Blues of Desperation is Bonamassa’s most powerfully diverse and boldly realized album yet, with the material ranging from the gutsy, gritty blues call to arms of This Train (Joe’s guitar is set to rude throughout) to the elegant yet emotionally shattering ballad What I’ve Known for a Very Long Time to the soul-nourishing, acoustic-based Americana of The Valley Runs Low, on which Bonamassa’s voice rises up majestically to meet Barnes, McRae and Tippins in gospel-like rapture. And then there’s the bleary, tequila-soaked Drive, dripping with the kind of raw, wicked and unsettling sensuality that could make David Lynch green with envy.
Joe Bonamassa: An Acoustic Evening at the Vienna Opera House, to be released in March 2013, was recorded at the historic Vienna Opera House last July during a very special two-week long unplugged tour, played to a limited audience over seven exclusive European shows. Varying from his predominantly electric blues shows, this presentation was an all-acoustic concert performance, making it a unique and very special show fans had been waiting years to experience.
Produced by long-time collaborator Kevin Shirley, Joe is supported on his vintage acoustic instruments by an eclectic assortment of craftsmen from around the globe. They include: Gerry O Connor, a music historian and traditional Irish fiddler from many generations of Irish music, on Irish fiddle, mandolin, and Irish banjo; Swedish multi-instrumentalist Mats Wester will play the Nyckelharpa, a Swedish keyed-fiddle; Los Angeles keyboard maestro Arlan Schierbaum, whose extensive recording career focuses on organic instruments, plays accordions, celeste, toy pianos, and more; and legendary Puerto Rican percussionist, Lenny Castro.