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Joe Bonamassa|Blues Of Desperation

Blues Of Desperation

Joe Bonamassa

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Despite its hardscrabble title -- a sentiment mirrored by the deeply etched black & white cover art -- 2016's Blues of Desperation is very much a continuation of the bright, varied blues-rock heard on Different Shades of Blue. On that 2014 album, Joe Bonamassa made a conscious decision to pair with a bunch of Nashville songsmiths to help sharpen his original material, and he brings most of them back for Blues of Desperation, too. The tenor of the tunes is somewhat heavy -- there are lonesome trains, low valleys, no places for the lonely -- and the production also carries a ballast, something that comes into sharp relief on the Zep-flavored title track but can be heard throughout the record. Often, he returns to this revved-up blues -- something that's more appealing when it boogies ("You Left Me Nothin' But the Bill and the Blues") than when it slams ("Distant Lonesome Train") -- and while that anchors the bulk of the record, the moments that linger are the departures. Usually, this arrives in the form of some flirtation with soul -- it's an undercurrent on "No Good Place for the Lonely" but it comes to the surface on the gilded "The Valley Runs Low" -- but the most fun is the vintage New Orleans shuffle of "Livin' Easy," a song that suggests Bonamassa may have surprises in store if he ever decides to shelve his trusty Les Pauls for the course of a full record.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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Blues Of Desperation

Joe Bonamassa

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1
This Train
00:04:21

James House, Writer - Joe Bonamassa, Writer, MainArtist

(c) 2016 J&R Adventures (p) 2016 J&R Adventures

2
Mountain Climbing
00:05:44

Joe Bonamassa, Writer, MainArtist - Tom Hambridge, Writer

(c) 2016 J&R Adventures (p) 2016 J&R Adventures

3
Drive
00:05:47

James House, Writer - Joe Bonamassa, Writer, MainArtist

(c) 2016 J&R Adventures (p) 2016 J&R Adventures

4
No Good Place For The Lonely
00:08:38

Gary Nicholson, Writer - Joe Bonamassa, Writer, MainArtist

(c) 2016 J&R Adventures (p) 2016 J&R Adventures

5
Blues Of Desperation
00:06:28

James House, Writer - Joe Bonamassa, Writer, MainArtist

(c) 2016 J&R Adventures (p) 2016 J&R Adventures

6
The Valley Runs Low
00:04:04

James House, Writer - Joe Bonamassa, Writer, MainArtist

(c) 2016 J&R Adventures (p) 2016 J&R Adventures

7
You Left Me Nothin' But The Bill And The Blues
00:04:10

James House, Writer - Joe Bonamassa, Writer, MainArtist

(c) 2016 J&R Adventures (p) 2016 J&R Adventures

8
Distant Lonesome Train
00:05:53

Joe Bonamassa, Writer, MainArtist - Tom Hambridge, Writer

(c) 2016 J&R Adventures (p) 2016 J&R Adventures

9
How Deep This River Runs
00:06:30

James House, Writer - Joe Bonamassa, Writer, MainArtist

(c) 2016 J&R Adventures (p) 2016 J&R Adventures

10
Livin' Easy
00:04:37

Jeffrey Steele, Writer - Jerry Flowers, Writer - Joe Bonamassa, Writer, MainArtist

(c) 2016 J&R Adventures (p) 2016 J&R Adventures

11
What I've Known For A Very Long Time
00:05:33

Joe Bonamassa, Writer, MainArtist

(c) 2016 J&R Adventures (p) 2016 J&R Adventures

Album Description

Despite its hardscrabble title -- a sentiment mirrored by the deeply etched black & white cover art -- 2016's Blues of Desperation is very much a continuation of the bright, varied blues-rock heard on Different Shades of Blue. On that 2014 album, Joe Bonamassa made a conscious decision to pair with a bunch of Nashville songsmiths to help sharpen his original material, and he brings most of them back for Blues of Desperation, too. The tenor of the tunes is somewhat heavy -- there are lonesome trains, low valleys, no places for the lonely -- and the production also carries a ballast, something that comes into sharp relief on the Zep-flavored title track but can be heard throughout the record. Often, he returns to this revved-up blues -- something that's more appealing when it boogies ("You Left Me Nothin' But the Bill and the Blues") than when it slams ("Distant Lonesome Train") -- and while that anchors the bulk of the record, the moments that linger are the departures. Usually, this arrives in the form of some flirtation with soul -- it's an undercurrent on "No Good Place for the Lonely" but it comes to the surface on the gilded "The Valley Runs Low" -- but the most fun is the vintage New Orleans shuffle of "Livin' Easy," a song that suggests Bonamassa may have surprises in store if he ever decides to shelve his trusty Les Pauls for the course of a full record.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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