Live From The Royal Albert Hall Double CD
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Seemingly in an organic, wildfire-spreading way, New York singer/guitarist Joe Bonamassa has become a hugely popular artist, particularly in the UK. Paul Jones has given him generous exposure on his Radio 2 show, a fact acknowledged from the stage of London's Royal Albert Hall. Then Jones steps up to blow hard harmonica through Your Funeral My Trial. There's also the matter of another major guest player: Eric Clapton joins Bonamassa for an axe-duel during Further on Up the Road. Amidst the ensuing rollin' and tumblin', it's kinda hard to tell them apart as they scorch up the stage.
This two-disc set was recorded in May 2009, the sold-out status of the RAH underlining Bonamassa's full arrival as a blues star. The key to this swift connection with the public might be the way he astutely maintains the blues-purity elements of his sound, at the same time as courting a more mainline rock-anthem grandeur. Bonamassa reaches two distinct crowds, capitalising on the fact that these camps frequently overlap in their tastes.
Django makes a suitably scene-setting opener, the sun rising as a flock of Harleys moves out across the Arizona endlessness. Or maybe a lone rocker lies hunched over a bar, flagon clutched in his oily talons. No fretting, as The Ballad of John Henry soon tramples all such reveries underfoot with its sludge rockin' momentum. There's a Kashmir lumbering that's only the first of Bonamassa's recurring Led Zeppelin motifs. That very combo must surely be his greatest influence, although there are also meaty hunks of Hendrix, not to mention the many hardcore bluesmen to be found on Bonamassa's record collection shelves.
Last Kiss has a trundling pulse that recalls Golden Earring's Radar Love, then So Many Roads is a prime example of Bonamassa's high, soulful vocal delivery, borne on waves of excess, as the twin drums of Anton Fig and Bogie Bowles pummel alongside surging keyboards and a punchy three-piece horn section. When Woke Up Dreaming arrives, there's even the chance for a semi-acoustic display of silvery cascading. Disc one's penultimate track is Sloe Gin, which has become Bonamassa's signature slowie, massed cigarette lighters held aloft as its crescendo cometh.
Disc two gushes with much the same alternation of moods. The spiralling guitar solos continue, the horns hit hard, and the riffing maintains an unstoppable forward motion. There are shades of David Gilmour on The Great Flood and more Led Zep quotes during ZZ Top's Just Got Paid. Bonamassa deftly shunts between cathartic blow-outs and sensitive washes of melodic emotion. And this is the key to his success.
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Top Customer Reviews
Highlights ? well Sloe Gin , Last Kiss , Ballad of John Henry, Better Times, Moutain Time - actually pretty much all of it, but if you want to hear what the fuss is about then this CD is a great place to start.
His guitar playing is a pleasure to listen to and this works as a record of the then pinnacle of his career.
(It was available on downloard for about three weeks last year so thats how I know what it sounds like ..
Outstanding is somehow, a real understatement to describe this talent and the album he has produced, but any word would be. Having played guitar since the age of sven and performing live at 13 yrs. old, you can begin to understand what a master he is. There is nothing that I dislike on this album, the atmosphere must have been incredible at the venue.
The favourite track for me is Sloe Gin, but there are some others that come close.
Joe Bonamassa has a style and sound all of his own, even when he does a cover. This kind of talent only goes to show the manufactured so-called talent from the TV reality shows for what it is.
I listened to most of his other studio CD's on Spotify and for me anyway, the best of the rest was Blues Deluxe which I've also now purchased.
Why? I agree with another customer who expressed the view that his other studio albums are a bit too smooth and lack the vitality of either Blues Deluxe or Live at the Royal Albert Hall.
Love his music and I'm looking forward to going to his show at Hammersmith Apollo in October this year!
By all accounts his live shows are wonderful, can't wait
this official release. of coarse i will. the guy is the best of a great bunch of
players about at the moment. buy everything he has released if you like blues rock at its very best. if you like free bad co led zep etc just buy, and go see him live. stunning! got into him with a free track on a classic rock cd and havn't looked back. on this release joe and eric trading solos. the best of the old and new
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Having heard this artist so many times on Plant Rock and liking what I heard I brought this album to act like a greatest hits and was not disappointed.Published 1 month ago by bob
Same comment as the one for Jeff Beck saw this performance on you tube and stright away bought the cd's. Another favorite and always in my car.Published 2 months ago by r.m.wiseman
Great album, brought it for 'mountain time' but really enjoying the rest.Published 2 months ago by Andy_S.