Blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa has spent better than half his life in the music biz, gaining valuable experience as a member of the short-lived band Bloodline, and also playing with folks like Jethro Tull and B.B. King. Bonamassa’s storied pedigree has served him well, however, providing a confidence and maturity to So, It’s Like That, his second album, that contemporaries like Kenny Wayne Shepherd or Johnny Lang lack.
Joe Bonamassa's So, It's Like That
Bonamassa's voice has developed into a warm, friendly 1970s-styled rock & roll yelp that is capable of both dizzying highs and mellow lows. Bonamassa’s songwriting has also grown since his solo debut, bringing fresh wordplay and perspective to the standard blues fare of love and betrayal. Let’s be honest, tho’ - the reason that the casual listener will pick up on Joe Bonamassa is because of his six-string talents and So, It’s Like That offers a healthy dose of state-of-the-art guitar pyrotechnics.
The fiery riffage that kicks off "Lie #1" is Hendrix-inspired and completely sanctified, Bonamassa adding multi-layered rhythmic flourishes beneath incendiary leads in this raging tale of betrayal. A hard rock beat opens "Takin’ The Hit" as Smokin’ Joe drops into a funky groove in this radio-ready rocker while "Under The Radar" uses overdubbed guitars to create a grand circular riff to smack you in the head. The title track kicks off with a Stevie Ray-influenced shuffle, Bonamassa trying on his best Texas drawl to drive the tale of woe home with some nimble fretwork and explosive rhythms.
The Reverend's Bottom Line
A bright young talent that continues to amaze, the subtle phrasing, raw power and incredible tone that Joe Bonamassa brings to his playing reminds listeners of Stevie Ray Vaughan, an obvious influence running throughout So, It’s Like That. Bonamassa has a similar vibe to his guitar play, mixing 1970s hard rock and ‘80s guitar fury to create a sound that is at once both fresh and familiar and quite capable of blowing the dust from the blues, dragging the art form screaming and kicking into the new century. (Medalist Entertainment)