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Joe Bonamassa - The Hook 21 March 2015

Things improved after that false start when we chatted to some Cornish JB fans in the bar before we ventured up to our seats in the circle. Not only were we in the Gods but we were greeted by rows of empty seats which didn’t exactly help the atmosphere despite Joe’s manufactured stage entrance. All this was forgotten as he launched straight into one of the stand-out tracks from Different Shades Of Blue - ‘Oh Beautiful’ – traditional Bonamassa as was the classic follow-up ‘Never Give All Your Heart’ from the same album. It was all change then as Joe jumped into Howlin’ Wolf’s Hidden Charms and here lies the rub. Reinventing yourself is part and parcel of the industry but perhaps this understandably sits very uncomfortably with your longstanding JB fan - particularly the risk of diluting himself with his stand out eight piece band (the writing already being on the wall at last year’s Calling Festival). It was more of the same with the horn section and keys on ‘Living On The Moon’ and ‘Trouble Town’. However, Otis Rush’s ‘Double Trouble’ was pivotal for me on the night - Reese Wynan’s keys the perfect foil for Bonamassa’s amazing guitar solo and I’m starting to see the light. Wow!

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