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You and Me by Joe Bonamassa

Joe Bonamassa can only be described as a prodigy. How else would you describe someone who performed with BB King at age 12 and John Lee Hooker at 14? Since then, Bonamassa has grown and developed into his own fame. His style on this album harkens back to the influences of John Lee Hooker and Jeff Beck, but with his own flare. You and Me has a dirty, gritty sound, led by Bonamassa’s grinding vocals and guitar playing. Every track grooves with heavy backbeats and thick harmonic lines.

The album starts off with "High Water Everywhere," beginning with a haunting vocal line, leading into a rhythmic guitar line. Bonamassa then sings the melody, inflecting all the frustration and sadness of the blues into the lines. The sound blends seamlessly with the group. He then solos, trading bars with the repeating ethereal vocal line, which adds to the minor feel of the blues. Meanwhile, the rest of the band keeps up the backbeat with punctuated bass and drum hits on the offbeat.

On "Bridge to Better Days," one of Bonamassa’s originals, he gets some help from guitarist Pat Thrall, allowing the group to use more intricate harmonics, creating a huge, full sound. Thrall and Bonamassa get into a call and response session at one point during the solos, heating up the song even more.

"Asking Around for You," another original, is a slow blues that makes good use of the piano to create a lighter feel than the rest of the album. Bonamassa’s vocal quality changes to a certain extent to become less down and dirty and instead rise above the ensemble, purer than the previous tracks. The result is very beautiful, and very moving.

"I Don’t Believe" is a fast paced, Chicago-style blues piece reminiscent of John Lee Hooker. The walking bass line and guitar riffs provide a solid backdrop for Bonamassa’s strident solos. Pianist Rick Melick also has a good run on this number.

The other tracks on the album each have a different feel, from gospel to rock to R&B. Bonamassa plays each one with unrelenting flare and style. His guitar playing is just as soulful as his singing and continues in the style of his predecessors. The album is on the whole a blast to listen to and promises great things to come.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Joe Bonamassa
  • CD Title: You and Me
  • Genre: Blues
  • Year Released: 2006
  • Record Label: Premier Artists
  • Rating: Five Stars
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