Listen: Episode 1615

This week’s selections come from albums dropped in 2016, 15, 14, 13, 12 and 10. This wide time frame allows for a diverse selection of music that has never before aired on this show. There are many truly independent releases featured in this hour. There’s also a tribute to Country music icon Merle Haggard, who passed away last week. “Merle Haggard held a deep love and high regard for the Blues, and he had a big impact on my music tastes. He is a favorite of my father’s, and that love for his music was passed down to me.” – Johnny Full-Time

Courtesy Ruf Records

Courtesy Ruf Records

The featured selection from inside “Johnny’s Mailbox” is “Little Miss Suzie” by Tasha Taylor. It comes off her label debut with Ruf Records, Honey For The Biscuit. Tasha has been hard at work on this album for three years, now; and she could have easily ridden her father’s legendary name to an easier path to notoriety. The daughter of Stax legend Johnnie Taylor, however, chose the noble path to acclaim on her own merits as a singer, songwriter and musician.

She has a little help from her friends, who joined her in studio for this new release. “Little Miss Suzie” features special guest Robert Randolph! Other guests throughout the CD are Samantha Fish, Tommy Castro, and Keb Mo. You can find out additional information about Tasha, her new album, and more on her official website

1. Bob Margolin – Low Life Blues – My Road
2. Brad Wilson – All Kinds Of A Fool – Power Blues Guitar Live
3. The Veldman Brothers – Killing Floor – Bringin’ It To You Live
4. Sean Pinchin – Charity Case – Monkey Brain
5. Tim Williams – My Big Money – So Low
6. Merle Haggard – California Blues – The Complete ’60s Captiol Singles
7. Chad Nordhoff – Workin’ Man Blues – Good Work, If You Can Get It
8. Bing Futch – Harperville – Unresolved Blues
9. Josh Hoyer And The Shadowboxers – Blood And Bone – Living By The Minute
10. Crispin Schroeder – World Inside My Mind – Following Branches Down To The Roots
11. Lurrie Bell – Don’t Let The Devil Ride – The Devil Ain’t Got No Music
12. Dave “Hurricane” Hoerl – Grand Old Game – Un-Twisted
13. Tasha Taylor – Little Miss Suzie – Honey For The Biscuit

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Listen: Episode 1614

Listen: Episode 1613

Listen: Blind Willie
Johnson Tribute

Episode 1612: Spiritual Side 2016

Courtesy Alligator Records

Courtesy Alligator Records

Every year, in preparation for Easter, Full-Time Blues Radio walks in the light of the LORD by playing the Spiritual Side of the Blues. In 2016, inspired by the new album God Don’t Never Change: The Songs Of Blind Willie Johnson, Johnny Full-Time enjoyed building a playlist of songs covering Willie. There are several songs off this new Alligator Records release, but there are several other songs from individual artist albums.

Click Here to sample God Don’t Never Change

Another one of the albums that has several songs featured is a 2011 release titled If I Had My Way – A Cigar Box Guitar Tribute To Blind Willie Johnson. This was a special project put together by cigar box guitar guru Shane Speal, and offered as a FREE download on his website. Click Here to Visit and Download the Album!

1. Blind Willie Johnson – Mother’s Children Have a Hard Time (Music Bed) – The Complete Blind Willie Johnson
2. Tom Waits – John the Revelator – God Don’t Never Change: The Songs of Blind Willie Johnson
3. Blind Willie Johnson – Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground (Music Bed) – The Complete Blind Willie Johnson
4. Rickie Lee Jones – Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground – God Don’t Never Change: The Songs of Blind Willie Johnson
5. Night Owl – I Know His Blood Can Make Me Whole – If I Had My Way – A Cigar Box Guitar Tribute To Blind Willie Johnson
6. Mike Zito – Let Your Light Shine On Me – Gone To Texas
7. The Wendells – Can’t Nobody Hide from God – If I Had My Way – A Cigar Box Guitar Tribute To Blind Willie Johnson
8. Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams – Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning – Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams
9. Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi – Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning – God Don’t Never Change: The Songs of Blind Willie Johnson
10. Georgie Bonds – The Soul of a Man – Hit It Hard
11. JJ Appleton & Jason Ricci – Nobody’s Fault But Mine – Dirty Memory
12. Glenn Kaiser – Praise God I’m Satisfied – If I Had My Way – A Cigar Box Guitar Tribute To Blind Willie Johnson
13. David Sutton – I Just Can’t Keep From Cryin’ Sometimes – If I Had My Way – A Cigar Box Guitar Tribute To Blind Willie Johnson
14. Sinead O’Connor – Trouble Will Soon Be Over – God Don’t Never Change: The Songs of Blind Willie Johnson
15. Lucinda Williams – God Don’t Never Change – God Don’t Never Change: The Songs of Blind Willie Johnson

