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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 18 March 2011
I pre-ordered this a while ago. Not sure why it has turned up a few days ahead of the alleged release date, but very pleased that it has.

I have been a Joe fan for quite a while now, and I just love all of his work - up until I bought Black Rock that is. I don't know what it is about that album, it is just... weird. I don't like it. I was worried.

But I was blown away by Black Country Communion, and so I have been eagerly awaiting his next solo effort. Here it is. Joe is back. This is spine tingling blues, I love it. Never mind all the "if you like this artist or that artist" recommendations - if you like Joe Bonamassa, you will like this :-)

The book accompanying this deluxe edition looks interesting, but I am going to need some new reading glasses, its weird font in brown on brown is not the most legible thing I've ever seen. But I didn't buy this to read the book.

Buy it, you will love it. Can't give a "best track" yet, I need a few listens first... track 4 Meaning of the Blues is a contender so far though!

UPDATE: After several plays, I am slightly reluctant to give a best track, because they are all worthy, there is not one duff track on here, a truly brilliant album and a real return to top form after Black Rock. But if I was popping to the shops and this was in the car and I only had time for one track, it would be number 9, No Love On The Street. It's just GLORIOUS. I'll say it again - BUY THIS, you will not be disappointed.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Just figured why I like track 9 so much - it is very similar to another fave of mine, Sloe Gin - and I now realise that is because it is another old Tim Curry song, also written by Michael Kamen. It's got the same sirens in it, might even be the same sample! Whatever - love it.

YET ANOTHER UPDATE: I knew I knew the name Michael Kamen from somewhere in the deep recesses of my brain other than just for Sloe Gin (forgive me, I'm a bit slow sometimes!), and having just recently re-watched the original series of Edge Of Darkness on DVD, it has finally hit me - he co-wrote the brilliant music for that landmark series with Eric Clapton. He has also written many other huge film scores - check him out.
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on 18 March 2011
I got the Dust Bowl Limited Edition CD today and I am currently listening to it on full volume. Amazing big Blues sound with amazing guitar playing of course as always with Joe Bonamassa. The Limited Edition CD-box is very well presented in the form of a book about Joe and the Blues, I haven't had time to read it yet but it is looks very nice. If you like Blues and great guitar playing I can really recommend Dust Bowl!
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on 20 March 2011
Yet another "goodie" from Mr.Bonamassa. From the first chords chug,chug,chug of SLOW TRAIN all the way through this is a blues/rock gem. Personally one minor critism I personally prefer the John Hiatt original (Tennessee Plates), but that apart, excellent. Being a big fan of Free prior to lisening to the "Heartbreaker" track I didn't know if I would like it, but Joe's collaberation with Glenn Hughes on this song is a barnstormer. If you're into JB then you'll probably purchase it anyway, (if in doubt, get it). If on the other hand you're new to the name, treat yourself and hopefully you'll LOVE IT.
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on 22 March 2011
Only three songs in I felt this was going to be my favourite Joe B album. By the end I had it confirmed as I just leant forward,hit the play button and listened to it straight through again. This is a glorious mix of blues, rock music and a bit of country, all underpinned with stunning guitar work. It's almost like a compilation, taking elements from all his earlier albums and giving us a glorious taster of his talents.Can't wait for the tour.
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on 19 March 2011
The first thing I noticed in Bonamassa's introductory notes to this album was that it was again recorded in the Black Rock studios in Greece. Not being a fan of the muddy sound of the Black Rock album, this didn't bode too well. I shouldn't have worried...

To get straight to the point, Dustbowl is the best and most complete album from Joe since Sloe Gin. I've found the albums since then to be patchy, albeit worthy, as he stretches himself musically and stylistically into areas of music outside of blues and rock. The world music experiments of Black Rock were interesting but not outstanding while the Jeff Beck-style fusions of John Henry were a little too close to the man himself for my liking. Dustbowl is a perfect combination of slow blues, up-tempo rockers and foot-tapping rockabilly ('Tennesee Plates').

His singing on this album is the best yet and along with the awesome guitar playing adds an extra dimension to tracks like 'The Last Matador of Bayonne'. Glenn Hughes duets on 'Heartbreaker', a better track than anything on the disappointing Black Country Communion album, and vocal honours end up even which just proves Hughes needs Joe far more than vice versa.

The limited edition deluxe version of this album contains a biography of Joe's career so far, which is an interesting read but the only reason to buy this album is the music. I tend to dip into the last 2 or 3 albums and play odd tracks but each time I've played this in the last few days it's been from beginning to end. Yes, it's that good.
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on 18 March 2011
Got my copy today, like the other reviewers, and have just listened from start to finish, on my Grado 'phones. This album is just stunning! I have got into the habit, whenever someone asks me about Joe, to answer "Well, imagine someone who plays like Kossoff, and sings like Paul Rodgers." It just seemed the quickest way to sum him up to anyone who would understand. His cover on here of "Heartbreaker" confirms I was right.

