Bonamassa’s “Driving Toward The Daylight” is a great ride

Joe Bonamassa recently celebrated his thirty-fifth birthday.  Typically, the one celebrating the birthday is the one getting the gifts.  But in Bonamassa’s case, he is giving his fans a gift, albeit it just a little bit after his birthday.  The gift in question is his new upcoming album, “Driving Towards The Daylight.”  The album hits stores next Tuesday.  And whether one is a fan of JB himself or a fan of the blues, this new album is a wonderful addition to any music lover’s library.

“Driving Towards The Daylight” is a great bookend to an already positive start to the year for Joe Bonamassa.  He started the year with the outstanding blu-ray and double disc dvd release of “Beacon Theatre:  Live at Beacon Theatre.”  Then, he recently celebrated his birthday.  This new release is just one more addition for his fans.  The album is a solid mix of blues and blues-based rock that will have any listener tapping his or her feet.  It takes a handful of new material and throws in classics from the likes of Howlin Wolf (‘Who’s Been Talking?’) and Robert Johnson (‘Stones in My Passway’) for good measure.  There’s even a rendition of Willie Dixon’s ‘I Got All You Need’ and Tom Waits’ hit, ‘New Coat of Paint.’ 

The covers included on “Driving Towards The Daylight” are great additions to the album.  But J.B.’s originals shouldn’t and can’t be ignored, either.  The album’s opener, ‘Dislocated Boy’ is a modern blues hit. Bonamassa shows yet again with this song that even as young as he is, he’s just as talented as legends the likes of: Warren Haynes, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Joe Satriani, and so many others.  That’s the case both with his vocals and his guitar work.  His talent is just as evident in the album’s more rock oriented title track.  What’s really interesting about this song is that the title might make one think it’s an up-tempo hard rocking piece.  But the reality is that it’s actually more of a borderline ballad of sorts.  That’s not a bad thing, either.  It’s an easily accessible song that any listener will enjoy.  Add in guest musicians, Anton Fig (drums) Aerosmith guitarist Brad Whitford and his son, Harrison, and audiences get a song that is arguably one of the major highlights of this album.  Famed drummer Anton Fig helps out throughout the album.  He and Whitford are also joined by producer Kevin Shirley (Dream Theater).  Shirley adds in his own contributions on guitar, percussion, and even toy piano on different songs.   

The guest musicians and cover songs do their part to make “Driving Towards The Daylight” a great new release from Joe Bonamassa.  The production by Kevin Shirley makes the album that much better.  Add in the raw talent of Joe Bonamassa himself, and audiences get what is not just one of the best blues records of the year, but one of the best albums of the year, too.

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