Wim S. : When two heavyweights from the blues join forces, you know in advance that it is gonna be special. Especially if one of the two is Joe Bonamassa. Has that man ever released a bad album? Not that I know. And he has released quite a lot, both solo and with different bands / projects. And now there is an album that he recorded with singer Beth Hart, the woman with the voice as sandpaper. And yes, it is special again. The pair release a big time blues album.
There are ten tracks on 'Black Coffee', an album produced by none other than Kevin Shirley. And everyone who knows him knows that the album also sounds crystal clear. How amazing are those Bonamassa solos on this album! Absolutely great. The album rocks much less than I would have expected at first. Hart is (also) a raw blues rocker but on 'Black Coffee' we hear little rock and mostly laid back blues. Opener 'Give It Everything You Got' is an unparalleled good song that hangs between rock and blues and in which the Bonamassa solo is inimitable and in which the horns have added value. 'Damn Your Eyes' and 'Black Coffee' are more traditional blues songs that have less of a body and are particularly striking because of the Bonamassa guitar parts. 'Why Do not You Do Right' even reminds me a bit of the nostalgic work of Caro Emerald, on the understanding that here too the guitar excels again. 'Saved' is a simple up tempo rock and roll song, while 'Sitting On Top Of The World' is a cool cover from Cream. Towards the end the album does drop slightly in terms of quality, because 'Joy', 'Soul On Fire' and 'Addicted' are not really high flyers. Beth Hart sings as she can (raw and melodic and with a lot of power), Bonamassa is just incredible and the album sounds like it should sound but better.