Joe Bonamassa is not only one of the hardest-working musicians in the blues; he also seems to be one of the most artistically curious. The half-dozen or so album releases Bonamassa has been involved with the past couple of years include such stylistic experimentations as 1970s-influenced classic rock (three albums with Black Country Communion) and 1960s-era R&B (Don't Explain, with singer Beth Hart), as well as his usual slate of guitar-driven blues-rock jams (Dust Bowl, Driving Towards The Daylight, etc).
On January 29, 2013 the popular guitarist will throw his long-time fans a curveball as he gets down and gets funky with We Want Groove, the first album from his new band, Rock Candy Funk Party (RCFP). The band is comprised of veteran players like guitarist Ron DeJesus, bassist Mike Merritt, keyboardist Renato Neto, and drummer Tal Bergman, whose collective credits include impressive stints with artists like Prince, Joe Zawinul, Rod Stewart, and Luther Vandross, among others. Rock Candy Funk Party aims to redefine classic late 1970s/early 1980s jazz-funk music, the album an instrumental collection of eight original and one cover song.
The largely-improvisational album was produced by Bergman, who played on Bonamassa's last couple of albums, and was recorded over a period of ten days in Berman's Los Angeles studio. "It really was the definition of collaboration, one of those records where you want to bottle the vibe and save it for all albums," Bonamassa says in a press release for We Want Groove. "Tal did a great job making sure the album didn't become over indulgent. The challenge was to keep it fresh without our influences overwhelming the music - to keep the band vibe without it becoming too many ideas from too many people. It was important to commit to the moment and keep it fresh, and fun. There is a fine line."
The album also comes with a bonus DVD that includes behind-the-scenes video of the making of the album. Fans that want a taste of We Want Groove are encouraged to check out the Rock Candy Funk Party website and download a free copy of the band's first single, "Octopus-e."
We Want Groove CD Tracklist:
3. Ode To Gee
4. We Want Groove
5. The Best Ten Minutes of Your Life
7. Dope On A Rope
8. Root Down (and Get It)
9. New York Song
Photo courtesy J&R Adventures