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Having reviewed a number of Joe Bonamassa's albums recently I noticed that this album was one that I had yet to review so I got started on my usual listening regime and got down to reviewing the album. I have become a huge fan of Joe Bonamassa over the last few years and seem to like his music even more every time he releases a new album which is quite often as you may know. Including work with Black Country Communion and the duets album with Beth Hart he has released a total of 13 studio albums in twelve years which is quite prolific wouldn't you say?. Anyway on with the review and below is the lowdown on the album details.
This is the third studio album from Joe Bonamassa and was released in 2003, The album was produced by Bob Held and was the penultimate album release before Kevin Shirley became Joe Bonamassa's Record Producer which ultimately led to the forming of Black Country Communion and the duets album with Beth Hart. Blues Deluxe was recorded at Unique Recording Studios in New York and was released on the J&R Adventures label. The album was well received by critics and further established Joe Bonamassa with an increasing fan base and growing recognition from his peers.
Joe Bonamassa - vocals, guitar
Jon Paris - harmonica
Benny Harrison - Hammond B-3 organ
Eric Czar - electric bass
Kenny Kramme - drums
1.) You upset me baby
This is a fine cover of a BB King track to get things going. Joe's fluid guitar work works well with the musicianship of his band. This is a fluid and catchy Blues track which is fairly short but has enough about it to receive a decent reception and kicks things off well. It obviously went down well with BB King who would later collaborate with Joe Bonamassa on one of Joe's later albums.
2.) Burning Hell
This is an excellent track which covers the John Lee Hooker original, Joe Bonamassa's version is even more dynamic and has some excellent moments which are led by the fabulous guitar work which changes throughout the track but keeps that dynamic edge. This is an extremely good version of this energetic track from a Blues legend.
3.) Blues Deluxe
This is a fabulous cover version of the Jeff Beck original. Joe Bonamassa really shines on this wonderful track which has such an emotive feel and contains some of the best guitar playing on the album, his voice is superb too and the emotion is there for all to hear. This is a fabulous track which is an ideal introduction to anyone wanting to hear Joe Bonamassa for the first time. Voice, music and guitar are top notch on this wonderful track. Just superb and set deep in the blues.
4.) Man of many words
This is an excellent track which is a Buddy Guy cover, It has a catchy feel with some nice bass hooks and funky guitar licks which build the track well. Although I am also a huge Buddy Guy fan I am not that aware of this track by him but Joe Bonamassa does a decent job here and the flow of the song is what makes it so listenable and when the guitar solo comes in to top things off your listening pleasure is complete.
5.) Woke up dreaming
This is the first original track on the album and it features some catchy finger tapping guitar work from Joe and his expressive vocals sound good throughout. I like the bit where his vocals stop and his finger work becomes faster. The playing has a natural expressive jamming style to it that works rather well. This is a decent change of pace to what you might have expected after the first few tracks.
6.) I Don't live anywhere
This is a lovely understated Blues track with soft drum strokes and guitar plucks with Joe's expressive vocals. As the song builds it his vocal becomes all the more emotive and then when the guitar work comes in wonderfully you know that this is a fine song. The guitar work on this is reminiscent to Eric Clapton in parts and also has some Jeff Beck about it too. This is a superb example of how well he uses emotion in his songs. This is an excellent track.
7.) Wild about you Baby
This is a vibrant cover of the Elmore James track. Joe's vocals combine well with his fluid guitar work on this shuffling Blues number which is a toe tapping affair. It's a fairly short track but gets in plenty of excellent guitar work and vibrant musicianship to satisfy your ears. This is another decent reworking of someone elses song. Good stuff.
8.) Long distance blues
This is a lovely cover version of a T-Bone Walker track, I love the way the drums and percussion are relaxed yet his vocals are strong and expressive as his guitar work also impresses. I feel this track could be a little better with about a minute added but as it is it's a very fine Blues ballad with a lot going for it. Joe Bonamassa's changes around the middle and really showcases his amazing guitar work to great effect. Good stuff.
9.) Pack it up
This is a Freddy King track which has elements of Funk mixed with classic Blues sounds. I like the way the song progresses as the guitar gets into centre stage and his playing shines with some excellent bass playing alongside it. This track really has a lot going for it. Joe Bonamassa's guitar work shines again and his vocals here aren't bad either.
This is a catchy cover of an Albert Collins track, It's vibrant and pacey and features some great guitar plucking and shuffling bass and drums. The guitar work has an improvisational style to it which works really well. This is another very strong track which allows Joe Bonamassa to let loose on the guitar. Very good stuff indeed.
11.) Walking Blues
This is an interesting cover version of a Robert Johnson/Son House original. Joe Bonamassa showcases some excellent guitar work ranging from slide to the finest riffing. This is an excellent track which shows some great playing and has a catchy feel too. Good stuff.
12.) Mumbling Word
This is the final track on the album and has a slide steel guitar sound which is deeply rooted in the Blues. His vocals are expressive and the sound of the guitar is just wonderful. I love the way this song progresses. Some superb parts to this track make it the great track that it is. An excellent track to end the album with too.
This was the third release from Joe Bonamassa and was his third album release, It shows progression from the opening two albums and also if you listen to newer albums than this you will even hear a development there too. This is not as consistent an album as his best work but it sure has some great tracks which are amongst the best he has recorded. Blues Deluxe is one of the finest covers he will ever record and believe me he has recorded some great ones. This is an ideal album to have in your Joe Bonamassa collection.