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Thread: Joe Bonamassa - Different Shades Of Blue

  1. #1
    Grumpy Old Man Music Head's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
    Lancaster, Kentucky, United States

    Default Joe Bonamassa - Different Shades Of Blue

    enters the Billboard chart this week at #8

    Spotify online listen
    3.5 of 5.0 from allmusic

    if you miss that blues/rock Joe's keeping it alive for you
    all the greats rolled into one
    11 albums deep and this is my first
    guy sounds like Paul Rodgers in his prime
    great music but it's all been done before

    artist website -

    Bio - from allmusic

    Guitar mastermind Joe Bonamassa, a young player with the childhood dream of playing music similar to legends like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric
    Clapton, and Jimi Hendrix, was 22 when he inked a deal with Epic. Hailing from Utica, New York, Bonamassa could play the blues before he could
    drive a car. He first heard Stevie Ray Vaughan at age four and was instantly taken by Vaughan's high-powered playing. At age eight, he opened
    for B.B. King, and at age 12, he was playing regularly around upstate New York. It was soon thereafter that Bonamassa hooked up with the band
    Bloodline, which featured other musicians' sons: Waylon Krieger (Robby Krieger's son), Erin Davis (Miles Davis' drummer kid), and Berry Oakley,
    Jr. (son of the Allman Brothers bassist). Bloodline released a self-titled album, but Bonamassa wanted to move on. In summer 2000 he guested for
    Roger McGuinn on Jethro Tull's summer tour, later releasing his debut solo album, A New Day Yesterday. Produced by longtime fan Tom Dowd, the
    album marked a move toward a more organic and rock-sounding direction. He put together a power trio with drummer Kenny Kramme and bassist Eric
    Czar and hit the road to support the album.

    Upon returning from the road, he hooked up with Dowd to record the muscular and sweeping studio disc So, It's Like That and released a document
    of the tour, A New Day Yesterday Live. The following year, Bonamassa put out Blues Deluxe, featuring nine cover versions of blues classics
    alongside three originals. The muscular You & Me appeared in 2006, followed by the more acoustic-tinged Sloe Gin in 2007. A year later,
    Bonamassa released the two-disc live album Live from Nowhere in Particular, followed in 2009 by The Ballad of John Henry. Late in 2009 he
    released the DVD Live from the Royal Albert Hall with guest spots from Eric Clapton and Paul Jones. In 2010, the guitarist released his first
    disc for the Premier Artists label, Black Rock, featuring a guest appearance by B.B. King. It was followed by the debut album from Black Country
    Communion, a blues-rock supergroup that put him in the company of bassist/vocalist Glenn Hughes, drummer Jason Bonham, and keyboardist Derek
    Sherinian. Bonamassa, ever the overachiever, released his earthy Dust Bowl in March of 2011, followed by Black Country Communion's 2 in June and
    by his unique collaboration with vocalist Beth Hart on a searing collection of soul covers entitled Don't Explain in September.

    In May of 2012, Bonamassa released Driving Towards the Daylight. The album reunited the guitarist with producer Kevin Shirley, who brought in
    Aerosmith's Brad Whitford to play rhythm guitar on the 11 tracks. Driving Towards the Daylight was a significant blues hit -- it topped the
    Billboard blues charts and debuted at number two on the overall British charts -- and Bonamassa didn't slow down. Early in 2013, he released a
    live CD/DVD set called An Acoustic Evening at the Vienna Opera House and prepared SeeSaw, a studio album of classic covers with vocalist Beth
    Hart. SeeSaw was released later in 2013, and Bonamassa and Hart followed it up with Live in Amsterdam in March of 2014. After the release of
    SeeSaw, Bonamassa returned to the studio once again with producer Shirley to record what would be his 11th solo studio album. As a thank-you to
    his fans for their continued support, Bonamassa announced that the album would be his first release to feature entirely original material.
    Different Shades of Blue appeared in the fall of 2014 featuring 11 new songs co-written by Bonamassa with various veteran Nashville songwriters.

