CD Reviews

Joe Bonamassa - 'Driving Towards The Daylight' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     July 28, 2012    
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The best solo album from Joe that I have heard to date.

The ever prolific Joe Bonamassa finds time to put out yet another album, a sizzling new release called 'Driving Towards The Daylight'. His 13th album, it certainly won't be unlucky for his fans as it is once again crammed full of blues drenched guitar work of the highest calibre.

With favoured producer Kevin Shirley at the helm, Bonamassa has mixed in a few original tunes with a well chosen selection of blues covers, with the aim to giving them an updated rocky edge, while still maintaining the integrity of the original. To assist him in this, he has enlisted a plethora of guest stars, such as Aerosmith's Brad Whitford and son Harrison, Anton Fig, Carmine Rojas, Jeff Bova and Pat Thrall. But fear not Bonamassa fans, it's still very much Joe at the centre of everything.

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A Bonamassa original, 'Dislocated Boy' opens the album, a swirling blues tour de force with plenty of Hammond organ and a confident vocal from Joe. The first cover is a take on Robert Johnson's 'Stones In My Passageway' and it perfectly captures the brief Bonamassa was working towards - the guitars offer a delightful mix of authentic blues and rock guitar. The title track provides a more gentle opening with acoustic guitars and pianos, letting Joe's voice shine through, before the track build up to the powerful chorus.

Another fantastic re-working materialises in the form of a hard hitting rendition of Howlin' Wolf's 'Who's Been Talking'. Just as good is the pounding version of Willie Dixon's 'All You Need', before Bonamassa pays tribute to more recent blues masters by covering Bernie Marsden's 'A Place In My Heart', with a terrific example of guitar soloing which is Gary Moore-esque and is offset by some great use of a brass section.

I think this rocky edge to genre-defining blues tracks is a master stroke. With other material written by the likes of Tom Waits and Bill Withers, it's hard to go wrong. The album is capped off with a brilliant rendition of 'Too Much Ain't Enough Love' from Jimmy Barnes' classic 'Freight Train Heart' album, which Joe wisely leaves to special guest Barnes to handle the vocals. The pairing makes for a fitting finale for what is the best solo album from Joe that I have heard to date.

James Gaden

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