CD/DVD: Radio City Music Hall

ARTIST: Joe Bonamassa

LABEL: J & R Adventures

RELEASE DATE: October 2, 2015



joe bonamassa live at radio city music hall 2015 album cover art 500x500Blues-rock guitarist, Joe Bonamassa is living his boyhood dream of performing at world renown theaters (Royal Albert Hall, Vienna Opera House, and Red Rocks Amphitheater).  His newest concert CD/DVD release, Radio City Music Hall is nothing less than stellar!  It captures the artist in the best of dual roles, a tale of two Joe's-- the finger-picking, acoustic troubadour and the electric blues-rock titan.  This performance marked the culmination and finale of a special 18-month tour Bonamassa showcased around the world (twice).  The CD & Blu-Ray Deluxe Collector’s Edition include 2 newly recorded songs, 9 unreleased live tracks, over 75 minutes of music, over 2 ½ hours of live video, a 40 page collector’s book with photos, and special behind-the-scenes footage.

The opening set sees Bonamassa revisit several fan favorites as presented at Vienna Opera House in July 2012 (An Acoustic Evening at Vienna Opera House), with musicians Gerry O'Connor (banjo, fiddle, mandolin; Ireland), Mats Wester (nyckelharpa, mandola; Sweden), and Lenny Castro (percussion; Toto, Fleetwood Mac; USA).  Reese Wynans (keyboards; Stevie Ray Vaughn and Double Trouble; USA ) is the newest member to the lineup.

Bonamassa's hard-driving rhythm is matched by Castro’s free-style use of rare percussion, O'Connor's Irish-infused string fluency, Wester's obscure nyckelharpa, and Wynan's saloon-style piano tinkling.  The worldly sounds create a perfect backdrop for tenderly sung ballads or lively foot-stomping jigs.  What's more, Bonamassa's rich vocal tone and soulfulness add depth and character to every phrase sung. "Still Water", a cover by singer-songwriter/producer Daniel Lanois (Acadie, 1989) and "Happier Times" (Ballad of John Henry, 2009), are two numbers that boldly stood out.  


Before long, the Great Stage is consumed by bright lights, Bonamassa, and his augmented touring band [(Tal Bergman, drums; Carmine Rojas, bass; Reese Wynans, keyboards), brass (Lee Thornburg, trumpet; Paulie Cierra, saxes;  Nick Lane, trombone) and percussion (Castro)].  Their energy is invigorating.  Their attitude-- tenacious.  Their showmanship-- exemplary.

The mood for the second half of the show is that of big-band, Chicago-blues revival.  Listeners are treated to numerous unreleased live tracks from Bonamassa's last studio album, Different Shades of Blue (2014).  "Never Give All Your Heart for Love" (Different Shades of Blue, 2014), "Hidden Charms" (Willie Dixon), "Living On The Moon" (Different Shades of Blue, 2014), "Double Trouble" (Harriet Melka), "One Less Cross to Bear" (unreleased), and "So, What Would I Do?" (Different Shades of Blue, 2014) rouse the senses exactly the way every great rock 'n blues show should.


 For a free download of "One Less Cross To Bear", click here. (Requires email address.)


To say Radio City Music Hall is better than any of its predecessors is a personal choice.  Bonamassa proves again why he is considered one of the best guitarists of our generation and hardest working musicians in the business.  His performance is animated, emotionally charged, and entertaining through to the end.  Each live recording represents a mere moment in the bluesman's professional career, the closing of one chapter in a lifetime series of musical adventures in keeping the blues alive. There's enough music in Bonamassa's back catalog to satisfy fans for years to come.

Yours in music,


DebFromMaine Hebert

CD track listing:

1. I Can't Be Satisfied

2. One Less Cross To Bear

3. Living On The Moon

4. I Gave Up Everything For You, 'Cept The Blues

5. Dust Bowl

6. Trouble Town

7. Still Water

8. Different Shades Of Blue

9. Happier Times

10. Never Give All Your Heart

11. Hidden Charms

12. Love Ain't A Love Song

13. So, What Would I Do?


Video track listing:

1. Bite The Big Apple

2. Dust Bowl

3. Trouble Town

4. Still Water

5. Different Shades Of Blue

6. Black Lung Heartache

7. Happier Times

8. Never Give All Your Heart

9. Hidden Charms

10. Living On The Moon

11. I Can't Be Satisfied

12. Double Trouble

13. One Less Cross To Bear

14. Love Ain't A Love Song

15. I Gave Up Everything For You, 'Cept The Blues

16. So, What Would I Do?


Album cover courtesy of J&R Adventures. "Still Water" courtesy of J&R Adventures; filmed by 1AnitrasDance (Youtube channel). "One Less Cross To Bear" courtesy of J&R Adventures. All rights reserved 2015.