Royal Tea – Joe Bonamassa

Having mentioned Joe Bonamassa glibly in my review of the debut album by When Rivers Meet (see here) it would be unkind not to mention ‘Royal Tea’, his latest album which he recorded at Abbey Road Studios, a place well known to me such that my phone automatically connects to their WiFi when I’m there – but that is another story altogether!

Having mentioned Joe Bonamassa glibly in my review of When River’s Meet (see here) it would be unkind not to mention ‘Royal Tea’, his latest album which he recorded at Abbey Road Studios, a place well known to me such that my phone automatically connects to their WiFi when I’m there – but that is another story altogether!

When One Door Opens’ is the opening track – it begins all orchestral then drifts towards rhythmic staccato drums and headbanging riffs and for all of seven minutes Joe does what he does best – layering guitar sirens over solid bassy, bouncy rockin’ blues.  It’s a track that will go down equally well at a stadium festival or a small pub venue.

The opening bars of the title track for some reason reminds me of The Beatles ‘Get Back’ but that could be just the Abbey Road effect. The memory passes quickly as we go straight to good old British Blues which is where Bonamassa’s original influences took root.  This track was inspired by, of all things, a news item on ‘Good Morning Britain’ about Harry & Megan stepping down from their Royal duties.

The slow gentle start to ‘Why Does It Take So Long To Say Goodbye’ prefaces the album’s ballad.  This is a very restrained track for the New Yorker – best known for his lightening fast guitar style.  For me it is the best track on the album but then, as we all know, music is subjective and on another day it could be the country style ‘Savannah’ or the honky tonkin’ ‘Lonley Boy’ that takes top spot.

Lookout Man‘ | Joe Bonamassa at Abbey Road

In truth, there are no bad tracks on this album.  It is what we have come to expect from this New York born blues guitar master who had the good fortune to listen to Eric Clapton, John Mayall and Rory Gallagher and be inspired by them.  As of today ‘Royal Tea’ it is sitting pretty at the top of the US iTunes Blues Albums Chart, indeed if you scan those charts you will see Bonamassa’s name crops up a lot!

Order your copy of ‘Royal Tea’ here