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Top 20 Albums of 2017

by Assessor
Top 20 Albums of 2017

2017 was yet another year chock-full of great blues rock albums. From established stars to up and comers, 2017 had it all in the blues rock genre. Thousands of our readers voted, the staff of Blues Rock Review voted, and together we are proud to release the top 20 albums of 2017.

20. Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown: Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown

“The Shakedown are no longer the kids they were when they made Wild Child. Five years later, they’ve gained so much more experience with touring, navigating record label deals and writing music that speaks to who they are and the message they want to share with the world-and it has all benefited their music.” – Meghan Roos

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(Buy: Amazon | Amazon UK)

19. Pam Taylor: Steal Your Heart

“The entire album is incredibly refreshing. Pam Taylor really seems to be having a great time. Songs like “Squeeze Me” and “Mountain” have fun, movable melodies, with lyrics, that though certainly serious and true, have an element of humor to them. Each song reads this way, as if it were written by a person who loves doing this, but also doesn’t take herself too seriously. This is a very exciting album, not only for Pam Taylor, but for any music lover searching for some authentic roots.” – Alexandra Veltri

(Buy: Amazon | Amazon UK)

18. Alastair Greene: Dream Train

Dream Train never sounds bad during its 13-track setlist. In fact, when Dream Train sounds good, it highlights exactly what we all like about blues, rock, and the intertwining therein. Dream Train is a nostalgic and satisfying foray into the classic southern blues style with enough catchy tunes, slick riffs, and head-bobbing rhythms.” – Mark Hunstein

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(Buy: Amazon | Amazon UK)

17. Samantha Fish: Belle Of The West

“This album has moments of familiarity and warmth found in a Fleetwood Mac album, and even the mystical hazy elements of the 1968 album Nancy & Lee, all while honoring the theme of blues rock. Listeners are certainly in for a treat with Belle of the West, and although there shouldn’t be any pressure, with the rate Fish is turning these albums out, one can only hope for a new one sometime soon.” – Alexandra Veltri

(Buy: Amazon | Amazon UK)

16. Mollie Marriott: Truth Is A Wolf

“Marriott is a singer with vocal ability that could have landed her singing anything from R&B to Musical Theatre to who knows, even Opera, based on sheer skill level and range alone, and yet a genre other than rock would surely not convey the kind of emotion and connectability that she gets across in this first album. One listen to Truth Is A Wolf could clear up any preconceived notions, and surely remove her from parental shadows. Mollie Marriott is a musician in her own right, and a powerful one at that.” – Alexandra Veltri

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(Buy: Amazon | Amazon UK)

15. Jon Lantic: Jon Lantic

“Sometimes it feels like great artists just fall out of the sky to us at Blues Rock Review. That appears to be the case with Jon Lantic. With artists like Dan Patlansky at the forefront of blues rock in South Africa, it seems Lantic is another South African act to watch closely. Jon Lantic is a well rounded debut from a multi-talented artist. If you’re into bluesy garage rock look no further, Jon Lantic delivers in spades.” – Pete Francis

(Buy: Amazon | Amazon UK)

14. Jonny Lang: Signs

“Overall, Signs is an album that brings out the best of Jonny Lang in different styles. There is more guitar and blues here than some of Lang’s previous efforts, which should make long time fans happy, but we also see Lang continue to expand on his songwriting. The end result is an album filled with wonderful music from a truly talented artist. Signs is a winner.” – Pete Francis

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(Buy: Amazon | Amazon UK)

13. Rufus Black: Rise Up

“Rufus Black gets off to a great start with their debut album. The hints of genre crossing that display great versatility and musicianship amongst the group tease all of the possibilities for future albums. Rise Up is an exciting album that will surely speak to a wide variety of listeners.” – Alexandra Veltri

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(Buy: Amazon | Amazon UK)

12. Shane Henry: Light In The Dark

“Part of a great album is something subtle that happens in between the drum beats and the bass bops; something that’s under the lyrics and wrapped up in the guitar rhythms. A good album might not have one but every great album does and Shane Henry’s Light In The Dark is a great album because of its message. And that message is positivity.” – Jeremy Schantz

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(Buy: Amazon | Amazon UK)

