Monday, November 18, 2013

"Seesaw" by Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa

Here is the latest review of Joe Bonamassa's  work that has been covered here. (About three other albums have been missed in the interim as this man never, ever stops working for more than about 47 seconds at a time. He's like the James Franco of the music industry.) This would be the "sophomore" effort with this on again off again collaborator, Beth Hart.

Their first album left me, I don't want to say cold, but wanting. It was a bit hard to divine precisely what they were doing and why they were doing it together. Perhaps my listening was not as thorough as it could have been, but this review is now about "Don't Explain."

As silly as this is to say, Joe Bonamassa is one of my favorite modern guitar heroes. Yes, he's been around for about a dozen years now and has released more music in that time than anyone, save Buckethead, but that guy doesn't count in any normal way, and we've lost the plot.

After having heard their first record, I needed more from them. This doesn't really make a whole lot of sense, but perhaps their artistry transcended the songs on the first record. With this album, I went in not precisely knowing what to expect.

The album starts off with jazz song with a full horn section. Joe's playing is, not quite just rhythm, but he's playing along with Beth's voice, accompanying her. It was beautiful. Joe seems to have learned the lesson that many guitar players of his stature fail to learn: do not overplay the song. Joe is one of the best guitarists of the modern age and he's coming into his own as a musical force. This album doesn't have much of Joe's flamethrowing fretwork, but just enough to hold a guitar player's interest (like myself).

Beth's singing on this alum is sultry, soulful, and bone chilling. It feels like she and Joe just tapped into the same muse and continued to let the music flow between them. The due compliments each other perfectly and expertly command their respective instruments.

This record has a parade of songs that keep the listeners on their toes. The songs are varied and lively. I'd hesitate to call this a blues album, like Joe is famous for, but I'd hesitate more to call it a rock album. It's jazzy, bluesy, soulful, and just a delight from start to finish without any album filler.

Year: 2013
Genre: Blues Rock

1) Them There Eyes
2) Close To My Fire
3) Nutbush City Limits
4) I'll Love You More Than You'll Ever Know
5) Can't Let Go
6) Miss Lady
7) If I Tell You I Love You
8) Rhymes
9) A Sunday Kind of Love
10) Seesaw
11) Strange Fruit

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