Live At Carnegie Hall: An Acoustic Evening

Joe Bonamassa

J&R Adventures, 2018

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


It's pretty amazing to think that Joe Bonamassa is only in his early 40s. If you look at his extensive catalog, the sheer volume of releases is staggering. Of course, he got a very early start and was playing shows before he was even a teenager.


Live At Carnegie Hall: An Acoustic Evening is Bonamassa's 15th live album. Recorded over two evenings in January 2016, it's his second all acoustic release and this one even comes with a 16-page booklet. In addition to his regular band, Bonamassa brings on Chinese-American cellist Tina Guo, Hossam Ramzy on percussion, and mandolin and banjo player Eric Bazilian, among others, to make for a great supporting cast.

At 15 tracks in length, fans of Bonamassa are treated to plenty of his luminous work with some nice variations. Tracks like “This Train” stray from the original with strings, while timeless selections like “Dust Bowl” and “Blue And Evil” illustrate his penchant for emotive blues. Elsewhere, “Mountain Time” highlights the piano – a reoccurring spotlight instrument here – and “Livin' Easy” brings jazz into the equation with saxophones. The disc one closer, “Get Back My Tomorrow,” is full of banjo fun with a playful, hoedown feel, effectively punctuating the eclectic listen.

At just six tracks, the second disc reinvents Ry Cooder's “How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live” and the “The Rose” (popularized by Bette Midler) with fantastic results. However, the best moment is Bonamassa's interpretation of B.B. King's “Hummingbird,” where his soulful, booming voice gives the classic a chilling, radiant feel.

There's little doubt that Joe Bonamassa is a modern day blues legend, and no one can play a guitar quite like him. Add in his soulful, booming voice and you have a songwriter that can put out 20+ albums with zero mediocrity involved, including this one.

Rating: B

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© 2018 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of J&R Adventures, and is used for informational purposes only.