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Joe Bonamassa - Dustbowl

JR Adventures

On his latest release Dustbowl, guitarist/vocalist Joe Bonamassa once again comes up with an colorful palette that blends the best of blues, classic rock and country.

Using various guests on this release contributes to the varying textures of the songs. While some long time fans may cringe when they hear Vince Gill appears on this cd, one listen to Gill's "Sweet Rowena" shows that a country boy can write a blues shuffle and play his instrument pretty good. Gill's guitar playing suits the mood just fine in JohHiatt's in "Tennessee Plates" that Bonamassa turns into rocking hard country.

Opening track "Slow Train" with its slow ominous beat captures a ghostly effect undermined by Bonamassa's haunting slide guitar which is the perfecting setting for title track "Dustbowl" that echoes vintage Pink Floyd.

Working with Glenn Hughes in the side project of Black Country Communion inspires Bonamassa to use the singer in Paul Rodger's "Heartbreaker" which could have been an out-take from a BCC album. Joe's British influences ranging from Gary Moore to Jimmy Page are worn openly on his sleeve. Original tune "The Last Matador of Bayonne" sounds like a tribute to the late Irish rocker as Joe's soloing bears his imprints. "Black Lung Heartache" was probably recorded at Black Rock Studios in Greece as it drenches itself in Eastern mysticism. Bonamassa works the pedal hard and heavy in the thunderous stomp of "You Better Watch Yourself."

Ending track "Prisoner" might have been made popular by Barbara Streisand back in the day. But Joe turns this ballad into hard rock candy with impassioned singing and guitar work coming from the British schools of the sixties.

Like all his previous work, "Dustbowl" marks an evolution in the musical journey Joe Bonamassa takes that only piques the curiosity of his long time fan base wondering where he will turn next.

Review by by Gary “Wingman” Weeks.

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