expected face-melting guitar pyrotechnics but having to perform Luther’s music has pushed Trout to unique and inspired musical places. Check out the funky groove of “Chicago” or the heartfelt solo to “Just As I Am.” I am reminded once again just how powerful Luther’s music and spirit were and continue to be. This album brings home how much we all miss Luther Allison but how grateful we are to have Walter Trout.” – Anthony Gomes

Luther's Blues

(Buy on Amazon)

Claude Hay’s pick: Queens Of The Stone Age, …Like Clockwork

Claude Hay

“The songs are some of the best I’ve ever heard. There is so much dynamics going on. Lush layers blending beautifully, production is sensational, but most of all there’s just mountains of melody. To me, melody is everything and this album has so many hooks that are their own, not your typical commercial radio cardboard cut out. Pure genius.” – Claude Hay

...Like Clockwork

(Buy on Amazon)

Virgil McMahon’s (Virgil & the Accelerators) pick: Aynsley Lister, Home

Virgil McMahon
Photo: Steve Gerrard Photography

“I’d like to pick Aynsley Lister’s Home as my album choice. I think this is Aynsley’s best work to date. The songs & playing are immensely strong, Aynsley’s super smooth guitar tones are so identifiable as soon as you hear him play. I’d recommend this album to any blues/rock fan or any music fan in general. Really top quality stuff!” – Virgil McMahon


(Buy on Amazon)

Dan Patlansky’s pick: Beth Hart/Joe Bonamassa, Seesaw

 Dan Patlansky

“A better colab I can’t think off. The pipes of Beth Hart mixed with the genius and power of Joe Bonamassa. Old school, real deal album. This album hasn’t left the player in months.” – Dan Patlansky


(Buy on Amazon)

Ben Poole’s pick: Jonny Lang, Fight For My Soul

Ben Poole

“This album demonstrates Jonny’s abilities not only as an incredible singer and fiery guitar player but also as a gifted songwriter and arranger. With this “triple threat” I think it puts him head and shoulders above a lot of other artists in the Blues/Rock genre. I love the fact that the album can not really be categorized or put into a “box,” incorporating elements of gospel music, modern R’n’B, pop and soul mixed into the blues/rock side of things. Beautifully produced with gorgeous harmonies, tones and killer playing throughout.” – Ben Poole

Fight For My Soul

(Buy on Amazon)

Philip Sayce’s pick: Joe Bonamassa, Tour de Force – Live In London

Philip Sayce

“Joe Bonamassa is one of the preeminent guitar ninjas of this generation. Tour de Force – Live In London is an incredible and unprecedented accomplishment, featuring four consecutive shows at some of London’s most iconic venues, and chronicles Joe’s thrilling journey to date. Joe’s unique and highly refined talents shine brightly on Tour de Force, and his guitar playing and overall musicianship is some of the finest I’ve heard…he’s elevated his game, and his prowess as frontman and singer is on full display. Killer performances, songs, arrangements, bandmates, and audio/video production…the result is phenomenal and without peer. An inspiration, my pick for top release of 2013 is Joe Bonamassa’s Tour de Force – Live In London. – Philip Sayce

Tour de Force: Live in London

(Buy on Amazon)

Eric Steckel’s pick: Steven Wilson, The Raven That Refused To Sing

Eric Steckel

“The album of the year, for me, is a no-brainer. I wholeheartedly endorse Steven Wilson’s solo release, The Raven That Refused To Sing. While not a blues album, I feel very emotionally engaged with Steven’s music since the days of his frontman career with prog pioneers, “Porcupine Tree.” The album also has been sweetened by the addition of one of my personal guitar heroes from the UK, Mr. Guthrie Govan. The 7-track album features angelic piano ballads as well as epic prog-rock movements that strongly feature Guthrie’s guitar work. All-in-all, a well rounded and emotionally powerful album which has influenced me immensely.” – Eric Steckel

The Raven That Refused To Sing

(Buy on Amazon)

Quinn Sullivan’s pick: Tedeschi Trucks Band, Made Up Mind

Quinn Sullivan
Photo: Paul Natkin

“Aside from Buddy Guy’s double album Rhythm And Blues, my all time favorite album of 2013 is Tedeschi Trucks Band’s Made Up Mind. Everything on this record is amazing. They are one of my favorite bands from this decade and I think they’re making history and becoming legends. Their music has had a huge influence on my style of playing and singing and this album really sums it up. Made Up Mind has a blues/rock, jam band feel. Derek’s tone and Susan’s voice blend so well with the rest of this incredibly talented band. The only thing better than listening to this album is seeing it performed live!” – Quinn Sullivan

Made Up Mind

(Buy on Amazon)

Marcel Ziul’s pick: Foy Vance, Joy Of Nothing

Marcel Ziul

“I first heard this guy on YouTube in a video from a series called “Fender Airstream” where up and comers play on a bus set up by Fender Musical Instruments outside of festivals and venues. Nobody ever sounds good on these but Foy Vance sounded awesome. That led me to watch more of his videos and I came to the conclusion that this guy has got one of the most raw, unstoppable and real talents of his generation. Plus, he never sounds bad. When it comes to Mr. Vance, every performance is awe-inspiring.” – Marcel Ziul

Foy Vance: Joy Of Nothing

(Buy on Amazon)

More 2013 Lists: Top 20 Albums of 2013, Top 5 Live Albums of 2013

Pete Francis

Pete Francis is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Blues Rock Review. Pete founded Blues Rock Review in 2010 because he felt there was a major void in how the blues rock genre was covered. Pete is the host of Blues Rock Weekly and a co-host on the Blues Rock Show.

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