Favorite Albums of 2015 (Episode 1550)

This week brings 2015 to a close with a listen to songs from Johnny Full-Time’s favorite albums released in 2015. Instead of telling you what we think is the “best” new music each year, JFT combs through all of the music that flowed into the studio over the last 12 months and hand picks tracks from his favorite discs. There is some amazing material here; but we’d like to hear from you! What was your favorite song, album, or episode of Full-Time Blues Radio this year? let us know in the comments section here OR at our Facebook page.

And, be sure to look below the playlist, this week, for a music video by JJ Appleton and Jason Ricci. They recorded Blind Willie Johnson’s song “Nobody’s Fault But Mine” for their new album Dirty Memory, one of John’s favorites of 2015.

1. Amy Helm – Spend Our Last Dime – Didn’t It Rain
2. Ian Siegal – Heavenly Houseboat Blues – The Picnic Sessions
3. Pokey LaFarge – Cairo, Illinois – Something In The Water
4. N.M.O. – Annabel – Freedom & Dreams
5. Albert Cummings – Movin’ On – Someone Like You
6. The Beat Daddys – You Made Me Cry – Hoodoo That We Doo
7. JJ Appleton & Jason Ricci – Jason Solo – Dirty Memory
8. Muddy Waters 100 – Forty Days and Forty Nights ft. Gary Clark Jr.- Muddy Waters 100
9. Steve Earle & the Dukes – King of the Blues – Terraplane
10. Leo “Bud” Welch – So Many Turnrows – I Don’t Prefer No Blues
11. Bobby Rush – Hey Western Union Man – Chicken Heads:
A 50-Year History Of Bobby Rush

12. JD McPherson – Mother Of Lies – Let The Good Times Roll

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Courtesy Nugene Records

The featured selection from inside “Johnny’s Mailbox” is “Keen & Peachy.” It comes off the new album by Ian Siegal, The Picnic Sessions, which is available now from Nugene Records. For the album, Ian traveled back to Mississippi to meet up with friends Jimbo Mathus, Alvin “Youngblood” Hart, Luther Dickinson, and Cody Dickinson. Cody also produced the album, and the group successfully captured the front porch feel that they set out to create.

You can find out more about Ian Siegal, The Picnic Sessions, and tour dates on his official website, IanSiegal.com Scroll down and check out the video of Ian performing “Gallo del Cielo,” another song off this CD, courtesy of the Beverley Blues Festival.

1. Tad Robinson – Lonely Talking – Day Into Night
2. The Cash Box Kings – Download Blues – Holding Court
3. Nancy Wright – Funkin’ It Up – Putting Down Roots
4. Original Legends of the Blues – Royal & St. Pete – Still Carrying The Flame
5. Tweed Funk – Blues In My Soul – First Name Lucky
6. Steve Earle – Terraplane Blues – Terraplane Blues Vinyl Single
7. Robert Johnson – Terraplane Blues – Terraplane Blues Vinyl Single
8. Randy Volin and the Hard Ones – Brand New Day – Detroit Thang
9. Michael Burks – Got a Way With Women – The Best Of Michael “Iron Man” Burks
10. Gaye Adegbalola & The Wild Rutz – Fireballin’ – Is It Still Good To Ya?
11. JD Wilkes & The Dirt Daubers – Apples and Oranges – Wild Moon
12. JD McPherson – It Shook Me Up – Let The Good Times Roll
13. Ian Siegal – Keen and Peachy – The Picnic Sessions

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Some amazing new release music arrived on our doorstep in recent weeks, and this episode provides the first listen for many of these albums. There’s a great mixture of truly independent music, legendary names, and current superstars.

Alligator Records has released nine, digital only, ‘Best Of’ albums for Coco Montoya, Koko Taylor, James Cotton, Michael Burks, Lil Ed & the Blues Imperials, Lonnie Mack, Tinsley Ellis, Roomful of Blues, and Hound Dog Taylor. Hound Dog kicks off a set of newly reissued music, which is great, because we don’t often get to reach back into the archives and spin some of the all-time greats.

In addition, we pay loving tribute to Willie “Popsy” Dixon, the late drummer and vocalist for The Holmes Brothers, who passed away very early in 2015. We will also remember Lynwood Slim, who passed away prior to the release of his album Hard To Kill. Make sure to scroll down below this week’s playlist and catch a music video of The Holmes Brothers performing “Soldier of Love” that provides an incredible look at Popsy’s drumming and vocals.

Courtesy Vizz-Tone

The featured selection from inside “Johnny’s Mailbox” is “The Real Thing” by DA Foster. It is the title track to his new album. This release is available now in either CD or digital formats through the Vizz-Tone label group, but it will also be released on vinyl LP March 24, 2015.

DA Foster has worked in nearly every facet of the music industry. He formed The Shaboo All-Stars in the 1970’s after Blues legends who performed at his club urged him to sing on stage. He has continued to perform for around four decades, and recorded The Real Thing with Tony Braunagel and Mike Finnigan producing.

