New Releases

Going Back Home

Wilko Johnson / Roger Daltrey

In My Soul

Robert Cray

In My Soul

The Robert Cray Band

Haul Away!

Liz Green

Soulblazz (Bonus Track Version)

Natalia M. King

Songs for Syria

Owen Campbell

Complete 1960-1962 Recordings

Freddie King

Bluesamericana

Keb' Mo'

20th Anniversary of Rock'n'roll

Bo Diddley

Every Day I Have The Blues

T-Bone Walker

Zem Putna Spārniem

Igo

Beautiful Wild

BONJAH

Slingshot

Left Lane Cruiser

Sweet Giant Of The Blues

Otis Spann

Certified Blue

The Black Sorrows

Into Something Blue

Bill LaBounty

The Hustle Is Really On

Mark Hummel

Easy Gone

Ray Bonneville

Son and Moon

John Mooney

Bluesman for Life

Roy Gaines

Top Albums

El Camino

The Black Keys
Picking up on the ‘60s soul undercurrent of Brothers, the Black Keys smartly capitalize on their 2010 breakthrough by plunging headfirst into retro-soul on El Camino. Savvy operators that they are, the Black Keys don’t opt for authenticity à la Sharon Jones or Eli “Paperboy” Reed: they bring Danger Mouse back into the fold, the producer adding texture and glitter to the duo’s clean, lean songwriting. Apart from “Little Black Submarines,” an acoustic number that crashes into Zeppelin heaviosity as it reaches its coda, every one of the 11 songs here clocks in under four minutes, adding up to a lean 38-minute rock & roll rush, an album that’s the polar opposite of the Black Keys’ previous collaboration with Danger Mouse, the hazy 2008 platter Attack & Release. That purposely drifted into detours, whereas El Camino never takes its eye off the main road: it barrels down the highway, a modern motor in its vintage body. Danger Mouse adds glam flair that doesn’t distract from the songs, all so sturdily built they easily accommodate the shellacked layers of cheap organs, fuzz guitars, talk boxes, backing girls, tambourines, foot stomps, and handclaps. Each element harks back to something from the past -- there are Motown beats and glam rock guitars -- but everything is fractured through a modern prism: the rhythms have swing, but they’re tight enough to illustrate the duo’s allegiance to hip-hop; the gleaming surfaces are postmodern collages, hinting at collective aural memories. All this blurring of eras is in the service of having a hell of a good time. More than any other Black Keys album, El Camino is an outright party, playing like a collection of 11 lost 45 singles, each one having a bigger beat or dirtier hook than the previous side. What’s being said doesn’t matter as much as how it’s said: El Camino is all trash and flash and it’s highly addictive.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Texas Flood

Stevie Ray Vaughan And Double Trouble

Bluesamericana

Keb' Mo'

Continuum

John Mayer
Anybody who was initially confused by singer/songwriter John Mayer's foray into blues with 2005's Try! John Mayer Trio Live in Concert could only have been further confounded upon listening to the album and coming to the realization that it was actually good. And not just kinda good, especially for guy who had been largely labeled as a Dave Matthews clone, but really, truthfully, organically good as a blues album in its own right. However, for longtime fans who had been keeping tabs on Mayer, the turn might not have been so unexpected. Soon after the release of his 2003 sophomore album, the laid-back, assuredly melodic Heavier Things, Mayer began appearing on albums by such iconic blues and jazz artists as Buddy Guy, B.B. King, and Herbie Hancock. And not just singing, but playing guitar next to musicians legendary on the instrument. In short, he was seeking out these artists in an attempt to delve into the roots of the blues, a music he obviously has a deep affection for. Rather than his blues trio being a one-off side project completely disconnected to his past work, it is clear now that it was the next step in his musical development. And truthfully, while Try! certainly showcases Mayer's deft improvisational blues chops, it's more of a blues/soul album in the tradition of such electric blues legends as Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan, and features songs by Mayer that perfectly marry his melodic songcraft and his blues-slinger inclinations. In fact, what seemed at the time a nod to his largely female fan base (the inclusion of "Daughters" and "Something's Missing" off Heavier Things) was actually a hint that he was bridging his sound for his listeners, showing them where he was going.

