Joe Bonamassa - British Blues Explosion Live

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It's taken a couple of years to actually see release, but future blues legend Joe Bonamassa has finally completed his trilogy of live recordings honouring the blues legends of the past. Recorded at the Old Royal Naval College in London in 2016 as part of the Greenwich Music Time Festival, this release follows similar live recordings honouring America blues greats Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf on Muddy Wolf At Red Rocks, then Freddie, Albert, and BB King on Live At The Greek Theatre. The focus of the final run of dates and resultant live album in this extensive endeavour (separated by his typically-relentless regular touring schedule) is the heavily influential late '60s to early '70s period when British bands lead by guitarists Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and Jeff Beck, made a significant impact worldwide, particularly in America. The performance on the night was superb, and every peeling note of it is transferred to this recording in perfect quality. The collection of lesser-known tracks gave Joe no shortage of opportunities to shine on lead guitar - something absent from the other two albums due to the nature of the source material - and several of them become extended jams in no time at all, including spending over 15 minutes on closer How Many More Times by Led Zeppelin (probably the most well known song of the set, along with an eight-minute Pretending). Highlights include a furious Spanish Boots, squealing solos on Double Crossing Time, and turning Plynth (Water Down The Drain into something Deep Purple might have done with it, given the chance. British Blues Explosion Live is easily one of Joe's most enjoyable live albums. It provides something exclusively different to his normal material, losing none of his fiery playing. Essential for all fans.

Written by Andy Lye
More: 2018, Albums, Blues, Live Albums, Quickplay Reviews,

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