25 October 2019 (released)
23 October 2019
I saw Joe Bonamassa a couple of times last year and this and this set pretty well matches the shows I saw.
If you are a fan of JB then this captures all the best elements of the shows while if you’re a hater (there really don’t appear to be neutrals) this won’t convert you.
The band behind Bonamassa is superb – Reese Wynans is top class on keyboards, Michael Rhodes bass is monstrous and Anton Fig delivers hammer blows on percussion. The addition of backing vocals from Gary Pinto, Juanita Tippins and Mahalia Barnes adds soul to his Blues/rock and the horns from Lee Thornburg & Paulio Cerra really give his music added punch. Bonamassa himself is on top form and I have to say that his vocals seem to improves with age.
What really surprises me is how much fun the album retains – Bonamassa is constantly on tour and one would expect the material to grow tired but he still turns out a great performance show after show.
As to the music itself, most of the usual suspects are onboard – ‘This Train’ opens and is followed by a stirring ‘Mountain Climbing’. ‘Drive’ is gorgeous, sexy and sinuous and with great backing from the ladies.
The peaks on the album are inevitably high ones with ‘Mainline Florida’ really kicking against the rails and a great version of ‘Blues Of Desperation’ with a chilling and edgy feel to it.
The Bonamassa train rolls on and somehow, he never puts a bad release out. This doesn’t break any new ground but rather consolidates and confirms where he is at now and that’s no bad thing.