JOE BONAMASSA To Release 'Blues Deluxe Vol. 2' In October
June 16, 2023
Twenty years since the release of his best-selling album "Blues Deluxe", which celebrated what the U.S. government had declared "the year of the blues" with a mix of originals and reinterpretations of classic songs, Joe Bonamassa is taking stock of how far he and the genre have come with "Blues Deluxe Vol. 2", out October 6 via J&R Adventures. Featuring two new originals and eight new covers spanning some of the most important names in the blues — from Bobby "Blue" Bland and Peter Green's FLEETWOOD MAC to Albert King — "Blues Deluxe 2" finds Bonamassa returning to his roots and giving new life to the classic tracks that have informed his own artistry.
"If you had told me 20 years ago my career would last long enough to see the 20th anniversary of this little record called 'Blues Deluxe', I'm sure I would have laughed," Bonamassa reflects. "'Blues Deluxe' was my last shot after being dropped by two major record labels and my booking agent. It was then that my manager, Roy Weisman, had his first 'all-in' moment. We would go back into the studio and record. A record that would hopefully define the direction of whatever future career I might have.
"On 'Blues Deluxe Vol. 2', I asked my great friend Josh Smith to produce a record to be a companion to the anniversary edition of the first album, and hopefully demonstrate a bit of how I have progressed over the last 20 years," Bonamassa adds. "The contrast between a cocky 26-year-old and an established 46-year-old is considerable. Does the fire still burn like it did? Am I still playing hungry? Am I even good enough to pay tribute to my heroes all over again? The answer lies somewhere in this album."
Smith states: "When Joe asked me to produce 'Blues Deluxe Vol. 2', I knew immediately what I wanted to accomplish. I wanted the fans to hear the completely natural, relaxed Joe that I hear when we are just goofing around playing guitars. He really was in the moment and feeling completely supported and I know that he really 'went for it' on everything."
To mark the announcement, Bonamassa has released the album's latest single, "Twenty-Four Hour Blues", a blistering reinterpretation of Bobby "Blue" Bland's classic track, featured on one of Bonamassa's favorite albums of all time, "Dreamer". The new version features one of Bonamassa's best-ever vocals and guitar solos. "The outro guitar solo is incredible," Smith comments. "It happened live on the floor and has some deep lines you've probably never heard Joe play before. The band is absolutely smoking, and Calvin Turner did an incredible string and horn arrangement. Super proud of this one."
"Part of my approach to these new recordings was that I wanted to see if I had matured musically over the years, and if I had gotten better as a player," Bonamassa says. "I'm happy to say that I am a much better singer than I was 20 years ago — though I still don't really consider myself to be a legit 'singer,' I can now carry a tune a little better than I could back then."
The announcement of "Blues Deluxe Vol. 2" follows the release of the album's lead single "I Want To Shout About It", originally performed by RONNIE EARL AND THE BROADCASTERS. Bonamassa's joyful version features solos from Reese Wynans on organ and Paulie Cerra on sax, as well as some killer adlibs from vocalists Dannielle DeAndrea and Charles Jones as the track winds to a close.
"'Shout About It' is a song originally by the great RONNIE EARL AND THE BROADCASTERS with Darrel Nullisch on vocals," Smith adds. "It's a tough/high song to sing and Joe really pushed himself and nailed it. It's a real rave up, a party song. Joe has been playing it live lately and the crowds are really digging it!"
Featuring Reese Wynans (keys),Calvin Turner (bass),Lamar Carter (drums),Kirk Fletcher (guitar) and Smith (guitar),additional highlights from "Blues Deluxe Vol. 2" include Guitar Slim's "Well, I Done Got Over It", Bobby Parker's "It's Hard But It's Fair" and "Is It Safe To Go Home", a new track written for Joe by Smith.
"I knew I wanted to push him really hard vocally," Smith adds. "I'd heard him sing things just messing around or when we'd be producing for other artists that I'd never heard him do on record. So the songs were both chosen and written with that in mind. If you listen to the vocals on "Twenty-Four Hour Blues" and "Is It Safe To Go Home", you'll hear Joe really going for it."
Having just earned a remarkable 26th No. 1 on the Billboard Blues chart for his sprawling and extensive live concert film and album "Tales Of Time", Bonamassa is heading to Europe for three weeks of festival performances, before returning to the U.S. for a string of summer dates. The summer run will include Bonamassa's debut appearance at Hollywood Bowl on Wednesday, August 9, with an exclusive, one-night-only concert experience alongside an orchestra, which will be recorded for his next live concert film. Then the hardest working bluesman in show business begins his U.S. fall tour on October 23 at The Cannon Center in Memphis, Tennessee, which will take him from coast to coast to end at the guitar-shaped Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, Florida.
Cited by Guitar World as "arguably the world's biggest blues guitarist," Bonamassa is known for taking risks and venturing into uncharted territory throughout his wide-ranging career. His last recent full-length "Time Clocks" marked his most raw, rocking studio album yet, with American Songwriter sharing, "Bonamassa pushes into fresh territory while staying within a blues-based framework," and "there is more than enough proof in this sprawling set that Bonamassa doesn't intend to rest on his laurels or take his star status in the blues-rock genre for granted."
Hailed as "a near spiritual experience" by Classic Rock magazine and featuring songs from his "Time Clocks", Bonamassa's latest live concert release "Tales Of Time", captures a stratospheric performance by the blues-rock titan at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, which found his virtuoso guitar style and unique technique and flair elevating the evening to an almost heavenly high. The project was produced by long-time collaborator and producer Kevin Shirley (LED ZEPPELIN, IRON MAIDEN, JOURNEY).
"This live show represents our most progressive and largest production to date, focusing on my most ambitious studio album to date," commented Bonamassa. "My band was a force of nature on this show, and it truly was a special night."
"Blues Deluxe Vol. 2" track listing:
01. Twenty-Four Hour Blues (originally performed by Bobby "Blue" Bland) 02. It's Hard But It's Fair (originally performed by Bobby Parker) 03. Well, I Done Got Over It (originally performed by Guitar Slim) 04. I Want to Shout About It (originally performed by RONNIE EARLE & THE BROADCASTERS) 05. Win-O (originally performed by Pee Wee Crayton) 06. Hope You Realize It (Goodbye Again) (original song written by Joe Bonamassa & Tom Hambridge) 07. Lazy Poker Blues (originally performed by FLEETWOOD MAC) 08. You Sure Drive A Hard Bargain (originally performed by Albert King) 09. The Truth Hurts (feat. Kirk Fletcher and Josh Smith) (originally performed by Kenny Neal) 10. Is It Safe To Go Home (original song written by Josh Smith)
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