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Joe Bonamassa - The Ballad Of John Henry (CD)

Joe Bonamassa
The Ballad Of John Henry
by Mike Novak at 28 January 2009, 8:40 PM

I had never heard of Joe Bonamassa before I first listened to The Ballad Of John Henry, but apparently he is a well-known name amongst Blues fans. He was first discovered by B.B. King in 2005 and has gone on to tour with some prestigious Blues musicians such as Steven Stills and George Thorogood. This is his seventh release; with his debut having come out in the year 2000.

It should be stated that this is in no way a Metal album. It is mostly Blues-based with some Rock and fusion elements to it. If this description does not interest you, then The Ballad Of John Henry probably will not win you over. I wouldn't consider myself a Blues aficionado, but I do enjoy Blues music, especially when it includes a charismatic guitarist. Mr. Bonamassa is obviously very experienced, he has an enjoyable voice and is quite competent on guitar. The wonderful production job by Kevin Shirley gives the music a fine boost.

The title track and the Tom Waits cover Jockey Full Of Bourbon are good enough songs, but I find that there are no tracks that really stick out to me as being above good. It served as decent background music while reading or studying, but there was not anything that made me stop what I was doing to listen. Maybe I'm too partial to the soloing style of many Hard Rock and Metal guitarists, but I found that the guitar work left something to be desired at times.

It may seem like I am saying that this is a bad album; but it isn't. It's fairly enjoyable, and if you are a big Blues fan you are highly encouraged to check out this album, although if you are a Blues fan you're probably quite familiar with Joe Bonamassa's work anyway. People who are on the fence in regards to this album or style are encouraged to seek out some audio samples online, it's definitely worth at least that much of your time.

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
The Ballad Of John Henry
Stop!
Last Kiss
Jockey Full Of Bourbon
Story Of A Quarryman
Lonesome Road Blues
Happier Times
Feelin' Good
Funkier Than A Mosquito's Tweeter
The Great Flood
From The Valley
As The Crow Flies
Record Label: Mascot Records
     


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