To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of His Best-Selling Independent Album Blues Deluxe, Joe Bonamassa has announced Blues Deluxe, Vol. 2. This, as well as a new remaster of Vol. 1, will be released on 6 October 2023 via J&R Adventures.
Blues Deluxe Vol. 1 celebrated what the US government had declared “the year of the blues” with a mix of originals and reinterpretations of classic songs.
“If you had told me 20 years ago my career would last long enough to see the 20th anniversary of this little record called Blues Deluxe, I’m sure I would have laughed,” Bonamassa told us. “Blues Deluxe was my last shot after being dropped by two major record labels and my booking agent. It was then that my manager, Roy Weisman, had his first ‘all in’ moment. We would go back into the studio and record a record that would hopefully define the direction of whatever future career I might have.”
Blues Deluxe Vol. 2, features two new originals and eight new covers spanning some of the most important names in the blues. From Bobby “Blue” Bland and Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac to Albert King. The album finds Bonamassa returning to his roots and giving new life to the classic tracks that have informed his own artistry.
“On Blues Deluxe Vol. 2, I asked my great friend Josh Smith to produce a record to be a companion to the anniversary edition of the first album and hopefully demonstrate a bit of how I have progressed over the last 20 years,” Bonamassa said. “The contrast between a cocky 26-year-old and an established 46-year-old is considerable. Does the fire still burn like it did? Am I still playing hungry? Am I even good enough to pay tribute to my heroes all over again? The answer lies somewhere in this album.”
Josh Smith was sold on the idea in no time. “When Joe asked me to produce Blues Deluxe Vol. 2,” Smith said, “I knew immediately what I wanted to accomplish. I wanted the fans to hear the completely natural, relaxed Joe that I hear when we are just goofing around playing guitars. He really was in the moment and feeling completely supported, and I know that he really ‘went for it’ on everything.”
Twenty-Four Hour Blues has been released today. It is a blistering reinterpretation of Bobby “Blue” Bland’s classic track, featured on one of Bonamassa’s favorite albums of all time, Dreamer.
The new version features one of Bonamassa’s best-ever vocals and guitar solos. “The outro guitar solo is incredible,” Smith said. “It happened live on the floor and has some deep lines you’ve probably never heard Joe play before. The band is absolutely smoking, and Calvin Turner did an incredible String and Horn arrangement. Super proud of this one.”
Bonamassa says there were elements of creative introspection. “Part of my approach to these new recordings was that I wanted to see if I had matured musically over the years and if I had gotten better as a player,” Bonamassa says. “I’m happy to say that I am a much better singer than I was 20 years ago – though I still don’t really consider myself to be a legit singer. I can now carry a tune a little better than I could back then.”
Twenty-Four Hour Blues follows the earlier single I Want To Shout About It, originally performed by Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters. Bonamassa’s joyful version features solos from Reese Wynans on organ and Paulie Cerra on sax, as well as some killer adlibs from vocalists Dannielle DeAndrea and Charles Jones as the track winds to a close.
“Shout About It is a song originally by the great Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters with Darrel Nullisch on vocals,” Smith said. “It’s a tough/high song to sing, and Joe really pushed himself and nailed it. It’s a real rave-up, a party song. Joe has been playing it live lately, and the crowds are really digging it!”
Pre-order Blues Deluxe Vol. 2 from North America here.
Pre-order Blues Deluxe Vol. 2 from the UK and Europe here.