West Coast Blues

Saturday night over many beers with friends solving the problems of the world, I listened to several artists in the "West Coast blues" category. West Coast Blues tends to have an upbeat swing rhythm as compared to Chicago blues or the Delta blues.I have enjoyed the following:
Sugar Ray Norcia and the Bluetones-My Life... is best
Roomful of Blues- especially the cd's where Sugar Ray is on vocals
William Clark- all of them
Mitch Kashmar- his Live at Labatt's is great
Michelle Willson- great torch singer
Duke Roubillard
Lynwood Slim
2000 LBS of Blues- fun L.A. based blues
Kirk Fletcher- really gifted guitar player
Clarence Gatemouth Brown- some of his big band cd's have this swing with a little Texas twist.

Anyone else like this style of blues?
Tommy Castro
You betcha- Also try
Ronnie Earl
and for Texas Swing- Asleep @ the Wheel
Love it. Great stuff!

Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers
Kid Ramos - first two or three albums, then he went off the rails
Where does one place Taj Mahal?

Big Sandy & The Fly-Rite Boys probably qualify - both West Coast and swinging blues..

However, I'm not sure that "West Coast Blues" is the name I'd attach to your list. Gatemouth sure swings, but he's 100% Texas/Louisiana in my book. The Western Swing thing is something that I always associate with Texas, ala Bob Wills & The Texas Playboys. But, that genre usually ends up with more of a country-jazz feel, IMHO. I think Bob and the 'boys ended up recording quite a bit in California, but still, they are TEXAS playboys!

Whatever you call it, swinging blues can be great and I like your list.

Some of Danny Gatton's material qualifies, too.


John, "Where does one place Taj Mahal?"

At the top of one's list, of course!

Maybe just not this exact list.
BTW, I hosted an "after rehearsal dinner" party at Harvel's (Santa Monica) two nights before my wedding, some 8 years ago. 2,000 lbs of Blues tore it up for us. Great Band!

A couple more came to mind.

Little Charlie and the Nightcats, later Rick Estrin and the Nightcats

Rick Estrin, vocals and harp, always had been the frontman but made it official when Little Charlie, guitar, decided to get off the road. Rick's vocals may be an aquired taste so check out some samples on Amazon before buying. These guys are a great party band in the West Coast Blues style.

Check out Marcia Ball. She's not West Coast Blues but she knows how to get a party going. Her most recent, Roadside Attractions, is a great place to start. She plays in a New Orleans R&B style but draws from a lot of Blues and R&B styles.

John, it depends on which album you're talking about. Taj covers a lot of territory.
+1 on Tonny Castro and Ronnie Earl. Great choices. How about Robbie Laws. Studied under Earl I think. Very similar. Plays Portland and Seattle quite a lot.
The late Robert Lucas who hailed from Long Beach gets a nod. Late in his career he ended up fronting Canned Heat.
Second the Marcia Ball. My favorite blues players include Dave Alvin, and, some of the selected tracks done by Los Lobos.
Thanks for the suggestions. One of the things I like about this genre is that there is a wide variety of artists to explore. Marty, I agree with you about Danny Gatton, one of my favorites, and Clarence Gatemouth being more of a Tx/LA. style. I brought up Gatemouth because we listened to Live From the New Orleans Jazzfest cd I got from the Jazzfest website. It was recorded right before he died and is good fun. Taj Mahal is in a class by himself. His back up band,the Phantom Blues Band, has a couple of great releases. I think Ronnie Earl is one of the best guitar players performing today. If you like Ronnie, you will enjoy Kirk Fletcher's latest. Kirk has played with Roomful of Blues and 2000 Lb's of Blues. Kim Wilson, another former Roomful of Blues frontman, has some decent solo material as well.Stay thirsty my friends.