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KUDZOO MAGAZINE - Art of Soul - Album Review

Music God - BEST OF 2017 Top 30 Southern Rock/Blues

Music God CJ Plain

Music is my Religion! Let’s Worship!

BEST OF 2017 Top 30 Southern Rock/Blues

Welcome to list #2, The Best of 2017 Top 30 for Southern Rock/Blues. This is the first of two lists that are generated from the music that is featured on my radio show, 6 Ways 2 Sunday. The other list (#3, Country/Americana/Bluegrass), will be posted tomorrow.

The previous list can be found on the main page if you’re a fan of hip hop or rap music.

With that, let get this party started!


30) Devil Dog Road – Next Exit

Finnish band starts us off with their new release. Full of Southern rock inspired rockers in the vein of The Georgia Satellites, this band manages to add a touch of blues to their style to really put the icing on the cake.

29) Phil Swindle – Art of Soul

Soul inspired Blues. Great vocals combined with catchy tunes that make for a record that some might compare to Blues Traveller in places.

28) Snowy White & The White Flames – Reunited

Laid back blues with touches of Gary Moore. A great record to chill to.

27) Big Joe Kennedy – Brassiere Busting Boogie

Jazz Swing inspired Piano Blues that invokes visions of Dark, smokey clubs and old school speakeasy’s.

26) Tommy Castro & The Painkillers – Stompin’ Ground

Combining Blues with a Southern Rock edge, this band strikes a perfect balance of fire and passion on this release, a record that will both rock you and touch your soul.

25) The Glenn Marais Band – The Mojo Train

Guitar driven blues that combines soul and funk in places to create a record that really smacks ya in the brain!

24) Savoy Brown – Witchy Feelin’

Southern Rock inspired Blues from this veteran band that has been delivering rock solid tunes for 50+ years now and sound as inspired as ever!

23) The Yawpers – Boy In A Well

An almost punk inspired Southern Rock meets Rockabilly style concept record from this Denver based band. What it lacks in polish, it more than makes up for in intensity. One of the most original records this year.

22) Blindstone – Blues-O-Delic Celebration (A Tribute To The Blues)

This band comes in with the ONLY record that breaks the rules for my criteria when choosing my list. I normally do NOT include covers collections but this record was so bad ass that I couldn’t help but put it on the list. It also helps a ton that they did NOT record your run of the mill covers here. They really dig for some rare gems from classic artists and then add their own STANK to them, so to speak.

21) JD & The Straight Shot – Ballyhoo!

Thought provoking Blues with Americana touches, this is a record that is sure to please fans of multiple styles of the blues genre.

20) Wes Lee & Th’ Possum Foot Mojo – Lucky 7

Acoustic driven blues with social awareness and a big voice to back it all up. One of the best finds this year in this genre.

19) Southbound Snake Charmers – Rhythm ‘n’ Rust

Melbourne based 3 piece band that specializes in delta blues that deliver a stompin’ set of jams that is perfect for pubs everywhere!

18) Justin Johnson – Drivin’ It Down

I first discovered Justin’s music through a viral video of him playing a guitar created from a shovel. That led me to this record and damn, what a record. Mostly instrumental in nature, Justin plays with the same intensity that made Steview Ray Vaughan such a legend.

17) Greasy Gravy – When The Game Is On

A collection of Soul inspired Blues from this Norwegian band that is releasing their debut record after 20 years of performing together. It’s that kind of style that made Beale Street famous.

16) Blackwater Conspiracy – Shootin’ The Breeze

This Irish group land here with their Southern Rock inspired collection of tunes that bring to mind what the Black Crowes might have become had they stayed together. A Smoking collection of tunes that really kicks.

15) A Thousand Horses – Bridges

Southern Rock inspired Country music. It might be a bit too country for some Southern Rock fans or vice versa but I think the band strikes the perfect balance between the two styles with a mix that is interesting without the modern day ‘cheese’ factor.

14) Medicine Hat – Firebird

A fiery, rebel rousing collection of Southern rock tunes from this London based band that brings early Blackfoot to mind. A great set of tunes for drinking beer and driving fast! (Not at the same time, though! Be Safe!)

13) Walter Trout – We’re All In This Together

Walter returns here with a collection of tunes that he shares with an A-List group of performers including Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Robbin Ford, Eric Gales, Joe Bonamassa and more. It’s a stomping set of tunes sure to please.

12) Jay Jesse Johnson Band – Down The Hard Road

a big, bombastic collection of tunes from this Ohio based guitarist and singer. This is the kind of record that Gary Moore would have delivered during his hey day.

11) Sean Chambers – Touble & Whiskey

A stomping set of tunes from this Florida based performer that is steeped in Texas blues. Imagine if Jeff Healey and SRV got together for a wild music romp.

