Fourth Coast Entertainment -

By Bill Baker

Review of – Joe Bonamassa - Redemption

By Bill Baker


Last updated 11/5/2018 at 9:34am | View PDF

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I first experienced Joe Bonamassa's musical expertise at the Lost Horizon in Syracuse, NY. He was touring in support of his second solo album 2002's So It's Like That. Bonamassa had been featured on the cover of Guitar Player Magazine as a portrait of a young and talented phenom. You wouldn't have known it by the sparse attendance of the event. My wife, Linda and I were of the few in attendance. We were front and center of the stage calling out songs to play. Sixteen years later Joe Bonamassa is filling concert halls throughout the world. He sold out a three-night stand at London's prestigious Royal Albert Hall and did the same at the Beacon Theatre in New York City.

For those who don't know Joe Bonamassa - he is an American Blues rock artist, who at the age of 12 years old opened for BB King. He has released 13 solo albums in the last 18 years – 11 of which have reached the top of the Billboard Magazine's Blues chart. 15 live albums, 5 albums with super rock group Black Country Communion, 4 albums with Rock Candy Funk Party and 4 collaborations with Blues siren Beth Hart. He has surpassed James Brown's reputation as the hardest working man in the music industry. His industrious career includes being nominated for 2 Grammys. In addition to Bonamassa's music career, he runs a nonprofit - Keeping The Blues Alive Foundation. The organization supports music education by funding scholarships and providing music education resources to schools in need.

Redemption is Joe Bonamassa's 13th solo effort. He has the ability to create a new twist, providing a unique sound for each new release. Bonamassa gives you the opportunity to experience a brand-new look at the Blues. It is modernized, expertly executed and it rocks! Lyrically each song has a story line from the introspective Self-Inflicted Wounds, the epic story line of Molly O to the unexpected duet between Joe Bonamassa and the country star, Jamie Johnson on The Ghost of Macon Jones.

The latest effort opens with Evil Mama featuring Anton Figg providing a heavy influenced Zeppelin style drum intro compiled with the driving base lines of Michael Rhodes. Evil Mama grabs you by the ears and demands attention. Bonamassa's guitar licks followed by a horn section of Lee Thornburg and Pauline Cerra kick it into high gear. The introduction amps the anticipation that you're in for a musical delight. Bonamassa doesn't disappoint.

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Joe's signature guitar sound and soulful voice are strong and mature throughout Redemption, but the addition of backup singers Mahalia Barnes, Jade McRae and Juanita Tippins bring the performances of each song to a higher level. The album showcases The Band thru rocking guitar tracks, to upbeat boogie, to tasty Blues tracks. Reese Winans, from Stevie Ray Vaughan fame, adds extra texture with his expertise on the keyboards.

Redemption is one of Joe Bonamassa's best. It's melodic with a cinematic feel in its presentation.

Check out the new Joe Bonamassa - Redemption. As with all my reviews - if you like what I like, you will either end up buying the new cd or streaming the latest from Joe Bonamassa,the reigning King of Blues Rock.

Photos by Stage Door Images / Bill Baker


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