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Black Rock

102 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 23, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

2010 release from the Blues Rock guitar hero and singer/songwriter. Black Rock was recorded at, and named for, Black Rock Studios in Santorini, Greece. On the album, Bonamassa enlisted the help of some of the best Greek musicians to add a little flavor to a couple of the tracks. Joe also signed up Blues legend B.B. King for a duet on a rendition of the Willie Nelson-penned song, 'Night Life'. B.B. duets with Joe, both vocally and on his famous Lucille guitar. Other tracks appearing on the album Jeff Beck's 'Spanish Boots', Leonard Cohen's poetic 'Bird On A Wire', Otis Rush's 'Three Times A Fool', Bobby Parker's 'Steal Your Heart Away', Blind Boy Fuller's 'Baby, You Gotta Change Your Mind', John Hiatt's 'I Know A Place' and James Clark's 'Look Over Yonders Wall', as well as Bonamassa originals.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Steal Your Heart Away (Bobby Parker)
  2. I Know A Place (John Hiatt)
  3. When The Fire Hits The Sea (Joe Bonamassa)
  4. Quarryman's Lament (Joe Bonamassa)
  5. Spanish Boots (Jeff Beck, Rod Stewart, Ron Wood)
  6. Bird On A Wire (Leonard Cohen)
  7. Three Times A Fool (Otis Rush)
  8. Night Life (Willie Nelson, Walter Breeland, and Paul Buskirk), with Special Guest BB King
  9. Wandering Earth (Joe Bonamassa)
  10. Look Over Yonders Wall (James Clark)
  11. Athens To Athens (Joe Bonamassa)
  12. Blue And Evil (Joe Bonamassa)
  13. Baby You Gotta Change Your Mind (Blind Boy Fuller)

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 23, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: J&R Adventures
  • ASIN: B0033XUHKY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,575 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 55 people found the following review helpful By dickydo on March 23, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Admittedly, I didn't want to like this disc. The prevailing thought was that Kevin Shirley's previous productions have led Bonamassa in more of an arena rock sound and away from his blues roots. While the music has been quite good over the last several albums, it seemed the duo had run it's course. Happily, I was more than pleasantly surprised by this newest entry! A LOT of ground is covered. The opening cut "Steal Your Heart Away", and the original "Blue and Evil" rock full tilt with very familiar riffs, yet his smokin' leads save even the mundane. There are some tracks that can be considered in the traditional blues vein. B.B. King joins the former wunderkind on a duet of Willie Nelson's "Night Life", that and the Blind Boy Fuller tune "Baby You Gotta Change" are old school, with a modern feel. For lovers of heavy guitar oriented British Blues, Jeff Beck's "Spanish Boots" gets Joe B. in Beck and Robin Trower mode with heavy thunderous riffs. Covering Nelson, Beck, John Hiatt and Leonard Cohen show an eclectic musician at the height of his powers. Still, it's great to hear him play some mean slide on 'When The Fire Hits the Sea' and replicate pitch perfect Chicago Blues on Otis Rush's "Three times A Fool". Much has been written about Bonamassa's burgeoning interest in Global Music, the album was recorded in Greece and Greek Musicians were used. This only broadens the canvas for this remarkably gifted artist. It looks like the Bonamassa-Shirley combo can live to see another day. They've produced a very interesting and original work that cements Joe Bonamassa's maturity.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Eddie on April 22, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Many of the reviewers here seem to think that Joe is all about blues. He is more than that. I like Joe and what he has done so far, and I have seen him "live" in Peoria, Illinois. This album is good, very good. I would recommend it to anyone just on the song "Quarryman's Lament" alone. Joe is progressing to the point of becoming a great artist. He has a great album in him and it will come. It is more than blues, he has more to say than blues. He will never be the blues artist that all these people want him to be. I have listened to this album about six times and I like it more everytime I hear it. "Blue and Evil" is another great song on this album. It gives me chills everytime I hear it. This song could be on any Led Zeppelin album. He is bordering on becoming a great american artist, one that we will be talking about for all time. There are weak points to the album, but I can forgive the degressions. Why only 4 stars? I am waiting for the classic!
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By S. Smith on April 7, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I had three of Bonamassa's CDs before I bought Black Rock.I was thrilled to hear him play cuts like So Many Roads, Blues Delux and Tea for One. Then I saw Joe at a concert and was blown away by how great a guitar player he really is. He doesn't just know how to play at a high level of energy, with solos that smack of what we used to call "acid rock" and "psychodelic", but he knows "what" to play: hard edged riffs of R & B. I came away from the concert thinking that he was right up there with Jeff Beck, Robin Trower and Stevie Ray Vaughn.

With that as I backdrop, I listened to Black Rock. Where is the Bonamassa that I enjoyed so much on his prior CDs? He does not show what he can do on this CD. Some of the cuts are tame and somewhat boring, and even for some of the Okay cuts seem uninspired. Some of the cuts were just not listenable for me, being slow, labored and utterly devoid of energy. I do not hear the emotion that Joe showed on his other works. I seen many great guitar virtuosos in my time beginning with the golden age for hard edge R & B at Fillmore in the 1960s and 1970s, Johnny Winter, Clapton, Led Zep, Stevie Ray to name a few. I know that in no way can you expect the fire of a live performance from a guy like Joe to be on a studio CD. But this CD does not come close to what I know Joe can do and did on his other CDs. A disappointment and generous 3 stars.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Stephonso on March 11, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I saw Joe B live the other night and he was phenomenal. I've been a huge fan for years. However, like other reviewers of Black Rock, I am piling on re: the compressed muddy production of what could have been a great album. It sounds bad on my home system and it sounds weak in my car. They went all the way to Greece to record this thing. The drum track is buried in the mud on this recording. Bass is thin and not felt no matter what it's played on. The vocal track sounds thin and Joe's great guitar work is wasted. I have heard samples of "Dust Bowl", the Joe B album scheduled for March 2011 release, and not much has changed if the samples accurately reflect the sonic value of the disc. Didn't sound quite as muddy, but shrilly and not so full-bodied. The past few discs have had similar sonic deficiencies. How sad.

It's a shame because Joe used to work with sound engineers that produced incredible audiophile level recordings. Check out Blues Deluxe for the best one. It sounds like the band is playing in your living room. New Day Yesterday and Had to Cry sound pretty good as well. I wish Joe would work with that group again. It's like: the bigger Joe B becomes in the music biz the smaller the sound of what would be great album performances. His people obviously don't see this feedback since nothing has changed.
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