Well-known in these parts, Bay Area guitarslinger Tommy Castro continues to build up his rep as an R&B/blues-rock powerhouse, badass vocalist, and solid tunesmith; simply check out his new disc, Painkiller.
While some purists bemoaned the J. Geils Band's crossover ways, their respect for harmonica ace Magic Dick has never wavered. His instrumental "Whammer Jammer" should be studied by any and all aspiring blues harpists.
Ronnie Baker Brooks' lineage has always made for a great calling card, but the son of Chicago guitar legend Lonnie Brooks has generated plenty of his own buzz, thanks to The Torch, one of last year's best-received blues discs.
Deanna Bogart is the hardest rockin' boogie babe this side of Marcia Ball. The Maryland pianist, sax player, and singer sweetens the deal as a top-notch songwriter. Her new disc, Real Time, more than hints at her show-stealing ability. But no matter who you dig, this should be one of the year's best blues bashes.