It remains a busy owner, this New York guitarist Joe Bonamassa. Since his debut in 2000, more than thirty albums are to his name, both own studio and live albums as well as collaborations with others, such as Beth Hart. He also produces for others and regularly appears on CDs by others, such as recently on Dion’s recent album “Stomping Ground”. And with “Time Clocks” Bonamassa’s new CD has recently been released.
It contains ten own songs, partly written with the cooperation of someone else. Musically he is supported by Steve Mackey (bass), Lachy Doley (piano), Bunna Lawrie (didgeridoo), Bobby Summerfield (percussion), Anton Fig (drums, percussion), Mahalia Barnes, Juanita Tippins and Prinnie Stevens (backing vocals). Musically, it is and still remains the Bonamassa we know. Solid, easy-to-hear blues rock. Yet something has changed, the guitar takes a less dominant place and is now more of a service to the song. The focus here is more on the composition and text.
After the instrumental “Pilgrimage” we hear the heavy “Notches”, which has already been released as a single, and is followed by the soul blues track “The Heart That Never Waits”. The title track “Time Clocks” is a very beautiful composition, in which the harmony vocals with Mahalia Barnes come forwards. With the biting “Questions And Answers” and the blues ballad “Mind’s Eye”, the blues comes into play. It becomes surprising and bombastic with the rocksong “Curtain Call”. Partly due to the strings, the Bonham-like drumming and the use of strings, associations arise with Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir”. In the quietly starting power ballad “The Loyal Kind” the guitar rips again as usual and with the boogie “Hanging On A Loser” and “Known Unknown” we have ten great songs, of which “Mind’s Eye” and “Curtain Call” are my personal favorites. (8/10) (Provogue)