Prolific blues-rock guitarist/vocalist Joe Bonamassa took most of 2013 to attempt for the first time in many years to create a new album of all original material, and the fruit of his work can now be heard on the brand new Different Shades of Blue. Featuring an all-star cast that includes Reese Wynans (organ, piano), Carmine Rojas (bass), Michael Rhodes (bass), Anton Fig (drums, percussion), Lenny Castro (percussion), Lee Thornburg (trumpet, trombone), Ron Dziubla (saxophone), the Bovaland Orchestra (strings), and Doug Henthorn and Melanie Williams (background vocals), Different Shades of Blue is a varied and satisfying release, filled with all the sizzling guitar wizardry & soulful vocals that we've come to expect from Bonamassa, but these new original songs also sparkle with catchy hooks & memorable melodies as well.
Opening instrumental "Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)" is Joe's ode to the great Jimi Hendrix, a quick piece with some incredible guitar textures, which segues into the hard rocking, Deep Purple influenced "Oh Beautiful!", a fierce & heavy blues rock number for all his legions of fans who can't get enough of his commanding guitar work. "Love Ain't a Love Song" is an ultra catchy, funky blues rock track, with a killer chorus, loads of horns, and a guitar solo permeated with Echoplex in a cool nod to the late Tommy Bolin. More horns pop up on the bouncy "Living on the Moon", another upbeat funk/blues vehicle, and Wynan's smoldering organ saddles up nicely alongside Bonamassa's scorching wah-wah leads on the smoky "Heartache Follows Wherever I Go". In fact, the former Stevie Ray Vaughn band member really makes the most of his inclusion on this album, his sultry organ tones just a thrill to hear after all these years, bubbling under the surface on the melancholy blues of "Never Give All Your Heart" (which also features a killer solo from Joe), and providing the atmosphere alongside Bonamassa's chunky chords on the melodic " Get Back My Tomorrow". Also, check out his jazzy piano lines on the sultry "So, What Would I Do", a song also featuring one of Joe's most emotional vocal performances on the album. Just classy stuff from everyone involved.
There's a little something for everyone here on Different Shades of Blue. With songs covering rock, funk, blues, jazz, and pop, Joe Bonamassa is once again proving he can literally do it all, and this time out he's not relying on covering old standards, instead delivering a highly enjoyable set of all new original material that just amazes from start to finish. Bravo!
See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!
1. Hey Baby (New Rising Sun) 1:19
2. Oh Beautiful! 5:28
3. Love Ain't a Love Song 3:48
4. Living on the Moon 3:21
5. Heartache Follows Wherever I Go 4:33
6. Never Give All Your Heart 5:24
7. I Gave Up Everything for You, 'Cept the Blues 4:39
8. Different Shades of Blue 4:39
9. Get Back My Tomorrow 4:46
10. Trouble Town 4:56
11. So, What Would I Do 5:29