Wow. Is this cracking album really the debut recording from Joe Bonamassa? The talent on show here is simply breathtaking, with technical mastery of the guitar and some excellent vocal work. Bonamassa started out as he has gone on, as a guitar god to rival Hendrix or Jimmy Page, turning out track after track of rocking blues tunes driven by catchy guitar riffs interspersed with lots of real fireworks.
It is interesting to note that the first three tracks here are covers of songs originally penned and recorded by British artists. Rory Gallagher's `Cradle Rock' provides the barnstorming opener, followed by Free's `Walk In My Shadows' and the quintessentially English Jethro Tull's `New Day Yesterday'. Talk about setting your sights high - in Gallagher, Paul Kossoff and Martin Barre Bonamassa has three superb guitarists to pay tribute to, and he does not disappoint. The recordings are similar enough to the originals to not be annoying to fans, but Bonamassa makes them his own and makes them different enough to be interesting. A real achievement!
Most of the rest of the record is made up of Bonamassa originals. This allows him to show off a range of guitar skills, and sonically he manages to pay tribute to a host of other guitar gods. There are phrases that sound straight from Led Zeppelin, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Jimi Hendrix. Not only can he play in the same style as all of these distinctive guitar voices, he also has his own unique sound which he uses to great effect. His technical mastery really is something else again.
This 2005 reissue of the original 2000 album has one extra track. The full version of `Miss You, Hate You' is fully two and a half rock packed minutes longer than the cut found earlier on the album, and is by far the better version.
An excellent album, heartily recommended to all lovers of blues rock in the style of Cream, Led Zeppelin, Hendrix or SRV.