10 Favorite RBM Interviews of 2022

Photo: Kenny Wayne Shepherd (Mark Seliger), Elles Bailey (Rob Blackham), Charlie Musselwhite (Rory Doyle), Bernard Allison (Lisa Gray) 10 Favorite Interviews

10 Favorite Rock & Blues Muse Interviews of 2022

By Martine Ehrenclou

As 2022 draws to a close, we are still floored by all the outstanding blues, rock and roots music released in 2022.
At Rock & Blues Muse we have the privilege of talking with some of the most talented and interesting artists and bands. This year was no different. I believe our interviews delve a bit deeper into conversations with these great artists, allowing readers to learn more about them as people, their beliefs and opinions, creative processes and music careers.

It’s a true delight to interview artists who are this talented and downright fascinating. Each one is uniquely interesting because of who they are as people.

Charlie Musselwhite
Grammy Award-winner, multi Grammy nominee, 13-time Blues Music Award-winner, Charlie Musselwhite is a living legend of the blues and in the truest sense of the word, a bluesman. World renowned as a harmonica master, truth-telling vocalist, songwriter and guitarist, Musselwhite has released nearly 40 albums over his six-decade career, proving that music only gets better with age.
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Walter Trout
Iconic blues/rock guitarist, singer, songwriter Walter Trout digs deep on his new and 30th solo album Ride. The four-time Blues Music Award-winner temporarily moved to Denmark with his family to escape the pandemic. As a liver-transplant survivor, he is more at risk and had to protect himself. He is a living blues/rock legend, a revered and beloved musician who is known for his soulfulness even on absolutely ripping guitar riffs. Trout joined John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers as lead guitarist in 1985 before embarking on his solo career in ’89.
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Elles Bailey
Multi award-winning UK vocalist, songwriter and bandleader Elles Baily has powered her way to the forefront of the British blues and roots scene not just with her rich, smoky voice but with her strong songwriting chops that reveal a young artist with passion, grit and determination. She won Artist of the Year at the UK Blues Awards in both 2020 and 2021 and is nominated for the 2022 Artist of the Year by The UK Americana Awards. She’s also a nominee for Vocalist of the Year at the 2022 The UK Blues Awards. Her song “Little Piece of Heaven” from her second award-wining album Road I Call Home was co-written with Dan Auerbach and Bobby Wood and won Song of the year at the 2020 UK Americana Awards.
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Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Five-time Grammy nominated blues-rock guitarist, multi-platinum artist Kenny Wayne Shepherd is regarded as an incendiary and soulful player, singer and songwriter. A riveting live performer, Shepherd is one of the most talented and distinctive guitarists of our time. 25 years into his career, Shepherd is revisiting his blockbuster 1997 album Trouble Is… with a full-on reinterpretation of the album that united modern blues with rock and roll swagger. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the album, Shepherd is set to release Trouble Is…25 on December 2nd.
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Sue Foley
Multi award-winning, Canada-born and Austin-based Sue Foley, guitarist, singer, songwriter, just released her new album, Pinky’s Blues out on Stony Plain Records, a follow up to her critically acclaimed The Ice Queen (2018) which featured Billy Gibbons, and Jimmie Vaughan. She has released 15 albums since her debut with Young Girl Blues (1992). In May 2020, Foley won her first Blues Music Award, in the ‘Koko Taylor Award (Traditional Blues Female)’ category. Her latest album is Pinky’s Blues featuring guest Jimmie Vaughan.
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Mike Zito
Multi Blues Music Award-winning guitarist, singer, songwriter, record producer and co-owner of Texas-based Gulf Coast Records, Mike Zito is one of the most beloved contemporary blues artists today. Along with a number of his own critically acclaimed albums, Zito is known for producing stellar artists. He started his own record label, Gulf Coast Records with Guy Hale in 2018 where he produces and records artists such as Albert Castiglia, Tony Campanella, Billy Price, Diana Rein, The Proven Ones, Jimmy Carpenter, Kid Andersen, Anthony Geraci, Kat Riggins, and more, many of whom are Blues Music Award winners and nominees themselves.
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Sugaray Rayford
Grammy nominated Soul-blues powerhouse vocalist and songwriter Sugaray Rayford is a musical force. A dynamic singer and performer, Rayford’s last album, Somebody Save Me was nominated for a Grammy Award, produced by Eric Corne. He won Blues Music Awards for ‘B.B. King Entertainer of the Year’ and ‘Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year’ in 2020. Rayford’s latest album, In Too Deep, was released on March 4 via Forty Below Records, produced by Eric Corne. In Too Deep blends funky R&B grooves with retro-soul, led by Rayford’s raw power as a vocalist and entertainer.
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Albert Castiglia
Good things come to those who wait, especially if you’re an extraordinary blues/rock guitarist, singer, songwriter like Albert Castiglia. His new album I Got Love hit #1 on Billboard Top US Blues Albums chart. His last album Masterpiece (2019) took home “Best Blues Rock Album” at the 2019 Blues Music Awards and Albert was nominated for “Blues Rock Artist of the Year.” Talk about keeping the blues alive.
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Bernard Allison
World class contemporary bluesman Bernard Allison is a virtuosic, blues guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter. The son of Blues Hall of Famer Luther Allison, Bernard grew up with many of the blues greats who influenced his style, among them his father, Edgar Winter, Johnny Winter, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Muddy Waters, Albert King, Hound Dog Taylor and Bobby Rush. Having taught himself to play guitar at the age of ten, Johnny Winter taught Bernard how to play slide guitar and Stevie Ray Vaughan coached him about life on the road. Blues legend Bobby Rush is his godfather.
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Timothy B. Schmit (the Eagles)
Timothy B. Schmit has maintained an iconic presence in the music world since the early 1970s. The veteran bassist, vocalist, songwriter and guitarist has been a member of the Eagles since 1977, winning three Grammys and being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the legendary band. His high-range lead vocals and songwriting skills defined the Eagles hits “I Can’t Tell You Why” and “Love Will Keep Us Alive” and are treasured by fans everywhere. Schmit has also worked with major artists including Poco, Crosby Stills & Nash, Steely Dan, Ringo Starr’s All-Star Band, Elton John, Tim McGraw, and Toto. He’s a solo artist as well and has released seven acclaimed albums under his own name.
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Kirk Fletcher
Just say the name Kirk Fletcher and you’ll hear high acclaim and respect from critics, peers and fans across the globe. Widely considered one of the finest blues guitarists in the world, Kirk has played, recorded and toured with a variety of renowned artists including The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Joe Bonamassa, Kim Wilson, The Mannish boys, Cyndi Lauper, Charlie Musselwhite, Robben Ford, and Michelle Branch. With his solo career, Fletcher is regarded as one of the most soulful and masterful guitar players of our time. With the combination of his six-string skills and strong, expressive vocals and insightful songwriting, he blends blues with elements of rock, funk, gospel, jazz and soul with a fresh contemporary spin.
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Dana Fuchs
Critically acclaimed songwriter and vocalist Dana Fuchs is one of the fiercest voices in modern day roots music, a blues/rock belter with plenty of soul. With her recent past albums Bliss Avenue and Love Lives On, she created groove-laden soul that served as her story-telling salve about growing up in rural Florida with her family’s struggle with addiction and mental illness. Her newest album Borrowed Time is a blend of ferocious rock, blues and soul.
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For Our Favorite Rock & Blues Muse Interviews of 2021 See Here

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