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Listen: Canadian Blues 2016

Listen: Episode 1610

Listen: Episode 1609

Listen: Gary Burnett Interview (Episode 1514)

In this episode of Full-Time Blues Radio, Johnny Full-Time and Gary Burnett discuss The Gospel According To The Blues and many of its themes, exploring concepts of faith, music, justice, civil rights, poverty, and much, much more. There are also spiritual Blues tunes from Eric Bibb, Rory Block, Lurrie Bell, and others.

Stream This Episode On Demand

As a part of our expanded Spiritual Side of the Blues programming in 2015, Johnny Full-Time had the wonderful opportunity to sit down for conversation with Dr. Gary Burnett. Gary lectures in The School of Theology at Queens University, Belfast. He also operates the blog, Down At The Crossroads. In October, 2014, Dr. Burnett released his book, The Gospel According To The Blues with publisher Cascade Books.

Courtesy Cascade Books

The Gospel According to the Blues dares us to read Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount in conversation with Robert Johnson, Son House, and Muddy Waters. It suggests that thinking about the blues-the history, the artists, the songs-provides good stimulation for thinking about the Christian gospel. Both are about a world gone wrong, about injustice, about the human condition, and both are about hope for a better world. In this book, Gary Burnett probes both the gospel and the history of the blues as we find it in the Sermon on the Mount, to help us understand better the nature of the good news which Jesus preached, and its relevance and challenge to us.

Click Here and Enter to WIN a Copy of The Gospel According To The Blues

Programming Note: There was some material that just couldn’t fit into this week’s show, due to time constraints. You can listen to the entire, unedited interview in its entirety here.

1. Kelly Joe Phelps – Brother Pilgrim – Brother Sinner & The Whale
2. Eric Bibb – In My Father’s House (Live) – An Evening With Eric Bibb
3. Harrison Kennedy – Judgment Day – This Is From Here
4. Lurrie Bell – I’ll Get To Heaven On My Own w/Joe Louis Walker
The Devil Ain’t Got No Music
5. Irma Thomas – River Is Waiting
The Soul Queen Of New Orleans: 50th Anniversary Celebration
6. Sleepy John Estes – Holy Spirit, Don’t You Leave Me
Live In Japan ’74 With Hammie Nixon
7. Rory Block – Worried Mind – Shake ‘Em On Down: A Tribute To Mississippi Fred McDowell

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Listen: Spiritual Side 2015

Listen: Spiritual Side 2014

Listen: Episode 1512

Listen: Spiritual Side of the Blues 2015

Stream This Episode On Demand

Each year, right around Easter, it provides me with the perfect time to produce one of my favorite special episodes: The Spiritual Side of the Blues. The great American music has always walked a fine line between the sacred and the profane; and as we’ll see, the Blues and the Christian faith have an incredible number of parallel themes. In the end, though, it all stems out of the hope for a better tomorrow. This week, that hope comes in the form of spirituals, Gospel-inflected Blues tunes, and prayers through song.

Courtesy McC Records

The featured selection from inside “Johnny’s Mailbox” this week is “That’s Enough” by The McCrary Sisters. The track comes off their brand new album, Let’s Go, which just came out on McC Records.

The McCrary Sisters are the daughters of Rev. Samuel McCrary, a longtime member of The Fairfield Four. They grew up surrounded by music and faith, and performed from an early age in one form or another. Their signature harmonies have been in constant demand by music artists from a wide range in genres and levels of fame. Bob Dylan, Paul Thorn and Mike Farris are just an incredible few of the big names who have sought out these sisters to have them sing on their works.

