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Blues - Released September 21, 2018 | J&R Adventures

One, two, three! That’s right, three albums in a single year for Joe Bonamassa! Following his collaboration with Beth Hart on Black Coffee and his British Blues Explosion Live, the Gibson man absolves himself of his sins with a thirteenth studio album: Redemption. Here we find a collection of original tracks that, before going around the world, went around countless recording studios! Nashville, Sydney, Las Vegas and Miami all played a part in the creation of this album produced by Kevin Shirley. The album opens with an evil blues-rock influenced by rockabilly styles (Evil Mama), then later on we have a sensually groovy saxophone on Pick Up The Pieces and a melancholy tune on acoustic guitar (Stronger Now In Broken Places), as Bonamassa clears his conscience. With Tom Hambridge, James House, Gary Nicholson, Richard Page and legendary Dion DiMucci, he offers a twelve-track redemption that could stand the test of time. Looking past his technical skill, Joe Bonamassa’s song-writing ability truly shines through on this album. © Anna Coluthe/Qobuz

Blues - Released May 18, 2018 | J&R Adventures

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We really do wonder what Joe Bonamasa puts in his morning coffee. The blues-rock workaholic is back, with an ever-growing electric current in his fingers. Once again, he fills the arena with British blues lovers and preaches a sermon that all his sheep never tire of listening to. British Blues Explosion Live bears his name perfectly. It is a bomb that has just been released at Greenwhich Music Time in London, where no less than fourteen tracks have been recorded. While the attention revolves around Bonamasa, he pays tribute to his heroes from Old Blighty, namely Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. He begins with a cover of Beck's Bolero/Rice Pudding, then follows with a sequence of surprises: Plynth by Rod Stewart, Motherless Children by Clapton, Tea For One by Page and Let Me Love You Baby by Willie Dixon! We find here yet more talent from Bonamasa, who knows how to appropriate classics and not to be crushed by the genius of his predecessors. © Anna Coluthe/Qobuz

Blues - Released June 27, 2017 | J&R Adventures

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Live at Carnegie Hall: An Acoustic Evening is the 15th live album Joe Bonamassa has released since 2002 but only the second acoustic live set. This means Live at Carnegie Hall, like 2013's An Acoustic Evening at the Vienna Opera House before it, stands out from his annual electric extravaganzas, sounding a little more subdued and relaxed than its companions. Bonamassa still spits out a flurry of notes -- that's his signature -- but the acoustic setting softens his aggression, and his band follows suit. The songs aren't so much reinterpreted as given a gentler touch, and in a catalog filled with similar feeling records, that distinction is welcome. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Blues - Released March 22, 2011 | J&R Adventures

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For his second solo album in a year -- not counting his excursion with Black Country Communion -- Joe Bonamassa, the hardest working blues-rock guitarist of the 21st century, strikes up a bit of a smoky Black Keys vibe, signaling that he’s not quite as devoted to the past as he may initially seem. It’s not the only trick he has up his sleeve, either. Appropriately enough for an album entitled Dust Bowl, Bonamassa kicks up some country dirt on this record, enlisting John Hiatt for a duet on the songwriter’s “Tennessee Plates” and bringing Vince Gill in to play on the lazy shuffle “Sweet Rowena.” These are accents to an album that otherwise sticks to Bonamassa’s strong suit of blues in the vein of Cream, Stevie Ray, and Gary Moore, but it’s just enough of a difference to give Dust Bowl a distinctive flavor and suggests that the guitarist’s constant work is pushing him to synthesize his clear influences into something that is uniquely his own. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Blues - Released August 7, 2014 | J&R Adventures

