Accessories


Product no.: RUF 1260

 

CD

01.  Low Down And Dirty   04:49

02.  All Night   04:23

03. Do You Wanna?   03:35

04. Married Man   05:35

05. Keep Coming Back   04:35

06. Wasted Time   04:21

07. Make Blues Not War   07:49

08. In The Open (Instr.)   05:15

09. Rocket 88   07:26

10. The Way Love Was meant To Be   10:30

11. Life Is A Bitch   04:38

12. Serious (As A Heart Attack)   09:11

 

DVD

01. Intro Tom   01:10

02. Low Down And Dirty   04:45

03. All Night   04:34

04. Crossroads Of Life   05:45

05. Married Man   06:00

06. Bad Penny   04:52

07. One More Train   05:18

08. Keep Coming Back   04:43

09. Wasted Time   05:14

10. Make Blues Not War   08:08

11. In The Open (Instr.)   05:52

12. Rocket 88   08:29

13. The Way Love Was Meant To Be   10:40

14. Testify (Instr.)   05:25

15. Medley - Bad News Is Coming / Bad Love   18:50

16. Life Is A Bitch   05:02

17. Move From The Hood   08:27

18. Serious (As A Heart Attack)   09:50

19. Give Me Back My Wig   15:32

17.00 € *

Accessories

Product no.: RUF 7716

 

Bernard Allison’s album 'Funkifino' is taking the tradition of black music he grew up with into the 90th melting the influences into his own brand - Bernard Allison.

10.00 € *
Product no.: RUF 1252

Bernard Allison is unstoppable. He’s the face on the magazines and the voice on the radio. He’s the showman roaming the open road on the 2018 Blues Caravan tour, bringing it to the people each night with compadrés Mike Zito and Vanja Sky. He’s the visionary songwriter whose latest studio release – Let It Go – is already tipped as a top album of 2018. It’s a work ethic that would leave most musicians gasping but for this creative dynamo – now entering his fifth decade at the head of the blues pack – it’s all in a day’s work.

Starting the blues calendar with a bang in January 2018, Let It Go feels like a homecoming. After all, this latest studio album sees Bernard return to Ruf Records: the iconic German label that was created in 1994 to serve as a home for his father, the much-missed Chicago heavyweight, Luther Allison. Just as significant, Let It Go also found Bernard recording in the birthplace of the blues – Tennessee – and returns his sound to its raw fundamentals, on 12 songs that hold up without embellishment. “Let It Go was recorded at Bessie Blue Studio, Stantonville, Tennessee, with legendary music producer Jim Gaines,” recalls Bernard. “We made the decision to not flood the CD with keyboards or horns, to go back to the true basic rhythm section sound – and to show more mature songwriting.”

Since he opened his solo account in 1990 with The Next Generation, Bernard’s songwriting has been on a steep upward trajectory, and Let It Go represents a new peak. On a twelve-song tracklisting, Cruisin For A Bluesin opens proceedings in style, with a clipped funk-blues lick and a lyric that sums up Bernard’s existence since he first guested with his father in the late ’70s (“Gonna groove on down this highway, got my guitar in my hand”).

Same Ole Feeling pines for an absent lover over glassy wah chords, while the upbeat Backdoor Man finds Bernard with a .44 in his hand, investigating a disturbance and fretting that his girl is cheating. The powerful title track calls time on a worn-out relationship (“Our tears are falling, and our river’s run dry”), while Night Train tells of earning a crust in the blues joints of Chicago, set off by a snakey, soulful guitar solo. As for Leave Your Ego, this rough-edged, Hendrix-worthy blues tips a hat to Allison Snr. “It’s all about my dad’s saying: ‘Leave your ego, play the music, love the people’. We honour that quote everyday…”

As a questing artist who once noted that “blues is about experimenting”, Bernard isn’t afraid to twist the blueprint on Let It Go, evidenced by moments like the jazzy scuttle of Kiddio, or the closing acoustic lament of his father’s Castle. Yet the bandleader still wears his love for the genre proudly, most notably on Blues Party, where he imagines a celestial jam session with a house band including fallen titans from John Lee Hooker to Robert Johnson (“They’ll be hangin’ out in heaven/A blues party that never ends”).

