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Sloe Gin

Joe BonamassaAudio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)

Price: $15.78 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 11 Songs, 2009 $10.49  
Audio CD, 2007 $15.78  
Vinyl, Import, 2012 $40.37  

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In The Studio With Joe Bonamassa - The recording of Different Shades of Blue


As Joe Bonamassa approaches his 26th year as a professional musician, he continues to blaze a remarkably versatile artistic trail, and amass an authentic, innovative and soulful body of work. Bonamassa’s career began onstage opening for B.B. King in 1989, when he was only 12 years old. Today, he is hailed worldwide as one of the greatest guitar players of his generation, and is an ... Read more in Amazon's Joe Bonamassa Store

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Sloe Gin + Blues Deluxe + Driving Towards The Daylight
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 21, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Premier Artists
  • ASIN: B000SO7IX0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,908 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Ball Peen Hammer
2. One of These Days
3. Seagull
4. Dirt in my Pocket
5. Sloe Gin
6. Another Kind of Love
7. Around the Bend
8. Black Night
9. Jelly Roll
10. Richmond
11. India

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Voted by Guitar Player readers as 2007's Best Blues Guitarist, blues-rock guitar virtuoso, vocalist, and songwriter JOE BONAMASSA is set to release his seventh solo album, SLOE GIN, on August 21, 2007. Bonamassa's fourth release, the disc re-teams him with producer Kevin Shirley (Joe Satriani, Black Crowes, Aerosmith, Led Leppelin), who produced 2006's YOU & ME, which debuted at #1 on Billboard's Blues Chart in June of last year.

SLOE GIN effortlessly ranges through heavy blues and acoustic numbers alike, a textured flow that Bonamassa says was in part inspired by Rod Stewart's legendary 1969 debut solo LP. In the liner notes, Joe adds, "I sequenced the album as a throwback to the side A/side B set-up of vinyl records...listening to an album as a whole is a lost pastime. i wanted to bring that experience back around.

Renowned for this fluid phrasing and post-modern fusion of traditional roots blues with rock and roll guts, Bonamassa began playing guitar at age four, and toured with blues icon B.B. King when he was twelve. Recently, Joe was named Best Blues Guitarist in Guitar Magazine's 2007 Reader's Choice Awards. He is also the youngest member of the Memphis, TN-based Blues Foundation's Board of Directors, and a spokesperson for their respected Blues in the Schools Program.

In the liner notes of Sloe Gin, emerging guitar great Joe Bonamassa explains that one of his objectives is to experiment with acoustic elements he first encountered while listening to Rod Stewart's earliest work. "I think the heavy blues and acoustic mix well together," he writes, and the inviting variety of the disc's 11 tracks--from the rousing electric rave-up of the title track to the closing, tabla-propelled acoustic instrumental--persuasively underscores his point. Bonamassa is a major talent with a growing following, and as his fan base inevitably expands it may become difficult for him to keep everyone happy. Hardcore blues devotees no doubt will yearn for Bonamassa to stay perpetually plugged in, but in the long term that would be a disservice to his broad range of skills. Bonamassa rocks formidably and convincingly on "Dirt in My Pocket" (a bristling original composition), the title track (well suited for air guitar), and his Claptonesque rendering of John Mayall's "Another Kind of Love." Yet his softer works suggest that he sounds a little more comfortable and natural--vocally, at least--on the acoustic tracks. His retooled version of "Around the Bend" (his first take on this original composition is found on an earlier release) is an engaging, pastoral gem, and his paean to his upstate New York home ("Richmond") is perhaps this disc's most memorable selection. Bonamassa knows the blues (at the time of this release, he was the youngest member on the board of the Blues Foundation), but he also knows how to rock and how to sagaciously, artfully ease off the gas. --Terry Wood

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
57 of 77 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Where's the excitement? September 3, 2007
By db
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
If you've heard about Joe Bonamassa and are wondering what all of the excitement is about, this is probably not the best place to start. This seems to be the fist release in Joe's catalog to create dissent amongst his fan base. It's not bad. It's just not great.

Joe is one of the most passionate an inspired artists to come along in years. He is a true gem for fans of blues rock. A unique and powerful vocalist with an astonishing command of his guitar. Anyone who has seen him live can attest, his explosive musicianship is jaw-dropping. As a performer Joe is humble, passionate, uncompromising, unapologetic and sincere. On his worst night he will stop you dead in your tracks and command your attention. At his best he's downright hypnotizing.

This CD doesn't come close to capturing that experience. It IS very well crafted. The performances are soulful and nuanced. The production values are impeccable. There are some nice moments. It's also rather boring, calculated, self-conscious and restrained. This is Joe's second collaboration with producer Kevin Shirley. Many of his fans are hoping it's his last. Though they wouldn't dare speak of it on the official fan forum. Just look at some of the defensive comments posted here on amazon to get an idea of the zealotry.

After hearing all of Joe's previous releases for the first time I simply couldn't wait to hear them again. I've forced myself to listen to Sloe Gin many times in an effort to identify what's missing. What's missing is the excitement of Joe as a performer. The excitement that earned him his reputation and grass-roots, word-of-mouth fan base. I hope and expect this is just a transition. And I can't wait to see him again live. I know it will be better than this disc.