That said, nothing he did up until the excellent, expansive Try! could have prepared you for the monumental creative leap forward that is Mayer's 2006 studio effort, Continuum. Working with his blues trio/rhythm section of bassist Pino Palladino and drummer Steve Jordan, along with guest spots by trumpeter Roy Hargrove and guitarist Ben Harper, Mayer brings all of his recent musical explorations and increasing talents as a singer/songwriter to bear on Continuum. Produced solely by Mayer and Jordan, the album is a devastatingly accomplished, fully realized effort that in every way exceeds expectations and positions Mayer as one of the most relevant artists of his generation. Adding weight to the notion that Mayer's blues trio is more than just a creative indulgence, he has carried over two tracks from the live album in "Vultures" and the deeply metaphorical soul ballad "Gravity." These are gut-wrenchingly poignant songs that give voice to a generation of kids raised on TRL teen stars and CNN soundbites who've found themselves all grown up and fighting a war of "beliefs." Grappling with a handful of topics -- social and political, romantic and sexual, pointedly personal and yet always universal in scope -- Mayer's Continuum here earns a legitimate comparison to Marvin Gaye's What's Going On. Nobody -- not a single one of Mayer's contemporaries -- has come up with anything resembling a worthwhile antiwar anthem that is as good and speaks for their generation as much as his "Waiting on the World to Change" -- and he goes and hangs the whole album on it as the first single.

It's a bold statement of purpose that is carried throughout the album, not just in sentiment, but also tone. Continuum is a gorgeously produced, brilliantly stripped-to-basics album that incorporates blues, soft funk, R&B, folk, and pop in a sound that is totally owned by Mayer. It's no stretch when trying to describe the sound of Continuum to color it in the light of work by such legends as Sting, Eric Clapton, Sade, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Steve Winwood. In fact, the sustained adult contemporary tone of the album could easily have become turgid, boring, or dated but never does, and brings to mind such classic late-'80s albums as Sting's Nothing Like the Sun, Clapton's Journeyman, and Vaughan's In Step. At every turn, Continuum finds Mayer to be a mature, thoughtful, and gifted musician who fully grasps his place not just in the record industry, but in life.

Matt Collar, Rovi

Brothers.

The Black Keys
Retreating from the hazy Danger Mouse-fueled pot dream of Attack & Release, the Black Keys headed down to the legendary Muscle Shoals, recording their third album on their own and dubbing it Brothers. The studio, not to mention the artwork patterned after such disregarded Chess psychedelic-era relics as This Is Howlin’ Wolf’s New Album, are good indications that the tough blues band of the Black Keys earliest records is back, but the group hasn’t forgotten what they’ve learned in their inwardly psychedelic mid-period. Brothers still can get mighty trippy -- the swirling chintzy organ that circles “The Only One,” the Baroque harpsichord flair of “Too Afraid to Love You” -- but the album is built with blood and dirt, so its wilder moments remain gritty without being earthbound. Sonically, that scuffed-up spaciness -- the open air created by the fuzz guitars and phasing, analog keyboards, and cavernous drums -- is considerably appealing, but the Black Keys' ace in the hole remains the exceptional songwriting that Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney are so good at. They twist a Gary Glitter stomp into swamp fuzz blues, steal a title from Archie Bell & the Drells but never reference that classic Tighten Up groove, and approximate a slow ‘60s soul crawl on “Unknown Brother” before following it up with a version of Jerry Butler’s “Never Gonna Give You Up,” and it’s nearly impossible to tell which is the cover. And that’s the great thing about the Black Keys in general and Brothers in particular: the past and present intermingle so thoroughly that they blur, yet there’s no affect, just three hundred pounds of joy.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

The Essential Stevie Ray Vaughan And Double Trouble

Stevie Ray Vaughan
Epic's The Essential Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble gathers two discs' worth of the late blues guitarist's work, including many live performances and a few tracks with the Vaughan Brothers. The collection presents Vaughan's material in roughly chronological order, from the 1980 live recording "Shake for Me" to 1989's "Life by the Drop." It also touches on most of Vaughan's definitive songs and performances, including "Tightrope," "Wall of Denial," "Couldn't Stand the Weather," and "Cold Shot," and live versions of "The Sky Is Crying," "Superstition," and "Rude Mood/Hide Away." Though this album doesn't offer anything that hasn't already been released in some form or another, it does go into slightly more depth than several of the other Stevie Ray Vaughan retrospectives by presenting both his greatest studio hits and some of his best live work.

