Joe Bonamassa has a new solo album “Redemption” out on Friday 21st September on the Provogue/Mascot Label Group label in Europe and and J&R Adventures in North America.
Redemption is his 13th studio album and his third in a row of albums of all original music. On this 12 track album, Joe Bonamassa is re-united with some of Nashville’s finest musical creatives, people that include Tom Hambridge, James House, Gary Nicholson , Richard Page, Dion Dimucci and Kevin Shirley.
Joe Bonamassa has been playing the Blues for a long time now, and has maintained a relentless touring schedule as well as a very busy recording schedule, but still some people are asking (as they do of nearly every modern day blues/rock musician), where is the real Joe Bonamassa behind the many interpretations of the great bluesmen’s work of yesterday. It is always to me a bit of an unfair question as their musical legacy is entirely that, their music and so often their own personal experiences throughout a lifetime; it is their story and no one else’s. Joe Bonamassa has his own story to tell and perhaps a re-assessment of his original music is, as the tracks on this album show, long overdue. It is more than past time for some people to allow Joe Bonamassa to step from the shadows of the greats of yesterday that he so obviously has enormous respect and love for. It’s not that the blues has nothing more left to say, but finding a way to say it that is not the same as what has been said before.
In many of the songs on this album, Joe Bonamassa is doing what has always been at the core of all the great bluesmen of yesterday’s music, drawing upon his own personal experiences and finding a way to express his thoughts, feelings and emotions through his music. On this album, Joe is still clearly at time drawing on (and acknowledging, that is important) some of his inspirations and also drawing upon sounds from his “Black Country Communion” and the blends of these influences have produced a very interesting album starting from our opening track “Evil Mama” with definite influences from the past and nods to bands like Led Zeppelin. This track is followed by “King Bee Shakedown” and for some reason I just see a band playing live in some small bar when I hear this one, you know the sort you used to get years ago and that maybe still exist somewhere for good times and good music.
I’m not going through this album track by track as I always prefer readers to go and listen for themselves and find new music without everything being analysed by someone else first, as your own first hearing and thoughts on a song are so important. There are here songs that cover a wide range from foot stomping floor fillers, to classic rock and blues and good old soul vibes, but there are also some real surprises, songs of deep pain and reflection, and “Self-Inflicted Wounds” and “The Ghost Of Macon Jones” are two such songs; listen to the lyrics please.
“Redemption” the title track of this album is something special and I think, if we are honest, many of us can find a little of ourselves in this story, and the hope that there is a light at the end of a dark tunnel sometimes.
The penultimate track of this album, ” Stronger Now In Broken Places”, is simply a classic, and for me my personal favourite on this album. I can hear so many different artists covering this track in the future.
Joe Bonamassa is not Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, or any of those great Bluesmen of the past. No one is, and no one will ever be again, they were truly unique. Joe Bonamassa is Joe Bonamassa and he is making some great music to leave as his own musical legacy.
2.King Bee Shakedown
4.Deep In The Blues Again
6.Pick Up The Pieces
7.The Ghost Of Macon Jones
8.Just 'Cos You Can Don't Mean You Should
10.I've Got Some Mind Over What Matters
11.Stronger Now In Broken Places
12.Love Is A Gamble
Review by Tom King