Review: Joe Bonamassa ‘Royal Tea’

Joe Bonamassa

King of the blues Bonamassa runs the gamut from blues-rock to cool 40s and 50s dancehall blues to country-blues, always with a rootsy edge. Here the New Yorker heads to his second home and records at Abbey Road, an album that lets him have a late 60s/early 70s prog rock party. He’s written songs with Pete Brown, the Cream lyricist, and Bernie Marsden, guitarist in heavy rock combo Whitesnake.

The result is heavy but tuneful, and with that special something Bonamassa manages to bring. The title track – oddly inspired by the Harry ‘n’ Meghan shenanigans – chugs along nicely with girlie backing chorus and there’s plenty of guitar histrionics, in a good way. But there’s another side… the mandolin-fringed Savannah is a relaxed love song, Lonely Boy a horn-swept boogie and Beyond The Silence slow and moody with acoustic touches.

Bonamassa’s regular band – including ace keyboard player Reese Wynans, who’s been in both Jerry Jeff Walker’s band and Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Double Trouble – are even joined by Jools Holland for that Brit touch. Bonamassa is always inventive while honouring the music’s roots.

By Nick Dalton

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Media contact

Zoe Hodges,
Editor, Maverick Magazine

Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823920
Email: editor@maverick-country.com

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