google5fdb2843fc4f1b5b.html Rock Chic: Joe Bonamassa and Beth Hart 'Don't Explain' album review

Monday, 26 September 2011

Joe Bonamassa and Beth Hart 'Don't Explain' album review

Blues and rock ‘n’ roll is always seen as a man’s world, and Joe Bonamassa is at the forefront right now. However, here with new album ‘Don’t Explain’ along with Beth Hart, this is definitely one strike to the girls.

This gem of an album is a compilation of classics which swings into motion with signature Bonamassa ‘bowm bowm’ on a cover of ‘For My Friend’ by Bill Withers, which for fans of Joe doesn’t disappoint. The theme of the album is nostalgic blues and soul with an injection of up to date swagger from Beth. She has a strong, husky voice full of dominance, exuding passion, but soulful and at times, quite angelic. Just when you start the comparisons to Etta James, in blasts track number 6, a cover of ‘I’d Rather Go Blind’, proof that Beth can stand next to legends such as this and completely hold her own.

The rendition of ‘Something’s Got A Hold On Me’ gives a slice of Southern hospitality. It’s a rocking, rolling and rollicking good time tune, giving images of beer swillers gathered around a bar piano. A glimpse of what might happen if you place a band and a bottle in the same room for long enough. The fun is perfectly blended with the melancholy with ‘Your Heart Is As Black As Night’ reminding us of the serious talent that this album is giving us. Originally by Melody Gardot, his track is sombre at times, but also a story of truth reflecting the hard life of Beth herself. Here you see that from tragedy can come the most beautiful of creations.

This perfectly co-ordinated compilation, blended with Bonamassa’s guitar playing which slips in like a soothing massage, this album is like food for the soul. Even veering from blues to soft jazz – you’re taken to the smoky clubs of the Mississippi for another showcase for Beth’s versatile vocals which has the depth needed to carry off this type of sound.

With a purely female vocal this album has as much balls as the boys. Even though Mr. Bluesman himself is firmly in the background creating the magic of a proper blues record, this album has the added sparkle of sisters doing it for themselves.

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