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This review is the next installment of my reviewing of Joe Bonamassa albums, I have been a fan for a few years now but have recently dug deep into his music and I'm becoming a bigger fan all the time. What's more striking about his talent is the sheer prolific rate at which he produces great music. Having recorded twelve studio albums in twelve years as Joe Bonamassa with one of those the duets album with Beth Hart and of course the two albums as part of the supergroup Black Country Communion plus a host of guest appearances on other artists albums.
**You & Me**
The album was released in 2006 and is the fifth studio release from Joe Bonamassa, it was produced by Kevin Shirley who is Bonamassa's long time producer. The album has received a lot of praise by critics for it's Blues feel and also the many guitar solos that are a feature of his work. The album is a mix of covers and original songs and the album teams Joe up with long time band members Carmine Rojas - bass
Jason Bonham - drums who is in Black Country Communion and Rick Melick on piano, organ and tambourine.
1.) High Water Everywhere
This is a cover of a track by early Blues Musician Charlie Patton, Its subject is the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 which devastated Louisiana. Joe Bonamassa builds this song wonderfully and the lovely soft vocals add a fine touch before the impassioned guitar playing comes in to really emote. This is an outstanding track to open with and has some of the best guitar work on the album. The backing vocals work really well with the overall feel of the music. A really emotive song reproduced extremely well.
2.) Bridge to Better Days
This is a fine Blues track which has a Live feel with crashing drums and some excellent guitar effects. This is one of the Joe Bonamassa originals and is recorded extremely well. His vocals are expressive and strong and the guitar work is again a highlight with some Eric Clapton like moments intertwined with some of Joe Bonamassa original sounds. I love the way the drums and bass play a part towards the guitar solo with a lovely introduction as though travelling through a tunnel and the guitar comes in at the end of the tunnel. This is another excellent track to open with.
3.) Asking around for you
This is one of the most emotive tracks on the album and showcases his vocals as much as his guitar playing, not only is he a great guitarist but he is a very good singer indeed. This is a lovely Blues ballad with a sweet string background and a simple yet very effective drum beat. Joe Bonamassa wrote this one with Mike Himelstein. The track is about when you are in love with someone so much that you think they are an angel. superb track.
4.) So many roads
This is a fabulous reworking of the Otis Rush original which was written by Marshall Paul. It's a Blues track which gets you deep. The music is absolutely superb and Joe's vocals are extremely good too. The greatest moments of the track are the guitar solos which are just outstanding and are backed wonderfully by the band who build up and warm down wonderfully. This is one of the outstanding tracks on the album and one that really shows you what Joe Bonamassa can do both vocally and on the Guitar. This is a truly special version.
5.) I Don't believe
This is a cover of a Bobby Bland track which was written by Manuel Charles & Don Robey. It's a very catchy and flowing affair with some great bass hooks and an old blues style. It's not one of the best tracks on the album but still has plenty of things going for it. some excellent piano with some relentless bass hooks and drums with some excellent breaks from Joe's guitar. This is not a bad track at all and shows the strength of the album when this is one of the weaker tracks.
6.) Tamp em up solid
This is a short track which covers the Ry Cooder original, It's a gentle acoustic ballad with some gentle vocals and guitar which is completely different to much of the album. It has a great simpleness to it and gets the emotion across well. This is a very Good but not great track and again showcases the strength of the album when this is one of the weaker tracks from the album you know it's a great one.
This is another excellent track, It has a slower pace than much of the album but has some really excellent moments. The plucking of the guitar is evident early on and as the track builds you realise that it's an instrumental track. I love the way the track develops and some of the guitar playing is superb and it's really well complimented by the drums and bass which give an ideal backing. This is an excellent instrumental track and shows that you don't need lyrics to emote.
8.) Tea for One
This is an absolutely superb cover of Led Zepellin's classic "Tea for One". It features Jason Bonham on drums who is the son of former Led Zep drummer John. He does a great job on this awesome version. Joe's vocals are superb and really build the emotion wonderfully well with the laid back guitar and dark emotive drums and bass. This is Joe Bonamassa at his best and some of the guitar work is just exceptionally good. This is up there with the best Joe Bonamassa has done. It's an absolutely extraordinarily good track. Just listen to the guitar work. It's magical. This is over nine minutes of genius.
9.) Palm Trees Helicopters and Gasoline
A slightly odd title for a song you may think, I certainly did but this is another instrumental track, this time it's a fast paced acoustic affair. It's under two minutes long but it does enough to justify it's inclusion on the album and showcases something different in Joe Bonamassa's repertoire.
10.) Your Funeral and My Trial
This is a cover of a Sonny Boy Williamson original. It's a vibrant up tempo number about finding out your partner has been cheating and not being too pleased to say the least. This track features some excellent guitar work which differs from some of the album and the excellent blues backing works extremely well. This is an excellent cover version.
11.) Torn Down
This is the final track on the album and one that has a sound that draws you in. The simple drum beat and bass hook combines well with the guitar and Joe's vocals. It's a catchy affair and there are some excellent slide moments here. This is a good track to end with and one that showcases the vocals and guitar ability of Joe Bonamassa well.
You & Me is one of Joe Bonamassa's best albums. It's covers are very well done with some excellent reworkings which showcase the awesome guitar ability that Joe Bonamassa has but also the Musicianship of his band who all pitch in with some excellent parts. The best tracks on here are amongst the best of his career and really show what a talent he is. His vocals are sometimes over looked in favour of his Guitar work but they are very good too with Power, grace and emotion on tap.