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GRAMMY-nominated blues-rock guitar icon Joe Bonamassa announces his brand-new studio solo album, Blues of Desperation (J&R Adventures), which will be released March 25, 2016. Like his previous solo disc, 2014’s Top 10 Billboard hit Different Shades of Blue, this record features all-original material, and it sees the maverick superstar guitarist, singer and songwriter tossing away the rule book as he continues to reinvent and redefine the blues-rock genre like no other artist working today.
“I want people to hear my evolution as a blues-rock musician,” says Bonamassa, “somebody who isn’t resting on accomplishments and who is always pushing forward and thinking about how music can evolve and stay relevant.”
Bonamassa and his longtime producer Kevin Shirley (Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, Journey) convened at Nashville’s Grand Victor Sound Studios (formerly known as RCA Studio A), and during an intense, five-day period they recorded 11 galvanizing songs with a crack group of musicians including drummers Anton Fig and Greg Morrow, bassist Michael Rhodes, keyboardist Reese Wynans, horn players Lee Thornburg, Paulie Cerra and Mark Douthit, and background singers Mahalia Barnes, Jade McRae and Juanita Tippins.
Blues of Desperation is Bonamassa’s most powerfully diverse and boldly realized album yet, with the material ranging from the gutsy, gritty blues call to arms of “This Train” (Joe’s guitar is set to “rude” throughout) to the elegant yet emotionally shattering ballad “What I’ve Known for a Very Long Time” to the soul-nourishing, acoustic-based Americana of “The Valley Runs Low,” on which Bonamassa’s voice rises up majestically to meet Barnes, McRae and Tippins in gospel-like rapture. And then there’s the bleary, tequila-soaked “Drive,” dripping with the kind of raw, wicked and unsettling sensuality that could make David Lynch green with envy.
Throughout the record, Bonamassa’s epic guitar playing conjures up stirring benedictions and explosive exorcisms of sound. “No Good Place For the Lonely” features some of the guitarist’s most cauterizing licks yet, and the walloping title track is a white-knuckled, six-string thrill ride guaranteed to jolt the senses. Guitar fans everywhere (like those who recently voted Bonamassa “Best Blues Guitarist” in Guitar World magazine by an overwhelming margin) will consider Blues of Desperation a treasure trove of axe richness.
Packed with unparalleled musicianship and teeming with the most enthralling collection of songs in Bonamassa’s career, Blues of Desperation is guaranteed to knock out critics and fans alike. By exceeding his own vertiginously high artistic goals, Bonamassa is bound to shatter all other expectations with this record and reach new audiences – no mean feat when you continue his astonishing track record of hits now includes 15 #1 Billboard Blues Albums (more than any other artist in history). 2014’s Different Shades of Blue debuted at #8 on Billboard’s Top 200 Chart, making it his highest charting album, his first top 10 and accounting for his biggest sales week ever. In 2014, the guitarist received his first-ever Grammy nomination (for Best Blues Album) for the album Seesaw, his second collaboration with blues singing star Beth Hart, and was named 2014’s Billboard Blues Artist of the Year.
Prior to the release of Blues of Desperation, Bonamassa – a touring monster who averages about 100 shows a year – will be kicking off the year with a January DVD recording of his intimate acoustic show at New York’s Carnegie Hall before embarking on his second annual Keeping The Blues Alive at Sea blues cruise in February and a full-on electric band trek through the U.S. in April.
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