    Album Review - from allmusic

    Joe Bonamassa has moved far past his initial incarnation as a kid guitar wiz with a Stevie Ray Vaughan fascination, and has developed into an
    elegantly reverent guitarist and a fine singer as well, bringing a little R&B blue-eyed soul to the blues. For Different Shades of Blue,
    Bonamassa co-wrote songs with veteran Nashville songwriters Jeffrey Steele, Gary Nicholson, James House, Jerry Flowers, and Jonathan Cain, then
    took 11 of the songs and tracked them in Las Vegas at Studio at the Palms with producer Kevin Shirley and a solid band of studio musicians
    including Reese Wynans (organ, piano), Carmine Rojas (bass), Michael Rhodes (bass), Anton Fig (drums, percussion), Lenny Castro (percussion),
    Lee Thornburg (trumpet, trombone), Ron Dziubla (saxophone), the Bovaland Orchestra (strings), and background vocalists Doug Henthorn and Melanie
    Williams. Bonamassa used 20 different vintage guitars for the project, along with 13 different amps, and lists each one in the liner notes.
    Consequently, this is an album about guitar tones, as each song demands its own and Bonamassa empties the tool kit. The best songs here, like
    the poppy and R&B-laced "Love Ain't a Love Song," the hard-driving honky tonk blues "Never Give All Your Heart," and "Trouble Town," a slice of
    horn-driven garage blues, are vintage Bonamassa, blending all of his influences, from Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton, and Rory Gallagher to
    Jimi Hendrix and Hank Garland, into his own voice for the blues. The clear highlight here, and undoubtedly already or soon to be a high point of
    Bonamassa's live shows, is the stately and powerful "Oh Beautiful!," which alternates between hushed vocals and slashing, soaring electric
    guitar breaks, a sort of 21st century version of Blind Willie Johnson adorned with tone washes and blistering guitar. It's a striking and
    timeless recording, and a great blues song by anyone's standards. The problem here, though, is that with the exception of the above songs, and
    maybe one or two others, the songs on Different Shades of Blue shade toward the generic side of things, and no matter how wonderful and gorgeous
    the guitar tones may be, it's hard to make a generic song sing memorably.

    title track:

    Track Listing

    1. Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)
    2. Oh Beautiful!
    3. Love Ain't a Love Song
    4. Living on the Moon
    5. Heartache Follows Wherever I Go
    6. Never Give All Your Heart
    7. I Gave Up Everything for You, 'Cept the Blues
    8. Different Shades of Blue
    9. Get Back My Tomorrow
    10. Trouble Town
    11. So, What Would I Do
    A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people.
    Will Rogers

  2. #2


    I really like Joe, and really liked his last album, "Driving Towards the Daylight." The title track here sounds amazing, but I've heard mixed things about the album overall. I've heard there's an overemphasis on horns. I kinda wish Joe would just cut the horns out; they're usually my least favorite part of his stuff. I don't remember DTTD having too many horns, which might be why I liked it so much.

  3. #3
    Record Label Executive
    Join Date
    Feb 2014


    I believe both of y'all got it right about Mr. Bonamassa especially his (mis)use of horns on the full-throated roar of classic-sounding blues-rock/power blues tunes. When he dips into the R&B/soul blues bag however, they are appropriate and well-used (where would Little Milton e.g. be without them?) *. Also agree about the generic nature of his song-writing--he needs to hook up with someone tougher to work the music & lyrics. I hope he works through that Great White Hope of the Blues tag though--that very thing led to a crippling of Eric Clapton and may have contributed to his heroin addiction. Let Joe be Joe, and enjoy his work whatever that takes him and us. And we can agree that he and Beth Hart are a duo we'll be enjoying for years.

    * Here's a great discussion/listing on just this subject:
    Last edited by jazzboCR; 15-10-2014 at 19:26.
    A man accustomed to hear only the echo of his own sentiments, soon bars all the common avenues of delight, and has no part in the general gratification of mankind--Dr. Johnson
    What he said. Amen, Bro--JazzboCR

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