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Joe Bonamassa ought to be running out of ammunition after having released sixteen albums solo and with others over fourteen years - instead he's just made his best album so far in the shape of "Different Shades Of Blue"

Joe Bonamassa, "Different Shades Of Blue" (Mascot)

Joe Bonamassa's career so far continues adding more dimensions to the term "completely insane". Despite a work schedule over the years that would make even the most ardent workaholic look like a rolemodel for laziness as a career, Joe has come up with his best album so far with "Different Shades Of Blue". And here we are talking a man who has released eleven solo albums, two albums with Beth
Hart and three with Black Country Communion within only fourteen years - and in addition to that a myriad of livealbums and dvd recordings.

Mind you, all that impeccable quality..

So, yes; it is indeed completely crazy that this dazzling guitarist now again give birth to a phenomenally varied blues / blues rock album with eleven diverse, self-composed songs. Here Joe Bonamassa - perhaps more than ever - with the greatest of ease take a trip into whichever  corners of the blues, his distinguished, liquid and soulful guitar playing leads him to.

These days it should be obvious to even the most ardent sceptic that Joe is a guitarist in a league of his own, but on "Different Shades Of Blue" he has truly found his own tone and on top of that he's singing his most convincingly ever. Okay, he ain't Paul Rodgers (who would've been the perfect vocalist here) but I have no problem settling for less in this instant.

It does not matter if Joe plays swingin' 40's influenced blues as "Heartache Follows Where Ever I Go", with heartbreaking longing in "Never Give All Your Heart "(where he does just that) or Elmore James / ZZ Top influenced blues boogie in the dazzlingly titled" I Gave Up Everything For You, 'Cept The Blues ", the man's playing is as flawless, playful, classy and breathtaking as FC Barcelona's attack line were a few years

And then I have not even mentioned the two best songs: the beautiful title track and the bittersweet blues ballad "Get Back My Tomorrow ".
Bonamassa's has often mentioned Paul Kossoff (Free), Rory Gallagher and Gary Moore among his influences. Those guys will probably hear this album in Heaven where they reside now being as that's the altitude where music and playing here strive to go.

Well, then the three of them might rightly give this their collective thumbs up in the knowledge that Joe Bonamassa takes care of the legacy that they have left behind most masterfully.
The man's best solo album to date. . . and that is to say after all part. Drenched in soul, feeling, a mesmerizing mass from a master and without a doubt one of the albums of the year.

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