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Joe Bonamassa DVD


Joe Bonamassa ROYAL TEA.jpg

After being fortunate enough to recently review the CD version of this excellent concert from Carnegie Hall, and after hearing how it's done, now it's time to see how it's done on the Blues masters new DVD. The first thing you notice is how this iconic venue in Midtown Manhattan has retained its historic look and feel - the interior architecture looks as though little has changed since the theatre opened in 1891 on Seventh Avenue, New York City. The venue has three separate concert spaces, with this particular gig taking place in The Main Hall, the largest of the three holding almost three thousand fans.

A simple stage set, with a seated Mr. Bonamassa front and centre, accompanied by the eight multi-talented musicians is all that is needed to let the quality of the music shine through. No frills or video screens needed, just the man in black with trademark shades providing a virtuoso display to keep the audience enthralled. Playing songs and (acoustic) guitars from almost every stage of his career, it's a set that fans of the great man would probably chose themselves and the pace is relentless, from the opening stomp of 'This Train' to the surprising finale cover of Bette Midler's 'The Rose'. But this show is not all about Joe, with the rest of the band on top form, looking like they are thoroughly enjoying the experience of playing this great venue. Special mentions must go to Tina Guo on cello and the two string erhu, who not only plays quite beautifully but also provides the cameraman the opportunity to try and look down her top at regular intervals, and the excellent Reese Wynans on piano, who plays with delicacy and precision in equal measure.

For a song by song review, please see my review of the CD below, but if you enjoyed the album, this is a great accompanying DVD, illustrating just what a great musician can do when accompanied by a great band. The extras on the bonus disc include interviews with the all the band members, the most interesting of which is Joe explaining how, from his vast collection of guitars, he chose the ones to be used on the night (one of which is a hundred years old and another, a gorgeous Johnny Cash signature model). If you like Joe Bonamassa/acoustic Blues music this excellently filmed concert DVD is well worth adding to your collection.

Phil C.

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