No doubt, Luther is also looking down – and he’d surely be proud of his youngest son’s achievements to date. Born in Chicago on November 26th, 1965, Bernard spent his formative years absorbing the blues greats – from T-Bone Walker to B.B. King – through his absent father’s vinyl collection. His own talent was announced at the age of 13, when he surprised Allison Snr by playing along with his first record, Love Me Mama, note-for-note. “He freaked out and said, ‘Tonight you're gonna record with me’. That was my first recording. I played You Don’t Love Me No More and Sweet Home Chicago.”

Following that first live appearance in Peoria, Illinois, Bernard juggled his education with regular sets on the Allison stage, and his reputation was soon so established that he went direct from high school into the great Koko Taylor’s Blues Machine. As he once recalled: “Koko and Pops Taylor taught me the dos and don’ts of the road.”

By the ’80s, Bernard was moving in the orbit of fellow gunslingers like Stevie Ray Vaughan – a friendship that brought further colours to his dazzling guitar palette – and in 1989, he echoed his father’s decision to embrace Europe, taking up residence in Paris. The release of The Next Generation in 1990 proved the starting pistol for an astonishingly prolific solo career and in 2018, Bernard can look back on an acclaimed early catalogue that takes in Hang On, Funkifino, No Mercy, Born With The Blues, Keepin’ The Blues Alive and Times Are Changing. Since the millennium, releases have included Across The Water, Storms Of Life, Kentucky Fried Blues and Higher Power, while in recent times, there’s been the Energized live release, Chills and Thrills, The Otherside and Live at the Jazzhaus, followed by the collaborative Allison Burnside Express alongside Cedric Burnside and 2015’s In The Mix. Like we say: he’s unstoppable.

It’s an auspicious catalogue by an acclaimed genre heavyweight – but Let It Go is a potent reminder that for Bernard Allison, there’s always another gear. “We all just came together as a group to create this album,” he considers, “to show our chemistry as friends and bandmates. My favourite memory was watching the faces of everyone involved in the session. Everyone came to lay it on down and gave 110%...”

15.00 € *
Product no.: RUF 1210

The Blues Caravan is on a roll. Now in its 10th triumphant year, Ruf’s touring showcase of new talent is sticking with the winning formula that has made it an institution. One stage. Three artists on the brink of greatness. And a crowd strapped in for the night of their lives. With an illustrious roll call of past alumni including Ana Popovic, Oli Brown and Joanne Shaw Taylor, the Blues Caravan has always been a golden ticket to catch the scene’s next-big-things before they explode onto the world stage.

This CD/DVD set of 2014’s Blues Caravan featuring Albert Castiglia (USA), Laurence Jones (UK) and Christina Skjolberg (NO) was recorded in the Harmonie in Bonn, Germany on February 9th 2014. It is the prefect souvenir of a rocking anniversary Caravan, bursting with energy.

17.00 € *
Product no.: RUF 1258

 

This CD/ DVD –Release puts you back to the amazing moments of a great Blues Caravan Tour 2017

Take a floor-filling London soul man. Add a golden-voiced Southern States storyteller. Throw in a fast-rising Philadelphia based singer/saxophonist. Then hold on to your hats. Recorded at the 14th February 2017 in the Hirsch Club in Nuernberg, the most varied Blues Caravan comes back to life.

17.00 € *
Product no.: RUF 1017

The title is program: born in 1965 in Chicago Bernard Allison was introduced into the roots of black music and playing electric guitar by his father, the living blues legend Luther Allison.

At the age of 20 he played with the "Queen of Blues" Koko Taylor for two years and took part in countless sessions with musicians like Johnny Winter, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Jeff Healy.

He joined the tourband of Luther Allison in 1989 after a furious collaboration of "Father & Son" at the '89 Chicago Blues Festival. A recording of this formation is to be heard on the Luther Allison album "Let's Try It again". Bernard released his first solo album in 1990 with the significant title "The Next Generation".

He startet touring with his band all over europe and released the two albums: "Hang On" (1992) and "No Mercy" (1994).

On Bernard's last release "Funkifino" it turned out that he was not only influenced by "the old masters" or musicians like Jimmy Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn but also grew up with the music of George Clinton and Johnny Guitar Watson.

Now he's "back to the roots" on "Born With The Blues" - recorded in Chicago and mixed in Memphis - together with the band of blueslegend Buddy Guy (with Ray "Killer" Allison/drums). Bernards co-producer is the "Rounder Bullseye" producer Ron Levy who also plays the keyboards.

