Joe Bonamassa

Dust Bowl

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AllMusic Review by

For his second solo album in a year -- not counting his excursion with Black Country Communion -- Joe Bonamassa, the hardest working blues-rock guitarist of the 21st century, strikes up a bit of a smoky Black Keys vibe, signaling that he’s not quite as devoted to the past as he may initially seem. It’s not the only trick he has up his sleeve, either. Appropriately enough for an album entitled Dust Bowl, Bonamassa kicks up some country dirt on this record, enlisting John Hiatt for a duet on the songwriter’s “Tennessee Plates” and bringing Vince Gill in to play on the lazy shuffle “Sweet Rowena.” These are accents to an album that otherwise sticks to Bonamassa’s strong suit of blues in the vein of Cream, Stevie Ray, and Gary Moore, but it’s just enough of a difference to give Dust Bowl a distinctive flavor and suggests that the guitarist’s constant work is pushing him to synthesize his clear influences into something that is uniquely his own.

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