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The Ballad of John Henry


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Audio CD, February 24, 2009
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In The Studio With Joe Bonamassa - The recording of Different Shades of Blue

Biography

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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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 24, 2009)
  • Original Release Date: 2009
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Premier Artists
  • ASIN: B001PCJG52
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (134 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,103 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Ballad of John Henry
2. Stop!
3. Last Kiss
4. Jockey Full of Bourbon
5. Story of a Quarryman
6. Lonesome Road Blues
7. Happier Times
8. Feelin' Good
9. Funkier Than a Mosquito's Tweeter
10. The Great Flood
11. From the Valley
12. As the Crow Flies

Editorial Reviews

2009 release, the seventh studio album from renowned American Blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa. Produced by Kevin Shirley (Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, The Black Crowes) the album sees Bonamassa deliver another collection of rocking Blues workouts. Featuring six original tracks penned by Bonamassa himself, he also takes on six covers, including Tom Waits' 'Jockey Full Of Bourbon', Sam Brown's 'Stop' and the Newley/Bricusse penned classic 'Feelin' Good'.

Customer Reviews

Joe Bonamassa is the guitar playing blues great of his generation.
Don
I have bought all his cd's and find he gets better with each and every one he does.
Henry A. Shuster
If you like the blues and classical music you will love Joe Bonamassa.
Jason Croteau

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

101 of 104 people found the following review helpful By Alex Kleinwachter on February 26, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I've been a huge fan of Joe Bonamassa since I discovered his music about 5 years ago. To this day, my favorite albums of his are 2003's "Blues Deluxe" and 2006's "You and Me", his first work with uber-producer Kevin Shirley. Joe himself says that he considers "The Ballad of John Henry" to be his finest work to date. Whether you agree with that is going to depend on which 'era' of Joe's music you prefer.
Joe Bonamassa in 2009 has come a long way from Joe Bonamassa circa 2000-04. At that time, he was a young guitar slinger. He played with a 3-piece band that showcased his absolutely jaw-dropping guitar skills at the forefront. Songcraft was secondary to musicianship, and not necesarily in a bad way. He simply relied more on taking older blues standards and interperting them in his fiery, high-octane style. In late 2005, he met producer Kevin Shirley (Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Journey, The Black Crowes, Iron Maiden) who was suitably impressed with Joe's guitar skills and voice, but was convinced that to broaden his audience, Joe needed to work on more solid songcraft, polish his singing, and tone down the guitar heroics. Two friends and I were actually at the show in October 2005 where Shirley saw Joe play for the first time. (We accidentily stole his reserved table until a bar employee informed us we couldn't sit there because Mr. Kevin Shirley was coming in! lol.)
His first offering with Shirley twirling the knobs was "You & Me" in 2006. I believe this (along with "Blues Deluxe") is Joe's finest work to date. It showcased all facets of Joe's talent (raw blues, Jeff Beck-like instrumental excursions, 70s-British Zeppelin/Free style blues-rock), and the guitar soloing was still plentiful. He ditched his longtime band and replaced them with more seasoned studio musicians.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By dickydo on February 24, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Joe B. has become somewhat of a polarizing figure in the blues community.
Does his brand of blues infused rock help broaden the blues genre or does this music often times have little or nothing to do with the blues? Probably a little of both. For all intents and purposes this is his niche. Some slow blues, shuffles and bombastic arena rock. Some interesting covers like the Tom Waits tune "Jockey Full Of Bourbon". What sets this man apart from the rest is pretty simple... He's IMMENSELY TALENTED! The title cut may lean more toward progressive rock, but it sounds great! All seven originals are quite good especially the tight and crisp "Lonesome Road Blues". Blues Deluxe will always remain my favorite disc however, this just might be his most well rounded effort. He is what he is. A guitar virtuoso and an ever improving singer-songwriter. Is this Blues? You be the judge.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mark on February 28, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Wow Is all I can say. I seem to agree with most people. My 2 favorites are at #1 "You & Me" then "Blues Deluxe".
And "Slow Gin" certainly was slow and patchy.
But I think he's back on the right track here. He did several tracks from this new CD Live tonight. All were blistering , had much more crafty songwriting. And I think he Is headed In that new direction only I'm liking It.
Two of my highlights from the "John Henry" CD are 9) Funkier Than a Mosquito's Tweeter" which has that blistering guitar some other reviewer was looking for with a great upbeat song WITH HORNS.
And the track that follows It for Blues "The Great Flood"
I will always like the Joe that reminded me of Led Zeppelin songs I never heard. Opened me to some good music. I should give 5 stars but "You & Me" Is still better so 4 stars. But If your a blues fan Really get going save your lunch money and buy this CD. You'll not regret It.
He really should be invited to play at Claptons Crossroads festival!!
But for all I know he has.
But my hats off for a over 2 hour straight performance at The Landmark In Syr tonight. Thanks Joe
What you need to know as a buyer-he has the best songwriting ever yet No downside to me. Still Smoking on this CD
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Bernocchi on March 8, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I was waiting impatiently to receive Joe's new album and as soon as it appeared in my mailbox, I played it. What a great album! Great stuff, great stuff this time. More or less six years after the publication of Blues Deluxe Joe delivers a terrific album that deserves "full" five stars. Even if you cannot define this CD as a traditional blues album, the offer this time is more blues oriented than in Joe's previous CDs and the result is, in my opinion, outstanding. Blues Deluxe remains for me not only Joe's best effort to date, but also one of the best (if not the best) modern electric blues album of all time, however The Ballad of John Henry comes close second! From the opening track to the end this CD is packed wall to wall with excellence. Moreover, and for the first time, Joe enriches the sound of the band adding a small brass section that works very well in the general album context. As you would expect the guitar playing is simply breath taking and Joe's singing is great and inspired. It is difficult to find a favourite song in here as they are all excellent, however if I have to mention few tracks I believe that "The Ballad of John Henry", "Last Kiss", "Jockey Full of Bourbon", "The Great Flood" deserve a special mention while "Stop", "Lonesome Road Blues" and "Feelin' Good" are real gems. In particular, in my opinion, "Stop" is one of Joe best songs ever. In conclusion an excellent effort that surely will please all the blues - rock aficionados and that, at the same time, will not disappoint blues lovers. Outstanding!
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