Two-time-Grammy-nominated blues-rock titan Joe Bonamassa has released the music video for his track “King Bee Shakedown”, taken from his upcoming studio album, “Redemption”, which is due on September 21 via his own record label J&R Adventures.
According to a press release, “King Bee Shakedown” “is reminiscent of high-energy swing and jump-blues, styles artists like Brian Setzer helped to revive throughout the ’80s. The song is a high-tempo boogie complete with booming backbeats from the drums, blaring horn stabs, a red-hot solo from Joe.”
If the stylistic exploration wasn’t courageous enough, Joe decided to play “King Bee Shakedown” as the opener to the majority of his 2018 live performances. With the fans twisting in their seats and the band having a blast on stage, the decision seemed to pay off as it has quickly become a fan favorite on this leg of Joe‘s tour.
“Redemption”, Bonamassa‘s 13th solo studio album and third in a row of all-original material, sees him at his most ambitious yet as he continues to redefine and push the barriers of blues-rock. It features a staggering collection of 12 songs that weave effortlessly through an assortment of genres and reflect the artistic rebirth that he is currently experiencing.
“I’m going through some other stuff in my life I didn’t expect to be going through,” he explains. “It’s a rising, it’s contrition, it’s acceptance, it’s everything. It’s painful, but knowing that there’s a rising coming.”
The album reunites Bonamassa with some of Nashville’s finest music minds such as Tom Hambridge, James House, Gary Nicholson as well as Richard Page and American rock and roll legend Dion DiMucci (THE WANDERER, RUN-AROUND SUE) who adds his songwriting expertise to the title track. Joe also continues his long creative relationship with Kevin Shirley and together create an album bigger than ever before. “From a producer’s perspective, this is far and away the most challenging and diverse album that Joe has ever made, ” says Shirley.
The album was recorded at various locations, including Blackbird Studios in Nashville, The Cave Australia in Sydney, Studio At The Palms in Las Vegas, Criteria Hit Factory in Miami and Addiction Sound Studios in Nashville. It was once again recorded with a remarkable collection of musicians, including drummer Anton Fig (DAVID LETTERMAN BAND), bassist Michael Rhodes, keyboardist Reese Wynans, horn players Lee Thornburg and Paulie Cerra, harmony vocalist Gary Pinto, background singers Mahalia Barnes, Jade McRae, Juanita Tippins, and Kevin Shirley introduced two additional guitar players, Kenny Greenberg and Doug Lancio. “It was interesting, because having two extra guitar players involved, allowed me to play a certain way,” Bonamassa adds.
The album opens with a tip of the hat to LED ZEPPELIN on “Evil Mama” that burrows into a deep groove before ripping into the rockabilly-tinged boogie blues of “King Bee Shakedown”. Next, Bonamassa dips into his BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION influence to tell a tragic tale with timeless hard rock riffs for “Molly-O” and “Deep In The Blues Again” changes the course yet again with a driving rhythm meant for the car stereo.
“Self-Inflicted Wounds” is most telling of Bonamassa‘s progression as a true singer-songwriter, and Joe claims it as his best songwriting yet. “Pick Up The Pieces” channels Tom Waits for a late night after hours while “The Ghost of Macon Jones” sees Joe trade vocals with Nashville country singer Jamey Johnson as they recount a cautionary tale of a rural renegade. “Just Cos You Can Don’t Mean You Should” channels Gary Moore for an upbeat taste of blues-rock euphoria before Bonamassa makes light of his trials and tribulations on “I’ve Got Some Mind Over What Matters”.
Then Joe strips it down to only acoustic guitar and vocals on the heart-breaking tale of “Stronger Now In Broken Places”, which promises that things will be better over time and features MIDNIGHT OIL‘s Jim Moginie providing soundscapes and Kate Stone on the hand pan. After this intense musical journey, Joe wraps it all up with a traditional blues rock tune with “Love is A Gamble”.
There is a resounding theme of redemption and salvation on the album, but also very much a sense of strength and empowerment. “We all need to be redeemed at some point in our lives. It’s this yearning to redeem yourself after just this tremendous loss and this tremendous feeling of pain,” explains Bonamassa.
Bonamassa is at his ultimate creative peak with “Redemption”, which follows the recent release of his last live masterpiece, “British Blues Explosion Live”, that debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Blues chart and marked his 20th No. 1 album. Bonamassa‘s fire is unstoppable both in the studio and live on the road.