With 23 songs and running for 2 hours, 15 minutes, the new Krissy Matthews album is a big musical statement. We reviewed his single off the album “Queen” recently, but we couldn’t ignore an artistic statement of this magnitude. You will find this feature combines a brief interview with the review as we explore some of the back story of the song “Why are you ashamed of me?” and ask about his meeting with BB King.

And we began the interview by talking about a music icon that we love here, the one-and-only BB King:

We noticed in your press release that you met the great BB King, who passed you some great advice! We have had the pleasure of chatting with his daughter Shirley King a few times, one great, fun lady!

What advice did he give? And where did you meet BB?

Krissy: I met BB at Bournemouth Arena in March 2006. I tried everything I could to meet him in advance, but no management said yes. So I wrote a BIG letter and put it on stage next to him and he saw it during the show, read it out and welcomed me to the stage in front of thousands of people and then also in the dressing room after the show. He gave me the best advice you can give anyone. Never give up, and remain humble. The nicest man in business I ever did meet. It was a dream.

We reviewed one of your previous singles, “Queen,” with Kim Jennett. How did that collaboration come about? And will she be joining you on the tour at all?

Krissy: I found Kim online and thought her voice was perfect for that song. She is actually on tour with me right now in Europe. We just got out of the sauna together! (laughs!)

The new single “Why are you ashamed of me?” has an interesting, slow, bluesy feel to it. It was quite a change of direction from “Queen”—not a bad thing, of course. What is the story behind this one, and do you see it as a distant relative of “Queen,” or a closer cousin!

Krissy: It is related to “Queen,” as both songs are about anger. This song is about my anger and frustrations at the Norwegian government for constantly refusing me a Norwegian passport, even though I am half Norwegian, speak the language fluently, and have so much connection to Norway. The Norwegian government (UDI) is full of assholes, and this is my song about that!

We appreciate that you are on tour at the moment, which is a busy time for you. Do you have a particular routine for performance days, and do you have a chance to be a tourist as well when touring?

Krissy: I have a mushroom oil tincture in the morning and then a vitamin tablet. That seems to keep me going! Apart from that, it is work, work, work! I sometimes get the chance to be a tourist, but rarely! It is a hotel and venue, usually!

How do you approach the guitar solo live? Are you in the Frank Zappa school of anything goes, or do you play it very note-for-note as in the original?

Krissy: I am very much in the Zappa; anything goes. Do not stay in a box; let your emotions run free.

You released your double album this month. Does it include live material? Is it all your writing, or does it include a couple of covers? What can you tell us about it!

Krissy: It is 50% covers and 50% originals. Some of it is live in the studio, and some is not. But it contains 80 different musicians and hours of music with some of my favourite friends/musicians!

Are you consciously thinking of projecting a certain dress image when performing, or is it anything that goes with that?  I’ll expand that question. Some artists need to project a certain look – country performers often need boots, hats, jeans, etc – rockers need their leathers, etc. Do you even need to consider that side of things?

Krissy: Nope. I just wear what I want, when I want.

One last question – what was the last album you listened to, and did you enjoy it?

Krissy: No idea. I do not listen to music, to be honest. The last album I listened to was probably my favourite one by Band of Skulls – Himalayan.


The album review from Stevie Ritson:

There is so much to spot in this album! As the album is really expansive, I am choosing a few tracks to zone in on, but by sitting back and listening to the whole thing, you are taken on a memorable blues rock journey that I recommend.

Just name checking it brings out Erja Lyytinen on guitar for “Losing My Way,” for example. “Losing My Way” is a roller coaster of a rock track, with quite a heavy beat and some fist punching moments that blur into the chorus harmony. It has a confident swagger and a melody you can hum along to.

Another wow moment was when I spotted the amazing “Big Daddy Wilson” riding alongside Krissy and vocalist Alice Armstrong (“Love, Sex and Death”) on “Pack It Up.” Now, just having “Big Daddy Wilson” on board makes me want to hear this, and it doesn’t disappoint. Those blues vocals intertwined with those of Alice were a massive high point on the album.

That said, a personal favourite was “Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo,” the Rick Derringer cover. It has a great, funky feel that validates revisiting the song. I think if you are going to do covers, then you have to add a personal spin, and this is achieved here. A very solid version that I went back and had another couple of listens too.

The single “Queen” I will stick with what I said when I first heard it:  “This is what hard blues edged rock sounds like in 2024. The song has an interesting, grungy, heavy sound with vocals that spit nails and deliver the lyrics with energy and passion. The guitars and drums (some really powerful drumming here) deliver this dirty, heavy sound and the guitar solo that hits us midway is a classy piece of blues driven rock. So, I thought this was a great track, with a classy guitarist linked to “this dirty little mistress,” making one hell of a combo.” Full review here.

The album closes with “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.” Doing this cover is brave, and one of the team members here (Mark, who is a huge Nina Simone fan) felt even daring to go there was a mistake. I differ, on similar grounds to my comment on “Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo,” if you are going to do a cover like this, then make it your own. Originally written by Bennie Benjamin, Horace Ott and Sol Marcus for Nina Simone, I do acknowledge Nina is fairly untouchable, however, the makeover here adds rather than takes anything away. It is an interesting closure to a diverse and fascinating album.

In summary, I wish I’d saved that last line for here! The album is multi-faceted, created by a large team of talented singers and musicians, with Krissy’s blues guitar having the time of its life.  It has to be one of the best blues albums of 2024.

Standout Tracks: “Queen,” “Losing My Way” and “Pack It Up.”

As a finishing point, to keep us improving the magazine, we really do need your support, and if you can go to the ‘Support Us’ button and buy us a coffee, it helps us feel appreciated and keep improving the magazine. We also have our merchandise shop, Lorraine, looking great in the gear! Read on, check out our many great features and reviews, and do bookmark us on your pages!

You can download/stream the album here.

Artist website here

By Benny (the Ball) Benson


Stevie Ritson

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