The synthesis of the electric blues, British blues, delta blues, and progressive and classic rock, Joe Bonamassa merges them all on his new album Redemption to create an inspiring anthem to the roadhouse blues. Since his first solo album in 2000, Joe has been building a loyal following among blues rockers, blues fans, and old time classic rockers yearning for a sound that has largely disappeared from main stream broadcasting. All of them should be thrilled to listen to his latest recording.
Joe is certainly one of the finest electric guitar players on the planet, has a fantastic voice, and is under rated as a song writer. On Redemption, he showcases all three elements of his talent. The Ghost of Macon Jones is a blues rock ballad with guitar work that hints at Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers Band and has haunting synthesizer and keyboard play by band member Reese Wynans. On Molly O, Joe creates a rock masterpiece on par with Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir. Anton Fig on drums and Michael Rhodes on bass provide an insistent beat as Joe takes his guitar to places only the very best can go. On the title cut, Redemption, the delta and gospel blues merge with Led Zeppelin and Black Country Communion influences to create a fantastic rock paean. Deep in the Blues is a notable song with that same ethereal quality that Eric Clapton has always brought to his music.
On King Bee Shakedown and Evil Mama, Joe finds that sweet spot between the blues and rock I call the roadhouse blues on upbeat horns infused tunes. On I Got Some Mind Over What Matters, Joe channels a bit of Muddy Waters on a sweet delta electric blues tune.
When Joe was a youngster, B.B. King invited him on stage to give the audience a glimpse of his talent and on Just Cos You Can Don’t Mean You Should Joe displays some of the same mastery of the electric guitar that the King of the Blues saw almost 30 years ago.
Love is a Gamble is some bad ass grindin’ blues in the mold of Albert King, Freddie King, and Luther Allison. Pick Up The Pieces is a down home New Orleans style blues tune with echoes of Dr. John in the rhythms and lyrics. And Stronger Now in Broken Places is a heart tugging acoustic number that highlights Joe’s stellar voice.
Over the years, Joe has recorded several songs that seem directed right at me, a laser pointed straight at my heart. Self Inflicted Wounds joins the songs Drive, Different Shades of Blue, and Driving Towards The Daylight from previous albums as soul searching epics that I will never forget. On an album filled with great songs, it is my favorite.
Joe has earned the admiration and accolades from music critics and reviewers like myself since the release of his third album, Blues Deluxe, back in 2003. It is my fervent hope that this album finally takes Joe into the main stream for contemporary rock audience downloads; the final piece in the puzzle. The mainstream contemporary rock genre has been decimated over the years; Joe and his music are the path back! Redemption is an interesting and intense synergy of the blues and rock and worthy of comparisons with the works of B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Led Zeppelin, and Eric Clapton. He has internalized influences from some of the greatest and with Redemption makes the statement that he represents the best of all of them: a blues man, a blues rocker, a rock guitar virtuoso, and, in my opinion, the best roadhouse blues man alive today.
Joe Bonamassa – Redemption (2018 J&R Adventures)
P.S. You can listen to Joe and enjoy many more roadhouse blues artists on my 24 hour blues stream at Ben Vee Roadhouse Blues !