For even more information, you can visit DA Foster’s official website at DAFosterMusic.com

1. JD McPherson – Let the Good Times Roll – Let The Good Times Roll
2. Hound Dog Taylor – Don’t Blame Me – The Best Of Hound Dog Taylor (2015)
3. Magic Sam – I Need You So Bad – Live At The Avant Garde
4. Flora Molton – Never Drive A Stranger From Your Door – I Want To Be Ready To Hear God When He Calls (Reissue)
5. Ingrid Gerdes – I Need A Man – High Priestess
6. The Holmes Brothers – Soldier of Love – Brotherhood
7. Lynwood Slim – Old Honkie Tonk Piano Roll Blues – Hard To Kill
8. Markey Blue – Baby I’m Cryin’ – Hey Hey
9. Jon Spear Band – Devil’s Highway – Old Soul
10. Mike Osborn – Love vs. Ego – In The Dog House
11. The Reverend Shawn Amos – (The Girl Is) Heavy – The Reverend Shawn Amos Tells It
12. DA Foster – The Real Thing – The Real Thing

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As mentioned at the beginning of the show, this week, it’s a pretty gutsy thing to craft a list of albums and say they’re “the best.” Yet, every December, countless media outlets try to hammer you with their opinions of the best releases from the last 12 months. I don’t think art can be judged that way, so this week’s playlist features music from my favorite albums of 2014. – Johnny Full-Time

The show features a wide selection of Blues styles, and some truly independent releases alongside some big name artists like Gary Clark, Jr., Paul Thorn, and Janiva Magness, to name a few. There’s no featured selection from inside “Johnny’s Mailbox,” this week. However, several of these albums were featured throughout the year.

Courtesy Vizz-Tone

My absolute favorite album of 2014, although close to call, is In The Magic Shop, the posthumous release from Sean Costello by the Vizz-Tone Label Group. This episode closes with an incredible cover by Sean of Rod Stewart’s “You Wear It Well.” Don’t Miss It!

Remember, 100% of the proceeds made from the sale of this album benefit the Sean Costello Memorial Fund for Bipolar Research. You can find complete information on their official website: SeanCostelloFund.org

1. Paul Thorn – Too Blessed To Be Stressed – Too Blessed To Be Stressed
2. John Nemeth – Keep the Love A-Comin’ – Memphis Grease
3. Johnny Winter – My Babe ft. Jason Ricci – Step Back
4. Mark T Small – Stone Pony Blues – Smokin’ Blues
5. Eden Brent – Valentine – Jigsaw Heart
6. Thorbjorn Risager & the Black Tornado – Through the Tears – Too Many Roads
7. JD McPherson – Steal Away – The Warm Covers EP
8. Gary Clark, Jr. – Numb – Live
9. Janiva Magness – Everything Is Alright – Original
10. The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer – Tea For Two – A Real Fine Mess
11. Jarekus Singleton – Come Wit Me – Refuse To Lose
12. Mike Farris – Mercy Now – Shine For All The People
13. Sean Costello – You Wear It Well – In The Magic Shop

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13 songs, eight albums never before featured, seven of which are brand new arrivals – this episode defines our name as the home for new & independent Blues music! This week’s show features several truly independent releases, a new version of a song first recorded in 1935, and the first new record bearing the VeeJay Records label since 1965.

Courtesy Stony Plain

The featured selection from inside “Johnny’s Mailbox” is “Dream Catchers” by Eric Bibb, with Ruthie Foster and Harrison Kennedy. The song appears on Eric Bibb’s new album, Blues People, which is available now from Stony Plain Records. The CD features 15 songs, with a long list of guests, including Taj Mahal and the Blind Boys of Alabama.

Eric Bibb explains in the album’s liner notes that Blues People not only examines the kinship between all manner of people who play the great American music; but moreover, it traces the journey of the African-American experience. Several songs touch on the battle for civil rights in America, and “Dream Catchers” is one of them: a fantastic song providing a snapshot of the fight for equality.

Make sure to scroll below this week’s playlist, where you can view a video of Eric Bibb discussing this new album, as well as another, the official music video for the album track “Turner Station.” For additional information about Eric Bibb, his music, and his tour schedule, Click Here to Visit EricBibb.com

1. Lisa Mills – I Wish I Was In Heaven Sittin’ Down – I’m Changing
2. Magnus Berg – Drifting – Cut Me Loose
3. Steve Freund & Gloria Hardiman – Homework – Set Me Free
4. No Refund Band – Blues Man Dying – Current State Of Blue
5. Bad Brad and the Fat Cats – Runnin’ Me Down – Take A Walk With Me
6. JD McPherson – I Wish You Would – The Warm Covers EP
7. Billy Boy Arnold – Don’t Set Me Free – The Blues Soul Of Billy Boy Arnold
8. Laura Cheadle – Summertime – Where The Blues Hangs Out
9. Mark Hummel – Tonight With a Fool – The Hustle Is Really On
10. Jack Hadley – Something So Sad – The St. Louis Sessions
11. Chase Walker Band – DIY – Unleashed
12. Howard Glazer – Felling So Bad – Looking In The Mirror
13. Eric Bibb – Dream Catchers ft. Ruthie Foster & Harrison Kennedy – Blues People

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