Title - 'British Blues Explosion Live' [2CD]
Artist - Joe Bonamassa
For those not in the know, Joe Bonamassa is an American blues rock guitarist, singer and songwriter.
Indeed, when he was just 12 years-old, Bonamassa opened for B.B. King. In the last 13 years Bonamassa has put out 15 solo albums through his independent record label J&R Adventures, of which 11 have reached number 1 on the Billboard Blues charts.
Over the years, Bonamassa has played alongside such artists as Stephen Stills, Eric Clapton, Blondie Chaplin, Foreigner, Buddy Guy, Steve Winwood, Warren Haynes, and Derek Trucks among others.
His career highlights include performances at the Royal Albert Hall and a Grammy Award nomination in 2013. In addition to his music career, Joe Bonamassa runs a nonprofit organization called the Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation, whose mission it is to further music education by funding scholarships and providing music education resources to schools in need.
On British Blues Explosion Live, Joe Bonamassa pays homage to legendary British guitarists Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page with his stunning performance of their blues-rock classics.
Recorded at Greenwich Music Time at The Old Royal Naval College in London in July, 2016 the 5 piece band includes the wondrous musicians: Michael Rhodes (bass), Reese Wynans (keyboards), Anton Fig (drums) and Russ Irwin (rhythm guitar/backing vocals).
1. 'Beck's Bolero / Rice Pudding'
2. 'Mainline Florida'
3. 'Boogie With Stu'
4. 'Let Me Love You Baby'
5. 'Plynth (Water Down The Drain)'
6. 'Spanish Boots'
7. 'Double Crossing Time'
8. 'Motherless Children'
2. 'Tea For One / I Can't Quit You Baby'
3. 'Little Girl'
5. 'Black Winter / Django'
6. 'How Many More Times'
Now, in my humble opinion, and as much as love Bonamassa and his infamous guitar work, there are some highlights here on the CD that are every bit as good as it gets on his other CDs ... but, having said that, there are also some numbers that do not rival the original artist recordings: both Zeppelin's 'How Many More Times' and Clapton's 'Pretending,' for example.
But that's quite ok and acceptable given the length and breadth of guitar wizardry that Bonamassa stretches himself to over this full-length live show. Indeed, for a stand out killer track, one need not look any further than his awesome version of Cream's 'SWABLR' ("She Walks Like a Bearded Rainbow").
The intensity of the whole band during that number alone definitely comes close to rivaling that of Cream's original, which is a seemingly impossible task, as I'm sure you all might already comprehend, of course. Indeed, that was probably the greatest performance of the set, again, in my humble opinion.
Aside from the slew of incredible rock tracks covered here, we also experience a very rare, and so very interesting moment for Bonamassa as he slips in an "F" bomb when describing his complete lack of lyrical understanding of the meaning of Cream's lyrics for the aforementioned 'SWLABR'! A fun moment to see/hear him admit such a thing, let alone drop that expletive.
In closing, Joe Bonamassa challenged himself to do justice to the greatest British rockers of all time and, boy, does he deliver here on British Blues Explosion Live.
His powerful covers of 'Let Me Love You Baby,' 'Motherless Children,' 'Mainline Florida,' and both 'Little Girl' and 'Spanish Boots' will give you chills! Outstanding vocals, awesome band, this CD (along with the wondrous 2+ hour DVD that has also been released of this show) showcases the most versatile and gifted guitarist on the planet (again, in my humble opinion).
Oh, and much like the aforementioned DVD, this 2CD set also comes complete with a brilliant 28-Page Collectible Booklet.
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'British Blues Explosion Live' DVD Review Link