Joe Bonamassa has taken blues music out of the ebullient African American clubs that crisscrossed the country, and re-fashioned it into an epic theatrical presentation for the world’s most illustrious stages. With his predilection for classic British blues-rock, Different Shades Of Blue scratches that itch and then some.
Produced by Kevin Shirley (Led Zeppelin, Black Crowes, Aerosmith), this album features original material except for “Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)” by Jimi Hendrix and continues along the stylistic path of past recordings. “Oh Beautiful,” “Love Ain’t A Love Song,” and “Living On The Moon” deliver fan-approved blue-eyed soul and brash Les Paul guitar stylings.
Velvet organ textures ride throughout with the help of Reese Wynans and a stellar rhythm section that includes Carmine Rojas and Michael Rhodes on bass, and Anton Fig on drums.
Bonamassa takes familiar blues tropes, polishes them to perfection, then serves them in a pristine package for the 21st-century blues fan, and songs like “Heartache Follows Where Ever I Go” and “I Gave Up Everything For You, ’Cept The Blues” are fairly manicured blues-rock.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s November ’14 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.