"Born With The Blues" is a piece of "real blues" that will find it's way to the hearts of many blues aficionados everywhere and this recording will no doubt further his reputation as one of the stars of the "next generation" of blues guitar heroes. (The title is program.)

15.00 € *
Product no.: RUF 1113

Recorded live at the MUSA in Göttingen/Germany, 20th October 2005

 

Also available on DVD! (RUF 3002)

15.00 € *
Product no.: RUF 1140
 |  Candye Kane, Deborah Coleman, Dani Wilde

Recorded live at the Harmonie in Bonn/Germany on 27th january 2008

In just three years, the Ruf Records BluesCaravan has become an extremely popular musical event reaching more and more blues fans in more parts of the world. After stopping off in Paris, London and Berlin, the 2007 edition played over a dozen concerts in the USA and was a featured attraction at the renowned Notodden Blues Festival in Norway. Setting off under the title "Guitar'd and Feathered," the trio of outstanding artists on the 2008 BluesCaravan tour promises to continue the trend.

10.00 € *
Product no.: RUF 1237

Blues Caravan 2016

Released on Ruf Records

Atmosphere. It’s the magic ingredient that turns a good live album into a great one – and it comes spilling from the speakers on Blues Caravan 2016. This CD/DVD release puts you right there, in the heart of the crowd, on the hottest tour of the year, feeling the anticipation rise as the clock ticks down and the compère steps up: “Ladies and gentlemen, the Blue Sisters…!”

Twelve years after Thomas Ruf first had his brainwave, the Blues Caravan tour remains a grand tradition for the legendary Ruf Records label, showcasing three artists on the brink of the big-time. In 2016, crowds across the States and Europe were wowed by the Blue Sisters: an international bill taking in Finland’s rising star Ina Forsman, American R&B royalty Tasha Taylor and Canada’s celebrated singer-songwriter Layla Zoe. Now, with the release of Blues Caravan 2016, recorded February 22nd at the Hirsch club in Nürnberg, Germany, all the thrills of that tour come flooding back.

Ruf Records is renowned as a magnet for next-big-things, and as Tom Ruf says, “there’s always enough fresh talent to keep the show on the road”. When Ina Forsman hits the stage on Blues Caravan 2016, it’s easy to hear why she caught the label’s attention. Hailing from Helsinki, this smoky vocalist was gigging from the age of 18, and after a little early guidance from Finnish harmonica hero Helge Tallqvist, this February saw the release of her self-titled debut album (declared “joyous stuff” by Classic Rock).

Naturally, Ina’s Blues Caravan set draws on that album’s self-penned material – from the jazzy Hanging Loose to the hooky No Room For Love – but her spontaneous approach to stagecraft means that anything could happen. “Sometimes,” says the bandleader, “it’s good to just let the music take you there. I rarely plan anything, so what happens on the stage, just happens.”

Few performers can work a crowd quite like Tasha Taylor. Having spent her formative years on the road with her father (R&B pioneer and Stax titan Johnnie Taylor), Tasha’s own star rose with releases like Taylormade and this year’s Honey For The Biscuit: an album whose self-penned songs breathed new life into the soul, funk and blues genres. “The musicianship is top-notch,” noted The Blues Mag, “the production dials up a satisfying soul-funk sound, and Taylor’s voice is strong, supple and soulful throughout.”

Just wait until you hear her on Blues Caravan 2016, as Tasha rocket-fuels Biscuit cuts like Weatherman, and even salutes Taylor Senior with a cover of his famous Who’s Making Love. “I put everything into my performances,” she explains. “I love to see the audience connect to the emotion and energy of the music. If one person leaves with a new favourite song and the feeling of being moved by my vocals then I’m happy.”

A truly prolific talent, Layla Zoe has won global acclaim for her ten-album back catalogue, with 2013’s The Lily dubbed “thrilling” by The Blues and this year’s Breaking Free praised for its “passion and integrity”. But if you only know her studio albums, you’ve only heard one side of the coin. The Toronto songwriter made her first waves on the local live circuit, and since then, she’s triumphed at auspicious venues from Montreux to Rockpalast. “She’s created probably the biggest buzz vocally of any singer I’ve heard about in years,” noted the late blues great Jeff Healey. “She’s wonderful.”