10) Scott H. Biram – The Bad Testament

Does anyone really do blues quite the same way that Scott does? From Raging rockers like TrainWrecker to slow, moody stuff like Righteous Ways, this cat knows how to deliver a blistering set of well crafted tunes.

9) Johnny Lang – Signs

Jonny returns with a monster set of tunes that proves why he’s one of the best in the business. A bit more rock oriented in places, it still retains plenty of blues touches.

8) Southern Avenue – Southern Avenue

Memphis based band that lands here with an inspired collection of tunes that perfectly combine Memphis Soul and blues with a funkier than your Mama edge! Big time vocals really put this over the edge.

7) My Dynamite – Otherside

Much like Blackwater Conspiracy above, a collection of tunes that brings to mind The Black Crowes style but with modern edges and better production. This is a great CD to play in the car really LOUD!

6) Gov’t Mule – Revolution Come…Revolution Go

Mule comes in here with a huge 18 song collection of Southern Rock and Blues inspired tunes that perfectly define what this band is all about and why they’re one of the most beloved in this genre.

5) Elles Bailey – Wildfire

Coming in with a record that invokes shades of Beth Hart, Elles really blazes a scorching path across this set of tunes that make her one to definitely watch for from here on out. One of my favorites to play on the radio show this year.

4) Eliza Neals – 10000 Feet Below

Nobody represents Detroit style blues more than this bombshell of a performer right here. Whether it’s with soulful wail on songs like “Another Lifetime” or whoopin’ it up on something like “Merle Dixon”, Eliza goes for broke, leaving you wanting more!

3) The Urban Chiefs – Grains of Truth

This Australian based two piece band has been featured on my radio show numerous times and never fails to deliver a whallop! This record proves why they should be headlining shows everywhere! It’s a monster set of tunes that are delivered with the force of a locomotive to the brain. This is essential listenign for any fan of blues, rock, or just musical in general!

2) Gregg Allman – Southern Blood

Knowing that you’re dying can have a sobering effect on a persons songwriting I can imagine. Written as sort of a Goodbye Love Note to his fans, Gregg delivers an absolutely stunning masterwork here with songs that damn near bring you to tears in places. I can’t imagine a better way to close out your career.

1) The Teskey Brothers – Half Mile Harvest

Hands down, my RECORD of the year for ANY genre! My most listened to record this year and easily one of the best debuts I’ve heard in the past 25 years! This group of Australian musicians deliver a set of world class tunes that simply are breathtaking! Combining Delta Style blues with soul for days to create a sound that will knock you for a loop! It just doesn’t get any better than this right here!

CD Baby

Album Details
Playing Time: 61 min.
Producer: Artimus Pyle, Larry Goad
Distributor: E1 Distribution (USA)
Recording Type: Studio
Recording Mode: Stereo
SPAR Code: n/a

Album Notes
Personnel: Artimus Pyle (drums); Leslie Hawkins Johns, Dan Shafer (vocals); Dorsey Parker, John Boersteler, George Festo, Phil Swindle, Harry Graham, John Austin, Wayne Moss, Ed King (guitar); Marshall Pyle (acoustic guitar, percussion); Hal McCormack (acoustic guitar); Jamie Dose (acoustic 12-string guitar); Lars VanWezel, Jack Pearson (slide guitar); Eric Tolnes (acoustic slide guitar); Kevin Post (steel guitar); Peter Hyrka (violin); Buddy Leach (saxophone); Mike Deroches (piano); Jim Turbo Kirby (grand piano); Buzz Pickens, Rod Vaillancourt, Mike Boling (organ); Barry Rapp (keyboards); Bruce Pearson (acoustic bass guitar); Stevie Ray Anderson, John Holder, Robert Green, Tim Lindsey (bass guitar); Larry Goad, Davidson Wicker, Dixie Weathers, Sammy Buonocore, Chris Pyle, Robert Nix (drums); Thane Shearon, JoJo Billingsley White, Kassie Miller, Lee Bogan, Kim Collins (background vocals).Usually, when a rock drummer steps out from behind the kit to assume the forefront as a solo artist, it means it's time for fans to run for cover. However, this is certainly not the case with ex-Lynyrd Skynyrd timekeeper Artimus Pyle. It's been a cushy 24 years between Pyle's last solo studio set and the arrival of Artimus Venomus -- but the wait has been worth it. In fact, Pyle's 2007 solo set is arguably the strongest and most Skynyrd-sounding of any of the countless albums that the reunited Skynyrd -- and it's various members' solo albums -- have issued in the wake of Street Survivors. With Pyle having penned or co-penned the majority of the songs (and also handling most of the lead vocals, as well), the album is certainly one of the quirkiest Skynyrd-related releases yet, as evidenced by such tracks as "Blood Sucking Weasel Attorneys" (which begins with brief Frank Zappa-esque dialogue) and "Dead Rock Stars' Widows, Gigolos, Pocket Money." But musically, longtime Skynyrd fans will have plenty to sink their teeth into -- it's all lean, mean Southern boogie throughout, especially the Allman Brothers-esque "Brother Walk On By" and the mean blues of the album-opening title track. If you call yourself a Skynyrd fan, you owe it to yourself to check out this surprisingly strong release by one of the wildest characters to ever pass through the Skynyrd ranks. ~ Greg Prato