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He'll never be the new Stevie Ray Vaughan, but at the rate blues-rock (emphasis on the latter) guitarist Joe Bonamassa is going, he can take a stab at being the next Gary Moore. Like the Irish guitarist, Bonamassa is influenced by the British blues-rockers more than the Americans they lifted their licks from. He's also just as prolific; this is his thirteenth album in twelve years and that's not including side projects with Black Country Communion and Beth Hart, and DVDs grabbed from his 200-night-a-year road schedule filled with sweaty, high-energy performances. Makes you tired just reading about it. Bonamassa isn't much of a songwriter so he wisely contributes only four tunes to this disc's eleven, with some relatively obscure deep blues covers from Howlin' Wolf ("Who's Been Talkin'"), Willie Dixon ("I Got All You Need"), and Robert Johnson ("Stones in My Passway") gravitating toward his roots side. Also included are offbeat choices from Bill Withers ("Lonely Town/Lonely Street") and Tom Waits ("New Coat of Paint"). For better or worse, they all end up sounding like Joe Bonamassa tracks, since he feeds them into his leathery rock sensibilities, churning out requisite hot guitar solos whether they serve the song or not. He's left his road-hardened band on the sidelines and calls in top-notch session guys, including Aerosmith's Brad Whitford, David Letterman drummer Anton Fig, and keyboardist Arlen Schierbaum, whose piano and organ add some much-needed R&B attitude to the hard rock attack. Bonamassa even relinquishes lead vocals to Australian Jimmy Barnes, who goes so over the top singing his own "Too Much Ain't Enough Love" it seems like he is auditioning for AC/DC. Longtime producer Kevin Shirley gets a slick, professional sound from these guys, and when everyone is cooking and the material is solid, such as on the grinding Bonamassa original "Dislocated Boy" and the Wolf cover (including a spoken word sample of the blues legend that kicks off the tune), the arrangements and guitars mesh together like whisky and soda. What Bonamassa lacks in a distinctive sound and singing, he makes up for with sheer determination, which is almost enough to push the album from pretty good to pretty great, especially on the horn-enhanced slow blues of "A Place in My Heart" that explodes out of the speakers in a way Gary Moore could summon at will. In other words, this is a keeper if you've already bought into the guitarist's more-is-more approach that has served him well thus far, and he shows no signs of abandoning it now. ~ Hal Horowitz

Blues - Released June 9, 2009 | J&R Adventures

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Blues - Released May 19, 2014 | J&R Adventures

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Guitarist Joe Bonamassa was opening for B.B. King when he was only eight years old and was a veteran of the road and gigging by the time he was 12, so it's tempting to toss him in the "all-flash-but-no-soul prodigy" trash bin that has been filling up pretty well since the great Stevie Ray Vaughan shuffled off to blues heaven -- but that would be a big mistake. Bonamassa has soul, plenty of it, and he plays guitar with a reverent grace, and sometimes lost in all this is the fact that he's a pretty good singer, too, sounding more than a little bit like a reconstituted Paul Rodgers. This two-disc set is drawn from a show Bonamassa delivered in 2013 at the Royal Albert Hall in London that was recorded and filmed for CD, DVD, and Blu-ray release and features half acoustic arrangements and half electric arrangements, with the guitarist and singer in fine form in both settings. ~ Steve Leggett
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Pop/Rock - Released June 14, 2011 | J&R Adventures

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Blues - Released October 2, 2015 | J&R Adventures

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Blues - Released June 9, 2009 | J&R Adventures

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Named after the early Jethro Tull classic, which he expertly covers here in a jaw-dropping performance, A New Day Yesterday is a fine debut by guitar ace Joe Bonamassa. And though his record company tried to ride the coattails of teenage guitar prodigies like Kenny Wayne Shepard and Jonny Lang and position him (misguidedly and much too late) as a straight-up prodigal blues kid, Bonamassa is really much more than a traditional bluesman. Rather, as best exemplified by the Jethro Tull number cited above, his bluesy take on Free's "Walk in My Shadows," or his hard boogie romp through Al Kooper's "Nuthin' I Wouldn't Do (For a Woman Like You)," this excellent debut places the guitarist's influences as much in classic '70s hard rock as in the blues. Along with his deceptively age-wearied vocals (he was only 22 at the time of this recording), this unusual combination translates into the aggressive, soulful crunch heard on Bonamassa's many original compositions. Among these, the jolting double whammy of "Miss You, Hate You" and "Colour and the Shape" (note the Anglicized spelling) are the most obvious standouts, but the guitarist also makes the Warren Haynes-penned "If Heartaches Were Nickels" his own with a tense, riveting performance. All in all, a promising debut. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia

