Joe Bonamassa - An Acoustic Evening At The Vienna Opera House

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American bluesman Joe Bonamassa hasn't released anything in six months and obviously felt like he was slacking after a year in 2012 where he only put out two studio albums and two live albums (one of each with Black Country Communion and one of each solo). So to fill the gap between the last live album Beacon Theatre: Live From New York and the next studio album comes this recording from the short European acoustic tour he did between in the Summer between electric tours. Released separately on blu ray, DVD, CD and vinyl, the whole show features a seated Bonamassa surrounded by a quite ridiculous number of guitars, doing a remarkably good job of touching upon most of his solo discography (although Sloe Gin is plundered pretty hard with five songs being played), both originals and covers alike. The song selection also doesn't double up very much with those chosen for previous live recordings (of which there are many), so will be an all round excellent addition to any Bonamassa fan's collection, especially given how good the audio quality is for the most part. The only problem from a sonic point of view is there are times, like on Athens To Athens when Joe's playing is overpowered by the unnecessary ensemble of extra players he has joining him on violin (Gerry O'Connor), washboard/percussion (Lenny Castro), piano (Arlan Schierbaum) and keyed fiddle (Mats Wester), when in truth a purely solo performance might have been, is proves to be on other parts of the show, better. The CD is in fact the superior counterpart of this release. Part of what makes Bonamassa such an electrifying live performer to watch is his stage movement and soloing, but unable to do that here he is a much less attractive visual prospect, glorious high definition though the footage is, meaning almost all of the enjoyment is derived from hearing his exemplary playing. Nevertheless, either way, as a document of this short and rather exclusive tour, this covers all the bases.

Written by Andy Lye
More: 2013, Acoustic/Folk, Blues, Live Albums, Live DVDs, Quick.Play Reviews,

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