Sweet Home Music Magazine

You also sent a live track from the Thunder Beach Bike Rally, is it from a live album scheduled?
Alison loves the song 'Folsom Prison Blues' from the movie about Johnny Cash. She loved the sound track cut by Jaaqin Phoenix so much that she sings it live and the crowd goes nuts. We played Thunder Beach Bike Rally at Panama Beach, Florida last year and happened to catch it on tape. We are going to be recording live from now on and putting together a live track album of the best cuts.
Alison Heafner and Robert Nix
When was it recorded?
September of '07
Is it with the same musicians as on the studio CD?
Yes and also with Phil Swindle on slide. Phil is from Jacksonville and has played with all the Skynyrd people through the years.
The song is bluesier than the studio stuff. She plays more bluesy in concert?
Yes. Alison has this thing that comes alive in front of people. It's something I think you have to be born with. Elvis, Jimi Hendrix, and Janis Joplin had 'IT'. When you see her live you will get 'IT'!
Are you satisfied by her career development?
We just have to keep on doing what we do. The music industry at the corporate level is a big disappointment to me right now. With the help of people like you and all you do we can save some of our amazing heritage with a few amazing artists such as Alison Heafner. We most enlighten the young and satisfy the old with what we know is the truth. ROCK 'N' ROLL will never die.
Jimmy Hall talked us about Deep South. Where is the project?
Deep South is on the shelf for now but who knows about the future.
What are your favorites Southern rock albums?
Of course I love the Allman Brothers early stuff, especially the live things. I like some of Lynyrd Skynyrd's stuff. I love some of the Marshall Tucker things, "Can't You See" especially. There is an album that I think could be called southern rock. Derek and the Dominoes because of Duane Allman's influence along with Bobby Whitlock on keyboards could be in the southern rock category.
No Atlanta Rhythm Section's stuff?
"Dog Days", "Third Annual Pipe Dream", "A Rock & Roll Alternative", some of "Red Tape" and some of "Champagne Jam".

Music Advisor

He's an American musician probably best known for his collaboration with vocalist J.R. Roberts on album 'Been to the River'. He's also a founding member, along with J.R. Roberts and Barry Rapp of band 'Mojo Roux'.

All Music Discography

2007 Artimus Venomus Artimus Pyle Guitar
2007 Been to the River J.R. Roberts Composer
2007 Been to the River J.R. Composer, Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric), Slide Guitar
2003 Hindsight Is 20/20 Ace Moreland Guitar

All Music Discography


Track Listing


  1 4:36 SpotifyRdioMOG  
  2 4:13 SpotifyRdioMOG  
  3 4:12 RdioMOG  
  4 4:44 SpotifyRdioMOG  
  5 4:56 SpotifyRdioMOG  
4:52 SpotifyRdioMOG  
  7 5:06 SpotifyRdioMOG



ACE MORELAND...Vocals, lead guitar, harmonica
Bob Greenlee...Bass guitar
Warren King...Guitar
Jim Jenness...Drums, background vocals
Barry Rapp...Hammond B3 organ, piano
And featuring:
Augustine Antoine...Bass
Phil Swindle...Guitar
Ronnie "Byrd" Foster...Percussion, background vocals
Rick Bailey...Baritone guitar
Rick Bernheimer...Baritone guitar
Jacksonville Fred...Drums
Dee Peterson...Background vocals
Warren Pickron...Banjo

Produced by Bob Greenlee
Engineered by Warren King, Rick Bailey, Bryan Bailey, 
                Jim Jenness and Augustine Antoine
Mixed & mastered by Rick Bailey
Graphic design by Augustine Antoine
Color photography by Duane Jones


Hindsight Is 20/20
Hindsight Is 20/20
Don't Take My Gun To School
We Made Our Own Bed
Let Me Down Easy
Blue Light Special
Am I Blue Enough?
Hold That Thought
I Got Nothing But The Blues
If Looks Could Kill
I Won't Be Back


Recorded at King Snake Studio, Sanford, FL 


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