Heather Phares, Rovi

The Blues Biography

Fats Domino

Blues Legends

Various Artists

Rubber Factory

The Black Keys
It's easy to think of the Black Keys as the flip side of the White Stripes. They both hail from the Midwest, they both work a similar garage blues ground and both have color-coded names. If they're not quite kissing cousins, they're certainly kindred spirits, and they're following surprisingly similar career arcs, as the Keys' third album, Rubber Factory, is neatly analogous to the Stripes' third album breakthrough, White Blood Cells. Rubber Factory finds the duo expanding, stretching, and improving, coming into its own as a distinctive, original, thoroughly great rock & roll band. With 2003's Thickfreakness, guitarist/vocalist Dan Auerbach and drummer/producer Patrick Carney delivered on the promise of a raw, exciting debut by sharpening their sound and strengthening the songwriting, thereby upping the ante for their next record, and Rubber Factory doesn't disappoint. Instead, it surprises in a number of delightful ways, redefining the duo without losing the essence of the band. For instance, the production has more shades than either The Big Come Up or Thickfreakness -- witness the creepy late-night vibe of the opening "When the Lights Go Out" or how the spare, heartbroken, and slide guitar-laden "The Lengths" sounds like it's been rusted over -- but it's also harder, nastier, and uglier than those albums, piled with truly brutal, gut-level guitar. Yet through these sheets of noise, vulnerability pokes through, not just on "The Lengths," but in a lazy, loping, terrific version of the Kinks' "Act Nice and Gentle." And, like their cover of the Beatles' "She Said, She Said" on their debut, "Act Nice and Gentle" illustrates that even if the Black Keys have more legit blues credentials than any of their peers, they're nevertheless an indie rock band raised with not just a knowledge of classic rock, but with excellent taste and, most importantly, an instinct for what makes great rock & roll. They know that sound matters, not just "how" a band plays but how a band is recorded, and that blues sounds better when it's unvarnished, which is why each of their records feels more like a real blues album than anything cut since the '60s. But they're not revivalists, either. They've absorbed the language of classic rock and the sensibility of indie rock -- they're turning familiar sounds into something nervy and fresh, music that builds on the past yet lives fearlessly in the moment. On a sheer gut level, they're intoxicating and that alone would be enough to make Rubber Factory a strong listen, but what makes it transcendent is that Auerbach has developed into such a fine songwriter. His songs have enough melodic and lyrical twists to make it seem like he's breaking rules, but his trick is that he's doing this within traditional blues-rock structures. He's not just reinvigorating a familiar form, he's doing it without a lick of pretension; it never seems as if the songs were written, but that they've always existed and have just been discovered, which is true of any great blues song. Carney gives these songs the production they deserve -- some tunes are dense and heavy with guitars, others are spacious and haunting -- and the result is the most exciting and best rock & roll record of 2004.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Didn't It Rain

Hugh Laurie

Blues

Jimi Hendrix
While Jimi Hendrix remains most famous for his hard rock and psychedelic innovations, more than a third of his recordings were blues-oriented. This CD contains 11 blues originals and covers, eight of which were previously unreleased. Recorded between 1966 and 1970, they feature the master guitarist stretching the boundaries of electric blues in both live and studio settings. Besides several Hendrix blues-based originals, it includes covers of Albert King and Muddy Waters classics, as well as a 1967 acoustic version of his composition "Hear My Train a Comin'."

Made Up Mind

Tedeschi Trucks Band

Rumble And Sway EP

Jamie N Commons

Luck Of The Draw

Bonnie Raitt
Nick of Time not only was an artistic comeback for Bonnie Raitt; it brought her largest audience yet, so there was no reason to mess with success for its sequel, Luck of the Draw. And sequel is the appropriate word, since Luck of the Draw is nothing if it isn't "Nick of Time, Pt. 2". True, there's a heavier reliance on original material this time around, but the sound and feel of the record is identical to its predecessor. There is one slight difference -- several of the songs appear tailor-made for crossover success, whereas Nick of Time felt organic. Nevertheless, Luck of the Draw is an unqualified success, filled with strong songs -- including the hits "Something to Talk About" and "I Can't Make You Love Me," plus the Delbert McClinton duet "Good Man, Good Woman" -- appealing productions, and just enough dirt to make old-school fans feel at home.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues: Keb' Mo'