Now, on Blues Caravan 2016, Layla brings even deeper emotion to moments like Never Met A Man Like You and Work Horse. “My show is raw, honest, emotional and intense,” she says. “People often say they’re moved to tears at my shows, and I feel it’s important that I give everything I have to my audience. I rip people’s hearts out – and then I put them back in!”

            Three hot-tip performers. Three unforgettable sets. But of course, this wouldn’t be the Blues Caravan without the traditional onstage hook-up, and as the Blue Sisters unite to play us out with a climactic Rock Me Baby, you’ll be howling for more. It all adds up to another triumphant year for the Ruf Blues Caravan, and a CD/DVD release that catches every last drop of atmosphere in the bottle. When you play Blues Caravan 2016, you’ll be right there…

17.00 € *
Product no.: RUF 1221

Mike Zito has walked many roads. At 44, his backstory is a travelogue that starts in Missouri and finds salvation in Texas, pinballs from solo career to supergroup (and back), dices with both death and glory. And yet, wherever his career leads him, Mike always returns to his founding values of honest, original songs, drawn from the emotional depths, twisting the great American genres into bold new shapes. “Keep Coming Back is all in the title,” explains the songwriter of his latest release on Ruf Records. “I love the blues, I love rock ‘n’ roll and I love country music. It’s what I do and who I am.”

15.00 € *
Product no.: RUF 2049

 

It’s an auspicious catalogue by an acclaimed genre heavyweight – but Let It Go is a potent reminder that for Bernard Allison, there’s always another gear. “We all just came together as a group to create this album,” he considers, “to show our chemistry as friends and bandmates. My favourite memory was watching the faces of everyone involved in the session. Everyone came to lay it on down and gave 110%...”

18.00 € *
Product no.: RUF 1253

Blues-rock is a tightrope – and Mike Zito has never lost his footing. At times in his storied two-decade career, the Texas bandleader has rolled up the amps and rocked as hard as anyone. Yet his lifelong fascination with the blues has always reeled him back in. And now, having shaken the rafters with 2016’s acclaimed Make Blues Not War, First Class Life finds Mike diving deep into the only genre that can do justice to his hard-won true stories of hardship and redemption. “Make Blues was pretty extreme and rocking,” he reflects. “This time, I was definitely thinking more blues.”

            Released in 2018 on Ruf Records, First Class Life is a fitting album title from a man who has known glory – both in his solo career and US supergroup the Royal Southern Brotherhood – but also remembers the hard times. “The title track is a nod to where I’ve come from and where I’m at,” explains the songwriter whose promising early career was almost destroyed by addiction. “It’s a rags-to-riches story, and it’s true. I grew up poor in St. Louis, and now I'm travelling the world to sing my songs.”

            And what music. On his 14th album, Mike’s socially charged observations and candid soul-searching have never been sharper. There’s the punchy call-to-arms of Time For A Change and the exquisite ‘one-note’ slow-blues, The World We Live In. The electrified blues bounce of Dying Day swears lifelong allegiance to his wife, while the sinister Old Black Graveyard growls with Hendrix-esque flourishes.

Yet the record’s darker moments are offset by cuts like Mama Don't Like No Wah Wah, the crash-bang-wallop gem written with Bernard Allison. “Bernard told me about his first gig as guitarist for Koko Taylor,” laughs Mike. “Koko didn’t like any effects on the guitar, she wanted it to sound natural. When Bernard made an attempt to use an effect on his guitar after playing with her for months, he got caught. ‘Mama don't like no wah wah’ is what he was told. That’s a song to me!”

            Of course, the most captivating story of all is the dazzling upward curve of Mike Zito’s unfolding career. In 2018, First Class Life doesn’t just capture the past glories and setbacks – it points a signpost at the peaks to come. “With this album,” he concludes, “I had this idea of ‘stepping up’. I want the world to know I can play this music with conviction and style. I think it’s really the next step…”

15.00 € *
Product no.: RUF 1238

 

Modern life moves fast. Rolling news. Rapid-fire tweets. A relentless barrage of (mis)information. Make Blues Not War is an album that demands you sign out, log off and turn yourself over instead to the old-fashioned pleasures of great music. “We hear about everything 24/7 now,” says Mike Zito. “The news never stops and it’s all become propaganda. But when you turn off the news and turn on some blues, the world is a beautiful place. I think music is the cure for all ailments. Always has been. Always will be.”

