Wim S. : It is strange, but I have the feeling that I am reviewing a couple of Joe Bonamassa albums every year, but his previous studio album 'Different Shades Of Blue' was released eighteen months ago. In between there were some live releases of course, some of them with and some without a DVD. Now there is another new studio album, ‘Blues Of Desperation'. And it will come as no surprise that this album must be heard again.
Bonamassa is the greatest blues artist of his generation. He redefines the blues in many different ways. This new album for example, sees again that bluesrock gets a lot of attention, on both radio and TV. Because of his status he gets stuff like that done. And he has gained that status by providing quality, over and over again. His live performances and CDs are always characterized by quality. The compositions are written brilliantly, his guitar work obviously is from out of space and as a singer, the man himself has evolved immense. This new release is especially characterized by diversity. Uptempo (blues)rock material (‘This Train’), Mark Knopfler-ish guitar pieces (the genius 'Drive') epic rock (the title track), and the inevitable tearjerker ‘What I've Known For A Very Long Time' (my God, those licks and that solo!) provide the necessary variety. And in between there is still room for the beautiful, relaxed ‘How Deep River Runs This’ and more traditional blues in the form of ‘You Left Me Nothin' But The Bill And The Blues'. And it all sounds equally good. Perhaps less surprising than its predecessor, but he is still evolving; that's Joe Bonamassa.