Keb' Mo'
The occasion of the series of television films broadcast under the umbrella title The Blues in the fall of 2003 provided the opportunity to compile the highlights of Keb' Mo''s recording career thus far into a single-disc collection. One might argue that, with only four regular albums under his belt (there was also a children's album, Big Wide Grin), Keb' Mo' wasn't quite ready for a best-of, but those albums attracted a wide audience among blues fans; each one lodged in the Top Five of Billboard's Top Blues Albums chart, and the second and third, Just Like You and Slow Down, won Grammys for Best Contemporary Blues Album. Actually, it's the self-titled first album from 1994 that is the most impressive (as well as the least "contemporary"), and six tracks from it have been excerpted here, with three from Just Like You, four from Slow Down, and one from the fourth album, The Door. "Crapped Out Again" appeared on the Tin Cup soundtrack in 1996, and the final track, "Piece of Mind," is a new recording. While Keb' Mo' covers Robert Johnson twice here, he generally uses traditional blues only as a touchstone, preferring to write his own songs in a blues-influenced but essentially pop style, and play them in the same manner. The film series wasn't a chronological documentary in the manner of Ken Burns' Jazz, but if it were, Keb' Mo' would have come at the end as an example of the kind of music blues has evolved into, for better or worse. He is a part of the story, but, at least on the basis of this compilation, not a major figure in it as yet. (Happily, the compilation was not released at a major price. Like the other titles in the series, it was given a mid-line list price of only $11.98).

William Ruhlmann, Rovi

The Complete Recordings

Robert Johnson

Leaving Eden (Deluxe Version)

Carolina Chocolate Drops
The Carolina Chocolate Drops, a contemporary string band trio who, under the watchful eye of mentor Joe Thompson, re-created the look, feel, and sound of a 19th century black North Carolina string, fiddle, and jug band ensemble, crafted their first studio recordings into perfect facsimiles of the group's influences. The Drops were always at their best on-stage, however, where the gospel stomp of those mountain rhythms and the kinetic energy the band gave off completed the feel of a living, breathing history lesson. Those old string bands could turn on a dime, and the Chocolate Drops reproduced that art, turning their live sets into a black string band revival show. The studio albums felt like they were a bit encased in glass compared to the live performances. For this outing, however, the Chocolate Drops found the perfect producer in Buddy Miller, who recorded the band live in a single room, and the result is a wonderfully immediate album that feels like a Saturday night house party-- complete with moonlight, dust flying from the carpet under the feet of dancers, and crickets and night bird calls out the open windows. The sound breathes, and the Drops shine. Traditional pieces like "Po' Black Sheep" become stomping revivals, born again in a new century. "Ruby, Are You Mad at Your Man?" becomes a clawhammer banjo-driven mountain blues, with Rhiannon Giddens' vocal making it seem like Janis Joplin just wandered into the party, a feat she repeats with the album's marvelous last track, "Pretty Bird" (complete with crickets in the background). The Carolina Chocolate Drops may be intent on reproducing a sound from over a century ago, but they do an amazing job of translating it into the 21st century without diminishing it. This set feels like a Saturday night throw down under the summer stars. It almost seems timeless, perhaps because it defies time.

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal's debut album was a startling statement in its time and has held up remarkably well. Recorded in August of 1967, it was as hard and exciting a mix of old and new blues sounds as surfaced on record in a year when even a lot of veteran blues artists (mostly at the insistence of their record labels) started turning toward psychedelia. The guitar virtuosity, embodied in Taj Mahal's slide work (which had the subtlety of a classical performance), Jesse Ed Davis's lead playing, and rhythm work by Ry Cooder and Bill Boatman, is of the neatly stripped-down variety that was alien to most records aiming for popular appeal, and the singer himself approached the music with a startling mix of authenticity and youthful enthusiasm. The whole record is a strange and compelling amalgam of stylistic and technical achievements -- filled with blues influences of the 1930s and 1940s, but also making use of stereo sound separation and the best recording technology. The result was numbers like Sleepy John Estes' "Diving Duck Blues," with textures resembling the mix on the early Cream albums, while "The Celebrated Walkin' Blues" (even with Cooder's animated mandolin weaving its spell on one side of the stereo mix) has the sound of a late '40s Chess release by Muddy Waters. Blind Willie McTell ("Statesboro Blues") and Robert Johnson ("Dust My Broom") are also represented, in what had to be one of the most quietly, defiantly iconoclastic records of 1968.

