Review #21: Joe Bonamassa – Different Shades of Blue

Artist – Joe Bonamassa
Album – Different Shades of Blue (2014)

Check it out – https://open.spotify.com/album/5WWZEwutrC1lNobBicaTrV

Joe Bonamassa is an American blues guitarist-vocalist, born 1977. Joe began his journey into the blues being inspired by british and Irish blues players, such as Rory Gallagher, Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck. Starting guitar at a very young age one of Joe’s highlights was opening for B.B.King at just 12 years old. Joe has a brilliant work ethic, writing and recording an album almost every year, with 11 full albums, 11 live albums and 7 live DVDs, he now adds to that with the new album ‘Different Shades of Blue’.

Joe is one of a hand full of well known musicians right now keeping the blues alive, other than him there is only maybe John Mayer, Derek Truck, Gary Clark Jr and a couple others that bring the blues to the masses. For this I really respect Joe, the amount and quality of his work just boosts this respect. ‘Different Shades of Blue’ carries on Joe’s high standard of classic blues tracks, including blues rock songs with shredding solos to the slower gospel type tracks such as my personal favourite ‘So, What Would I Do’. Joe’s vocals are to the high standard of past records, not pushing any highs or lows in range, but suiting the music he is singing. Guitar wise joe’s emotions really shows, blasting out typical/memorable blues riffs and extremely fast solos which seem to be Joe’s signature, rather than copying his heros. Each musician in Joe’s band bring their incredible talent and style to this album, utilising odd rhythms and exotic scales that don’t usually show up in this genre. There doesn’t particularly seem to be a stand out track commercially, but the album is more of a whole piece of high quality blues music that doesn’t have to be catchy to be enjoyed.

Overall Different Shades of Blues is another in a long line of great Joe Bonamassa albums. All of his music sounds original and authentic, not just a copy of old blues songs, or a blues backing track like many artists music does.

8/10

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