Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa - 'Seesaw'

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Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa - 'Seesaw'


Ridiculously, here I am reviewing yet another album featuring Joe Bonamassa. The blues guitarist has some work ethic, hot on the heels of his acoustic live album which I reviewed last issue* comes 'Seesaw'. Acting as the follow up to the 'Don't Explain' collaboration he recorded with singer Beth Hart, Bonamassa stated that Black Country Communion allowed him to play more classic rock material, while the albums with Beth Hart allow him to explore the more soulful side. Once again following the formula of taking old soul tracks and covering them relatively faithfully, 'Seesaw' is a long way from the bluesy rock Bonamassa usually plays – "feel" and "vibe" would be key words here.

The tracks are eclectic and enjoyable, from the swinging cover of Billie Holiday's 'Them There Eyes' to Buddy Miles' 'Miss Lady'. Few of the tracks are obvious choices, with Beth and Joe opting for deeper cuts like the title track, which was lifted from an Aretha Franklin's 'Aretha Now', or the slow burn of Donnie Hathaway's 'I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know'. While Bonamassa's playing is every bit as good as you would expect, it's Beth who takes my plaudits. Her performance on the record is immense, best showcased on the brilliant rendition of Etta James' 'Rhymes' and an absolutely incendiary cover of Tina Turner's 'Nutbush City Limits', the highlights of the album for me.

If you enjoyed 'Don't Explain', I think this is better. If you like to hear old soul songs performed by one of the hottest guitarists in the business and one of the most versatile and powerful female singers out there, all wrapped up in a Kevin Shirley production, then you'll think it's Christmas. Excellent!

James Gaden

(* Fireworks Magazine #57)

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