An extraordinarily diverse album, stuffed full of great songs.
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This 2011 album is the ninth from all round blues god Joe Bonamassa. His earlier albums were full of raw talent, and over the years he has built on that bedrock, taking in new influences and trying different styles. So what we have these days is the fully formed thing, a master of the guitar, still bursting with new ideas, with an increasingly more suitable blues voice and still with a real passion for the music.

OK, hyperbole and hero worshipping aside, let's get to reviewing the music on offer here. Well, as you might expect this is an album of powerful, guitar driven fast blues tunes. Bonamassa has taken the theme of the working man in the depression and built a playlist of songs - some originals and some covers - around it that tells a coherent story. It's an album not only full of passion for the music, but full of compassion and understanding for those caught in that terrible time. It's a well chosen theme, with well chosen songs, and Bonamassa has produced an album that is easily accessible and can be listened too over and over again.

He is on top form musically, speaking with a clear voice and letting rip with his now famous guitar work. There are more guest contributors than I am normally comfortable with, but they don't smother Bonamassa or detract from his central message. Glenn Hughes especially impresses on the cover of Free's Heartbreaker, giving Paul Rogers a run for his money and demonstrating the howl that made him famous with Deep Purple. Bonamassa takes Heartbreaker, already a stone cold classic, and totally steals it from Free, making it completely his own. Tracks such as the opener Slow Train and the titular Dust Bowl are also real blow aways. In all it's a great album of blues. 5 stars.

As an added bonus there is also a bonus disc celebrating ten years of Joe Bonamassa, with some standout tracks from his previous albums. It actually makes a decent `Best Of' album, and contains some really great performances. It also worked from the marketer's point of view in that it made me realise there were Bonamassa albums out there that I haven't bought yet, and I am in the process of rectifying that.

Excellent effort, 5 stars.
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on 21 March 2011
Joe Bonamassa's 10th album in as many years and he maintains the highest standards. He is critically aclaimed as one of the greatest living gutarists, but this only tells part of the story. His song writing and vocal performances are up there with the best blues/rock artists of all time.

The album kicks off with a solid blues number Slow Train and then moves on to the brilliant atmospheric title track Dust Bowl, one of his best songs to date, there are so many stand out performances, one being a supberb version of Paul Rodgers' Heartbreaker. The album gets better every time I listen to it and must be his best to date. It is amazing to think the JB is only 33 yrs old and how much more there is to come. Keep them coming!!!
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on 21 March 2011
Like others Black Rock was not quite the album I was expecting from the great JB, probably difficult after The Ballad of John Henry and having seen him twice last year my expectations were probably too high. Therefore, my pre-order copy of Dust Bowl was eagerly awaited and I have to say WOW!, if you are a JB fan this JB back to his creative best and better than ever. Can't wait for the UK tour dates in October this year now.

This is a must buy album, JB fan or not.
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on 28 March 2011
I don't begrudge Mr Bonamassa one of the many accolades that now come his way, he is one of the few genuine artists that has paid his dues by working constantly at his craft. That is despite clearly having a God given talent for playing the Blues.
What strikes me most about this latest opus is the maturity now demonstrated in both his songwriting and vocal performance. So much so that despite the fact that his 6 string is still star of the show Bonamassa now appears to exercise more restraint over his playing, due to his all round confidence in the overall product now delivered.
What is delivered aross 12 excellent tracks on Dust Bowl is a diverse mix of music all of the highest quality in musicality and production.
The title track itself is a sure fire winner, a bluesy funky groove that one can imagine being played out in a sleazy bar. There is a rip roaring collaboration with 'the old master' John Hiatt on his classic Tennessee Plates where JB easily switches into an almost Country tinged hue. This is immediately followed by a real gem, 'Meaning of the Blues,' (Troup, Worth) that has a really haunting hook that pervades it throughout, yet also manages to sound really radio friendly. Fellow BCC buddy Glenn Hughes teams up for a terrific version of the classic 'Heartbreaker,' another blusy groove augmented by some fantastic organ playing from Rick Melick. If I have to pick a highlight from such an excellent album it would closing track 'Prisoner.' In my mind destined to become a classic in the same way as 'Sloe Gin,' there is an intensity in the track that stopped me in my tracks on first listen, it is that good.
If you can run to it, get the Deluxe Edition, for once it is just that, lavishly presented with some great pictures of the man and some really nice insights into a regular guy that really does seem to appreciate both the talent he has and the fans that appreciate that.
This is one fantastic album in my very humble opinion.
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