Joe Bonamassa ‘Black Rock’ Album Review

Some of the best blues music you will ever hear is on a great new album: it’s called ‘Black Rock’ and it’s by Joe Bonamassa. This New York blues guitarist-singer is a sensation. If this man comes to your town, do whatever you have to in order to get tickets. Sell your children, sell your dog, trade in your car for a rusted-out 1976 Hyundai Pony, convert to another religion, but get those tickets!

Here are a few recommendations from several highly-regarded sources:

“Joe Bonamassa Is The New King of Blues” – Guitarist Magazine

“Right now, there’s no better Blues-rock artist than Bonamassa” – Gibson.com

“Bonamassa is a bold talent.” – Billboard

“Wicked guitar thrills.” – Mike Joyce, Washington Post

“This kid deserves to be in the same class with Stevie Ray F*&cking Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Beck.” – Rock guitarist Ted Nugent after a recent jam with Joe for VH-1’s Supergroup

Here’s the bio from his website:

“As Joe Bonamassa grows his reputation as one of the world’s greatest guitar players, he is also evolving into a charismatic blues-rock star and singer-songwriter of stylistic depth and emotional resonance. His ability to connect with live concert audiences is transformational, and his new album, Black Rock, brings that energy to his recorded music more powerfully than ever before. The tenth solo album and eighth studio release of his career – as well as his fifth consecutive with producer Kevin Shirley (Led Zeppelin, Black Crowes, etc.) – the disc adds an enlivening dose of ‘world’ vibes to Bonamassa’s virtuoso mix of ‘60s-era British blues-rock (à la Beck and Clapton) and roots-influenced Delta sounds.”

The album was recorded at Black Rock Studios in Santorini, Greece. “With this album, we wanted to explore a ‘world’ feeling, and this was the inspiration behind going to record in Greece and using some of the best Greek musicians to add a little flavor to a couple of the tracks. But it’s by no means a ‘world’ album. We wanted Joe’s usual youthful and energetic tones to play alongside the worldly vibes of the Greek bouzouki and clarino,” said Shirley. Bonamassa adds, “It was the kind of record Kevin and I wanted to make. We needed to rock again a bit like on my first album. It’s youthful, like going back to your childhood.” Throughout, Bonamassa is again backed by the stellar players Carmine Rojas (bass), Anton Fig, Bogie Bowles (both on drums) and Rick Melick (keyboards).

2009 was a big year for Bonamassa. He was awarded the Breakthrough Artist of the Year Award at the U.K.’s prestigious Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards and Classic Rock magazine has said, “They’re calling him the future of blues, but they’re wrong – Joe Bonamassa is the present; so fresh and of his time that he almost defines it.” He was also named Best Blues Guitarist in Guitar Player Magazine’s 2009 Readers’ Choice Awards for the third consecutive year. Guitar Player writer Matt Blackett has said, “He’s an old soul, and that comes through in his bends, vibrato, singing voice, and note choices, which – which each passing year – get more restrained and refined.”