Joe Bonamassa returns with what could be his finest offering to date in Redemption. At first glance this album could be mistaken as another off the cuff release by one of Blues most prolific musicians, but that would be a hasty call. What you have here is a melting pot of sublime audible delicacies that ebb and flow like a river. You don’t get one JB here, you get them all. It’s a fusion of Black Country Communion JB, Three Kings JB, British Blues Explosion JB and of course solo Bonamassa on par. The album bursts to life with a high-energy track in ‘Evil Mamma’, which is where JB and BCC collide, it’s a killer track that just grabs you by the throat and leads your way into an equally savage album. Equally as energetic is ‘King Bee Shakedown’ which has a more old time Blues vibe, but is a great foot-stomper and you could easily imagine a dance floor packed with beautiful ladies swinging in the arms of their partners. Enter BCC once again with the gutsy ‘Molly O’ with a Zeppelin-esque riff and addictive melody.
Bonamassa as always has surrounded himself with a majestic collection of musicians to transform these songs into cinematic proportions, his faithful team including drummer Anton Fig, bassist Michael Rhodes, keyboardist Reese Wynans, horn players Lee Thornburg and Paulie Cerra, harmony vocalist Gary Pinto, background singers Mahalia Barnes, Jade McRae, Juanita Tippins and Kevin Shirley introduced two extra guitar players, Kenny Greenberg and Doug Lancio. With such a gathering you can only imagine the quality of musicianship on Redemption, it does not disappoint. One of the highlights is the collaboration with native Nashville singer Jamey Johnson on ‘The Ghost Of Macon Jones’ with a nice change of direction on the album, Johnson’s twang in his vocals compliment Bonamassa beautifully and it has a rather tasty solo or two to boot! ‘Just Cos You Can Don’t Mean You Should’ screams Bonamassa’s tribute to B.B., Albert and Freddy with wailing guitar licks and screaming tube amp’s pushed to their limits it’s a sublime addition to the album.
The albums self-titled track is a cautionary tale with peaks and valleys in abundance, and the backing vocals of his trusted trio is perfection which elevates it to a soundtrack worthy anthem. ‘Stronger Now In Broken Places’ is a diversion of sorts as Bonamassa takes to the acoustic for a melancholy number which sits beautifully before the album closer ‘Love Is A Gamble’ which is your standard album closer by JB which sets the scene perfectly as the last few hang onto the bar at the end of a hefty smoke filled night at your local dive.
Redemption is Blues at it’s finest and no-one does it better than Joe Bonamassa, yet another remarkable recording from the industry standard, albeit a standard too high for many to achieve but none the less, its one hell of a goal to reach for.
Redemption is released on Sept 21st via Provogue / Mascot Label Group and J&R Adventures.
1 Evil Mama
2 King Bee Shakedown
3 Molly O’
4 Deep In The Blues Again
5 Self-Inflicted Wounds
6 Pick Up The Pieces
7 The Ghost Of Macon Jones
8 Just ‘Cos You Can Don’t Mean You Should 9 Redemption
10 I’ve Got Some Mind Over What Matters 11 Stronger Now In Broken Places
12 Love Is A Gamble
Joe Bonamassa Online