15.00 € *
Product no.: RUF 2035

Modern life moves fast. Rolling news. Rapid-fire tweets. A relentless barrage of (mis)information. Make Blues Not War is an album that demands you sign out, log off and turn yourself over instead to the old-fashioned pleasures of great music. “We hear about everything 24/7 now,” says Mike Zito. “The news never stops and it’s all become propaganda. But when you turn off the news and turn on some blues, the world is a beautiful place. I think music is the cure for all ailments. Always has been. Always will be.”

Released in 2016 on Ruf Records, Make Blues Not War is Mike’s second release since leaving the mighty Royal Southern Brotherhood, his 13th overall – and perhaps his most energetic to date. “Make Blues Not War is a really fun album,” he says, “chock-full of blues with lots of guitar playing. It’s a very upbeat record with intense energy. Blues should make you feel good, and I think this record serves the purpose well.”

That atmosphere of positivity began at the album sessions, as Mike tracked alongside Grammy Award-winning producer (and co-writer) Tom Hambridge at the Sound Stage Studios in Nashville, Tennessee. “It was so much fun,” he remembers. “It’s a completely live album, where the musicians all set up and we just hit record and went for it. The energy was awesome and sometimes we’d just be laughing so hard because it was all so intense and exciting.”

As the momentum gathered, the songs flowed, with Mike painting in every shade of blue, from the frantic showboating of “Crazy Legs” to the slow-burn of “Red Bird” and the smoky slide of “Girl Back Home”. “It was time,” he says, “to get back to the blues and playing my guitar. Tom and I had spoken about making a kick ass blues-rock album for years.”

Likewise, when it comes to Mike’s lyric sheet, these songs search for the silver lining in a troubled world. “I love writing songs and sharing deep feelings,” he says, “but I also like having fun and cutting loose – that’s what this album is all about. “Chip Off The Block” was written for my oldest son, Zach Zito, who is the featured guitarist on this track. It’s his first introduction into the music world and he did a great job. I couldn’t be more proud of him. He graduates college next spring and joins me on tour in summer – I can’t wait.”

“Road Dog,” adds Mike of the album’s wistful slow-blues travelogue, “is really the most serious tune on the album. It’s about the drama of life on the road. I know it can seem clichéd sometimes, but it’s the life I lead. I miss my family, miss my wife, but this is what I do. I always leave.”

Mike has spent over two decades on the run. He grew up in a hard-grafting blue-collar home in St. Louis, but after an early job at a downtown guitar shop exposed him to heavyweights like B.B. King, the Allmans and Eric Clapton (then Joe Pass, Robert Johnson and Blind Willie Johnson), he set out as a working musician. By 1997, Mike had released debut album Blue Room, and seemed to be going places. “The first time you hear yourself,” he recalls, “you think, ‘Wow, that almost sounds like music!’”

Then came the bumps in the road. By the post-millennium, alcoholism and drug abuse were threatening to rob Mike of his talent and livelihood: a period starkly addressed on the title track from 2011’s acclaimed “Greyhound” album. “I just couldn’t stop,” he admits. “And a lot of the opportunities that I had back then – they kinda went away.”

Thankfully, the epiphany of meeting his beloved wife put Mike on a new path. In 2012, he found fresh inspiration in the A-list lineup of Royal Southern Brotherhood, then struck out with acclaimed solo albums Gone To Texas (2013) and Keep Coming Back (2015). “I have many more hurdles to jump and more goals to strive for,” he says, “but I’m very pleased and thankful with how I’m developing as an artist.”

Now comes Make Blues Not War: another step up for this fascinating journeyman. “I’m so proud of this new album,” says Mike. “It’s about the enjoyment I get when I listen to Johnny Winter and Muddy Waters, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Luther Allison. Their music makes me happy and reminds why I wanted to play guitar and play the blues. To be free and honest, loud and proud. I hope everyone enjoys listening to this album as much as I enjoyed making it…”

18.00 € *
Product no.: RUF 1257

Introducing Vanja Sky – the newest discovery by Ruf Records. For over 20 years, the label has been a fertile breeding ground for young blues talent, having already helped exceptional female artists such as Samantha Fish, Erja Lyytinen, Ana Popovic and Joanne Shaw Taylor achieve international success. Hailing from the Croatian capital of Zagreb, the singer/guitarist is part of the next wave of hungry, up-and-coming musicians from all corners of the globe who are diving into the blues with passion and energy.

15.00 € *