11. Gov’t Mule: Revolution Come… Revolution Go

“Warren Haynes discography includes many bands and projects, but it seems that with Gov’t Mule he is more committed to show his best work. As a band with multiple influences they brought all this to surface due to the chemistry between the four members. The result is one of the most diverse albums of Gov’t Mule’s career. The band’s legacy remains unshakable.” – Pedro Matta

(Buy: Amazon | Amazon UK)

10. Black Country Communion: BCC IV

“Recorded in only seven days, the band was careful enough not to repeat the previous albums. BCC IV sounds bolder with heavy riffs, undeniable hooks, melodic flair and infectious choruses. Kevin Shirley’s importance is huge by guiding the band into the right directions for the album’s best interest, and the result is spectacular.” – Pedro Matta

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(Buy: Amazon | Amazon UK)

9. Larkin Poe: Peach

“Larkin Poe stuns with its latest album Peach. The sisters that make up the band, Rebecca and Megan Lovell, infuse high level production, intoxicating melodies, meaningful and clever lyrics, and Americana roots to create a truly unforgettable album.” – Alexandra Veltri

(Buy: Amazon | Amazon UK)

8. Laurence Jones: The Truth

The Truth might just be the catchiest blues rock album of the year. The biggest problem with The Truth is every time a track ends you want to play it again, but then the next song begins and you can’t stop listening to that one. The Truth is about the songs and they don’t get much better. This is a no filler album featuring great hooks and is the high point of Jones’ young career.” – Pete Francis

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(Buy: Amazon | Amazon UK)

7. Supersonic Blues Machine: Californisoul

“One of the most immediately noticeable qualities of Supersonic Blues Machine’s Californisoul is the sheer production value that went into the album. It features heavy-hitting guests such as Billy Gibbons, Eric Gales, and Robben Ford. To borrow from Elton John, Californisoul creates a “solid wall of sound” that is impeccably mixed throughout, making the album pleasing and palatable.” – Mark Hunstein

(Buy: Amazon | Amazon UK)

6. Greta Van Fleet: From The Fires

“Rock n’ roll doesn’t need saving, but it does need exposure and Greta Van Fleet is certainly bringing it to a new generation. Ride the wave because it doesn’t appear to be crashing down anytime soon. From The Fires is another step towards rock super stardom from the breakout band of 2017.” – Pete Francis

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(Buy: Amazon | Amazon UK)

5. Walter Trout: We’re All In This Together

“Each track on this album has its moments-we wouldn’t expect anything less from a bluesman like Trout or his impressive guest list. The only thing that concerns us is the fact that it ends after 14 tracks. This could easily become a series, with 14 new artists featured for the next album, and 14 more for the album after that. What do you say, Walter?” – Meghan Roos

(Buy: Amazon | Amazon UK)

4. ZZ Ward: The Storm

“Once again, ZZ Ward delivers with powerful vocal performances and well crafted songs. After the success of Til The Casket Drops, Ward could have easily gone in a different direction, but she should be applauded for continuing to make music inspired by her roots. The Storm is another winner from ZZ Ward.” – Pete Francis

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(Buy: Amazon | Amazon UK)

3. The Gringos: The Animal Kingdom

The Animal Kingdom is one of the most unique and creative albums of 2017. While The Gringos may be Brazil’s best kept secret they certainly deserve a large global audience. The musicianship is top notch with great performances all around.” – Pete Francis

(Buy: Amazon | Amazon UK)

2. King King: Exile and Grace

Exile and Grace delivers everything we’ve come to know and expect from King King, great songs, soaring vocals, memorable hooks, and stellar musicianship. The band’s style has definitely evolved a bit and the songs on Exile and Grace are a bit more compact than previous efforts. Once again, King King shows why they’re one of the finest blues rock bands in the world.” – Pete Francis

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(Buy: Amazon | Amazon UK)

1. Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band: Lay It On Down

Lay It On Down runs the gamut of modern day blues rock with its great songs, playing, and variety. There might not be a blues rock album this year that tops Lay It On Down, it’s that good. Well worth the wait, Lay It On Down is blues rock at its finest.” – Pete Francis

(Buy: Amazon | Amazon UK)

Previous Top 20 Lists: 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011

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