If you call yourself a blues fan, here’s something for you. 

If a commanding, bluesy guitar is your thing, you will not be disappointed. 

Skyla Burrell brings all the vibrancy and fire you can handle along with a swinging, jazzy swagger. 


A 1950 Buick Riviera on the inside cover of an album called Broken 45s is very fitting. Your mind may take you back to a different time. That time led you to where you are now. Life experiences create a million different possibilities.  For Skyla Burrell and Mark Tomlinson, those life experiences culminated into this album of original songs that they both wrote that will stir every emotion, fill you with anticipation, and the desire to hit the repeat button. This is Skyla’s sixth album and Broken 45s is a cornucopia of true-life stories of “bluesin’ it up on the road” as Mark affectionately describes it.


I spoke to Skyla and Mark about this album and it was quite enlightening. There’s one sure thing in life – and that is – nothing is a sure thing. They began work on this album in January of 2019 and thanks to Covid, issues in and out of the studio, and some other obstacles, they have had to postpone this release until now, June 22, 2023, demonstrating their patience, perseverance and determination.


I asked Skyla about the title, Broken 45s, and its connection to the overall impression of this particular album. 

“The song, “Broken 45s has been in my vault for decades but I had always tabled it.  This time, we decided, why not use it as the title track!  It’s like a metaphor for relationships in the past.”

One of the many outstanding things about this album is its versatility. It covers so many aspects of life’s situations and helps guide you through some of it while melting your face off with some blistering guitar riffs.  Skyla and Mark’s dual stratocaster and telecaster guitars will absolutely leave you speechless.


“Other Side Of Night” is one of those tracks that is dripping in blues! From the bluesy rhythm to the intense blues guitar to Skyla’s amazing incomparable bluesy vocals.  Hold on for this one!



“August” is Skyla telling of the struggle of getting through that month each year. That was the month she lost her grandmother a few years back.  Their close bond and feisty conversations were now memories to be treasured and this is about her picking up the pieces of her broken heart and moving on. As the song begins, it has that solid blues beat while expressing emotions that have to be overcome.

“Battered, let down, shattered, torn up-so damn tired I don’t know what to do!”

Then she pushes through on a determined note with, “But I’m not gonna let you take me down this year…”


“Separated” is about loving someone no matter what. People make mistakes; hurt you and themselves in many different ways but the soul refuses to be separated from the one it loves. As this song begins slowly with a powerful melodic beat, Skyla’s voice hits your inner being and you know this is going to be eloquent.


Mark and Skyla talked about the unusual difficulties they faced in getting this album completed as mentioned earlier. The song “Hard Time” proves its own point. However, their passion for making music eclipses any challenges they face!


Bottom line, this is a fantastic high-energy album created by some incredibly talented musicians. Skyla Burrell was made to create blues music and this proves it, if you needed proof.  Every song is infectious and makes you want to dance, whether it’s a slower song or one of the more upbeat ones. 


Complete side note from album review; a piece of advice. If you get an opportunity to see them “bluesin’ it up” live somewhere, I’d recommend you do that; especially if you want to witness one of the most prolific, inexhaustible, and just “blow your mind” incredible drummers in the business. Ezell Jones is just that! He has been with the band since 2004 and is an integral part of their success!  


This album lacks nothing in style, lyrics, and hard-core blues.

A solid 10/10 rating. But don’t take my word for it – check it out yourself.




Pre-Release – June 1, 2023

Full Release – June 22, 2023

Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Echoes Recording




1.) Broken 45s

2.) Love Drug

3.) Voodoo Love

4.) Same Old Thing

5.) Hard Time

6.) Other Side of Night

7.) Magic Stuff

8.) August 

9.) Cash Money

10.) Hard to Love You

11.) Rock the House

13.) Separated   (Melancholy)

14.) Troubled Times

15.) Blue Funk

16.) When You Coming Home



Skyla Burrell – Vocals, lead guitar, rhythm guitar

Mark Tomlinson – Lead guitar, rhythm guitar

Ezell Jones – Drums

Charlie Hilbert – Bass




Working Girl Blues (2004)

Livin’ Day to Day (2006)

Tough Luck (2008)

Real Love (2012)

Blues Scars (2014)





Follow Skyla Burrell Online: