Review JOE BONAMASSA ‘Time Clocks’

Introducing Joe Bonamassa is like bringing sand to the beach. The blues and rock guitarist is a real master of his craft, documented by many records and live shows. Creativity and filigree are what characterizes the sound of Bonamassa’s singing guitar that he handles with savvy and feel.

With ‘Time Clocks’ the next album is waiting in line for being shipped to the record stores and it is a next highlight on an anyhow impressive musical journey. ‘Time Clocks’ has ten exquisite new songs in the offer the at mirror the entire musical bandwidth of the American guitarist and singer. Already in July this year, a first appetizer has been unveiled. ‘Notches’ is the opener and is a good ambassador for the other songs that found a spot on the tracklist.

The full blues vibe is embedded in the second single – ‘The Heart That Never Waits’. The greatness with Joe Bonamassa songs and records is that he uses his entire musical toolbox for writing stellar songs. It’s always about the music and less about him and his terrific musical skills.

This also might be rooted in the personal history of Bonamassa a time when he worked on the ‘Blues Deluxe’ album. Twenty years ago, the guitarist experienced the tough life of being a musician with having bigger dreams and little means. Such a situation makes you humble and at the same time feeds the willpower for achieving the set ambitions.

Two decades later, Bonamassa recorded again in New York City and this time under totally different circumstances. In the meantime the musician is a well-established musical mastermind, but the pandemic also forced Bonamassa to approach things differently with the first challenge to bridge physical distance with digital tools. Kevin Shirley, producer and friend for a long time, couldn’t leave Australia and still the guys found a way to connect for working on a great piece of music.

The result was worth the effort and tunes like the title track are excellent examples for the width of Bonamassa’s sound. Was it ‘The Heart That Never Waits’ that brings the blues to life, songs like the title track remind of the unique sound of the later Pink Floyd, which also has to do with the background vocals, provided by Mahalia Barnes, Juanita Tippins und Prinnie Stevens.

It’s tough to pick some songs for this review since the quality level is extremely high and consistent. There is the majestic ‘Curtain Call’, the Celtic influences sound of ‘The Loyal Kid’ and soul inspired ‘Hanging on a Loser’, all terrific stuff.

‘Time Clocks’ delivers what you expect from an icon like Joe Bonamassa. This album is about music and soul. Both is represented on this longplayer in a great fashion and if you love music that is professional, with many variants and still comes with a great flow, then it’s ‘Time Clocks’ you should have on your list for your next visit at the record store.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Pilgrimage
  2. Notches
  3. The Heart That Never Waits
  4. Time Clocks
  5. Questions and Answers
  6. Mind’s Eye
  7. Curtain Call
  8. The Loyal Kind
  9. Hanging on a Loser
  10. Known Unknowns

Label: Provogue Records

Genre: Blues / Rock

Release Date EU: October 29th, 2021

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