Friday, October 30, 2009

Live From Nowhere in Particular

One of the reasons I enjoy listening to the Bob and Tom Show is that they do a great job of booking classic comedians/musicians/entertainers, as well as giving up-and-comers a platform to build an audience.  They also book established artists who have not hit the mainstream, but are extremely talented.  One such artist that they featured was Joe Bonamassa.

This is one of the songs he played while he was in studio with the gang:

While he is a bit tough to watch while singing, he is a master at the electric guitar.  While on the show, he and the band also played a couple of more uptempo blues songs, which I was totally grooving to in my cubicle.  In between songs, he also chatted with Bob and Tom about his relatively short career.  I was fascinated to learn that he had opened for B.B. King at the age of 12.  He has also played with the likes of Clapton, Steve Winwood, Joe Cocker, and Gregg Allman.  And, most impressively, he accomplished all of these feats by the age of 32 (which is how old he is right now).

His impressive credentials and great live performance led me to search out his music when I got home from work and I decided to purchase the live album "Live From Nowhere in Particular".

After a couple of trips through the album, I'm confident that this is one of my favorite top 5 live albums in my iPod.  It is a great blues rock album from start to finish.  As every good live concert should, it has a nice mix of music.  From upbeat rock to slow and steady blues to eclectic/stylized pieces, Joe's guitar playing is second to none.  There are plenty of lengthy guitar solos, and he even mixes it up with some acoustic guitar on "Woke Up Dreaming" and "India".  While my favorite tracks are probably "Bridge to Nowhere", "Another Kind of Love",  and "One of These Days" because I prefer a more uptempo blues song, there is not a bad song to be found.

Another great aspect of this album is the fact that 10 of the 14 tracks are over five minutes long.  As a fan of the jam band, I love a lengthy song with plenty of riffs and solos.  And just like the Allman Brothers or Little Feat or, even, the Dave Matthews Band, Joe Bonamassa knows how to keep your attention the entire length of a song.  And as talented as Joe is, his band is equally capable, which is a deadly combination.  So, whether you enjoy a 3-minute power rock/blues song like "Bridge to Nowhere" or prefer the jam of the 17-minute marathon that is "Django/Just got Paid", I'm certain you'll enjoy this album.

It is also my understanding that his "Live from the Royal Albert Hall" DVD is pretty special as well.  As it is not yet available through Netflix, I have not been able to see for myself, but reliable sources say it is a great piece of concert video.

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