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SignsSigns is not merely a return the Jonny's guitar-based beginnings, but an embodiment of an even more elemental sound. Beyond focusing attention on his soloing prowess, it is about recapturing the spirit of the early blues, where the guitar was front and center, fairly leaping out of the speakers. 'A lot of my earlier influences have been coming to the surface, like Robert Johnson, and Howlin' Wolf,' he reports. 'I have been appreciating how raw and unrefined that stuff is. I had an itch to emulate some of that and I think it shows in the songs. Still, I let the writing be what it was and that was sometimes not necessarily the blues.'1. Make It Move
3. Last Man Standing
5. What You're Made Of
6. Bitter End
7. Stronger Together
8. Into the Light
9. Bring Me Back Home
11. Singing Songs$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
A New Day Yesterday LiveSomething of an odd release, A New Day Yesterday Live documents the final date of a 60-day jaunt during blues guitar prodigy Joe Bonamassa's 2001 tour in support of his major-label debut bearing the same title, and (this is the odd part), released just a few months earlier. Just why his record company felt the need for it, then, is up for grabs (more promotion...thinking Bonamassa's virtuosity came across stronger in a live setting...who knows?), but what's clear is that the young guitarist's trio lacked nothing in terms of on-stage presence and performing tightness as compared to what was heard on said studio album. Their kinetic reinventions of oft-overlooked '70s rock classics such as Free's Walk in My Shadows and Jethro Tull's A New Day Yesterday instantly distinguish Bonamassa from teenage blues competitors such as the overly Stevie Ray Vaughan-reliant Kenny Wayne Shepherd or the more purist (and technically less dazzling) Jonny Lang, and his better-conceived originals (Colour & Shape, the wonderful Miss You Hate You) stand up under any circumstance -- but again, so what? Didn't listeners just buy their studio versions a few months ago? Yes, there's the additional benefit of extended jamming and incendiary guitar soloing to expand upon their themes, but suffice to say that this set need only be sought out by Bonamassa fanatics, or, in the event that they've yet to hear the studio version, first timers, too -- why not?
-All Music Guide1. Jam Intro
2. Cradle Rock
3. Stepping Out/Rice Pudding
4. A New Day Yesterday
5. Miss You, Hate You
6. Walk In My Shadows
7. I Know Where I Belong
8. Colour And Shape
9. Trouble Waiting
10. If Heartaches Were Nickels
11. Don't Burn Down That Bridge$35.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
So, It's Like ThatJoe Bonamassa is a young guitar virtuoso, in line with the likes of Derek Trucks and John Mayer (like Jonny Lang and Kenny Wayne Shepherd before them) to be the Next Blues-Rock Guitar Hero. So, It's Like That, his sophomore solo effort, includes production by Clif Magness, and his band includes drummer Kenny Kramme and bassist Eric Czar. Bonamassa shines when he is allowed to stretch out and explore, on songs such as the sonically varied Pain and Sorrow. There, on a long improvisation, he works through myriad modes of playing, textures, and musical ideas.
-All Music Guide1. My Mistake
2. Lie #1
3. No Slack
5. So, It's Like That
6. Waiting For Me
7. Never Say Goodbye
8. Mountain Time
9. Pain And Sorrow
10. Takin' The Hit
11. Under The Radar
12. Sick In Love
13. The Hard Way$32.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
A New Day YesterdayNamed after the early Jethro Tull classic, which he expertly covers here in a jaw-dropping performance, A New Day Yesterday is a fine debut by guitar ace Joe Bonamassa. And though his record company tried to ride the coattails of teenage guitar prodigies like Kenny Wayne Shepard and Jonny Lang and position him (misguidedly and much too late) as a straight-up prodigal blues kid, Bonamassa is really much more than a traditional bluesman. Rather, as best exemplified by the Jethro Tull number cited above, his bluesy take on Free's Walk in My Shadows, or his hard boogie romp through Al Kooper's Nuthin' I Wouldn't Do (For a Woman Like You), this excellent debut places the guitarist's influences as much in classic '70s hard rock as in the blues. Along with his deceptively age-wearied vocals (he was only 22 at the time of this recording), this unusual combination translates into the aggressive, soulful crunch heard on Bonamassa's many original compositions. Among these, the jolting double whammy of Miss You, Hate You and Colour and the Shape (note the Anglicized spelling) are the most obvious standouts, but the guitarist also makes the Warren Haynes-penned If Heartaches Were Nickels his own with a tense, riveting performance. All in all, a promising debut.
-All Music GuideCradle Rock
Walk In My Shadows
A New Day Yesterday
I Know Where I Belong
Miss You, Hate You (Rock Radio Remix)
Nuthin' I Wouldn't Do (For A Woman Like You)
Colour And Shape
Headaches To Heartbreaks
If Heartaches Were Nickels
Don't Burn Down That Bridge$32.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Still ClimbingLeslie West is set to releases his album Still Climbing in 2013 via Provogue Records / Mascot Label Group.
