Top 20 Albums of 2013

Once again it has been a great year for blues rock. With several fantastic releases to choose from, the staff of Blues Rock Review narrowed down our favorites from the year. These 20 albums were voted blues rock’s best for 2013.

20. Black Joe Lewis: Electric Slave

“With a bellowing, distorted bravado, Black Joe Lewis pumps one infectious track after the next into your veins. This band has one foot stuck in the blues with the other stomping through Iggy Pop’s parents’ garage.” – Don Tice

Electric Slave

(Buy on Amazon)

19. Spin Doctors: If The River Was Whiskey

“Their 20+ year tenure crafted the mature and fluid sound found throughout the entire album that does not disappoint. The album consists of ten songs with no apparent weak point, just continual jam after jam.” – Alysha Rendflesh

If The River Was Whiskey

(Buy on Amazon)

18. Evan Watson: Midnight Oil

“With Midnight Oil, Watson reaches back in time to history’s favorite fables, putting a modern spin on the familiar with a nod to the past and his own foresight into the future of the blues.” – Meghan Roos

Midnight Oil

(Buy on Amazon)

17. The Rides: Can’t Get Enough

“Living up to the hype, The Rides deliver a jam-packed set, covers and originals alike. The album sheds new light on their Woodstock rock vibe, with obvious roots in the blues. Chock full of classic blues backbeats and vivacious soloing entwined throughout, The Rides leave us begging for more.” – Don Tice

Can't Get Enough

(Buy on Amazon)

16. Dan Patlansky: Wooden Thoughts

“You’ll feel like you’re sitting on the sound stage with the band and the lack of sustain inherent to an acoustic guitar makes for a raw, open expanse of sound that forces Dan to work that much more creatively to fill the space. Wooden Thoughts delivers a different musical experience from the standard blues rock and does not disappoint.” – Kevin O’Rourke

Wooden Thoughts

15. Dana Fuchs: Bliss Avenue

“Dana has one of the best and most gripping voices in her genre today and Bliss Avenue is a reflection of her passion for singing and storytelling.” – Liz Lohnes

Bliss Avenue

(Buy on Amazon)

14. Devon Allman: Turquoise

“Neither flashy nor decadent, Turquoise presents a type of everyday blues that listeners will easily relate to. It tells stories, explores musical genres, and crafts a multimedia narrative that is all Allman’s own. Find your iPod and dig out your headphones – Devon Allman’s time machine is about to take off.” – Meghan Roos


(Buy on Amazon)

13. The Winery Dogs: The Winery Dogs

“Championed by three skillful musicians and stocked with performances that only serve to demonstrate the group’s combined musical expertise, The Winery Dogs leaves the listener gratified, with one as-yet unanswered question in mind: where will Kotzen, Sheehan and Portnoy take their music next?” – Meghan Roos

The Winery Dogs

(Buy on Amazon)

12. Unwed Mothers: Unwed Mothers

“The entire band plays with soul in every song on this album. If you haven’t heard this band, you’re definitely missing out.” – Liz Lohnes

Unwed Mothers

(Buy on Amazon)

11. The Temperance Movement:The Temperance Movement

“What makes The Temperance Movement so strong is each track’s ability to stand simply as a song in its own right.  If you were to strip every song down to nothing but a vocalist and an acoustic guitar, very little would actually be lost.” – Richard MacDougall

The Temperance Movement

(Buy on Amazon)

10. Jake Chisholm: Diamond In A Coalmine

“On Diamond In A Coalmine, Jake Chisholm lets it be known there is a new star in the making on the blues rock scene. There are no tricks or fancy production on this album, Chisholm just delivers blues rock the way it was meant to be played, raw and dirty.” – Pete Francis

Diamond In A Coalmine

(Buy on iTunes)

9. Henrik Freischlader: Night Train To Budapest

“Like many of the greats, there is a distinguishing tone to Freischlader’s playing and a distinctive feel to his songwriting so that when one of his tracks is played it’s immediately recognizable as him.” – Kevin O’Rourke

Night Train To Budapest

(Buy on Amazon)

8. Aynsley Lister: Home

“His mastery of the style places Lister squarely in position to be a truly big name in blues rock. He’s reached a high point in his career, and has a lot to be proud of in Home. The album shows deep musical and emotional maturity and provides a bevy of blues rock for fans and newcomers alike to sink their teeth into.” – Tyler Quiring


(Buy on Amazon)

7. Gov’t Mule: Shout!

“Aside from being another solid addition to the group’s already impressive back catalogue, Shout! stands apart because of the brilliant and ambitious artistic direction The Mule took for their first record in four years” – Richard MacDougall


(Buy on Amazon)

6. Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown: Wild Child

“Simply put, Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown have totally, unequivocally arrived. And this is only their first full length album. It’s unbelievably exciting to consider just how far this act will go when they’ve achieved what they’re ultimately capable of. Wild Child is a massively impressive effort by one of the most promising groups today.” – Tyler Quiring

Wild Child

(Buy on Amazon)

5. Robert Randolph and the Family Band: Lickety Split

“Comprised of strong originals and equally solid covers, Lickety Split is a successful return for Robert Randolph & The Family Band.” – Meghan Roos

Lickety Split

(Buy on Amazon)

4. Tedeschi Trucks Band: Made Up Mind

“The Tedeschi Trucks Band might be the best blues band – if you can cram their collective musical genius into one genre – in the world right now.  They already posses a well-deserved Grammy for Revelator, and they may soon add to that collection.” – Nik Rodewald

Made Up Mind

(Buy on Amazon)

3. King King: Standing In The Shadows

“This isn’t a candidate for British Blues album of the year. Standing in the Shadows needs to be on everyone’s list worldwide for album of the year.” – Kevin O’Rourke

Standing In The Shadows

(Buy on Amazon)

2. Jack Berry: Heathen Heart

“Berry has a style and certain swagger that belongs to the new wave of blues rock musicians. He fits in well with the likes of The Black Keys and Jack White. Definitely keep an ear out for this man if this is a taste of things to come.” – George Ward

Heathen Heart

(Buy on Amazon)

1. Buddy Guy: Rhythm & Blues

“Buddy will always be one of the legends of the blues. He has always blurred the lines between blues and rock and roll. Filled with his signature tone and that Buddy Guy attitude, Rhythm & Blues just continues to cement his legacy as one of the greatest guitar players.” – Kevin O’Rourke

Rhythm & Blues

(Buy on Amazon)

Previous Top 20 Lists: 2012, 2011

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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