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dustbowlcoverDust Bowl
Joe Bonamassa
Label: Premier Artists
Reviewed: October, 2011

I’m such a huge Joe Bonamassa fan that, if I was sitting where you are now, I’d already be out the door, looking for his album, “Dust Bowl”. In fact, that’s exactly what I did. And, you know what? No matter where I looked, I couldn’t find the darn thing!

After several months, I broke down and ordered it online which is what I should have done from the git-go. Silly me.

I feel especially silly after I received it and have listened to it ‘bout a bijillion times because it’s that good! And to think that I missed out on six months of intense musical pleasure.

I’ve learned my lesson and have order his brand spanking new CD, Don’t Explain, recorded with Beth Hart. Stay tuned for that more timely review.

But I digress.

Better late than never, I’ve enjoyed listening to Dust Bowl and have it firmly burned into my DNA. The album is chock-full of incredible musical wizardry – not only by Joe but a boat load of incredible artist like Carmine Rojas and Rick Melick, guest musicians Anton Fig, John Haitt, Vince Gill, Michael Rhodes (reknown Nashville session bassist), Chad Cromwell (drumming credits include Peter Frampton, Neil Young and Mark Knopfler), Steve Nathan (acclaimed Nashville based session keyboardist), Tony Cedras, Glenn Hughes, Arlan Schierbaum, Blondie Chaplin, Beth Hart, and Reese Wynans. Heck, he even brought in the guy who makes his amps, Peter Van Weelden, to lend his voice to the title cut.

Dust Bowl starts out with low down and dirty, Slow Train, that Joe co-wrote with the album’s producer, Kevin Shirley. The smokin’ hot solos and a groove as deep as a cotton field row has made this tune a crowd favorite. While every tune on this album has earned multiple hits on the repeat button, Slow Train has probably edged out the rest as getting the most such hits.

The title cut is chock full of riffs and beats that destine this tune for use in movies, advertisements and bumper music. In its own funky way, it kind of reminds me of the Stones’ Anyone Seen My Baby. Following Dust Bowl is Tennessee Plates features the unmistakable vocals of John Haitt and signature guitar work by Vince Gill. It wouldn’t surprise me a bit if this cut is getting significant rotation on country stations around the country. If it isn’t, it should. Heck, it deserves a funky video for play on GAC and CMT, it’s that good!

The Meaning of the Blues again offers up some incredible solos by Joe that easily allows the listener to envision Bonamassa kickin’ it out on stage and leaving the audience pleasantly exhausted when it’s all said and done. Homage is paid to the coal miners of the world with Black Lung Heartache and is played against a dark and heavy musical backdrop befitting of them song’s message.

The Last Matador of Bayonne emits a whole range of emotions from both player and listener alike and is, by far, one of the Boomerocity’s 12 favorites from this album (you didn’t expect me to actually pick a favorite, did you?). No Love On The Street is a Michael Kamen/Tim Curry tune that features rhythm guitar work by Blondie Chapman. The vocal assistance by Beth Hart was, no doubt, a precursor to Joe’s new collaborative release, Don’t Explain, with Ms. Hart. If this tune is any indication of what that album contains then I can’t wait to hear it!

If you’re like me and are late to the Dust Bowl party, then I suggest you get off your musical butt and buy the darn thing because it’s going to give Bonnamassa (as well as blues) fans countless hours of listening enjoyment.