Joe Bonamassa Releases Dust Bowl - REVIEW
Posted by Michael Mueller on March 23, 2011 at 10:40 AM
Joe Bonamassa's latest album, Dust Bowl, was released yesterday (3/22) to the joy of his ever-growing fan base. Over the past few years, Bonamassa has explored more blues-rock territory, particularly with his new band Black Country Communion, but Dust Bowl is first and foremost a blues album. There are a few curveballs, though, like the country number "Tennessee Plates" and the surprising cover of Barbra Streisand's "Prisoner," which, in my humble opinion, turn out to be album highlights. To order your copy, visit Joe Bonamassa's online store. To see Joe perform the title track live, see the video below.
1. Slow Train Evoking the sounds of a locomotive rumbling through the night, Bonamassa summons some inner Led Zeppelin to create an imposing heavy shuffle.
2. Dust Bowl If "Slow Train" evokes a freight train, the title track, steeped in reverb with just the right touch of tremolo, calls to mind tumbleweeds blowing across a cold night desert. Great riff!
3. Tennessee Plates If country radio gets hold of this, it could become a Nashville smash. The song features John Hiatt on vocals and guest guitar gristle from country legend Vince Gill. As you can imagine, there is some mighty fine pickin' goin' on here.
4. The Meaning of the Blues Bonamassa pulls out his old Strat for some whammy bar fun and Jeff Beck-style lickery on this cover of the Bobby Troup jazzy blues.
5. Black Lung Heartache On Bonamassa's last record, Black Country, he experimented with some traditional Greek instrumentation, and for this blues stomp, he uses a baglama, a Greek stringed instrument made from a gourd during the opening verses, before launching into the room-rattling electrified low-C riff.
6. You Better Watch Yourself Bonamassa's wah-drenched take on this uptempo Buddy Guy classic is pure blues fun.
7. The Last Matador of Bayonne An ode to bullfighters in Spain featuring haunting trumpet from Tony Cedras (Paul Simon).
8. Heartbreaker It's a cover, but not of Led Zeppelin. Bonamassa's Black Country Communion compatriot Glenn Hughes offers guest vocals on this Free classic.
9. No Love on the Street It's fairly safe to say that Bonamassa has an affinity for slow blues. With guest vocals from Beth Hart, this tune just kicks you in the gut and leaves you gasping.
10. The Whale That Swallowed Jonah An uptempo rocker featuring some mandolin as well, this one promises to be a live crowd-clapper (if Bonamassa were into such folly). The outro soloing features some of Baonamassa's slickest phrasing on the record.
11. Sweet Rowena This one's a Vince Gill track, featuring Gill on vocals and guitar, with Bonamassa largely filling in the spaces. Simply tasty shuffle.
12. Prisoner Are you sitting down? To close the album, Bonamassa chose to cover a Barbra Streisand tune ... seriously. But as is customary for his cover tunes, Bonamassa makes it his own, with some fabulous guitar playing and fills that remind me of Neal Schon in his prime.