Joe's Time Clocks
Bruce Von Stiers
As I've mentioned before, I have been a fan of Joe Bonamassa since seeing him on a PBS special several years ago. Time went by and Joe has recorded several albums since then. Those albums included the critically acclaimed and fan favorite album from last year, Royal Tea.
This year finds Joe Bonamassa with a brand new album out. The title of the new album is Time Clocks. It is chock full of great blues rock music.
For those who don't know him, Joe is one of the world's top blues / rock guitarist and vocalist. As a young teen, Joe played a gig where he opened for B.B. King. Still in his mid-teens, Joe fronted a band called Bloodline, which featured sons of prominent rock musicians. Joe has played alongside such blues greats as Walter Trout and legends such as Eric Clapton. And he has played and recorded many times with Beth Hart. Joe has recorded albums that span over a couple of decades.
According to the Foreword for Time Clocks, Joe was in New York in early 2021. He and two others were working on some music. Joe's longtime producer was stuck in Australia. But through the help of friends and some ingenuity, the music transitioned continents and the result became the new album, Time Clocks.
Kevin Shirley, who has worked with Joe for quite a while, produced the album. Roy Wiseman was the album's executive producer.
The album has ten songs and a play time of just under fifty-seven minutes. It is being released on Joe's label, J &R Adventures.
Joe had some of his longtime collaborators on the album with him. Anton Figg is on drums and bongos. Rob McNelly played guitar on one song. And Greg Morrow helps out on percussion. Steve Mackey, one of the people who Joe began putting the album together with, played bass. Jeff Bova and his Boveland Orchestra provided orchestral music for a couple of songs.
One of the top keyboardists in Australia, Lachy Doley played piano and organ on the album. Bunna Lawrie is a member of the Abriginal Australian band Coluored Stone. He plays the digeridoo on two of the songs on the album. Bobby Summerfield adds his touch on percussion and whistle. Kevin Shirley, who I mentioned earlier, helped out on percussion.
A couple of women who have provided amazing backing vocals for Joe in the past do it again on this album. These vocalists are Juanita Tippins and Mahalia Barnes. They were joined by Prinnie Stevens, one of Australia's top vocalists.
The album begins with a cool guitar and digeridoo infused intro called Pilgrimage.
Notches begins like a rock anthem. Then it transitions into a rock infused blues piece. There is some interesting music about three fourths through the song. It tells of life's long journey and not letting it getting the better of him.
The Heart That Never Waits is a too cool blues rock song. It has tough guitar, good vocals and terrific backing vocals.
The title track, Time Clocks, has a lot of different elements. It has a tiny bit of country and a lot of blues with a sliver of rock. It is a fantastic anthem styled song with solid vocals by Joe and great backing vocals.
Questions and Answers is a kind of fun blues piece. It has some slow, almost ballad segments, mixed with guitar and drum.
Mind's Eye is a slow song with almost haunting blues guitar. About three-fourths through the song, there is a fantastic guitar solo.
Curtain Call has an almost Royal sounding rock anthem intro. It has some toe tapping guitar music and a sort of blues rock anthem throughout.
Even though all of the songs on the album are great, I think my favorite is The Loyal Kind. It has slow and fluid sound through most of it with solid vocals and music. The chorus has tough, rock infused guitar. Joe's playing in this song shows why he's considered by some as one of the best guitarists in the world.
Hanging On A Loser is a fun, smile effecting rollicking blues song. It's about how she keeps telling him that their relationship is terrible. But if it's so bad, why is she still hanging around?
He's trying of letting go of a relationship that has died out is the theme of Known Unknowns. Joe's vocals are fluid and the backing vocals are great. Joe's guitar work on this song is fantastic, especially at the back end of the song.
Every time that I think Joe Bonamassa has reached the pinnacle of his music, he continues to surprise me. This new album, Time Clocks, is chock full of fantastic songs. With strong vocals, spectacular guitar and backing instruments and amazing backing vocals, this is definitely one of the best albums Joe has recorded.
Time Clocks is set to be released on October 29 th .
To learn more about Time Clocks, and Joe Bonamassa, visit https://jbonamassa.com/
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© 2021 Bruce E Von Stiers