Rick Galusha's Pacific St. Blues and Americana

Since inception (1989), Pacific St. Blues & Americana strives to be a discerning voice helping roots fans sift through the mountains of music released every year. We are not for everyone; we want to engage active, critical listeners that hear beyond d'jour. Interviews include: Johnny Winter, Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones), Jerry Wexler, Tommy Shannon & Chris Layton, B.B. King, Dr. John, Robin Trower, Robben Ford, Mato Nanji, Joe Bonamassa, Harry Manx, Sue Foley, Marshall Chess, Billy Lee Riley, Charlie Louvin, Kim Richey, Radney Foster, Eric Johnson, David Clayton Thomas, Al Kooper, Phil Chen (Wired, Blow By Blow), Ian McLagan, Art Neville, Southside Johnny, Miami Steve Van Zant, Nils Lofgren, Bruce Iglauer, Charlie Musselwhite, Studebaker John, Chris Duarte, Smokin' Joe Kubeck, Hamilton Loomis, Peter Karp, Roomful of Blues, James Harman, Hadden Sayers, Malford Milligan, Melvin Taylor, Otis Taylor, Dave Alvin, Coco Montoya, Jimmy Thackery, Marsha Ball, Maria Muldaur, Shelby Lynne, Magic Dick & J. Geils, Lil' Milton, BuddyGuy, Aynsley Lister, Matt Schofield, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Guy Clark, Joe Ely, James Cotton, Robin & Jesse Davey, Hugh Coltman (Hoax), Sean Kelly (Samples), John Entwistle (The Who), Mark Olson (Jayhawks), Walter Wolfman Washington, Anthony Gomes, Bob Malone, Chubby Carrier, Buckwheat Zydeco, Murali Coryell, David Jacob Strain, DeAnna Bogart, Michael Lee Firkins, Guy Davis, Jason Ricci, John Doe, Little Feat, Matt Woods, MikeZito, Peter Buffett, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Corky Siegel, Todd Park Mohr, Watermelon Slim, Magic Slim, Corey Harris,- - - - - - ------------------------Radio archives: http://www.kiwrblues.podomatic.com/. Playlists: http://www.omahablues.com/ Reviews featured in http://www.blueswax.com/. Email: KIWRblues@gmail.com Live online; Sundays 9 a.m. (-6 GMT) http://www.897theriver.com/

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Album Review: Joe Bonamassa, You & Me

Artist: Joe Bonamassa
Album: You & Me
Writer: Rick Galusha

Album by album Joe Bonamassa has shown improvement in his vocal and songwriting performances. Already a world class blues-rock guitar player, ‘You & Me’ shows this native New Yorker at the height of his game. Particularly evident are his two primary roots; B.B. King’s and a deep knowledge of the great “Classic Rock” guitar players.

A tireless road warrior Bonamassa is laying the foundation for a successful independent artist career. His latest album ‘You & Me’ is as much Mid-70’s arena rock in sound as it is contemporary electric blues. This latest effort slips into his discography as a earnest side project where Joe covers new ground and breaks away from his strong blues background leaning more towards an up-tempo rock n’ roll record.

As his songwriting skills improve Bonamassa’s skill base round out; allowing him to pull away from the vanilla pack of electric blues guitar players. The third track on the album, ‘Asking Around for You’ is a classic blues song in the finest electric tradition. Bonamassa sings “If I get to heaven, first thing I’m gonna do, before I meet my Maker, I’m gonna ask around for you.” With stretching solo breaks and strong organ backing, Asking Around for You, has all the makings for a “great” blues song that may well graduate into a standard – it is that strong.

Amid a personnel changes in the band Bonamassa used some heavyweights on this latest effort including; Jason Bonham (Healing Sixes) on drums, son of the late John Henry Bonham of Led Zeppelin fame, Carmine Rojas (Rod Stewart, David Bowie) on bass and Rick Melick (Air Supply, Andy Gibb) on organ and tambourine. Pat Thrall (Pat Travers Band, Glenn Hughes, Meatloaf) duets on guitar with Bonamassa on the track, ‘Bridge to Better Days.” Bonamassa covers the Led Zeppelin track, ‘Tea for One’ (from the Presence album) using guest vocalist Doug Henthorn (Healing Sixes).

This is a strong album with one incredible track and ten very good songs which make for an interesting but not yet fully cooked delivery from perhaps one of the blues genres finest players.

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