Joe Bonamassa: Dust Bowl

The greatest guitarist you’ve never heard is Joe Bonamassa. What is really interesting about Joe is that he draws his main blues influence from the Irish and English blues musicians even though he’s an American. It immediately sets him apart, songs like “Black Lung Heartache” have melodies reminiscent of Irish folk music, while still maintaining an American blues sound that is quite unique.

These songs are silky smooth. The solos mesh perfectly with the song, without much build up or crescendo with the solos on this thing; they bubble up out of the ether and then dissipate without ever disturbing the flow of the songs. It’s a glorious thing. However, at times I wish he would let loose and let a song to erupt with ridiculous lead guitar playing. Make no mistake, this is a good album, but at times I think Joe Bonamassa holds back a little too much at times.

Despite any perceived shortcomings, this is a really solid album and it really shines when one takes the small things about it into account. The little flourishes here and there keep it far from falling into the trap of being an insipid, watered down blues-rock affair. If you’re a fan of well-crafted rock with some blues thrown into the mix, then give this a listen.

In A Word: Soulful