Joe Bonamassa has been on quite the roll as of late. After having released what was one of 2012’s Top 10 Live Recordings last year, Bonamassa has picked up 2013 exactly where he left 2012; with one of this year’s top live recordings. That recording is An Acoustic Evening at the Vienna Opera House.
An Acoustic Evening at the Vienna Opera House has been released both on Blu-ray and DVD as well as double CD set. That audiences have been offered so many options alone makes this new recording one of 2013’s best. The audio companion to the Blu-ray and DVD portion is nice to have. Though, the Blu-ray and DVD offer audiences the best experience. The video and audio are both top notch, especially on the Blu-ray. That is especially the case for those with a home surround sound theater system. Collected here in this performance are stripped down versions of songs from Bonamassa’s previously released albums. Long time fans will recognize: ‘The Ballad of John Henry’, ‘Jelly Roll’, ‘Seagull’, ‘Dust Bowl’, ‘Sloe Gin’, and the title track from his most recent album, ‘Driving Toward The Daylight’ just to name a handful. They are just part of the enjoyment that audiences get from this latest live release from one of the music industry’s current top guitarists.
The songs performed in this set are enjoyable in and of themselves. But it’s not just the songs that are enjoyable. The concert’s setting adds to the enjoyment factor. It’s a basic, stripped down set with J.B. sitting calmly out front, singing and playing his instrument, and his band mates backing him. There are no special effects, no pyrotechnics, and no special lighting rigs. It’s just a group of musicians, their instruments, and the audience. It’s music as it should be experienced. Watching J.B. with nothing but his shades and his guitar, sweating as he played the blues echoed hints of legends the likes of Robert Johnson and Mississippi John Hurt. It is simply put a pure, raw experience. And thanks to those behind the cameras, the experience is that much more incredible.
Thanks to producer Kevin Shirley, director Philippe Klose, and all others involved, the recorded performance has made for one of 2013’s Top 10 Live Recordings. Both the video and audio presented in the Blu-ray disc are crystal clear. The performance here is presented in widescreen, adding yet another touch to the overall product. That the performance was recorded at the Vienna Opera House makes it even more special. The juxtaposition of this modern artist performing a mix of modern and classic blues pieces in one of Vienna’s most famed structures puts the whole thing over the top. Now, had the CD, DVD and Blu-ray been released in one large box as an option, it might have made its way to the very top of the year’s Top 10 Live Recordings list. Regardless, considering all of what has been noted, it still remains one of this year’s top Live Recordings. It is both an excellent introduction to Joe Bonamassa’s music for new audiences, and a must have for long time fans. It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered direct from the official Joe Bonamassa website at http://jbstore.jbonamassa.com/blu-ray/an-acoustic-evening-at-the-vienna-opera-house-blu-ray/.
For those itching to see Joe live, he is currently touring in support of this new live release. He is currently finishing up a string of U.K. dates and will be returning to the U.S. on April 12th at the Paramount Theater in Seattle, Washington. Fans in North Carolina will possibly get the chance to see him later this year as he is scheduled to perform at the Crown Theatre in Fayetteville, North Carolina on November 10th. That performance will be followed up by a performance at the Ovens Auditorium in Charlotte, North Carolina on November 12th. For a full listing of tour dates and all the latest news, go online to the official Joe Bonamassa website, http://www.jbonamassa.com or his official Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/JoeBonamassa.
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