Blues - Released May 19, 2014 | J&R Adventures

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Guitarist Joe Bonamassa was opening for B.B. King when he was only eight years old and was a veteran of the road and gigging by the time he was 12, so it’s tempting to toss him in the all flash but no soul prodigy trash bin that has been filling up pretty well since the great Stevie Ray Vaughan shuffled off to blues heaven -- but that would be a big mistake. Bonamassa has soul, plenty of it, and he plays guitar with a reverent grace, and sometimes lost in all this is that he’s a pretty good singer, too, sounding more than a little bit like a reconstituted Paul Rodgers. This two-disc set is drawn from a show Bonamassa delivered in 2013 at the Borderline in London which was recorded and filmed for CD, DVD and Blu-ray release and features the guitarist and singer revisiting in fine form some of his early material. ~ Steve Leggett

Pop/Rock - Released March 23, 2010 | J&R Adventures

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Blues - Released May 19, 2014 | J&R Adventures

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Guitarist Joe Bonamassa was opening for B.B. King when he was only eight years old and was a veteran of the road and gigging by the time he was 12, so it's tempting to toss him in the "all-flash-but-no-soul prodigy" trash bin that has been filling up pretty well since the great Stevie Ray Vaughan shuffled off to blues heaven -- but that would be a big mistake. Bonamassa has soul, plenty of it, and he plays guitar with a reverent grace, and sometimes lost in all this is the fact that he's a pretty good singer, too, sounding more than a little bit like a reconstituted Paul Rodgers. This two-disc set is drawn from a show Bonamassa delivered in 2013 at the Hammersmith Apollo in London that was recorded and filmed for CD, DVD, and Blu-ray release and features a short acoustic set before expanding into a full electric evening, with the guitarist and singer in fine form throughout. ~ Steve Leggett

Blues - Released May 19, 2014 | J&R Adventures

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Guitarist Joe Bonamassa was opening for B.B. King when he was only eight years old and was a veteran of the road and gigging by the time he was 12, so it’s tempting to toss him in the all-flash-but-no-soul prodigy trash bin that has been filling up pretty well since the great Stevie Ray Vaughan shuffled off to blues heaven -- but that would be a big mistake. Bonamassa has soul, plenty of it, and he plays guitar with a reverent grace, and sometimes lost in all this is the fact that he’s a pretty good singer, too, sounding more than a little bit like a reconstituted Paul Rodgers. This two-disc set is drawn from a show Bonamassa delivered in 2013 at Shepherd's Bush Empire in London, which was recorded and filmed for CD, DVD, and Blu-Ray release and features the guitarist and singer accompanied by a full horn section. ~ Steve Leggett

Blues - Released June 9, 2009 | J&R Adventures

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Something of an odd release, A New Day Yesterday Live documents the final date of a 60-day jaunt during blues guitar prodigy Joe Bonamassa's 2001 tour in support of his major-label debut bearing the same title, and (this is the odd part), released just a few months earlier. Just why his record company felt the need for it, then, is up for grabs (more promotion...thinking Bonamassa's virtuosity came across stronger in a live setting...who knows?), but what's clear is that the young guitarist's trio lacked nothing in terms of on-stage presence and performing tightness as compared to what was heard on said studio album. Their kinetic reinventions of oft-overlooked '70s rock classics such as Free's "Walk in My Shadows" and Jethro Tull's "A New Day Yesterday" instantly distinguish Bonamassa from teenage blues competitors such as the overly Stevie Ray Vaughan-reliant Kenny Wayne Shepherd or the more purist (and technically less dazzling) Jonny Lang, and his better-conceived originals ("Colour & Shape," the wonderful "Miss You Hate You") stand up under any circumstance -- but again, so what? Didn't listeners just buy their studio versions a few months ago? Yes, there's the additional benefit of extended jamming and incendiary guitar soloing to expand upon their themes, but suffice to say that this set need only be sought out by Bonamassa fanatics, or, in the event that they've yet to hear the studio version, first timers, too -- why not? ~ Eduardo Rivadavia

Blues - Released June 28, 2018 | J&R Adventures

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Blues - Released March 20, 2018 | J&R Adventures

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Rock - Released October 24, 2000 | Epic - 550 Music - Okeh

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Joe Bonamassa in the magazine
  • The hat-trick
    The hat-trick One, two, three! That’s right, three albums in a single year for Joe Bonamassa!