For decades, bluesman and songwriter Ray Bonneville worked day jobs while playing his songs in coffee houses and house parties at night, eventually earning a place on international festival stages with Muddy Waters and Bukka White long before he had a recording contract. Since 1993, Bonneville's issued a host of recordings of consistently high quality. 2008's Goin' by Feel, produced by Gurf Morlix, scored him a number one at Americana with "I Am the Big Easy," his tribute to New Orleans (Bonneville lived there before relocating to Austin). Bad Man's Blood was co-produced with Justin Douglas and Morlix (electric, baritone, and bass guitars and banjo), percussionist Mike Meadows, and saxophonist Dexter Payne, in various combinations. Bonneville plays an amalgam of acoustic and electric guitars, harmonica, and his trademark foot stomp. The blues songs – the poetic, narrative title track (inspired no doubt by hardbitten characters from Gothic American fiction) to raw, skeletal, electric snaky rhythm constructions like "Mississippi," that addresses the Delta's tradition in his playing and the horrors of the river flooding in its historical story line.
Almost every one of Peter Gabriel’s best-laid plans winds up going awry, and so it was with Scratch My Back, his 2010 collection of orchestral covers of some of his favorite songs. He had hoped to have the artists he covered return the favor by interpreting his songs but that project never got off the ground, so he pursued New Blood, an album where he turned that orchestra upon his own songs.