Bruce Eder, Rovi

Dixie Chicken

Little Feat
Following Roy Estrada's departure during the supporting tour for Sailin' Shoes, Lowell George became infatuated with New Orleans R&B and mellow jamming, all of which came to a head on their third album, 1973's Dixie Chicken. Although George is firmly in charge - he dominates the record, writing or co-writing seven of the 10 songs - this is the point where Little Feat found its signature sound as a band, and no album they would cut from this point on was too different from this seductive, laid-back, funky record. But no album would be quite as good, either, since Dixie Chicken still had much of the charming lyrical eccentricities of the first two albums, plus what is arguably George's best-ever set of songs. Partially due to the New Orleans infatuation, the album holds together better than Sailin' Shoes and George takes full advantage of the band's increased musical palette, writing songs that sound easy but are quite sophisticated, such as the rolling "Two Trains," the gorgeous, shimmering "Juliette," the deeply soulful and funny "Fat Man in the Bathtub" and the country-funk of the title track, which was covered nearly as frequently as "Willin'." In addition to "Walkin' All Night," a loose bluesy jam by Barrere and Bill Payne, the band also hauls out two covers which fit George's vibe perfectly: Allan Toussaint's slow burner "On Your Way Down" and "Fool Yourself," which was written by Fred Tackett, who later joined a reunited Feat in the '80s. It all adds up to a nearly irresistible record, filled with great songwriting, sultry grooves, and virtuosic performances that never are flashy. Little Feat, along with many jam bands that followed, tried to top this album, but they never managed to make a record this understated, appealing and fine.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Ways Not To Lose

The Wood Brothers
The Wood Brothers' debut album is a tense and hushed affair full of weighted lyrics peppered with words like truth, faith, spirit, and soul and more angels than you can shake a stick at, and each song seems tipped right at the edge of indecision and confusion. These are largely Oliver Wood's songs, with his brother Chris Wood (of Medeski, Martin & Wood) adding bass and backing vocals and Kenny Wollesen bringing light drums and percussion to five tracks. Oliver seems frozen in a kind of perpetual spiritual dilemma on these tracks, but what keeps the best of these songs from being exercises in self-centered ennui is the dogged hope that shines through between the cracks. The opener, "One More Day," is a perfect example, as it charts the waters of bleak desolation but then slides into the chorus, which goes "Just when your faith is gone/Give it one more day." The music itself is sparse and languid, a sort of folk-blues mix that isn't in too much of a hurry to resolve itself, which gives these cuts a great deal of tension. It all sounds sad and tragic, but then again, the lyrics ultimately lean toward a hopeful future. Among the highlights on Ways Not to Lose are "Glad," a study in tempered ambivalence, an impressive and atmospheric version of the traditional folk hymn "Angel Band," and the wheezing, ominous "Where My Baby Might Be." There isn't unhinged joy in any of these songs, but the promise that better days might be just around the corner if only the right decisions are made floats over everything here. Ways Not to Lose sounds like a bleak record, and it moves at a relentlessly slow pace, but just as the title carries a kind of guarded hope in happy endings, it believes in the possibilities that personal angels are everywhere in life.

Steve Leggett, Rovi

Blak And Blu (Deluxe Version)

Gary Clark Jr.
Gary Clark, Jr. has been hailed by a number of critics as "the New Hendrix," which seems to be the fate of any guitarist who combines blues and rock styles at a considerable volume (particularly if they cover "Third Stone from the Sun"). While that's a blurb that may look good in Clark's press kit, it rather misses the point; Clark isn't a visionary, game-changing artist like Hendrix, but instead he's a canny singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist who has learned from the past and present, fusing them into a style that's distinctive and exciting if not necessarily revolutionary. Warner Bros. is also pitching Blak and Blu as Clark's "groundbreaking debut album," when in fact it's just his major-label debut, with four indie releases preceding it, making the confidence and ambition of this set a bit less remarkable. But if Gary Clark, Jr. isn't likely to change the way we look at rock & roll or rewrite the aesthetic of the electric guitar, he "is" one of the most interesting talents to come out of the contemporary blues scene in quite some time. On Blak and Blu, most of Clark's tunes are solidly rooted in the blues, but he's also folded in hearty servings of hard rock, funk, retro-soul, and even a dash of hip-hop, and the way he lets the flavors mix is a big part of what makes this album work so well. There's an undertow of Northern Soul on the dance-friendly opener "Ain't Messin' Round," "Travis County" is a no-frills rocker that recalls the Stones in fifth gear, "The Life" finds Clark moving back and forth between singing and rapping in a streetwise tale of drug addiction, "Numb" recalls the punk blues attack of the Black Keys and the White Stripes in its fuzzed-out blast, and the title cut samples both Gil Scott-Heron and Albert King as Clark melds conscious themes with blues backdrops. While the typical modern-day guitar hero goes out of his way to throw his dexterity in your face at every turn, here Clark shows off a tougher and more primal style, and though his chops are certainly good, he keep his solos concise and his attack muscular throughout. And if his songwriting is a bit uneven, he has an inarguable talent with both lyrics and melodies, and he's a good-to-great singer, sounding soulful and honest on every cut. Blak and Blu's production (by Rob Cavallo and Mike Elizondo in collaboration with Clark) is too polished and processed for its own good, but if this album isn't likely to change your life, it will make an hour of it a lot more interesting, and there's no arguing that Gary Clark, Jr. is a talent strong enough to match his record company's hype.