If you are just getting started with Joe try Blues Deluxe, Had to Cry Today or any of his live releases (DVDs). As for Sloe Gin?... The best I can say is that it doesn't suck.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you like 70's rock and blues, buy this January 27, 2008
Format:Audio CD
Joe Bonamasso has mastered the guitar like few blues and rock players have. His sound has tastes of Led Zepplin, Bad Company and many other great 70's bands. But more than that he has surpassed the style and built his own.
His music talks to the heart because that's where he's playing from.
If you like Allman Bros, or southern Rock and blues in general, then this is highly recommended.
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15 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Sloe Gin" Joe Bonamassa's Masterpiece...... September 17, 2007
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I've held off making comments about this new work so I could have time to just listen to it. The past few days I've immersed myself in this album. I call it an "album" because calling it a "CD" just doesn't seem right. I purposely ordered extra copies of "Sloe Gin" so I would have a copy for at least my car and home. I also brought one to work and for the most part, since last Saturday, I've listened pretty much only to this album. I won't review it song by song, but here is how I feel about this work......

The first time I listened to this album was last Saturday and upon listening to it one time alone, I rejoined my family, looked at my wife and said, "This is a great work of art, it's not just music!" The musical blending of this album is extraordinary. For example, it starts off with two monster songs with "Ball Peen Hammer" and "One of These Days", but to then go directly to "Seagull" would have been quite a change. So what did Joe and Kevin Shirley do? Towards the end of "One of These Days" the song changes and we're eased into "Seagull." On "Ball Peen Hammer", I personally would have liked to have heard an actual ball peen hammer hitting some metal or something else to the beat of that song. I wonder if anyone had thought of that? I know, I'm a little a strange and maybe that would have been too gimmicky.

Joe's vocal power and range is better on this album than any of his past works. That, matched with his stellar use of different guitars on many songs, provides us with a constant feel of musical flow. I liked the idea of some strings being added to certain songs. It provides extra depth to the songs that they're used on. Rick Melick's piano/organ playing also adds an extra texture to many of the songs and is highlighted at the beginning of the song "Sloe Gin.
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14 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bonamassa morphs into Mayer September 30, 2007
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
unfortunately for those of us who loved Joe's hard-drivin blues, the John Mayer business model has hijacked this record. schmaltzy love songs, with that syrupy over-emoting that sets my teeth to grinding and my legs to sprinting to the next-track key. but the next track ain't no better. this is a hole album of this. i can see Joe's demographic plummeting into teeny-bopper girl territory, or empty-headed metrosexuals tapping their feet on the 1 and 3. i liked tea for 2, but at least that tune had a killer payoff solo. say it ain't so, Joe.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed Fan September 29, 2007
By Crash
Format:Audio CD
First of all, I'm a huge JB fan, own everything he's put out, and even pre-ordered Sloe Gin before its release, based on hearing the title song performed earlier this year at the Birchmere (where I used go to see Danny Gatton). Amazingly, after about three listens, I pulled the CD out of my changer and replaced it with a Jimmy Thackery, but left the other Bonamassa discs I've listened to hundreds of times in the rotation.
Why? Overall, most of the songs are OK (except the ill-advised remake of Seagull with its goofy lyrics and Richmond with lyrics and vocals that get tiresome half way through the song), slide work is exceptional, vocals have never been better (albeit, a little tentative), acoustic (Jelly Roll) / electric (Sloe Gin) guitars are great throughout. I really miss the single coils (strats & telecasters), though.
I think what my ears rebel against is the production - it's way too refined - almost sterile - killing the soul and emotion JB's got in spades. Too much compression? The strings on Whitley's Ball Peen Hammer are contrived and grossly over-dramatic to the point that they virtually ruin an inherently powerful song. The strings (again) and sirens damn near kill Sloe Gin, as well. I'm also wondering if Joe had enough songs going into recording. Did we really need to pay for another rendition of The River? If he didn't like the original, do it differently live like he does with the superior version of Mountain Time.
I hate to jump on the bandwagon of disappointed fans, but alas, I'm a disappointed fan. In the past I've enjoyed introducing friends and fellow guitarists to Bonamassa's awesome talents. I'll continue to do so, but won't be including Sloe Gin in my recommendations.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Have all his catalog and this is my favorite. Great from start to finish.
Published 6 days ago by heepster
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS CD ROCKS THE BLUES
Published 15 days ago by catherine mcmullen
5.0 out of 5 stars It rocks!
He's fantastic. Rarely do I listen to a CD where I love every single song. Sometimes, I only end up liking one. This CD is awesome - loved all the music.
Published 1 month ago by Sukie
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great blues guitar n sound. he is an excellent musician
Published 2 months ago by Constance Tarracino
5.0 out of 5 stars Bonamassa And Shirley's First Masterpiece!
I have now worked up to Sloe Gin in Joe Bonamassa’s catalog, and this is another significant album. It is his second effort with Kevin Shirley, and two more regulars join the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Philip R. Heath
5.0 out of 5 stars Just plain wonderful. Each track was good and the title track ...
Just plain wonderful.Each track was good and the title track was filled with emotion. It seems he just keeps getting better.
Published 3 months ago by zanvan
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best
Joe Bonamassa never disappoints. His talent shines and so does his music. Real easy to close your eyes and really get into it. Read more
Published 3 months ago by D. W. N.
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good
This is the first of many. Just heard of this young man, for as young as he is, he can play as good or better than man twice his age and sing better.
Published 4 months ago by Steven l hydinger
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
Joe Bonamassa is the best young blues guitarist on the planet and this album does not dissapoint. I really enjoy this particular CD and have it loaded on my iPhone.
Published 5 months ago by Sugar
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Bonamassa music!
Amazon's always provides good service. This CD just gets better every time I listen to it. Joe Bonamassa is just plain awesome.
Published 7 months ago by Kenton Wilson
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