Originality, excitement, honesty and survival are all part of what makes a legend, and those qualities ripple through every song on the album. It's a testimonial to the strength and durability of West's artistry. Born October 22, 1945, as he approaches his 68th birthday, West has packed some of the most soulful and searing vocal performances of his half-century career into these 11 tracks. His guitar has never sounded more massive or riff-orientated.
What's different on Still Climbing is that I wanted my guitars to sound as big as I look. So I used four of my Dean Signature model guitars with my Mountain of Tone humbucking pickups. I plugged them into my Blackstar amps - no pedals - and turned them up loud and raw, and what you hear is exactly what I did in the studio. These Blackstar amps deliver everything I need without 'confidence' pedals. I played one of the early tracks we recorded for Slash, and he said, 'That is as heavy as it gets.'
Still Climbing is co-produced by West and Mike Metal Goldberg, who engineered all of the sessions. Songs like Dyin' Since The Day I Was Born, Hatfield or McCoy, and Busted, Disgusted or Dead establish a new litmus test for heavy.
The latter features West and Johnny Winter on duelling slide guitars. West also gave up smoking cigarettes and pot after a bout with bladder cancer, so it's no wonder many of Still Climbing's numbers explore the theme of survival and, ultimately, triumph. To that end, West avows, Not only am I lucky to be here, but because I stopped smoking my voice is now stronger than it's ever been - as strong as my guitar playing.
His inclusion of Feeling Good, a song by British actor-musician Anthony Newley that was made famous by Steve Winwood's group Traffic, is a testimonial to all of that. Its lyrics celebrate a new dawn for me as West and his long-time buddy Dee Snider (Twisted Sister) trade vocal lines.
West has always been an outstanding vocalist, earning comparisons to soul legends like Otis Redding since his 1969 debut Mountain, which gave his historic band its name. On Still Climbing West revisits the catalogue of another classic soul man, Percy Sledge, with the enduring When a Man Loves a Woman. He's joined by now 32 year-old soul man Jonny Lang, who he met 15 years ago when Lang was a rising guitar prodigy. West says they cut the tune side-by-side in the studio, their soaring guitars and voices twining to bring fresh blood and a blues-soaked arrangement to the song.
When a Man Loves a Woman, Never Let Me Go and Fade Into You explore a romantic theme. In 2009 West married his wife Jenni, who co-wrote many of Still Climbing's songs with the guitar giant.
Balls, guts, heart - more words that are part of West's legend and describe the roaring crescendos and deep emotional roots of Still Climbing - and West himself. You know, when it comes to talent, we don't all move at the same rate of speed, West muses. Some people start at the top of their game and after 10 or 20 years you wonder what the hell happened to them. I like to joke that the older I get the better I used to be, but after giving up drugs and smoking, my voice can hit notes that I never could reach before. I'm thankful for that.1. Dyin' Since The Day I Was Born (With special guest Mark Tremonti)
2. Busted, Disgusted or Dead (With special guest Johnny Winter)
3. Fade Into You
4. Not Over You At All
5. Tales Of Woe
6. Feeling Good (with special guest Dee Snider)
7. Hatfield or McCoy
8. When A Man Loves A Woman (With special guest Jonny Lang)
9. Long Red
10. Don't Ever Let Me Go (With special guest Dylan Rose)
11. Rev Jones Time (Somewhere Over The Rainbow)$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Limited Audiophile Pressing by RTI
Deluxe Gatefold Package
Salvation Town, the surprising and powerful solo debut by Jonny Two Bags,
guitarist for the Southern California punk rock institution Social Distortion,
defies expectations at every turn. Produced by David Kalish, noted for his long
association with Rickie Lee Jones, at his Redstar Studio in Los Angeles, the
album features 10 striking original songs written by Jonny Two Bags, a.k.a.
A diverse array of talent that spans the musical spectrum
was enlisted for the recording. Jackson Browne shares vocals with Wickersham
on "Then You Stand Alone," while David Lindley, whose guitar work graced
several of Browne's classic '70s albums, contributes to four tracks. Los Lobos'
multi-instrumentalist David Hidalgo and his sons David Jr. and Vincent join in
on "Wayward Cain" and super-sideman Greg Leisz (Lucinda Williams, Eric
Clapton, k.d. lang, Dave Alvin) also appears on guitar. The drum chair is filled
by Pete Thomas, a mainstay of Elvis Costello's bands. Wickersham's colleagues in Social Distortion, keyboardist Danny McGough
and bassist Brent Harding, join on a few tracks while Austin accordion luminary Joel Guzman and bassist/punk kingpin Zander
Schloss (Weirdos, Circle Jerks, Thelonious Monster) round out the lineup.1. One Foot In The Gutter
3. Then You Stand Alone
4. Clay Wheels
5. Forlorn Walls
6. Wayward Cain
8. Hope Dies Hard
9. Alone Tonight
10. The Way It Goes$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now