Nick Of Time

Bonnie Raitt
Prior to Nick of Time, Bonnie Raitt had been a reliable cult artist, delivering a string of solid records that were moderate successes and usually musically satisfying. From her 1971 debut through 1982's Green Light, she had a solid streak, but 1986's Nine Lives snapped it, falling far short of her usual potential. Therefore, it shouldn't have been a surprise when Raitt decided to craft its follow-up as a major comeback, collaborating with producer Don Was on Nick of Time. At the time, the pairing seemed a little odd, since he was primarily known for the weird hipster funk of Was (Not Was) and the B-52's' quirky eponymous debut, but the match turned out to be inspired. Was used Raitt's classic early-'70s records as a blueprint, choosing to update the sound with a smooth, professional production and a batch of excellent contemporary songs. In this context, Raitt flourishes; she never rocks too hard, but there is grit to her singing and playing, even when the surfaces are clean and inviting. And while she only has two original songs here, Nick of Time plays like autobiography, which is a testament to the power of the songs, performances, and productions. It was a great comeback album that made for a great story, but the record never would have been a blockbuster success if it wasn't for the music, which is among the finest Raitt ever made. She must have realized this, since Nick of Time served as the blueprint for the majority of her '90s albums.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

The Place You're In

Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Five years separate Live On and its successor, The Place You're In, and the time allowed Kenny Wayne Shepherd to grow as both an artist and as an individual. He's not only writing the majority of his material, he's singing most of it as well. His guitar playing has become more nuanced, and he's moved squarely into the world of album rock from his blues-rock background. Even the cover and publicity photos reflect the difference, showing a darker, decidedly grown-up Kenny Wayne Shepherd. In addition, the producer/mixing team of Jerry Harrison and Tom Lord-Alge (who did both Live On and Trouble Is) has been replaced by Marti Frederiksen and Andy Wallace, who give the album a more muscular sound. This album is tailor-made for rock radio with its big guitar sounds and recycled classic rock riffs, and Shepherd sounds very comfortable in this setting. The lyrics are a bit weak in places, but most of the songs have solid hooks and fine guitar solos. There are some very nice touches throughout the album, like the backward guitar and restrained solo that appear on "Let Go" (which recalls some of Steve Winwood's work) or the gospel backing vocals and excellent outro of "Hey, What Do You Say." "Ain't Selling Out" is a bit of a misstep: a forceful chugging rocker over a monotonous hook, and the Kid Rock guest shot ("Spank") may sell an extra copy or two, but the song is pretty unremarkable. Overall, The Place You're In is a solid album that shows Shepherd continuing to grow as an artist, but whether he can develop a more personal voice remains to be seen.

Sean Westergaard, Rovi

Top Songs

Free Bird

Lynyrd Skynyrd

Gravity

John Mayer

The Preacher

Jamie N Commons

Waiting on the World to Change

John Mayer

At Last (Single Version)

Etta James

Pride and Joy

Stevie Ray Vaughan

Howlin' For You

The Black Keys

Bad Company

Bad Company

Landslide

Stevie Nicks

Tighten Up

The Black Keys

Tears In Heaven

Eric Clapton

Shooting Star

Bad Company

Centerfold

J. Geils Band

Crossfire

Stevie Ray Vaughan

I Can't Make You Love Me

Bonnie Raitt

You Are So Beautiful

Joe Cocker

Simple Man

Lynyrd Skynyrd

Radar Love

Golden Earring

At Last

Etta James

I Get By

Everlast