Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Joe Bonamassa - Blues Of Desperation, album review

Paying the Blues Bill With a Large Tip

The tautology of the title is really the only 'error' on this excellent latest, if you really were that needy to pick, and I just did for a deviation from superlatives. I've said before I think Bonamassa must be one of the most consistently great bluesrock performers out there, his guitar work always sublime; his vocals always maturing. Joe and a songwriting team have produced a polished collection, and that would be the only likely chink that blues-purists might try to prise. Opener The Train sounds remarkably like a Who track, and whatever one thinks of that, it is a rousing start. Second Mountain Climbing is an immediate heavy rock riff chugger - and we have launched into familiar but perfected rockblues territory with this tandem of loudness. The fifth and title track offering is blues mixing more riff with a tinge of eastern echo to retain the palette but paint variations of the genre, guitar work with fuzzed jaw harp effects, as near as I can describe, before the solo fires in with siren-slides blazing. There is acoustic fineness on sixth The Valley Runs Low, which is beautifully soulful, as melody and in its chorus.  Seventh You Left Me Nothin' But The Bill and the Blues is probably the most basic blues of the lot, and it is a corker of the sort, though final track What I've Known for a Very Long Time runs this close as another classic portrayal.

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