The McCrary Sisters released their debut album in 2011, and Let’s Go is only their third record. With it, though, they are front and center, crafting an incredible record with producer Buddy Miller. Let’s Go is available now from a variety of sources, and you can find out more information about the women, the music and more on their official website,

Programming Note: I hope you enjoy this week’s episode. For the first time, I’m expanding the Spiritual Side of the Blues programming to two weeks on Full-Time Blues Radio. Next week, I’ll be joined for conversation by Dr. Gary Burnett, author of the new book The Gospel According To The Blues. We’ll discuss the Blues, faith, civil rights and much more. Don’t Miss It! – Johnny Full-Time

1. The McCrary Sisters – Let’s Go – Let’s Go
2. Kelley Hunt – Golden Hour – The Beautiful Bones
3. Neil Barnes – Don’t Let the Devil Ride – Hyde And Seek
4. Toots Lorraine – Wade In The Water – Make It Easy
5. Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar – Take Us Swiftly Home – Send The Nightengale
6. Kirk Davis – Going With the Lord – Blues And Greys
7. Mike Farris – Real Fine Day – Shine For All The People
8. Otis Clay & Johnny Rawls – Hallelujah Lord – Soul Brothers
9. Flora Molton – In the Little Country Town Where I Was Born – I Want To Be Ready To Hear God When He Calls
10. Jeff Jensen – Going Home – Morose Elephant
11. Michael Jerome Brown – Choose Your Seat and Sit Down – Sliding Delta
12. Rory Block – Jesus Is A Mighty Good Leader – Hard Luck Child: A Tribute To Skip James
13. Jorma Kaukonen – Suffer Little Children to Come Unto Me – Ain’t In No Hurry
14. The McCrary Sisters – That’s Enough – Let’s Go

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Listen: Episode 1512

Listen: Episode 1511

Listen: Spiritual Side 2014

Review: Paul Thorn – ‘Too Blessed To Be Stressed’

This review was written by “Johnny Full-Time John Luttrell, and it originally appeared in the Kentuckiana Blues Society newsletter, February 2015.

Courtesy Perpetual Obscurity

On Paul Thorn’s last album, 2012’s What The Hell Is Going On, he dealt with some heavy topics on the title cut. For this new release, Too Blessed To Be Stressed, Paul embraces the positivity found in the title track. The disc opens with “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright,” and your toes are instantly tapping. Paul’s cinematic lyrics play through your mind on “Too Blessed to Be Stressed,” as Thorn provides slice of life glimpses into several different American experiences. He hits the warm and fuzzy trifecta with “Everybody Needs Somebody,” singing “…when you make a friend, that’s when everybody wins. A little love can put a smile on your face.” It was at this point in the CD that my wife asked what we were listening to, “I really like this,” she added.

Paul Thorn has always written the truth into his lyrics, whether it’s the honesty of the male figures he grew up watching in a song like 2010’s “Pimps and Preachers,” or the social commentary of American culture in this record’s “Mediocrity Is King.” So, you can believe him when he sings about his continued attempts to “be a good man” in the track “I Backslide On Friday.” It’s important to note the impact of Paul’s songwriting partner, Billy Maddox, who shares credit on all of these songs with Paul, save for one. “Get You A Healin’” was written by Carlo J Ditta.

It’s the songwriting that sets Paul Thorn apart from everybody else. Sure, the arrangements are fantastic, and the playing is top notch; but personally, I come to every new Paul Thorn record with excitement about the words in these songs. Let’s not gloss over the band, though. Give a call to Bill Hinds (guitar, harmonies), Jefferey Perkins (drums), Ralph Friedrichsen (bass, harmonies, co-writing credit on “Everybody Needs Somebody”), and Michael Graham (keys) for the work they did on this album. Paul also renews his relationship with the incredible McCrary Sisters, who provide backing vocals on three tracks. The liner notes include this fun fact: the McCrary Sisters were recorded for this album at sea during the Sandy Beaches Cruise.

The Blues has always been about heartache and pain; but they’ve also been about joy and celebration. With that in mind, Paul Thorn’s album Too Blessed To Be Stressed is worth your time for the 43 minutes of sonic joy that you’ll get listening.

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