For those of you playing the home game, this post is KMA Post #850…
‘Twas Brother Scott who sent me this magazine compilation, the first of 6 (!) such discs that he bestowed upon me. It’s a smokin’ affair, lemme tell ya. It’s from Classic Rock issue 185 and contains ’14 tracks hand-picked by Joe Bonamassa.’ Immediately, I know it’ll be done with taste. Let’s find out!
Devon Allman’s Honeytribe give us Mercy Mercy to start things off. Holy hell, what a great blues rocker. The drum sound and whole bottom end are just huge. Blistering solos, great great great track! Up next is Leslie West turning Willie Dixon’s old chesnut Third Degree into a slow chug of a thing. The guitars are wailing (Mr. Bonamassa appears on this track), and the whole thing comes at you with a certain type of menace. Wow.
Europe’s Bag Of Bones is next. The lovely acoustic intro takes off into a full-on rocker, then pulls back, then goes again… Bonamassa appears here again with a huge solo. This is an excellent riff, and a cool song. Man, Europe. That takes me way back.
Walter Trout’s tune called Lonely has a bass line that sounds like B.B. King’s Thrill Is Gone, and he rides it through a superb slow blues with wailing guitar lines. Don Airey (of Deep Purple, and others) offers up People In Your Head, which picks the pace back up and lets it rip. Prominent organ (of course) and guitar, here. Awesome. Next, Gov’t Mule’s Railroad Boy has a beautiful, bluesy picked intro that becomes a full band rock track. The jammy instrumental bit in the middle is divine.
Dammit, I’m only 6 tracks into this thing and I’m already in love…
Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa gives us a lovely blues slow-dancer through Al Kooper (and Blood Sweat & Tears)’s classic old track, I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know. The guitar work here is, of course, superlative. Hart’s vocals suit the track perfectly. I thought she sounded a bit like Tracy Chapman, in her delivery of this tune. That is not a bad thing.
Healing Sixes do Fine Time, which is a slinky blues with a restless guitar line. You just cannot help moving to this tune. Huge guitar solo in the middle, huge! Warren Haynes’ Hattiesburg Hustle is a sweet jam blues. Funny , I could totally hear this song as done by The Band. Yes, it’s that cool. Just lean back and let this beauty play…
Steve Lukather’s Transition is damn funky, off the bat. And it’s heavy. And instrumentally fascinating. The acoustic break is lovely. The guitar solo is stunning as expected. Atmospheric is the right word for this track. It’s kind of a break from the blues in this mix, and that’s not a bad thing at all.
J.J. Grey & Mofro do 99 Shades Of Crazy, a blues stomper that I could hear the Black Crowes doing (and not just because of 99 lbs). It’s just that sound, I hear Chris Robinson all over it. And a more prominent guitar line from rich. But yeah, I hear it. Nevermind, this version right here doesn’t need their help, it’s a smokin’ track that’s solid as it is.
Robert Cray is a name I heard more a few years ago, so it’s lovely to see it here again. Won’t Be Coming Home is exactly what I needed to hear. I sure do love me some sweet, sweet Robert Cray. Hot damn. I’ve always loved how he’s as much soul belter as he is blues guitar wizard. Highlight track, for me. Danny Bryant’s Prisoner Of The Blues turns up the rawk with a track that’s guaranteed to peel paint, given enough volume. If he’s a prisoner of the blues, nobody set him free! He burns his way through this track. I really liked this one. And finally, Rock Candy Funk Party’s The Best Ten Minutes Of Your Life makes a pretty big claim. And what is it, really? Over ten minutes of a funky little riff with Santana drumming and occasional guitar bursts from Mr. Bonamassa (again). Was it the best of my life? No, but it was still pretty cool, for all that.